Architectural Design Degree: Requirements to Enroll in and Complete an Architectural Design Degree Program

Published Aug 13, 2009

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There's more than one way to earn a degree in Architectural Design. Aspiring Architectural Designers can obtain an associate's degree in Architectural Drafting and Design, which qualifies them to draw and design buildings and structures for architects, or they can pursue a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture. Earning one of the latter degrees is the first step toward becoming a licensed architect.

Enrolling in an Architectural Design Degree Program

Most Architectural Drafting and Design programs lead to an associate's degree. An Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Drafting and Design can be earned through a community college or traditional 4-year university. Enrollment requirements are usually minimal but include a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED).

In addition to associate's degrees, many schools offer certificate or diploma programs in Architectural Drafting and Design. These allow students to take drafting and design-related courses, without fulfilling the general education requirements included in an associate's degree program.

Bachelor's and master's degree programs in architecture feature Architectural Design courses as part of their general curricula. Most professional architecture degree programs take five or more years to complete. Competition is often keen for admission to architecture programs, particularly at the graduate level. Students should strive for a grade point average of 3.0 or higher to ensure admittance.

Completing an Architectural Design Degree Program

Students in an associate's degree or certificate program in Architectural Drafting and Design usually take classes in subjects like structural systems and lighting design. They also study Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), building codes and sustainable design. A typical associate's degree program consists of approximately 60 credit hours; credit-hour requirements for certificate programs vary.

Bachelor's degree programs in architecture usually include extensive math and science requirements. Undergraduate students explore architectural theory, CAD and building design. Graduate-level architecture students take advanced theory courses, in addition to studying structural engineering and the history of the field.

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