Architects must design structures to meet their client's demands and estimate items like time and budget. They work closely with other professionals in the construction and engineering fields. Becoming an architect requires completing a degree, earning work experience and passing a licensing exam.
Ten Schools in the U.S. with Architectural Programs
The following schools all have architectural programs that will furnish students with the skills and experience they need to advance in an architectural career in the U.S.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||In-State Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park, Pennsylvania||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$17,514|
|University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign||Champaign, Illinois||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$15,054|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, Florida||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$6,381|
|University of Texas at Austin||Austin, Texas||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,806|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, Michigan||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,856|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||Seattle, Washington||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$11,839|
|Florida International University||Miami, Florida||4-year, Public||Master's, Graduate Certificates||$8,912 (graduate tuition, 2015-2016)*|
|University of California - Los Angeles||Los Angeles, California||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$12,763|
|University of Arizona||Tucson, Arizona||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$11,403|
|University of Maryland - College Park||College Park, Maryland||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$9,996|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the environment and program length that you are aiming for when picking out an architectural school. Schools offer different program lengths as well as different areas of specialization.
- Decide on program length. Large universities frequently have an architecture school that offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture and multiple master's degree programs.
- Consider that you need to be licensed. Most states require architects to be licensed to practice professionally, which often includes a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture degree.
- Make sure the school is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Most states won't let you practice without a degree from an accredited institution.
- Decide what specialization you want. Architectural specializations or courses on a particular area of focus include 'green' design--a program in environmental design or sustainability--or residential design.
Architectural Bachelor's Degree Overview
The Bachelor of Architecture is a 5-year program that is design-oriented and includes coursework in architectural technology and history. This degree is designed for students interested in the professional practice of architecture. Another common undergraduate degree is the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, which is a pre-professional degree, and may last only 4 years.
Architectural Master's Degree Overview
Master's degree programs may be catered toward a student's undergraduate training. Some degree programs are designed for individuals without a professional architecture undergraduate degree. Other programs are designed for individuals with architectural experience or with a professionally accredited undergraduate degree.
Schools that offer architectural programs may do so at the Bachelor of Architecture level (five years), the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies level (four years), or the master's level. Deciding which school is best for you depends on how long you want to go to school and what specialty you want to focus on.