Message - Re: Architecture Schools in California

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Posted by  Susan on November 03, 2003 at 19:25:49:

In Reply to:  Architecture Schools in California posted by Kyle on September 25, 2003 at 19:47:18:

Maybe this will help, I found it on another site:
Having a daughter who just finished junior year in high school who is also planning to pursue architecture in college...I can try to help you. A couple of things....
One....Harvard does not have an undergraduate major in architecture, but has a top notch graduate school of design. Undergraduate there just has History of Architecture. I know this cause we visited Harvard before my daughter decided for sure to pursue architecture and was considering a possibility of engineering at the time of our visit but now has decided more clearly.

Next, let me share something with you that I am not sure you are aware of. If you are, sorry. I learned a lot this year when my daughter got into this and others shared their wisdom with me on this field as well. To pursue architecture, you have three avenues to get there. One is to attend a five year professional program that culminates in a BArch degree and then go on for internships and eventual licensure. These programs are very specific with many required courses as an undergraduate, much like an engineering degree is like. It is not as liberal arts as a regular major. Another avenue is to major in architecture like any other undergraduate major....these programs are considered "prearchitecture" and get a bachelor's degree. You then would go on to grad school in architecture for two to three years to earn a MArch degree, eventual internship leading to licensure. The third avenue is to major in ANY major as an undergraduate and then go on to grad school for architecture to get the MArch which could take 3-4 years with no background, then internship leading to licensure.

My daughter visited Cornell, one of the best five year BArch programs. She ended up deciding to not go that route. Her reason is that to do that kind of program, you really must know for certain that you want that major while still in high school as you apply to get into the school of architecture....and at Cornell that also involves a portfolio in fact. She wants to go into architecture but at 16, she cannot be totally sure of her major to lock herself in. Also she does not like that a big bulk of her undergraduate courses will be spelled out specifically and she would prefer a major like any other major where you take 10-12 courses in your field and still get to explore other college courses. Doing a prearchitecture major, and then a masters, is likely six years vs. the five year professional BArch programs. Once she decided to go the route I just mentioned, she dropped Cornell from her list as well as Carnegie Mellon. Those both have five year professional BArch programs. So does Syracuse I believe. So does places like Rensalleer.

so, as you make your college selections, read more in depth as to the architecture program offerings. They differ widely.

If you decide to look into architecture as a major and not a professional undergraduate degree and then plan on my are the schools where you can do that which she is looking to apply: (there are others I am sure but sharing our list as one perspective....and realize she had other college criteria that you may not the only common bond here is the architecture ....
Princeton, Yale, Brown, Penn, Tufts, Connecticut College, Lehigh, and Smith.

Good luck and if I can help you any further, please ask.

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