Sunday, December 29, 2013

Networking - Architectural Visualization

Good morning Dr. Architecture.

I'm 34 years old. I have been one year living in Washington DC. I´m resident permanent.

I born in Peru, where I obtained a bachelor of architecture at "Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria". My specialty is architectural vizualization (3D images and animations). I start my new live in DC, but its difficult for me to connect with the profession, because I´m learning English language, and start to create a network in the profession.

I want learn new knowledge, continue my studies and obtain more experience in the profession. You could offer me a good advice, about where start my studies, and how start to work in an DC architecture office.

I appreciate your help.

Congrats on your pursuit of architecture and architectural visualization.

First, access to education in DC is plentiful.  There are a number of accredited architecture programs in DC - Catholic University of America, Howard University, University of Maryland, and VTech has a branch campus in Alexandria, VA known as the Washington-Alexandria Center.  All of these are good places to start with your network - attend lectures, connect with professors, etc.  For a list of the programs, visit --

As well, join the professional association - American Institute of Architects (AIA) with their local chapter - DC AIA (  As well, there are other institutions that may be helpful including the National Building Museum - (

I hope this provides you a start.  Best!

Dr. Architecture

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Architecture - Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge

I came across your web site and I am not sure if you can help my son on the Architecture  Merit Badge.  The architect counselor has high expectation from my son (13.5 years old). He needs to submit Site plan, landscape plan, room plan and all drawn to scale.  To save time, I tried to find some free CAD software for my son. Will Google Sketchup work for this purpose? Any other easy to learn free CAD software? Is it better to draw the plans by hand?  

From my review of the Architecture Merit Badge, it appears that drafting scaled drawings are just a part of obtaining the badge.  Regardless, I would suggest that doing it be hand may be easier than learning a free CAD software.  Of course, with hand drafting, you would need a drawing board, t-square, scale, triangle, and drafting pencils.

Measure a room such as one where you live or where your troop meets. Make an accurately scaled drawing of the room's floor plan showing walls, doors, closets, windows, and any built-in furniture or cabinets. Neatly label your drawing with the following: your name, the date, what room you drew, and the scale of the drawing. (Drawing scale: ¼ inch = 1 foot)

With that said, I will be honest - I am NOT an expert on software but from a simple Google search, found the following that might be helpful.  I do not offer an opinion on one over the other as some are Windows based while others are cross platform.

Further, if your son is interested in architecture, I suggest he obtain Becoming an Architect, 2nd ed. (see attached).

As well, visit the website - --


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Recommendations for a School.

Which schools would you recommend a high school student apply to when considering architecture as a career?

Unfortunately, I do not recommend architecture programs.  Ultimately, it is up to you to research the programs against what is important to you to determine the best fit.

Below are two resources for you to review --

NAAB - - list of accredited programs - - list of accredited programs with ability to search.

Aside from these online resources, inquire with each program and ask for names of either current students or recent graduates for insight on the program.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Selecting an Architecture Program

My daughter is a high school junior with career plans to become a licensed, certified Architect. As we have been visiting colleges, it looks like there are many different programs, but not all meet the requirements to allow her to take the necessary tests. Either that , or some take much longer than others to reach their endpoint, or get there in very different ways.  At some of the places we visited, we have not been convinced that even after completing their 5 or 6 years of training that Julia's requirements to move forward in the certification process would be met.

How do we evaluate programs to be sure we are in the right place? Is there a list of acceptable accredited programs we should work from? Any guidance you can provide will be very valuable as we try to find the most effective program somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, New England,  or East Coast area for her to be in for the next 5 or 6 years. Thank you.


First, I will suggest you obtain the book, Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition as it outlines the entire process from high school to licensure.  With that said, I will provide answers to your questions.  We may also wish to touch base via the phone.

To become an architect in most states, an individual must have the following: 1) accredited professional degree by NAAB, 2) completion of IDP - Intern Development Program, and 3) pass the ARE - Architect Registration Exam.

As for degrees, NAAB accredits the following: 1) BArch - five year program, 2) MArch - typically 2-3 years following a BSAS pre-professional degree, 2b) MArch - typically 3-4 years following a BA/BS in a field other than architecture, and 4) DArch - only available from Hawaii.

What you have visited may be pre-professional degrees that require further education with the MArch.

To see the list of accredited programs, visit the NAAB website - Another sources - it requires a login, but is free.

To evaluate programs, I strongly encourage her to visit the programs and have a list of needs. 

