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Pet peeve...

Feb 14 '13 28 Last Comment
BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 2:59 pm

People- there are only two basic types of Bachelor Degrees worthy of discussion on these forums...

1) Bachelor of Science in Architecture (the B.S. a.k.a Bulshit Degree if you really want to be an architect in the U.S)

2) Bachelor of Architecture - Also known as the professional degree

It's not a B.A. either way...

 

observant
Feb 14, 13 3:20 pm

Correct and incorrect.  True, these are the only 2 bachelor degrees.  However, most call it a B.S.; however, a few schools call the 4 year degree in architecture a B.A. (Berkeley and Washington-Seattle).  There are others.  These two come to mind instantly, though.

Snoopy316
Feb 14, 13 3:40 pm

Though 80% of the things learnt in either one of those degrees are BS (bullshit) the 2nd should be regarded as BA just so it won't be confusing.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 3:52 pm

how about an M.Arch that has the 5 year curriculum stuffed into 3 years? B.Arch's have a 2 year head start...

observant
Feb 14, 13 4:06 pm

how about an M.Arch that has the 5 year curriculum stuffed into 3 years? B.Arch's have a 2 year head start...

That was my route.  It depends.  And I am very critical of these curricula.  First, for someone who wants to do architecture after another degree, are you going to make them hang around school for 5 years, with gaping holes in their curriculum because they don't need general ed or electives?  No. 

Actually, most of these programs are 3.5 years.  Some graduate you in December, some require a summer before, and some require a summer in between.  When you add it up, the number of credits they take is about what a B.Arch. takes, once you pull out their general ed and electives.  The "problem" I have is the variability and "meat on the bones" of these programs.  UMinn, with a newer format, does it in 3 years and with 90 cr. hrs. UMich uses summers and racks up the "about normal" 105 cr. hrs.  CU-Denver is in the 115 cr. hr. zone.  Those are big differences to me.  Of the programs which admitted me, I chose a longer one because I wanted a LOT of information.  The BIGGEST criticism levied at M.Arch.3s is that they typically have to play "catch up" in design skills.  That's just like a tea bag.  The longer it stays in there, the more flavored the cup of tea is.  That said, the 4+2 person is steeping in design, through education, work, reading, and being in that mindset for SIX years.  The 3.5 person is being put through that process, and mindset conversion, in THREE (and a HALF) years.  I would seriously hope the 6 year person turns out better design work at the end of their educational process.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 4:12 pm

And guess what- I am very critical of people who have to take 10 years to find out what they really want to do... bad parenting in my opinion... 

toasteroven
Feb 14, 13 4:31 pm

when I was in undergrad the BS didn't exist yet at most schools (it was offered at my program a couple years after I graduated) - your three options were BA + 2 year masters, BArch (not offered at my program), or another major and a 3.5 year masters.  I think the BS replaced the BA, and now the BA in arch is a little more flexible in allowing you to do more in depth study in another subject (double major or minor).

 

but ok, let's be absolutist in what are acceptable paths to architecture.  all architecture or no architecture.  right?  we don't need well-rounded individuals with outside perspectives in our profession.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 4:50 pm

"we don't need well-rounded individuals with outside perspectives in our profession."

I never said that... 

gwharton
Feb 14, 13 4:54 pm

"BA Arch" = I took a few architecture classes between parties and football games and when it was time for me to add up my credits and graduate, this is all I could come up with.

"BS Arch" = Free gift with purchase of BArch

"BArch" = Got a professional degree equivalent to MArch without spending a ton of money or additional time. Suck it, haters.

Rusty!
Feb 14, 13 4:56 pm

When I grow up I'm going to Bovine University.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 4:58 pm

Like with anything- the earlier you start, the more likely you will be successful at it- not to say that there aren't plenty of examples in which this isn't true... However, I believe the earlier you start immersing yourself in what will be your lifelong career, the more likely you will be to be better at it than people who start later... and why start something if you aren't going to finish it? I think that many college students are just not guided enough in their youth to make choices that actually matter in their lives... like their professional aspirations. But its okay, because we have the government that will bail out banks that give loans away to unguided people who graduate in 10 years rather than 4-5 like they should... And all because they decided to drop out of a major 3 years into it to pursue another degree... immaturity, combined with stupidity adds to student debt, and ultimately lack of professional success (for the most part- again not to say that there aren't any exceptions). 

observant
Feb 14, 13 5:00 pm

And guess what- I am very critical of people who have to take 10 years to find out what they really want to do... bad parenting in my opinion...

