Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Degrees - What is the best approach?

Hello! We came across your blog and appreciate that you take the time to answer questions regarding pursuing architecture.

Our son is a junior in high school. He has always shown a talent for how things fit together (assembling items, solving puzzles) and an interest in designing and building things. We (and he) think that pursuing architecture in college may be a very good fit for him. So, we are trying to identify colleges and programs to learn more about and ultimately identify those to which he would want to apply.

We see that there are Bachelor of Arts degrees and Bachelor of Science degrees. There are professional degrees and pre-professional degrees. We are guessing that he wants a Bachelor of Science, professional degree, and that the shortcut answer is to pick a school whose program is accredited by the NAAB. Is this a sound approach? Are there any other factors we should be thinking about?

Thanks for taking the time to help us.
Thanks for reaching out to me.  First, I will suggest you obtain a copy of Becoming an Architect as it will answer this question and others as your son works to become an architect.

Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design - 3rd Edition

The two best source for potential colleges for studying architecture are the following:

NAAB National Architectural Accrediting Board

To become an architecture, your son will need to accomplish three tasks - 1) education), 2) experience, and 3) examination.  For education, he will need to complete the a professional degree in architecture that is accredited by NAAB.
There are three degrees - 1) Bachelor of Architecture (5 years), 2) Master of Architecture following a pre-professional degree (BS or BA in Architecture) (6 years) and 3) Doctor of Architecture (Univ of Hawaii - 7 years).  He could also pursue a degree in another discipline and do the Master of Architecture but it would take longer.
He does NOT need to initially select a program accredited by NAAB as long as the final degree is accredited.  He could start at a community college or a four-year program that does NOT have the MArch although that might take longer.
I would be MORE than pleased to answer additional questions as needed.
Also, I would suggest you pursue a summer program -- this summer if possible.  Each year, I compile a list of the programs.
Dr. Architecture