Also, I would strongly encourage her to attend a summer program to experience it firsthand prior to college.  Attached is the preliminary list for Summer 2014.  The final list is available in late January.

Do let me know if you have any additional questions.  Best.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Architect to What?

I have enjoyed reading your blog over the years. I am wondering if you can help with my career predicament. What can I do with a B.Arch degree besides 'straight' architecture -- what graduate programs or careers would I be fit to undertake? Can you help with ideas?

Here is my background. I became a licensed architect in California. I graduated from Cal Poly SLO and then worked at a school design firm, then a residential firm. During my time at the school firm, I initially drafted CDs, and then later became a Project Manager doing construction admin work. I excelled at the management side of things, but felt I wasn't doing anything artistic. I turned to graphic design and web design as a career and left the profession. I have since been working in web design, but sometimes feel I am selling myself short in terms of the broad knowledge base I acquired through my architectural training (math, engineering, environmental control systems, design). I love learning and would like to do more academics if possible, but feel I need to be committed to a particular career/job title end goal. I have not worked in an architecture office for seven years, so feel like it is an impossibility to go back.

I appreciate any advice you may have -- if you have time! I realize you likely get many inquires. :-)

I am very pleased that you have enjoyed the blog for the past few years.

I appreciate your question as I have been spending time writing on the issue.  Below are a few articles that I have authored on the topic on what I call Architecture and Beyond.

All I can suggest is that you pursue your passion.  As you have discovered, an architectural education is a tremendous foundation for any number of career fields.  Of course, it is not easy to determine the best path.

Spend time assessing what you like -- interests, skills, etc.  Make the match between what you like and what is out there in terms of employment -- What is your timeline?

Keep searching and pursue it with a passion.  It will be hard to get back into architecture, but if you want it, go for it.


Monday, November 25, 2013

EESA Foreign Degree

Can you please tell me licensing procedure to work as an architect in USA.  I have heard that B.Arch/M.Arch degree from India is not sufficient.for that there would be another procedures by AIA.  If you know any details regarding this kindly help me.

In the U.S., an individual needs to fulfill three requirements for most jurisdictions - 1) education, 2) experience, and 3) examination.
For 1) education, a BArch/MArch from another country such as India will not serve as an automatic equivalent, but you can submit your credentials to EESA ( to determine that your education is equivalent to the NCARB Education Standard.  In most cases, it will not be totally equivalent, but EESA will share what you need to complete.
After education, you must complete IDP - Intern Development Program to fulfill the experience component.  Once you have met education and IDP, you are eligible to sit for the ARE - Architect Registration Examination.  For details on IDP and ARE, visit NCARB -
I hope this is helpful.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Interior Architecture to Architecture

Hello Dr. Architect

I have been in the United States for two years. In my country I received certificate in Interior Architecture , which is not a degree here.I just can evaluate two classes.Now I am in a community college and taking ESL courses. As you can see I would like to continue my education in same major which Woodbury University offers that in Bachelor degree.And maybe later continue the same major in UCLA in Master program. As a new student what would you recommend to me in educational, financial and career perspective.And Also, Should  interior architecture has Accreditation? What is it, is it NAAB?

Thanks for your time.

As you do not have the equivalent of an undergraduate degree (BA or BS), you may wish to consider pursuing an undergraduate architecture degree (preprofessional) with later pursuing a Master of Architecture.  

Or, you could pursue the five-year professional Bachelor of Architecture.

Which you pursue depends on you and your desire.

NAAB is the National Architectural Accrediting Board --  They accredit architecture programs, not interior architecture.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Non-architect work within firms!

This question may be a little different, but I’m trying to research career opportunities with architecture firms for people other than architects. I have an MBA in marketing, with experience in project planning, financial analysis, product development and purchasing. For the past 6 years I have served as a project manager for the Boy Scouts of America in their store planning function. I have basic CAD skills, but have functioned primarily on my ability to communicate, decipher, coordinate and learn and use existing systems.

As architecture firms are business, most have staff that are NOT architects but probably only the largest of firms.  This would include marketing, human resources, etc.  However, over 80% of architecture firms are small (less than 5) and the architects on staff do all of the work.

One source of information is the following - most of the members of SDA are not architects, but rather those within the firm that assist in the areas previously mentioned.

Society of Design Administration

I hope this helps!

Graduate Study Options and Funding

I came across your blog while searching for graduate programs to apply for fall 2014. I am architect from India. I completed my B.Arch degree(5 years) from India last year 2012. I have a year and a half work experience in an international firm with head office in Mumbai, India. I have worked on various national and international projects. 

