Residential Architecture Degree Program and Schools
Most states require you to earn a professional architecture degree as well as state licensure to be eligible to practice. Residential architecture training is offered through professional architecture programs, and some programs may even offer an emphasis in this field. Read on for more details about education programs and licensing.
What You Need to Know
Architects often possess a bachelor's or master's degree in architecture. Associate's degree programs are also available. All architects must be licensed by the state in which they'll be working, and internships or apprenticeships are often required before graduation.
|Degrees||Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate's degrees are offered|
|Licensing||All architects must be licensed, but requirements vary from state to state|
|Schools||It's helpful to choose a program with an emphasis on home and apartment design|
What Degree Do I Need to Become a Residential Architect?
It's recommended that you earn a professional degree to become an architect, such as a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture. Associate, doctoral and non-professional degrees exist and might be acceptable for state licensure.
What Undergraduate Degree Programs are Available?
Architecture programs at all levels cover both residential and commercial design, though some schools allow you to concentrate your studies on residential architecture. Undergraduate programs teach computer-aided drafting, physics, trigonometry and statistics. You'll learn how to design different structures using a variety of building materials and adhere to regulated building codes. Bachelor's degree programs contain studio work and multiple internships where you can practice and hone your drawing and design skills.
An Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Technology or Architectural Design Technology - Residential Design may be available. An architectural building engineering technology associate degree program, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering, might also be options.
What Graduate Degree Programs are Available?
At the graduate level, architecture programs focus on architectural styles, research theories and advanced topics, such as environmental impact, sustainable architecture or building performance. To enhance a study in international architecture, master's and doctoral programs might include study-abroad experiences or internships. In a master's degree program, you might need to complete a studio project. At the doctoral level, you'll research and defend a dissertation on an architectural topic of your choice. A Master of Architecture or a Master of Science in Architecture could be potential options. A Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture might include dissertation topics in these areas:
- Design computation
- Building information modeling
- Energy efficiency
- Building construction and processes
How Do I Become Licensed?
All states require architects to be licensed. Though specific regulations vary by state, most require some combination of education and experience, and all necessitate passing the Architecture Registration Exam administered by the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB). Depending on where you live, you may also be required to take a separate state-issued exam.
After earning a degree, you'll usually need to participate in an internship or apprenticeship program to gain experience in the field and qualify for licensure testing. Several states allow the internship program offered through NCARB to meet experience requirements. You might be required to complete continuing education courses to maintain your license, and credit can often be obtained through NCARB classes or courses offered through an academic institution.
What Should I Look For In A School?
If your interests lie in designing residential buildings and neighborhoods, a degree program that offers an emphasis in home and apartment building layouts might be the most beneficial. Additionally, look for a school that dedicates a significant portion of the program to develop your skills through studio work and internships. Finally, make sure that the program you enroll in meets educational requirements for state licensure. These schools offer residential architecture degree programs:
- University of Colorado (Denver)
- University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
- Texas A&M University (College Station)
- The College of Southern Nevada (Various locations)
- Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport)