Architect Classes and Courses Overview
Becoming an architect requires earning a degree, gaining experience through an extended internship and getting licensed. Architecture courses can be taken as part of a full degree program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Aspiring architects must earn a professional bachelor's or master's degree in architecture. A bachelor's program in this field normally takes five years, while a master's degree can take anywhere from one to five years. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredits architecture programs, and individuals should check their state's licensure requirements as many require that students graduate from a school with NAAB accreditation.
Architecture courses combine instruction in architectural theory and history with hands-on design practice, with some programs including an internship. Students are introduced to the areas of urban planning, building construction, structural design, environmental design and sustainability and then learn to use architectural software to draft their plans.
After completing an architecture degree program, aspiring architects have to meet additional requirements before they can get state licensure. First, they do an internship that usually lasts three years and takes place at an architecture firm or related office environment. The time a student spends in an internship during a degree program can also apply toward the experience requirement. After gaining the required experience, individuals have to take the Architect Registration Exam to gain licensure.
List of Courses
Some courses one might take during a degree program in architecture are described below.
Introduction to Architecture Class
Introductory architecture classes feature hands-on studio time, workshops and lectures. Students examine examples of architecture throughout history and learn how architects integrate theory and practice in their work. Topics of interest to aspiring architects include composition, preservation and environmental and urban design. Lectures also touch on building construction and sustainability. Students may complete research on the cultural, social and political impacts of architecture.
A class in architectural design introduces the tools and concepts that the profession utilizes. The design process requires digital and non-digital representation tools. Students learn to use graphic layouts and physical models when designing structures. They also learn how to draft architectural plans. They may draft with paper and pencil or with computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Urban and Regional Planning Class
Architect classes in urban and regional planning address large-scale planning. Contemporary methods and applications of urban planning are covered. Students discuss topics such as land-use and plan implementation. Architecture is looked at from the broader contexts of urbanism and urban history, and students learn about the relationship of structures to cultural patterns. To deepen their understanding of the relationship between architecture and sociology, students examine particular cities at critical moments in their development. Advanced architect classes based on urban and regional planning may cover theories such as socio-architecture or environmental determinism.
Students analyze western traditions in art and architecture from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages and to the present. Topics include Egyptian, Greek, Roman, early Christian, Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Students also explore baroque, neoclassical and contemporary styles. Examining historical art and architecture helps students to develop their skills and incorporate traditional styles into their designs. This course is taken in the beginning of an architect program.
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