Today's architecture students are responsible for designing tomorrow's
Architects plan and develop designs for constructing and renovating buildings.
However, the study of architecture opens up more career opportunities than
you might imagine.
"The profession is changing so rapidly," says architecture professor Sherry
McKay. "I know people who are now working on film sets, creating virtual
reality sets completely by computer, as well as diverging into such fields
as furniture design."
You may be able to get a five-year bachelor of architecture degree
from an accredited institution. But some schools only offer a master's
program. These schools generally require a bachelor's degree, a diverse
portfolio of creative and innovative projects and some experience showing
interest in the field.
A master's degree is normally required for research, teaching and certain
specialties. But many students find architectural work with only a bachelor's
A typical architecture program includes courses in architectural history.
Students look at the history of buildings and cities and the social dimensions
in architectural traditions.
Other typical courses include theory, building design, professional
practice, math, physical sciences and liberal arts. Students should also
graduate with a working knowledge of computer-aided design and drafting
In the design studio, students put classroom concepts into practice. During
the final semester of most programs, students complete a 3D model of their
own architectural design.
Thanks to computers, you don't have to be an accomplished artist to enter
architecture. Artistic talent is still important, but students also need to
focus on math and science. "It requires a skillful combination," says Frank
Dimster. He is a professor of architectural design at the University of Southern
"Seek out a well-rounded education," says McKay. "This should include things
like physics or math, some art classes and cultural history."
She also recommends having a look at galleries and architectural exhibitions.
Some universities also have summer programs for high school students. "For
a few weeks, students can live on the campus and explore what it would be
like to be an architecture student at the university level," says Dimster.
Check with your closest university -- they might have something similar.
All state architectural registration boards require a training period
before candidates may sit for the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) and become
licensed. The ARE is administered by the National Council of Architectural
Registration Boards (NCARB).
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Architects
Explore modern and historical architecture
Architecture and Building Resource Directory
A list of links for you to try
The Great Buildings Collection
A reference site featuring some famous architectural works from
around the world