College Majors for a Career in Architecture

Architects, depending on the specialty, can earn between $50,000 and $150,000 a year (or more in some cases) Is it a career you are considering? You have a couple of options when it comes to undergraduate majors, but you’ll want to be sure you’re taking the right courses to give yourself your best chance of getting hired or continuing your education in the field after graduation. Here’s what you need to know about college majors for a career in architecture.

What Major Should You Choose for a Career in Architecture?

You generally have two options when it comes to a degree in architecture.

First, you can opt for a National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree. This program takes five years, but you’ll be ready to enter the field upon graduation. Your other choice is a four-year bachelor’s degree in either architecture or a more specialized field like landscape architecture for example. You may also be able to focus on construction management. It’s important to note though, that these four-year programs will require you to go after a Master’s if you want to get licensed to work as an architect.

What Will You Learn in these Programs?

Students in either the five year or four-year programs will be expected to study or learn more about:

  • Drawing
  • Architectural drawing (including digital)
  • Design
  • History
  • Architectural theory
  • Building materials
  • Building structures
  • Sustainability
  • Landscape design
  • Math
  • Physics

Programs will vary from school to school, and some degrees will require you to take more in-depth classes in calculus, physics, geometry, critical thinking, and more. You may also find your particular school allows you to focus on specialties within architecture, such as on sustainability or certain building materials. Additionally, many of these subjects would make great minors to support your degree.

How Do You Find an Architecture Program?

There are plenty of programs out there for aspiring architects. It’s important to consider what you want though before you settle on a program or decide on a particular college. You should think about:

  • Class size
  • Location
  • Graduation rates
  • First-year retention rates
  • Required courses
  • Hiring rates after graduation
  • What alumni and current students have to say about their experiences
  • Admission chances
  • Admission requirements
  • and more.

You will want to find an architecture program that fits your needs and wants when it comes to education and your career goals. Students will also have to decide if they want to take a four-year program and get a Master’s or go for the five-year option.

College Majors for a Career in Architecture

Future architects will need a strong understanding of physics, building materials, math, and science, on top of the standout drawing and design skills. Architects are also required to meet deadlines, collaborate, communicate, focus on safety, and work long hours in some cases. If this sounds like a career for you, take your time and compare different college’s programs to be sure you’re giving yourself the best foundation for your future in the field.

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