Now I want to pursue higher studies in architecture with funding. I am really confused which program I should go for. Professional degree or Research? I want a program which provides funding. Also I want to practice in professional field after my studies. Is there an option to practice in professional field after going in researched based program? Also does professional programs like M.Arch, MUD etc provide funding or assistantship? I have given GRE and TOEFL. Given below is the list of universities I want to aim for:

SIU Carbondale
U Mass
V tech
U Houston
UT Austin
U Mich
U Cin

Please suggest if there are any other as per my requirement. What should I go for M.Arch, MUD, MLA,MS in arch? Also let me know about the job opportunities. I will be really thankful to you if you can help me. Kindly, give your feed back and help me so that I can start applying for the courses. 

Given that you have a Bachelor of Architecture, you may consider applying to U.S. institutions and pursue either the professional Master of Architecture or any number of post-professional degrees.

If your desire is to eventually becoming licensed in the U.S., I would suggest you pursue the NAAB professional Master of Architecture which is required for licensure.

If that is not important (licensure in the U.S.), then consider pursuing a post-professional degree in a subject of your strongest interest.  

As for funding, you would need to be in touch directly with each of the programs you list via their website or direct contact.  Most graduate programs have merit-based funding in the form of fellowships, scholarships or teaching assistantships.  You want to learn the process of applying and what makes for a worthwhile application.

A good source for the list of programs is -- --


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Undergraduate Major if not Architecture?

Hello Dr. Arch,
I am going to be a student at Rutgers University. I'm very interested in going into the Architecture field but my school does not offer the program. I have to stay at my school due to financial stability but I was wondering if there's another pathway for me to become an architect. I was thinking about doing either Civil Engineering or Landscape Architecture at my school and then applying to masters and doctorate programs for Architecture. My other choice is to study Psychology/Exercise Science and try to apply to the same programs, since I heard some requirements do not require a pre-professional degree. Your opinion would really help me. Thank you.


Given that you need to stay at Rutgers for financial reasons, you should pursue an undergraduate degree that suits you best and maximizes success.  Granted civil engineering and landscape architecture are related to architecture, but will you do well academically in these majors?

You should pursue the major in which you will do the best!  Of course, with that said, you should seek to take art/drawing courses along the way as you will need to submit a portfolio as part of your graduate application to architecture.

In addition, contact some graduate programs in architecture to which you think you will apply and gain some insight from them as to the degree and courses you might take.

I also would not rule out transferring to an institution that offers architecture. 


Friday, September 6, 2013

Job Search

Hello, I am a Kent State University Graduate from the school of Architecture and Environmental Design with a bachelors in Interior Design. I am seeking a Career in my field. I need to know what companies are hiring and where to look to apply. I have my resume, references and portfolio and ample work experience. Please advise if you know of any job openings anywhere, I am willing to relocate. Thank you for your time and have a blessed day.

I am not in a position to provide specific openings, but can certainly provide some insight on the job search.

The answer, in a nutshell, is:
Thru your research
And then thru your contacts 
--Richard Bolles

The above listed quote sums up the most effective method of searching for a position.  First, list potential employers that could hire you -- firms in your region, outside your region, etc.  Next, extend to your network (FB, LinkedIN, etc.) to find someone that knows someone in one your firms that is hiring.  

Everyone you know (family, friends, etc.) should know you are seeking a career position.  

Send your materials, knock on their doors, follow-up.

Your job is to secure a career position - full-time.  You should be spending 8-10 hours a day on your search.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sales Analyst to Architecture

Dr. Architecture,

After perusing the website, I saw a plethora of information regarding a career in architecture following the traditional route (ie, receiving a bachelors in ARCH and proceeding from there). How would one transition careers if they did not study ARCH as an undergraduate? 

I am currently a sales analyst who majored in finance and supply chain as an undergraduate and am looking a for a career change. I would appreciate guidance to some sources you are aware of that may aid me in such a transition.

If you have an undergraduate degree in any discipline you can apply to the Master of Architecture (3-4 years).  About 50-60 architecture programs in the U.S. have the Master of Architecture for those with a degree in another discipline.

For a list of accredited programs, visit --

Be aware that you will need to submit a portfolio as part of your admission application.  If you have no creative work, you may wish to take a drawing / art course to develop your skills.


