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Architecture School Requirements and Prerequisites

Architects design homes, office buildings, schools, churches and other structures. To become a licensed architect, prospective candidates must first complete either a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) or Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) professional degree program.

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Educational Requirements for a B.Arch. Degree

Most aspiring architects enroll in a 5-year professional B.Arch. program that's approved by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. These programs offer courses in architectural theory, construction technology and building structures. Topics in visual arts, architectural history and art theory also may be covered. Additionally, most students take computer-aided design and drafting courses to help them create 3-D structures and models.

B.Arch. programs require students to participate in a design studio, which allows them to showcase the skills they've learned in producing building sketches and models. These programs also may require students to complete an individual design or research project related to architecture. Students may choose to focus in an area such as sustainable design or energy efficiency.

Educational Requirements for an M.Arch. Degree

College graduates who have earned a bachelor's degree in another field, like architectural studies or construction management, may consider enrolling in a 2- to 3-year professional M.Arch. program to become a licensed architect. Current professionals who've earned a B.Arch. degree can enroll in a 1-year M.Arch. program to focus on a specific field of study, such as sustainable design. Like B.Arch. offerings, M.Arch. programs feature courses in freehand drafting, architectural design and construction law. These programs may also require the completion of a design studio and research project.

Prerequisites for Architecture School

Preparation for architecture school begins in high school. Applicants should have a strong background in math, including algebra, trigonometry and calculus. High school students may also consider taking courses in physics, design and drafting to become familiar with core concepts and practices.

Architecture schools tend to base acceptance on grades and completed coursework. While B.Arch. programs focus on a student's high school performance in core courses like English, laboratory science and mathematics. M.Arch. programs review a student's undergraduate record in architectural and mathematics courses. Additionally, programs require students to complete standardized tests - B.Arch. applicants typically submit either SAT or ACT scores, while prospective M.Arch. students provide GRE or GMAT scores. Some schools may also mandate that applicants submit a design portfolio during the application process.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

A 24% surge in jobs for architects was predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 2010-2020. In 2012, the average annual wage for these professionals was $78,690, according to the BLS.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate - Building Information Modeling

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • School locations:
    • Alabama (3 campuses)
    • Arkansas (1 campus)
    • Arizona (3)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Florida (11)
    • Georgia (4)
    • Iowa (1)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Illinois (3)
    • Indiana (5)
    • Kansas (2)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Louisiana (2)
    • Maryland (2)
    • Michigan (6)
    • Minnesota (2)
    • Missouri (4)
    • Mississippi (1)
    • North Carolina (4)
    • Nebraska (1)
    • New Mexico (1)
    • Nevada (2)
    • New York (3)
    • Ohio (9)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Oregon (2)
    • South Carolina (4)
    • Tennessee (5)
    • Texas (8)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (3)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Construction Management
    • Associate
        • Associate in Computer Drafting and Design

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Architectural History
      • Environmental Design
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics