Education Required to Become an Architect

The education required to become an architect is longer than the traditional four-year program at most colleges. Because of the complex nature of an architect program and the high level classes that students must complete, the education required to become a licensed architect is considered moderately challenging. A typical curriculum would include math, business, building construction, physics, liberal arts and computer aided design and drafting (CADD).

Non-Professional Degree
Many colleges offer a pre-professional architecture degree that is a typical four-year program. It includes architecture-related coursework and prepares the students for an advanced degree in architecture. The resulting degree (BS in architecture studies) is not considered a professional degree, meaning the graduate could not qualify to take an architectural licensing exam.

Bachelor Of Architecture
Several accredited schools in North America offer the bachelor of architecture. This degree takes five years to complete and is considered a professional degree-that is, the graduate could take the architecture licensing exam upon completing the program. Online architecture schools are another option besides the traditional brick-and-mortar colleges.

Masters Of Architecture
A two- or three-year graduate program is the best way for a graduate student with a four-year bachelor's degree in architecture to get to a proper professional level. The Masters programs generally are tailored to fit the student's prior education, so it could be obtained by a graduate of a pre-professional architecture program or one with a four-year degree in another related discipline, such as structural engineering.

Internship
A key part of completing the educational and training requirements to be an architect is the formal training with an already licensed architect. This internship period generally lasts for three years. After the training is completed and approved by the state's architectural registration board, the graduate is able to take the licensing exam.

Licensing Exam
An architect cannot work without a license, and the Architect Registration Examination is the process by which an architectural candidate proves that she is worthy of licensure. In order to receive a license, a passing score on the exam is required, along with proof of a professional degree and approved training. To maintain the license, the state will require continuing education credits every few years, generally earned via workshops, classes or conferences.

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