India - Civil Engineering to Architecture

Dr. Architect

I found your e-mail from your blog. I am from India, I have completed my B.E in civil engineering but have an interest towards architecture as a career. i plan on pursuing M.Arch but most of the institutions here ask for B.arch as a eligibility criteria. Is there no chance that i can do a diploma course and continue with masters? Please suggest me a solution.

Thank You

Congrats on your completing your BE in Civil Engineering.

First, remember my expertise is on becoming an architect in the U.S.  With that said, you can pursue the Master of Architecture with your undergraduate degree, but in most cases you will need to study between 3-4 years because your degree is not in architecture.

To search accredited programs, visit -- --

Because your degree is related, you may be able to waive some required courses in structures but it will depend on the institutions to which you apply.  Be sure to have all of your course syllabi.

I cannot speak to the educational system in India, but I imagine that the Master of Architecture degrees are for those with the Bachelor of Architecture.

I am sorry I cannot be of more help.  Best.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chicago Architecture + Design College Day - Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chicago Career Day 2013 for
Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Management
and Landscape Architecture to be held at Harold Washington College

CHICAGO – The Consortium for Design and Construction Careers is pleased to announce the Chicago Architecture + Design College Day. Held on Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 11:00 am to 2:00pm at Harold Washington College (30 E. Lake St.) Chicago Architecture + Design College Day is a free event open to high school and college students, parents, teachers, and counselors interested in learning more about opportunities in architecture, interior design, construction management, and landscape architecture.

From 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, the College Fair will host almost 50 colleges and universities with degree programs in architecture, interior design, construction management, and/or landscape architecture. Representatives will be available to provide information, distribute materials, and answer questions on their respective degree programs. For further details including a complete list of colleges in attendance on the Chicago Career Day 2013 or to register for the event, check out the following website

Degree prior to Master of Architecture

Greetings Dr.  Architecture,

I am currently in a community college and i am pursuing the career of architecture. I have all the minimum requirements for cal poly pomona and i'm still taking more classes to have more skills. Due to that the major is impacted in cal poly pomona, i'm considering other options. I am deciding to apply this fall as landscape architecture to cal poly pomona and later on do a master in architecture. My main goal is that I want to end up being an architect. Although, i have a passion for design and interior design as well... I was considering applying to other universities as a design major. Would having a bachelor degree in design will help me to obtain a master in architecture? 

Thank you for your time. 

If you are thinking of pursuing the Master of Architecture without a preprofessional degree, you may pursue any major / degree at the undergraduate level.  In most cases, the MArch would take between 3-4 years depending on the institution.

Of course, I would recommend that you pursue an undergraduate major that is related to architecture such as landscape architecture, art or design as you suggest; by doing so, you develop materials for a portfolio that is required when applying to a MArch.

Also, to the extent possible, I would suggest attending an institution that has an architecture degree offering as you may be able to take courses or possibly even transfer to architecture.  You say that the major of architecture is impacted at Cal Poly Pomona, but have you talked with any administrators within the academic unit about options.  Can you transfer in after a year?

It is worth a discussion.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Major Options to Pursue Architecture

I  am graduating in 2014. I would really like to become an Architect but I do not want to limit my options, I was wondering if I could instead major in marketing or business and minor in liberal arts or something and still become an architect. Also I was wondering if there is any other field similar to architecture I could also go in, I like technology and art, I also like making personal creations. Thank you for taking your time to read this and I hope to get a reply back soon.

Before I directly answer your question, let me outline the typical degree paths for pursuing architecture.

1) Bachelor of Architecture - 5 years

2) BS Architectural Studies + Master of Architecture - 6 years

3) BA/BS Undergraduate Degree + Master of Architecture - 7-8 years

As you can see, if you truly know that architecture is for you, the most direct paths are BArch or BSAS + MArch.  However, if you wish to pursue options, you can obtain a BA or BS degree in any discipline and pursue the MArch afterwards.

As to what degree to pursue is completely up to you; I would offer the following as guidance --
  • Pursue a degree that will allow success as you will need top academics to pursue architecture at the graduate level.
  • Consider majors that allow some creativity as you will need to submit a portfolio when applying.
  • Do a major that you will enjoy to maximize success
  • Also, possibly attend an institution that also has an architecture program to either pursue a minor in architecture or at least be engaged in the academic unit.
If you truly think about it, there are many majors that combine technology and art --

Industrial Design
Web Design / New Media
Game Design
Graphic Design
Applied Technology
Art and Technology

To continue the exploration, simply search on the terms on Google.


