In the United States, you should pursue a degree from an architecture program which is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in order to meet the educational requirements to become a licensed architect
More than 125 architecture programs are accredited by the NAAB in the United States. NAAB accredits professional programs in architecture leading to the Doctor of Architecture, Master of Architecture or Bachelor of Architecture degree. Students may graduate from either a pre-professional architecture degree or undergraduate degree in another discipline and then complete an accredited Master of Architecture program.
BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE (B.ARCH.)
The Bachelor of Architecture is an undergraduate five-year degree typically for students coming directly from high school. In a B.Arch. program, enrolled students begin intensive architectural studies in the first semester and continue for the duration of the program. If you are highly confident in your choice of architecture as your academic major, pursuing a B.Arch. may be the ideal choice.
Now, a handful of institutions began offering a five- or five and a half- year master of architecture programs. How are these degrees different than the traditional bachelor of architecture? Contact each institution and ask.
PRE-PROFESSIONAL BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (B.S.) + MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE (M.ARCH.)
Often known as a 4 + 2, this path to the accredited degree involves first obtaining a pre-professional architecture bachelor of science (B.S.) degree followed by the professional master of architecture (M.Arch.). Pre-professional degrees are four-year degrees that prepare candidates for pursuing a professional degree. A viable option for this particular route is to begin your studies at a community college.
The professional NAAB accredited M.Arch. is a graduate-level degree may last from 2-3 years and offers a comprehensive professional education. This combination of the B.S. degree with the M.Arch. offers flexibility, as you may choose to attend a different program for your graduate studies or take time between the two degree programs.
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES (B.A./B.S.) IN FIELDS OTHER THAN ARCHITECTURE AND MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE (M.ARCH.)
If you have an undergraduate degree in a field other than architecture, you may also pursue a professional master of architecture program. Depending on the institution, this accredited M.Arch. will take between three and four years of study to complete. Some of these programs have you begin work in the summer before the first semester, while others may require full-time study during a later summer semester. Be sure to explore the curricular differences among the programs you are considering.
DOCTOR OF ARCHITECTURE (D.ARCH.)
As a professional degree, the doctor of architecture (D.Arch.) is currently available only at the University of Hawaii. The program is from 3-4 years in length and is unique in that it allows the graduate to fulfill the education requirement for taking the licensing exam.
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture offers StudyArchitecture, an online database of all institutions that offer architecture programs in the United States and Canada.Study Architecture