Thursday, September 29, 2011

Deaf Architect

I am profoundly deaf and I am 38 years old.  I know it might be a bit late to change career as i like to becoming an architect. I'm finding difficult finding a good college that doesn't have barrier communication break down between deaf and hearing.  I am a lip speaking and can do sign. i would willing to move to another country to able to get a degrees and license. I am a family man of a daughter. 

First, it is not too late if you have the passion and time to pursue the architecture degree.  

To learn more about the institutions that offer degrees in architecture, visit the following: and/or

In a previous position at IIT, we had a deaf student and did what was necessary to support his pursuit.  I will imagine that other schools would do the same.


Dr. Architecture

Job Search

I am an architect engineer; I graduated from a foreign university.  I am a hard worker since I graduated from college.  I have passion in architecture;  I recently came here to U.S and I am seeking for a job even as a part time job.  I am planning to get a master degree next year, but I post my CV & portfolio to many links & places.  I am not getting any replies from them.  Am I missing something in experience? What do you recommend?
Please recognize that the job market for architecture is currently very challenging.  Estimates are that there is between 20-30% unemployment in the field of architecture.

Thus, searching for a position in the field is difficult.

While it is hard to fully know the method of your job search, I will suggest you try "networking," the idea that you connect with others within the profession to learn of possible opportunities in your region.  Consider joining the AIA (professional association) to become more involved.  Do not rely solely on "links and places."

One resource to consider is What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles to learn how to job search.

Dr. Architecture 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mathematics or Architecture or Mathematics

I am a senior and I am interested in architecture. I learned that for some people, they get a bachelor's degree in one area, then they continue  their education get a master's degree in a similar area. Does this method work for architecture? I found out that some  schools offer a master degree in archieture in five or six year. However,  with a strong foundation in math, is it possible to get a bachelor's degree in architecture related area, such as mathematics or arts, then get my master degree in architecture.

To answer your question, the answer is YES; one path is to obtain an undergraduate BS or BA degree in another discipline and then pursue at Master of Architecture.  As you suggest, you could very much obtain a degree in mathematics and pursue the Master of Architecture (3-4 years).  This route does take longer.

Students in high school typically pursue architecture out of high school, but you could choose either route.  I would suggest a school that has a good program in both disciplines as you could pursue a minor in either discipline while pursuing the major in the other.


Confidence to become an architect!

Since I was in kindergarten, I always dream of designing and building homes. I always envisioned myself making homes and want nothing else but to build homes. I am 23 years old now and have already finished college. Due to financial reasons, I pursued a different path, i.e I took Agricultural Engineering, I love math and I love engineering. I am happy being an agricultural engineer but I still want to pursue my childhood dream. Problem is, I can't draw. My drawing skills is not at par with architects. My friends and colleagues think that an architect profession is not suited for me since I am more analytical than artistic. They consider me more logical than creative. In college, I actually considered transferring to the architecture program but a classmate (who is an artist) laughed at me and told me I will just fail since I am not creative.

Kind Sir, I really loved to design and build homes. Whenever I visit residential districts, I feast my eyes on admiring the designs of the houses I see. I understand that I really am not as creative as most architects are. Is it really a must to be talented and artistic or will it be developed once a person enters the program? Is there any course or program that I can take so that I can develop creativeness in me? I plan to reenter college to pursue an architecture degree but I fear that my lack of creativeness would hinder me from doing so. Is there a possibility that I may still develop creativeness in me once I pursue this program? I really want this but I fear that I don't have the necessary talent and skills to achieve this.  

First, let me preface my reply with the following; I am of the opinion that the profession of architects takes all types -- the profession needs creative types, logical thinking types, details types, big picture types.

I truly apologize that a classmate laughed at you; what they shared is not necessarily true.

While it may be true that an architect needs to be creative, this is why you go to school.  You learn about architecture and the skills necessary to become an architect including drawing. I do think you can learn creativity.  If you have not already done so, I suggest you meet with some architects or architecture students to learn from them.  Visit a school of architecture.

Also, as you are more analytical, you could certainly be involved with the built environment and bring that set of skills to the table.  You need to be more confident in your abilities.  Do not be afraid to fail.

Dr. Architecture


Dr. Architecture,

I am currently knee-deep in the application process of applying for an M.ARCH I degree.  As it is, I am having second thoughts about the strength of my candidacy--particularly about my GRE scores. I feel that I have been able to build a strong portfolio through my undergraduate degree in Studio Art, and my resume boasts some work in design and architecture companies.  However, I'm not confident in the strength of my GRE scores. In your experience, how much emphasis is placed on these scores? 