Architectural Education Guidance

I have not started university yet, but do you have any advise for me as e.g. what to learn before I go, what to read, what to practice etc. I intend to go to University this fall to study architecture BAs degree. One of the things that I have recently been seeing, is that some universities offer architecture design and architecture and I would like to know what are the differences, as well as to know why some university if not most don’t ask for maths nor physics but they demand you have art.

Architects need maths and if so how much off it; really how much is demanded of an architect regarding maths. Some people that I have asked say that not a whole lot of it just to not be bad at it, but you don’t need to be a genius at it. Now, I don’t know if that is true, but I find you to be the ideal person to answer these questions.

The best and worst aspect of pursuing an architectural education is that no two programs do it exactly alike.  All architecture programs must meet the NAAB ( Student Performance Criteria, but each program can do it in the manner that they see fit.

Thus, I would not worry about differences in programs but rather focus on the program that best fits YOU.

With regards to mathematics, it has been my experience that many programs do require students to take calculus, but not all.  Architects need to know mathematics, but in many situations, will consult with engineers for calculations.

Be aware that you may end of taking a longer path to licensure with a BA degree instead of a BS degree at the undergraduate level.  I suggest you be in touch with each program and inquiry where there graduates pursue graduate studies.

Best and feel free to ask more questions.

Monday, July 29, 2013

BArch vs. MArch

Dear sir
My son has done 2 years in Architecture.
He has now to decide between  4 yrs BS Architecture and 5 yrs B.Arch(NAAB certified).

Please let us know which program has a a better job demand.

In one sense, comparing these two degree is not appropriate because one is accredited (BArch) while the other is not.  It is more appropriate to compare the BArch against the MArch (also accredited which is done after the BS).

To properly determine which is the best degree to pursue, there are many factors to consider - one of which can be the pursuit of employment after the degree.  I will hope that after reading the descriptions below, you can make the best decision.

Thanks and best!

Below are detailed descriptions of the two professional NAAB accredited degrees: 
Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)
The bachelor of architecture is an undergraduate five-year degree for students coming directly from high school. It is the oldest professional degree offered at the university level in the United States. Some schools, including Drexel University offer the B.Arch., but completing the degree may take more than five years because of work programs required by these schools.

At most schools, enrolled students begin intensive architectural studies in the first semester and continue for the duration of the program. If you are highly confident in your choice of architecture as your academic major, pursuing a B.Arch. may be the ideal choice. If, however, you think you may not ultimately choose architecture, the five-year program is not forgiving, meaning that changing majors is difficult. Slightly more than 50 programs offer the B.Arch.

Recently, some programs offer a NAAB accredited non-baccalaureate Master of Architecture degree; in some cases, these programs transitioned from a B. Arch. to this “new” M. Arch.  While parallel to the B. Arch., these M.Arch. degrees may require an additional summer or semester of study resulting in either five+ or five-and-a-half years.  Some institutions may also provide an undergraduate pre-professional degree after four years.  For more details, contact each institution.

Pre-Professional Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
Sometimes known as a four + two, this path to the accredited degree involves first obtaining a pre-professional architecture bachelor of science (B.S.) degree followed by the professional master of architecture (M.Arch.). Pre-professional degrees are four-year degrees that prepare candidates for pursuing a professional degree. These degrees may have different actual titles—bachelor of science (B.S.) in architecture, bachelor of science in architectural studies (B.S.A.S.), bachelor of arts (B.A.) in architecture, bachelor of environmental design (B.E.D.), bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) or bachelor of architectural studies (B.A.S.).

The amount of architectural coursework in these pre-professional programs may vary from school to school and determines the length of time required to complete further professional architectural studies, the M.Arch. Most pre-professional degrees are within universities that also offer the professional M.Arch. degree; however, others are offered within four-year liberal arts institutions. Your undergraduate degree may dictate the eventual length of your graduate program. Some graduate programs may be three years in length even though you have a pre-professional degree, although you may receive advanced standing or course waivers. Contact each graduate program for more details.

Another viable option for this particular route is to begin your studies at a community college. Often, the first two years of a B.S. degree are predominantly general education courses that can be taken at a community college. It is important, however, to be in touch with the institution at which you plan to continue studies about what courses to take and when to apply. Depending on the institution, it may be worth transferring early rather than receiving an associate’s degree from the community college.

