Architecture design schools focus on study programs enabling graduates to become accredited architects. Generally, students achieve a Bachelor’s degree then go on to complete a Master’s degree in Architecture, after which a period of practical experience and examinations culminate in accreditation by the appropriate state registration board. Architecture is a demanding discipline, requiring great creativity and artistic passion, coupled with highly detailed and technical knowledge of building design principles and practices. Demand for licensed architects is high and expected to remain in demand for some years to come.
There are numerous schools, colleges, and universities offering study programs enabling graduates to become licensed architects. Most architecture design schools have study programs that provide degrees in architecture, such as:
• BA in Architectural Design
• BA in Design Studies
• BA in Architecture
• BS in Architectural Studies.
Afterwards, the student can then pursues a Master’s in Architecture, and after graduation the student does a necessary number of years of practical work, before taking the state board final exam to become a licensed architect.
However, there are now different study programs that provide a faster pathway to obtaining an architect’s license. Some architecture design schools build a large base of work experience as a primary component into their courses which enables students to sit for the licensing exam upon graduation. Additionally, a number of specialist architecture programs allow students to enroll in a Master’s program directly, without having completed an undergraduate degree.
While curriculums vary, there are standard components to the studies of any credible architecture design school. As part of a program, you can expect to study:
Architecture design – Developing architectural designs, using models, techniques and principles
Communication – Drawing techniques, representing architectural ideas via illustration
Architecture technology – Building construction technology, mechanics, materials, structural investigation
Architecture design studio/s – Design methodology, site analysis, design proposals, fabricating models, project management
It is important to consider the facilities and technology available for you to work with. Ensure that the practical components of the course provide good workshops, tools, technology and materials that enable you to do your best work. Robots and laser cutters are becoming standard tools for modeling and prototyping activities. Many architecture design schools offer opportunities for International student exchange, sponsored overseas design studios, or summer programs that provide opportunities to broaden experience in the field.
Architecture design schools with strong industry connection provide intrinsic added value to courses. This may be through having leading industry professionals run design studios or contribute to components of student practical work. Industry professionals may also provide opportunity for students to participate in current commercial projects.
While licensed architects work largely in established architectural firms, opportunities are increasing in non-traditional areas to utilize the skill set acquired. These include:
• Urban design and planning
• Property development
• Construction management
• Heritage building conservation
• Project management
• Research and teaching
• Industrial design
Additionally, many architects go on to be self-employed, working in consulting roles or establishing their own firms which can be highly lucrative. There are many opportunities for graduates of architecture design schools, if you are willing to work hard to achieve accreditation.