Hey, bulgie, you're not the first one with an undergraduate BA/BS or B.Arch. (that is, if you've completed one by now) who doesn't like M.Arch.3s.  They are kind of like zoo animals on display. The undergrads are mostly middle of the road toward them, with some who want nothing to do with them because they "just don't get it" (in actuality, they're the most linear people I've met, and I can admittedly be that way) and other undergrads who seek them out because they like their real life knowledge and less scripted experiences.  My friends were divided between 4 yr, MArch 3, MArch 2, and even a rare MArch 1.

Also, it didn't take most of these people 10 years.  They usually show up sooner than that, after graduating with another degree.  There are 2 types of M.Arch.3s: a) those who discovered an aptitude for architecture later, maybe through their very undergraduate curriculum, and b) those who were always interested in architecture and chose to study something else prior.  Who's to say what's right?  A M.Arch.3 heaped on top of engineering, business, interior design, and industrial design is often a strong combination ... that YOU don't have, since you started out with "pet peeve" toward the mere labeling of the 4 year degree.  To blow your mind even further, Berkeley may have once called it an A.B.  In my particular class, it was more the previous engineering and commerce students who went the traditional office/license route, while the art, theater set design, math, biology, and pre-law type majors did not go into architectural offices.

But, yeah, I've heard the "eews" about the 3 or 3.5 year types.  Nothing new.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 5:03 pm

you also forgot those who couldn't even get into architecture school in the first place, and then play it off as "discovering" their interest in architecture... 

observant
Feb 14, 13 5:09 pm

you also forgot those who couldn't even get into architecture school in the first place, and then play it off as "discovering" their interest in architecture...

I can almost guarantee that, if a person couldn't get into most public undergraduate architecture programs, where their stringency on a portfolio requirement is a lot less, that person will not be able to gain admission to a competitive M.Arch.3 where it's portfolio + grades + GRE + essays.  The good M.Arch. schools see a LOT of applicants and it is much more competitive than getting into a bachelor program.  If one is willing to go to an obscure school, they'll find a M.Arch.3 that will take them.

Are you in school?  Are you done?  What's the deal?  In a depressive funk of sorts? It's interesting that you know so damn much compared to those who have seen a lot more of this, and the world, for that matter. 

observant
Feb 14, 13 7:01 pm

"BA Arch" = I took a few architecture classes between parties and football games and when it was time for me to add up my credits and graduate, this is all I could come up with.

"BS Arch" = Free gift with purchase of BArch

"BArch" = Got a professional degree equivalent to MArch without spending a ton of money or additional time. Suck it, haters.

Not a hater.  Funny post, though.  Actually, BA and BS are just whatever particular hair up their ass these departments have.  One would think the BA is slightly less technical, an the BS is slightly more so.  In most cases, that's true.  One exception is UW and UVa.  The former, with more tech classes, grants a BA, and the latter, with less tech classes, grants as BS.

Also, the choice of a BA/BS or B.Arch. is often regulated by where someone lives.  If someone lives in the Bay Area, and they get into Berkeley, they can take the subway to school from their parents' home, save some cash, and then go somewhere else for 2 more years.  It would be cheaper and more comfortable than going to live on one's own for 5 years.  Whenever one is an urban dweller, what the local univ. is offering up in architecture might determine that fork in the road.
 

Snoopy316
Feb 14, 13 7:26 pm

M.Arch.3.... oh my. so many options, so many years of study, so many debt for students. but very little pay. I think the only people who are benefiting in architecture are the schools and the academic who works for them. sad!
 

observant
Feb 14, 13 7:45 pm

M.Arch.3.... oh my. so many options, so many years of study, so many debt for students. but very little pay. I think the only people who are benefiting in architecture are the schools and the academic who works for them. sad!