Note that if you graduate with the pre-professional degree, you will not be eligible to become licensed in most states. Therefore, if you desire to be a licensed architect, you should continue your studies and pursue the professional M.Arch. degree program. There are a few states in which you can pursue licensure with a pre-professional undergraduate degree, but you would not be able to obtain the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Certificate (see Chapter 3) necessary for reciprocal licensure.

The professional M.Arch. is a graduate-level degree that typically lasts two years and offers a comprehensive professional education. The combination of the B.S. degree with the M.Arch. offers flexibility, as you can choose to take any number of years off to gain experience between the two degrees. Plus, you may choose to attend a different institution for your graduate studies. Of the institutions offering an accredited degree in architecture, approximately 75 offer the pre-professional architecture degree and accredited M.Arch.

A handful of schools offer an M.Arch. lasting less than two years that follows a pre-professional undergraduate degree. However, these degree programs may be limited to candidates from the same institution. For example, The Catholic University of America (CUA) offers a master of architecture with advanced standing (one and a half years) for select individuals who graduate with the B.S. in architecture from CUA, but those with a B.S. in architecture from other institutions must take two years to complete the master of architecture. At other institutions, the M.Arch. may be less than two years in length because of a switch in the nomenclature of their accredited degree from B.Arch. to M.Arch., but it may require either intersessions or summer sessions.

Finally, a few institutions offering the M.Arch. for individuals with the pre-professional architecture degree will require three years of study; these include most of elite institutions, but candidates may be eligible for some advanced standing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Community College to Architecture

I am going into my third year of community college. After changing my major twice, I just found out that I want to become an architect. However I'm not really sure how to start out? I realize I'm a little bit behind as far as obtaining a degree is concerned so I'm really looking forward to progressing quickly through my classes and catching up. Are there any suggestions such as classes or programs I should be taking to sort of jump start my career? I hope to hear back from you soon and thanks for the help.

Gateway Community College / SmithGroup JJR

Congratulations on your decision to study architecture.  You may think you are behind, but you have plenty of time to complete the degree.

The best place to start is to first learn how to become an architect with its 1) education, 2) experience, and 3) exam.  The best sources to learn this is -- -- or the book, Becoming an Architect, 2nd ed.

From there, determine potential architecture programs (schools) that you wish to attend and contact them to determine what courses would be needed for transfer.  In many cases, you may need calculus and physics prior to admission.

For a list of programs, review both and --

Aside from academic preparation, consider shadowing an architect in an office to learn more about the profession.  Keep a sketchbook - draw for 30 minutes everyday of the world around you.  Eventually, you will connect your brain (creativity) with your eye (seeing) and your hand.

Send me more questions as you have them.


Mechanical Engineering to Architecture

I graduated just over 2 months ago and got my 4-year degree in mechanical engineering.  I've wanted to be an architect since my junior year, but my school didn't offer an architecture degree so I stuck it out and got my engineering degree.  I'm hoping that my BSME will provide the math and physical science background I need to continue to pursue a degree in architecture.  Is this true?  Could I have the pre-reqs to get my master's in 2 years?  Or should I pursue a bachelor's in architecture?

In addition to education questions, I also have employment questions.  I may not have the proper degree to be an architect now, but what about architectural engineering?  Am I qualified to do that, or do I need architectural experience?

My degree may be in engineering, but my true passion is for architecture.  My favorite classes were physics, statics and dynamics, vibration analysis, and computer-aided engineering; anything that had to do with structural analysis.  My senior project was 90% structural analysis, and I loved it.  I know I've asked alot of questions, but architecture is my dream job and I want to know all I can and what to do to start moving towards that dream.

Thank you for your time,


First, congratulations on your recent degree and desire to pursue architecture.

As always, you will need to check with potential graduate programs to determine if you have met required prerequisites.  With that said, you will have definitely completed calculus or physics requirements but some programs require drawing and/or architectural history.

As you have a BSME degree, you should definitely pursue the Master of Architecture and not the BArch.

Architectural engineering is truly civil engineering with an emphasis on buildings; as to whether you are qualified to enter the workplace will depend on your skills and background.

What is most crucial to applying for a MArch is your portfolio.  Do you have any creative background?  If not, you may wish to consider taking a art/drawing course to generate materials for your portfolio over the next year while you apply for F14.

Also, as you appear to enjoy structures, you may consider the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as they have a focus on structures as part of their MArch and also have a joint degree with civil engineering.

Best!  Feel free to contact me with more questions.

P.S. Consider the book - Becoming an Architect, 2nd ed.