B.Arch vs. M.Arch?

Jul 6 '14 4 Last Comment
Jul 6, 14 11:12 am

Hi. I'm new to Archinect but would you please help me out if you don't mind? And if I break a rule, please forgive me.

I'm currently enrolled at UCLA and thinking of majoring in Architectural Studies (it's not B.Arch but Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies) when I become a junior. However, since this program at UCLA is not accredited, if I graduate from UCLA, I'll have to go to graduate school to get a M.Arch to be licensed.

After a lot of search, I've found out that Cornell offers an accredited 5-year architecture program (B.Arch).

So my question is, in architecture world (particularly employment), which is considered better? Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture?

I'm thinking of going to Harvard or Columbia for graduate school if I graduate from UCLA. If I transfer to Cornell, I don't need to go to graduate school.

I'm a student and prospective architect so if I'm wrong, please correct me. And I really appreciate any opinion/advice from who has an experience. Thanks in advance!


Jul 6, 14 11:47 am

So my question is, in architecture world (particularly employment), which is considered better?

There is no employment in the architecture world. I would reconsider architecture as a whole, or at least make sure you are okay being poor and miserable the rest of your life.

I would go into engineering or some STEM program.

Just my .02cents

Jul 6, 14 12:19 pm

Lets give Mitiumkne a break after only architects know what its really like. Well mr. Mitiumkne if employment is what you have in mind it is terrible like DeTwan said, but it goes in cycles just about every 10 years there is a major layoff event over all. 

Focusing on your other question about which is better? a BArch or MArch?  The Barch is an extensive Professional program that runs 5 years and there is a reason why it is called a professional degree, it is not easy, it is not cheap, but it allows you to sit for your license exams. People in the know respect the 5 year professional degree highly. Unfortunately believe it or not there are employers who do not understand the difference between a bachelors in arch. and a B.Arch. As a result of a lot of higher ups who are actually not architects.  Consequently the M.Arch is looked on as a better thing on a resume though if you speak to any M.arch graduate in the program i went through a B.arch is more intense.

there are other routes to being an architect that will not cost you 200k. Without going on a rant and airing out dirty laundry, The other facet ill relay to the opener of this post is that we know how someone views architects from the outside.  We were there once. Id say after about 6 or 10 years you begin to see ugly business side of Architecture. If you are one those rich kids, or have other options at UCLA which i hear is a great institution I'd explore other routes, and do architecture as a hobby maybe if you like.

good luck my community service for the year is done with this post

Jul 6, 14 2:07 pm

Here is the short and the skinny of it,

A M.Arch is really only necessary if you want to teach. Other than that it is only going to get your resume pushed to the side while looking for jobs. Employers in the architectural field 90% of the time looking for the cheapest person to take on board, and an M.Arch applicant usually tells them, oh this person might not be a blithering idiot and will not work for $14 an hour. Most employers stay away from M.Arch degrees.

You don't even need a degree in most regards, accredit or even tech degree. All architecture firms want now is Revit monkeys. If you really want a DIRECT shot into architecture, just take CC course on Revit and BIM.

Beyond that; a Revit monkey, architecture is a horrible career field. There is no moving up unless you or your family knows rich ppl that want to build, and then most will come to you and want fancy designs at a super low rate only to say they are not ready to build for a couple years.

People (college kids) need to get this idea out of their heads that architecture is some respectful field, it is not and it is about the closest you can get to MODERN DAY SLAVERY.

Seriously kid... stop believing what movies portray... it is FASLE!  

Jul 6, 14 4:03 pm

I didn't read  the other comments but

I graduated from UCLA in architectural studies and

now I am in Columbia.

If you need more insight, please pm/email me but for now I'll answer your questions


So my question is, in architecture world (particularly employment), which is considered better? Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture?

Nope. Keep in mind architecture is very subjective, i.e it is all about the quality of work coming from each individual. The difference is the factors between the two and why one would choose the other. the M.ARCH path actually allows more freedom for a different undergrad field than architecture while the B.ARCH path is strictly all architecture.

what im saying is, you can essentially major in any field in undergrad and then apply for M.ARCH as there is no requirement to have an architectural background. SO, in a scenario where you are still skeptical about the future of architecture, I would suggest going into a field that you like and have a stable future (i.e engineering, finance, any Bachelor of science degree) for an undergrad degree. This is something for you to fall back on. I say this because in this thread people have regrets going into architecture.

However, if you believe you were born to be a stararchitect and live and breath architecture, go for the B.arch. Since you're at UCLA, talk with the students there and see their lifestyles. Our lifestyle is VERY VERY different than those who are not in the program. Our social life is within AVERY and not outside of it. KEEP that in mind.

The other factor is time and money too. Masters (4 undergrad + 3 masters = 7 years) vs. B.ARCH (5 years). but you already have two years under your belt so I don't know how your credits will work if you transfer into Cornell's b.arch program.

Also consider Cal poly San Louis Obispo undergrad program. It is a very good school in the west coast for their undergrad. and plus, they have architectural engineering (structural engineering) to consider as a supplemental asset.


I'm thinking of going to Harvard or Columbia for graduate school if I graduate from UCLA. If I transfer to Cornell, I don't need to go to graduate school.

If youre thinking about an M.arch path and want to go to an IVY league, UCLA undergrad , IMO, produces one of the best undergrads possible (very design focused, which will prepare your grad. portfolio). Most of the people I know who applied got into at least one IVY league.

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