Field of Study: Architecture
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.
Because it may inspire the eye and lift the spirit, architecture has been called "frozen music." As an architect, your challenge is to find the right blend of inspiration and practical design for each client's budget.
As a student, one thing you learn is how to determine whether sites can bear structures. You also learn to design buildings that can sway rather than collapse when the earth moves under them. In addition, you learn to work with clients to both satisfy and inspire them. Designing buildings also requires that you design the interior space. This requires a combination of technical skill, artistic vision, and the ability to understand a person's needs and desires.
Architects learn how to design and even build structures to fit their clients' needs. For example, consider what you might do if your client were an eco-conscious painter. You might design her studio to include a lot of natural lighting. This natural light could also be stored as solar power to run a heater in the winter.
These are just a few examples of what you study in this program.
As a student in this program, you learn the basic principles of design and architecture. You study the ways and reasons that buildings and structures have changed over history. You consider how factors such as the economy, technology, and psychology affect the outcome of design projects.
About 155 accredited schools of architecture in the U.S. offer a bachelor's degree. These programs take five years beyond high school. Because architecture courses are specialized, few credits transfer to other undergraduate majors.
Most architecture schools offer graduate degrees to people who have already completed a bachelor's degree. For students with an undergraduate degree in architecture, the master's degree takes two more years.
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.