Architecture Degree Options - Video

Many people imagine designing skyscrapers or stylish facades of glass when they think of an architect's work. In reality, degrees in Architecture can prepare graduates for work in a broad array of environments that range from on-the-ground construction services to urban planning offices.

Description of Degree

An Architecture degree program prepares students to design and build structures to best meet the needs of those who will use them. Beyond matters of design, students learn how to gauge a new development's impact within a given environment. Architecture degree programs also emphasize completing residential, commercial and governmental building projects with factors of safety and efficiency in mind.

Skills Obtained/Typical Courses

Students who are interested in becoming architects often choose one of two primary academic paths. Some elect to enroll in a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program, which directly qualifies them to sit for the licensing exam. Others pursue the so-called '4+2 option'; this route has students completing four years of less intensive undergraduate instruction that must be complemented by a two-year master's program.

Regardless of the path you choose, you can expect to take courses marrying principles of construction, design and practical applications in planning and development. You'll have opportunity to examine historical perspectives in architecture as well as best building practices and prevalent aesthetic models in today's world. There is a strong hands-on component to learning, and you'll be expected to demonstrate your knowledge in studio settings with drawing and computer-assisted design programs. Some of the academic courses you can expect to take in Architecture degree programs include:

  • History of Architectural Theory
  • Design Concepts and Methods
  • Social and Cultural Factors in Design
  • Contemporary Architectural Theory
  • CAD, BIM and 3D Visualization
  • Construction Methods and Factors
  • and Architecture Design Studio

Higher Educational Options

If you earn a four-year undergraduate degree in Architecture, a two-year master's program is required to qualify you for the licensing exam. These graduate level programs offer more vigorous instruction in the discipline. Courses might include intensive study of subjects in the discipline as well as comprehensive studio work that allows you to demonstrate your competence in design and construction methods. Other graduate degree programs are available at the master's and doctoral levels for students interested in research and teaching opportunities.

Career Options/Occupational Outlook

Graduating with a degree in Architecture can prepare you for careers in a wide range of environments. Some graduates become involved in conceptualization phases of architectural development; these professionals are often responsible for overarching design concepts that will dictate a structure's appearance and how it meets the needs of those it is intended to serve. Many other architects support this 'big picture' analysis through extensive design and drafting work detailing building specs and systems. Still other professionals specialize in working closely with construction personnel to ensure design attributes are carried out with integrity. Most professionals in the field are employed by small architecture firms, though others work for construction companies or government agencies.

Wrap Up

Architecture is an excellent area of study for those with advanced spatial and mechanical abilities. Students should also be knowledgeable about mathematical and engineering concepts. Earning a degree in this discipline can qualify you for many lucrative job opportunities in building design, construction services, urban planning, real estate development and civil construction projects.

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