Not really.  If you go M.Arch. 2, that's 6 years.  If you do M.Arch 3 which uses a summer term, that's 7 years.  That's ONE year.  That year is nothing for those who like their next occupation more than their first one (read:  ability to stay awake).  I know many people who have made career-to-career changes which required extra schooling.  All combinations.  They were happy they did it. 

I would have done it exactly the same way, except that a) I would have taken a looser emphasis within my department in my undergrad and thrown in a minor in a language, and used all my electives for art courses, b) I would have gone about 2 years sooner, and c) I would have gone to a slightly less ranked, but still good school, for my own reasons.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 7:52 pm

Did I sense Sarcasm Observant? I graduated with a B.arch in '11. Just started taking my A.R.E.'a while doing IDP. I passed structures and am a LEED AP. And as far as seeing the world- I have traveled quite a lot abroad considering my age (25). I've been to Asia, the Mid East and am a dual citizen with the E.U. It's not that I am in a bad mood- I am perhaps more ambitious than your average grad... Don't want to go to grad school until I get my license. That way if I don't get a job immediately, I don't have to depend on firms to employ me and don't have to worry about my legitimacy of calling myself an Architect when talking to prospective clients abroad... How is that for a quick bio?

Snoopy316
Feb 14, 13 7:57 pm

I know what you are saying, but does employers look at a candidate and compare them in the years of practical experience as well as whether they have a BA or a M.Arch? will they pick someone with M.Arch.3 and 3 years experience over someone with a BA and 6 years experience? I'm assuming BA takes 4 years to do therefore 3 years head start in the work force and less debt?

observant
Feb 14, 13 8:04 pm

Did I sense Sarcasm Observant? I graduated with a B.arch in '11. Just started taking my A.R.E.'a while doing IDP. I passed structures and am a LEED AP. And as far as seeing the world- I have traveled quite a lot abroad considering my age (25). I've been to Asia, the Mid East and am a dual citizen with the E.U. It's not that I am in a bad mood- I am perhaps more ambitious than your average grad... Don't want to go to grad school until I get my license. That way if I don't get a job immediately, I don't have to depend on firms to employ me and don't have to worry about my legitimacy of calling myself an Architect when talking to prospective clients abroad... How is that for a quick bio?

Nope.  I applaud all you've done, actually.  But please don't judge the M.Archs.  Also, if you have a B.Arch., why are you considering grad school, which would be redundant unless you want to teach?  Here's another thing.  A lot of people who do architecture have money in their family, and can play gentleman architect.  Others don't, and still do it.  No silver spoon here.  Most people who vaunt their EU dual citizenship tend to have the parent who is a banker in London or Geneva, no?  I am EU dual citizenship eligible via the #1 qualifier, and don't want to embark on that quest.  It's really only valuable for its la-tee-dah value and being able to vacation in Cuba.  Again, congrats on LEED-AP and your having begun the testing process, and being in one of those states smart enough to let people test prior to IDP completion.  Bon chance.

observant
Feb 14, 13 8:22 pm

I know what you are saying, but does employers look at a candidate and compare them in the years of practical experience as well as whether they have a BA or a M.Arch? will they pick someone with M.Arch.3 and 3 years experience over someone with a BA and 6 years experience? I'm assuming BA takes 4 years to do therefore 3 years head start in the work force and less debt?

This is a total mystery.  In a large urban center, it's more equal opportunity and things seem to counterbalance, so there's more diversity in an office.  Even in some metro areas, if they get all their grads from one place and the B.Arch. or M.Arch. 2 was the prevalent model, and that's what the principals hold, then they will hire THAT degree and THAT school.  I've been in that situation with education that was different from the prevailing hire (B.Archs.) and, in offices with 30 people, being the ONLY M.Arch. 3 is sometimes less than comfortable.  Some people carry their distrust of that venue into practice, and it affects their employment decisions.  It happens.

