Architectural restoration is typically not offered as a degree program because it is a branch of the architectural profession. However, architectural technology is offered as a major in associate's degree programs, and architecture itself is offered as a major in bachelor's and master's degree programs. Graduate study in architecture is available via research degree programs or pre-professional study programs and may include a thesis requirement. These programs may prepare graduates to become licensed at the state level.
For associate's and bachelor's degree programs, a high school diploma or equivalent is required. Applicants to master's programs will need a bachelor's degree, portfolio, personal statement essay, resume and letters of recommendation. Students may also need to submit GRE test scores.
Associate's Degrees in Architectural Technology
Community colleges offer Associate of Science, Associate in Science or Associate of Applied Science degree programs in architectural technology. The programs teach the architectural design process, concepts and the fundamentals of drawing, sketching and architectural materials. Students learn to use architectural technologies like design software and hardware, and study laws regarding building codes and contracts. Other focus areas are sustainability, environmental issues and building costs. Architecture courses teach students to create architectural designs, plan projects, determine costs and follow rules regarding building specifications. Topics of discussion in the program include:
- Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)
- Three-dimensional designs
- International Building Code (IBC)
Bachelor of Science in Architecture
This program expands on the associate's degree program with advanced studies in the architectural design process. Students take traditional courses and work in design studios where they use computer software and hardware to design buildings and other structures. A pre-professional program that prepares students for a master's degree program in architecture, the curriculum combines the study of liberal arts and architecture. Coursework in the program teaches architectural design, theories, principles and methods. Other courses teach topics such as:
- Architectural forms
- Urban theories
- Climatic adaptations
- Geometrical modeling
- Parametric design
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Architectural History
- Architectural Technology
- Environmental Design
- Interior Architecture
- Landscape Architecture
- Urban and Regional Planning
Master's Degrees in Architecture
There are two types of master's degrees in architecture, including a Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture and Master of Architecture (MArch). The M.S. program is a non-professional program that focuses on research and will not lead to architecture licensure. The MArch degree program is a professional program that does qualify graduates for state licensure. An M.S. in Architecture degree program is a multidisciplinary program that includes studies in architectural theories and research. The curriculum consists of research projects, specialized studies in areas like urban design and historic preservation and a culminating graduate thesis. Students in a MArch program explore topics like drawing and representation, work with faculty members in design studios and complete a final design thesis. Coursework in both programs are research-intensive and include studies in architectural history, design and theory. Courses consists of topics such as:
- Building technologies
- Energy conservation
- Climatically adapted design
Popular Career Options
An associate's degree program in architectural technology qualifies graduates for entry-level positions in the architectural design industry. Popular careers for graduates include job titles such as:
- Architectural drafter
- Architectural estimator
- Architectural detailer
Graduates can pursue jobs in architecture, architectural restoration, real estate development and more. Job titles of recent graduates are:
- Building inspector
- Technical illustrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The number of jobs for architects was expected to grow by 7% between the years 2014 and 2024, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that, of the 93,720 jobs held by architects in 2015, over 81,000 of these jobs were held in architectural, engineering and related services. Architects earned a median annual salary of $76,100 in 2015.
All 50 states require architects to be licensed in their home state. In order to become licensed, candidates are required to take the Architect Registration Examination, which is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Licensed architects can obtain NCARB certification by completing an Intern Development Program (IDP), which is a training program that meets the experience requirements of most state licensing boards.
Students interested in architectural restoration can earn an associate's degree in architectural technology, or a bachelor's or master's degree in architecture to study design, modeling and other architectural concepts. Graduates wishing to work as architects will need to meet their state's licensing requirements.