Architecture Programs In America
Areas of Study
There are two types of degrees in architecture: professional and non-professional. The Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) nd Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) are professional degrees that lead to licensure and often to graduate study. Non-professional degrees include the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Architecture, Architectural Studies, or Landscape Architecture; Bachelor of Science (BS) in Architecture or History of Architecture; and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Architecture. These non-professional degrees typically take four years to complete, compared to the five-year BArch. However, the non-professional degrees may be used towards the later completion of a professional degree (a "4+2" plan might include a 4-year BA and a 2-year Master of Architecture). Several schools offer accelerated or concurrent programs that combine classroom study and practical work during the term so that graduating students can immediately test for licensure (as opposed to having to put in several years of work after graduation before getting licensed).
The professional degrees in architecture may be divided into foundation studies and more specialized professional study. Foundation studies generally include interdisciplinary sources such as art, history, science, and philosophy in order to teach students the way architecture shares ideas and concerns with other disciplines. Studying architecture doesn't just mean making plans and drawing on the computer: you will get a solid grounding in a variety of forms of knowledge so that you understand the role of architecture in human society. To this end, study abroad is often part of the curriculum. As well, students must learn to integrate their knowledge, so studio courses, practicum or internship and independent study are also part of most architecture programs. Minors are often possible in architecture and landscape architecture as well.
When looking for a professional or non-professional bachelor's degree program, remember that at some universities and colleges architecture may have its own College, School or Department. Alternately, architecture programs may be part of another department, such as Arts or Environmental Design, or part of a combined department such as Architecture and Design. There is, in fact, quite a bit of overlap between architecture and programs in industrial and interior design.
If you're interested in architecture but don't want to commit 4 to 5 years to a bachelor's degree, community colleges and technical institutes offer 2-year associate's degrees in architectural design or architectural and building technology. Leading to the Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, these programs train you in a variety of aspects of the architectural profession--such a s graphics, building materials, building systems, and visual communication-with the goal of getting you ready for entry-level employment in architecture or CAD professions. In fact you can take an associate's degree specializing in CAD. Technical certificates taking less than two years may also be available, and these can be used toward an associate's degree, while associate's degrees may be eligible for university transfer.
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