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Schools in the USA

Preparing for Architecture School

If you are considering study in architecture, your post-secondary planning process should begin in high school. Architecture and built environment programs and schools can be competitive and are rigorous; therefore, it is important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Architecture blends creativity, precision planning and technical skills. Therefore some of the classes you will want to take are English, speech/communications, art/ drawing, computers, physics, humanities/ social sciences and mathematics (trigonometry at the least, and calculus is even better). This wide range of knowledge and courses will ensure you are well prepared for the schools and programs that make your list.

If you are still in high school and are thinking about going to school for architecture, there are several additional things that you can do to prepare and increase your chances of success-both with the application and in the program:

  • Your portfolio represents you to a college as a potential student. Spend time preparing your portfolio in school and at home. For most institutions your portfolio will play a determining factor in your admission to that particular school. Carry a sketch pad and pencil with you during your days.


  • Undertake to read and study independently. This is a good way to develop interests, expand your knowledge and improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for these specialized programs. This will also help you if admission requirements include an interview, since you will be able to impress the committee with the knowledge you have built up of terms and issues specific to this area of study.


  • Architecture admissions committees are often interested in a student's personal qualities, which can be developed through participating in extracurricular activities. Consider joining school clubs related to your area of interest. This is also a good way to develop demonstrated leadership skills, which are an important aspect of any competitive application.


  • Architecture is a very demanding program academically and creatively. Therefore, work experience - paid or volunteer - can also increase your chances of being admitted and is an achievement often regarded highly by admissions committees.


  • Develop your skills. Taking private art lessons or even arts and craft classes in your community is another way to show that you are serious and have already built up some knowledge about the field. This will also help you prepare your portfolio.

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