I am having difficulty finding published information on median GRE scores for admitted students.  Could you point me toward any resources that might aggregate this information?
Typically, the GRE scores are not the most important criteria for graduate admissions, but nonetheless it is a requirement for most programs. 

I would not judge your viability for a MArch based just on your GRE; as you state, the portfolio along with other factors are also used by programs - statement, letters of recommendation and transcript.

As for better understanding GRE scores, I could only find the following websites on GRE and Understanding your Scores.

Recognize that the GRE changed its test over the summer and true materials for scoring may not be out until November or so.

Of course, your best source is the institutions to which you plan to apply.  Feel free to contact each school and ask questions about their admissions review process and how the GRE plays in it.


Dr. Architecture

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ARE - Taking early!

My question is: Is it necessary to have completed one's IDP before taking the ARE? A recent graduate from St. Louis told me that she can start taking the exams without having done an internship. Thanks.

Actually, an individual with a NAAB accredited degree can now take the A.R.E. upon graduation in certain states; check the NCARB website for more details -  Of course, the individual cannot be licensed until the fulfill both IDP and the A.R.E.

Visit the following for whichever state and check the answer to question #10

Licensing Board Requirements
10 Does your board allow early eligibility for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE)?

If you check Missouri, the answer is YES.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Computer Science to Architecture

I am a final year engineering student pursuing my degree in computer science. I have always been interested in architecture but for some reason, I couldn't do my bachelors in the same. Now that my degree is about to end, I'd like to know if there is any degree in architecture or design that I can pursue now, as my masters.

Absolutely!  As you have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated discipline (computer science), you are eligible to apply to the Master of Architecture (3-4 years).  If you visit either NAAB - or ARCHSchools - - you can research programs that have such a degree, about 50-60 in the country.

Do be aware that you will need to submit a portfolio as part of your application for admission; you should consider taking a drawing/art course prior to graduation if possible.


Dr. Architecture

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Society of Architectural Historians

The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce our newly updated Guide to Grad Programs list found here on our website. 

We included architectural history, historic preservation, and architectural programs (especially if the school offered a Ph.D. program) in an effort to expand the options for potential graduate students researching the types of programs that involve architectural history and theory.  

If you are curious about SAH, you can join our groupsite at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Foreign Credentials

I studied Architecture in Fine Arts college in Egypt for five years,  and got graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture .  I have the green card  and planning to move to the united states soon.
Now I am seeking to continue my studies there to finally become an accredited Architect with a license to pursue my career.
I understood that I need an equivalency to determine how many more points I need to earn before getting graduated from an American college or an continuing to get a Master

Please advise me on how and where I can send my transcript , or the steps I need to follow to be able to apply in a college

Your feedback is highly appreciated.

You need to be in touch with NCARB to learn the process of becoming licensed in the U.S. as one who has been education in another country.

In addition, you need to contact EESA - Education Evaluation Services for Architects --

Be sure to review all of the information on the website.

Dr. Architecture 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

MArch as a 35 year old?

I have always held an admiration for architecture even though I was never sure why. Maybe it's the mystique or the vast array of knowledge that it holds. Most of all I believe that it hits a note with me because it has a permanent effect on people's lifestyle and mood.

That said, I must say that I'm 35 years old and missed my chance at getting into the local university (we only have one) architecture course when I was 18. I was originally a student that got As and Bs but difficult times during my college years affected my grades. I made a decision, because I didn't know better, to enter the IT industry which was another interest of mine. Anyway, back to the present time, I now have an MBA degree in EBusiness and hold the position of Senior Analyst with a UK software house based in my country.

These past couple of years, my interest in architecture has been strongly rekindled. Even though I believe I could get into the course as a mature student, the University still offers the course on a full time basis only for five years which means I'd have to leave my job. I was wondering though, let's say a dream scenario comes up and I can afford to leave work, is it plausible to start learning architecture at my age?

I suggest you review some of the previous questions on the ARCHCareers blog -

As I have stated in the past, it is never too late to pursue architecture if it is your passion.  Granted, you must consider financial and other considerations, but Philip Johnson, one of the greatest 20th century architects became one at age of 39 and practiced until his death in his 90s.

I would contact the schools to connect with students that may be of your age or older.

I hope this helps!
Dr. Architecture