can i be an architect and pursue architecture as a career with only an architectural design minor?

i wanted to major architecture at my univeristy but they wouldn't declare me the major as the gpa to declare keeps increasing.. i was told that another alternative is to major construction engineering and minor in architecture ..

would that be suffiecient for me to pursue architecture as a career and become a good architect?

3 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    That would not be sufficient. You must get the degree in architecture (not just a minor) to work as an architect.

    According to the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, the educational requirements for an architect are as follows:

    Education and training. In most States, architects must hold a professional degree in architecture from one of the 117 schools of architecture that have degree programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). However, State architectural registration boards set their own standards, so graduation from a non-accredited program may meet the educational requirement for licensing in a few States.

    Most architects earn their professional degree through a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program, which is intended for students with no previous architectural training. Others earn a master’s degree after completing a bachelor’s degree in another field or after completing a preprofessional architecture program. A master’s degree in architecture can take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on the extent of previous training in architecture.

    The choice of degree depends on preference and educational background. Prospective architecture students should consider the options before committing to a program. For example, although the 5-year bachelor of architecture offers the most direct route to the professional degree, courses are specialized, and if the student does not complete the program, transferring to a program in another discipline may be difficult. A typical program includes courses in architectural history and theory, building design with an emphasis on CADD, structures, technology, construction methods, professional practice, math, physical sciences, and liberal arts. Central to most architectural programs is the design studio, where students apply the skills and concepts learned in the classroom and create drawings and three-dimensional models of their designs.

    Many schools of architecture also offer postprofessional degrees for those who already have a bachelor's or master's degree in architecture or other areas. Although graduate education beyond the professional degree is not required for practicing architects, it may be useful for research, teaching, and certain specialties.

    All State architectural registration boards require architecture graduates to complete a training period—usually at least 3 years—before they may sit for the licensing exam. Every State follows the training standards established by the Intern Development Program, a program of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). These standards stipulate broad training under the supervision of a licensed architect. Most new graduates complete their training period by working as interns at architectural firms. Some States allow a portion of the training to occur in the offices of related professionals, such as engineers or general contractors. Architecture students who complete internships while still in school can count some of that time toward the 3-year training period.

    Interns in architectural firms may assist in the design of one part of a project, help prepare architectural documents or drawings, build models, or prepare construction drawings on CADD. Interns also may research building codes and materials or write specifications for building materials, installation criteria, the quality of finishes, and other related details.

    Licensure. All States and the District of Columbia require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects and contract to provide architectural services. During the time between graduation and becoming licensed, architecture school graduates generally work in the field under the supervision of a licensed architect who takes legal responsibility for all work. Licensing requirements include a professional degree in architecture, a period of practical training or internship, and a passing score on all divisions of the Architect Registration Examination. The examination is broken into nine divisions consisting of either multiple choice or graphical questions. The eligibility period for completion of all divisions of the exam varies by State.

    Most States also require some form of continuing education to maintain a license, and many others are expected to adopt mandatory continuing education. Requirements vary by State but usually involve the completion of a certain number of credits annually or biennially through workshops, formal university classes, conferences, self-study courses, or other sources.

  • Some states allow you to use your experience working under the direction of an architect to substitute the education requirements, i.e., you can have 8 years of architectural experience, take and pass the ARE exams and get your architect license without any formal architectural education. California used to allow this.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (

  • 4 years ago

    It depends on the Unviersity and the program, but generally architectural design is just designing the items to be built. Not the building or anything. Just the design. I think you need to talk to your advisor and get some clarification on what degree would work for your prospective career path.

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