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Getting a Degree in Architecture

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Architecture Degrees

If you are a creative person with strong attention to detail, going into the field of architecture could be a good area to pursue. Getting a degree in architecture will allow you to find a job planning, designing, and constructing buildings and other types of structures, in a variety of different types of jobs.

Within the field of architecture, you will at least need a bachelor’s degree. 

Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture

When it comes to getting your bachelor’s degree in architecture, you do have a couple of options. You can go the pre-professional route, which would take four years with you getting your bachelor’s of science in architecture or architectural studies. 

The other option is to go for your B.Arch, which is a Bachelor of Architecture. This is a professional degree accredited by NAAB (the National Architectural Accrediting Board) and would take you five years. After you complete the B.Arch program you would be able to sit for the ARE, Architect Registration Examination. 

The main difference between the two is if you are wanting to go on and become a licensed architect, you should get your B.Arch. If you are wanting to be a paraprofessional in a firm or work in a related field, getting your pre-professional degree would be a better choice. If you do decide and want to become a licensed architect then you can get your M.Arch later on.

When you are getting your bachelor’s degree in architecture, you will be studying a range of architecture and design topics. You might take classes such as architectural history, structural systems, and introduction to architectural technology. 

When looking for programs, Rice University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Cornell University are all highly rated. 

While you probably won’t be able to find a 100% online program when getting your B.Arch, you can find hybrid programs. Some bachelor’s degrees in architecture could be online. For online programs, the University of Arizona, East Carolina University, and the Academy of Art University are all highly rated. 

Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture

  • Landscape Architects, who work on environmental restoration, and other details having to do with outdoor infrastructure, have an average salary of $60,479, according to Payscale
  • Research Architects, who try to understand building methods as well as the materials used and learn about the architectural history of certain locations, have an average salary of $137,992, according to Glassdoor.
  • Restoration Architects, who work on conservation and restoration, have an average salary of $98,531, according to Glassdoor.

Master’s Degree in Architecture

If you are wanting to get your Master’s in Architecture, you can go on to get your M.Arch. This would take you between 1-5 years, depending on your previous education. This is a professional degree accredited by NAAB (the National Architectural Accrediting Board). There are also non-accredited options. 

Some of the classes you might take in a master’s program would be architectural theory and criticism, architectural principles, and ecological issues. 

For online programs, the Academy of Art, Boston Architectural College, and Chatham University are all highly rated. For in-person programs, Harvard University, Columbia University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are all highly rated. 

Jobs you can get with a Master’s Degree in Architecture

  • City Planners, who layout the design of an urban neighborhood, a city, or other types of areas, have an average salary of $58,028, according to Payscale.
  • General Architects, who can work independently or for private firms, have an average salary of $67,170, according to Payscale.
  • Structural Engineers, who use math and science to plan, design, and oversee structures, have an average salary of $81,00 according to Payscale.

Doctorate Degree in Architecture

You can go on to earn a Ph.D. in architecture or a D.Arch. Getting your Ph.D. would be more research-oriented. You would want to get one of these types of degrees to work in a sub-field or within academia. The program would take between 3-4 years. 

When it comes to schools, the University of Hawaii at Manoa is the only D.Arch program offered in the US. For getting a Ph.D., the University of Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley, and Yale University are all highly rated. 

Related Majors

  • Environmental Design
  • Interior Design
  • Real Estate Development
  • Structural Engineering
  • Civil Engineering 

Architecture Scholarships

Getting your degree in architecture means you can apply for certain scholarships just for architecture or similar majors. Here are a couple of them:

Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship

This scholarship is to help with the costs of the ARE. It has been created by the AIA National Associates Committee. The scholarship honors the memory of late friend and colleague, Jason Pettigrew. Students will receive funds for the cost of their ARE and study materials as well as access to ArchiPrep. Students must be current associate AIA members, hold an active NCARB record, and be eligible to sit for the ARE. For more info, please go here.

John J. Nelson Sr. Legacy Scholarship 

This scholarship was created to support and nurture African American interior design or architecture students while promoting diversity and access within education. Students must be undergraduate students of African American descent who are currently enrolled in a US not-for-profit CIDA or NASAD-accredited interior design program or a NAAB accredited architecture program. For more info, please go here.

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.