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Architecture programs prepare people to design various types of structures including houses, commercial buildings, and schools.

Architecture programs prepare people to design various types of structures. Students learn architectural theory, history, and design. They study project and site planning and learn about construction and building codes. In addition, they study social values and issues that influence design.

Architecture programs include topics such as:

Students also learn professional responsibilities and standards for architects. They study related social, economic, cultural, and environmental issues.


Internships allow students to develop skills at companies or organizations. An internship in architecture helps students develop a portfolio.


Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in architecture. A bachelor’s degree in architecture usually takes five years to complete.

Most architecture schools offer graduate degrees. For students with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, the master's degree takes two additional years of study. For students with a bachelor’s degree in another area, it takes longer.

Although graduate work is not required for the practice of architecture, it may lead to expert knowledge in certain specialties or to work in teaching and research.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

For this program, schools recommend you also focus on graphic arts, fine arts, and environmental design. Some colleges require two years of a second language, a letter of intent from you, letters of recommendation from teachers or employers, and your portfolio of creative work.

Admission to a four-year college does not always guarantee admission to its undergraduate architecture program. You may be able to apply to this program only after you take some basic visual arts and design courses and receive good grades in them.

Additional requirements sometimes include:

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, good test scores, and strong studio design skills.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work usually tends to look similar to that in undergraduate programs. This is because most graduate programs offer first professional degrees, as mentioned in the "Graduate Admissions" section.

However, with some graduate programs, if you already have a background in architecture, you may be able to take more advanced classes.

In both undergraduate and graduate programs, you get plenty of studio time to work on projects and techniques that you have learned in your other courses. You also typically have to complete a degree project such as a thesis that combines your design and architectural skills.

Things to Know

You provide your own drawing tools and supplies.

The portfolio you submit to get into an undergraduate program should not be limited to work from high school. It can include your creative work from hobbies, clubs, volunteer work, and community projects.

You begin to develop a professional portfolio during college. You can include samples of work from team or independent projects. In addition, you should include your senior project and projects you complete during internships.

Many states require that architecture graduates work as interns before taking the licensing exam. Depending on your state, you may be able to complete your internship while you are still a student.

You need a license from your state in order to practice architecture.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Highline College

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Tacoma Area

Tacoma Community College