Continuing on the theme of preparing for specific undergraduate programs, let’s dive more deeply into architecture. Architecture is another field of study, like business, that in the US you can pursue as an undergraduate student, or as a graduate student. This means that if you are not 100% certain you know you want to be an architect, doing an undergraduate degree in a field such as math, physics, or art, can be a good starting point, and may provide more options. Then if you decide you are committed to becoming an architect, you can return to school for a Master’s degree (2-3 year programs).
However, if you are ready to commit as an undergraduate student, here are things you will need to consider and actively pursue in order to be a strong candidate for architecture programs.
- Research the types of jobs architects have – Make sure these are in line with what your expectations of the career are. In addition, learn about different types of architects, to gain a broader understanding of the field.
- Choose challenging courses – This includes Math and Physics, Art, and also English and Humanities. Architecture requires students who have good communication skills and can put things into context (humanities), have strong analytical abilities and problem-solving techniques (math and physics), and have the ability to conceptualize and visualize ideas through visuals (art).
- Consider doing a summer program in architecture – this is a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the field, and what will be required of you as an architecture student. This is also a great opportunity to start working on a portfolio.
- Develop a portfolio to submit with applications – Make sure you have done your research and understand which programs require a portfolio to be submitted as part of your application, and what is required by each school to be submitted in the portfolio
- Understand the commitment required to practice as an architect – To earn a bachelor’s degree in Architecture (B.Arch.) the course of study is normally 5-years. Upon graduation, you’ll need to do an internship for an additional 3-5 years. During this time you are paid a small salary, and licensed architects will supervise your work. After the internship you need to pass a registration exam in order to be licensed to practice architecture.