Having a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree is one of the most lucrative master’s degrees. A graduate degree may be your goal but it may be difficult to figure out how to get there.
While an undergraduate degree in architecture is not required for admission to an M.Arch. the program, you should take into account the differences between graduate study in architecture for individuals with and without an undergraduate degree.
Unless you want to major in architecture in college, you may acquire a bachelor’s degree in just about any subject, but some fields of study will be more useful to your postgraduate work.
Attending Graduate Architecture School Without a Bachelor’s Degree
Studying for your Master’s in Architecture (M.Arch) without having studied architecture as an undergraduate has a few stipulations you should be aware of. M.Arch programs are commonly divided into Level I and Level II categories.
Since only those with a bachelor’s degree in architecture may apply to Level II programs, those without a background in the subject will have to settle for Level I programs instead.
Applicants for Level I M.Arch. programs must be prepared for graduate-level study in architectural practice’s fundamentals.
Despite the fact that you will begin your design studio course sequence and other classes with beginning coursework, these courses are likely to be more demanding and require you to acquire more advanced abilities than the undergraduate level of a similar subject.
Students who enter a Level II program with advanced standing from a bachelor’s degree in architecture already finished will take longer to earn their M.Arch. degree because of the fundamental and traditional master’s-level curriculum they have to complete as well.
A Level I program only accepts applicants who have no formal training in architecture and so compete against those who have no formal training in architecture as well as those who have formal training in architecture.
Which Bachelor’s Degree Should an Aspiring Master of Architecture Student Pursue?
It should go without saying that a bachelor’s degree in architecture is the best preparation for postgraduate study in the field.
It’s probable that you’ll want to focus on pre-professional programs as an undergraduate if you want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in architecture.
There is a four-year requirement for these programs, which typically go by the names of a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, or even a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies.
Because they are considered pre-professional degrees rather than full degrees, these alternative sorts of undergraduate architecture schools do not qualify you for licensing in many states like a traditional five-year B.Arch. degree.
If you’re a Master of Architecture student, earning these credits can help you move on to a more advanced program and graduate sooner.
In addition to architecture, there are a number of other acceptable undergraduate alternatives if you plan to pursue an M.Arch. degree in the future.
Because architecture is a creative and technical career, any curriculum that allows you to develop one or more of these skill sets can be beneficial.
There are several liberal arts and STEM fields that can assist students to prepare for success in the M.Arch. degree program.
For example, students with backgrounds in studio arts, fine arts, art history, and English, as well as in biology, physics, and geology, are commonly accepted into Level I M.Arch. programs.
As a prospective M.Arch. student, you have the freedom to choose an undergraduate major that best suits your interests.
Environmental science and design may be a good fit if you’re interested in sustainable architecture and want to learn more about it.
Students who want to specialize in architectural materials and fabrication may want to start with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and then move on to a master’s degree in architecture.
A history or art history degree may be helpful for those with a special interest in architecture’s history and critique.
Because many institutions classify an M.Arch. degree as a STEM degree, having some foundation in STEM topics such as physical or natural sciences, computer science, engineering, and math is beneficial, but not required.