Architecture programs serve to educate students in the skills and theories that assist in the practice of creating buildings to suit every style and function. These programs come in a variety of levels and intensities, from technical or community certifications to Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate Degree programs. While all programs will serve to educate students in the field of architecture, the usefulness of the degree in the pursuit of becoming a licensed architect varies greatly.

Technical School and Community College Programs

Associates Degree or certification programs offered at the level of technical schools or community colleges are typically used to build a background not necessarily acquired in high school in mathematics, computer programming, and construction work. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) does not accredit these programs, but they often make it easier for students to enter Bachelors degree programs when it was otherwise unattainable based on previous academic performance or exposure relevant to the field of architecture. Students who complete these programs can often work in architecture or related fields, but not as licensed architects.

Bachelors Degree Programs in Architecture

Bachelors degree programs in architecture come in two forms. Four year Bachelors degree programs are often not accredited by the NAAB because they do not fulfill the study hour requirements needed to sit for the Architect Registration Examination; however, these programs are often taken in tandem with Masters degree programs that will help fulfill the requirements necessary. More often, students will opt for a Bachelors degree program that is five years in length and fulfills the NAAB requirements necessary to take the ARE.

Masters and Doctorate Degree Programs

Masters Degree Programs in architecture are offered both for students with a four year Bachelors in architecture, and also for those who acquired their undergraduate degree in another field. The length of Masters programs varies from two to three years, depending on these factors and the intensity and focus of the program. As with most advanced courses of study, those achieving higher levels of education often receive commensurate compensation at the intern and entry level. Students who acquire an advanced Masters degree, or higher, are also eligible to teach architecture, should their career path shift to a more academic path.

Generally after practicing as an architect in the field, additional education is sought. Whether it is to update a skill set to stay current with changing technology and trends, or to create a focus in a particular arena of architecture, continuing education is always encouraged. This is particularly true in architecture, a field with ever-changing dynamics, both stylistically and technologically. Advanced study is also commended in large firms, where bolstering a client base often directly correlates with the credentials of its employees.