One of my classmates, due to his specialized experience, ended up in the metro area I lived in and catapulted into a large, high profile corporate type firm from afar.  I looked at their website.  They showed MANY principals. Of all the principals in architecture, I scanned their backgrounds and there was NOT ONE M.Arch.3.  I wasn't going to over-analyze it.  This guy was a 4+2.  Competent, from what I recall, and with a likable personality, but not stellar.  So, it's all over the board.  It's not as linear and/or predictable as business or legal hiring, for example.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 14, 13 8:43 pm

Working two jobs- one arch. One none-arch... That isn't a silver spoon example...

Snoopy316
Feb 16, 13 5:05 am

If you are an architect and working two jobs then technically it's 3 jobs, considering the amount of hours architects work as an architect.

snooker-doodle-dandy
Feb 16, 13 6:46 pm

Observant....are you teaching without ten year?

observant
Feb 17, 13 10:34 am

^

I don't teach.  I have taught other topics though, in the evenings, for fun and some side money to knock out student loans.  I am very interested in architectural curricula and think they are all over the map, in terms of content.  How NAAB accredits them, with that type of variability, is beyond me.  If one looks at a first/second year law curriculum, the content is boilerplate.  Yet, law schools can put their own spin on things and develop different reputations.  Many of my college friends went to law school, which I would not found interesting.  Funny thing is, they find neither law school nor practicing interesting either.

RickB-OR
Feb 18, 13 4:53 pm

Actually a 3 year M.Arch is just 3 years of content. What makes a B.Arch take 5 years is that you have 2 years of general education and 3 years of architectural education. Since a M.Arch would require a bachelors degree in something, you would have the 2 years of general ed plus whatever was the core education for the major, electives, minor, etc. for the bachelor's level. The M.Arch is just the architectural major courses. That is how it is typically. 

You are basically taking the same major courses as in the B.Arch except for the general ed courses because you already taken those courses as part of your bachelors level degree.

 

 

observant
Feb 18, 13 5:06 pm

Actually a 3 year M.Arch is just 3 years of content. What makes a B.Arch take 5 years is that you have 2 years of general education and 3 years of architectural education. Since a M.Arch would require a bachelors degree in something, you would have the 2 years of general ed plus whatever was the core education for the major, electives, minor, etc. for the bachelor's level. The M.Arch is just the architectural major courses. That is how it is typically.

Rick, you are absolutely correct.  On a semester basis, the M.Arch. 3s tally up about 100 to 115 cr. hours.  A full BA degree in anything is usually 120 cr. hours.  You point it out economically.  Yet, it's 2013, and people can't see that, and make snide comments as if one got a deal of some sort.  Also, with it being the road less traveled, there are the difficulties associated with that - classes with undergrads who don't know what to make of you, +2s who went to school with people in the preceding 4 years, having to accelerate your design consciousness, having to sell it to an employer who rarely sees this format, and getting "buy in" from your peers.  What an adventure!

RickB-OR
Feb 18, 13 5:07 pm

B.A. and B.S. mostly is a difference in only the general education courses. However, each school is different in this respect of what a B.A. and what a B.S. entails.

Typically, a B.S. would entail a more math and science/computer science than a B.A. which would be more art and language but in real practice, it doesn't matter so much. It depends on you and if you came from a community college with education upon transferring it, what gets you to your goal with least resistance.

Architects come in many different flavors and not all are "art-aesthetics" oriented. Some are more "technical" oriented. This makes for different types of architects and different emphasis. We need to remember, it isn't about you in the real world. It is about the client. It always has been and you will rarely ever see a carte blanche project. It is about solving the needs of the client and being the creative problem solver.

I often take a more technical approach because my utmost priority is a design solution that foremost protects the HSW of the client & public but also to address the needs of the client in a real world budgetary constraints. I need to be fiscally responsible about the client's budget and it makes no sense for me to design ANYTHING that doesn't respect the financial bottom line. I strive to develop real, workable solutions that the client can afford not pie in the sky bullshit. As a building designer, I have a moral, ethical, fiduciary as well as professional obligation to not lead clients on a primrose path to failure. It is my job and duty as the client's DESIGN PROFESSIONAL to develop realistic building design solutions not expensive, pie in the sky, pipe-dream, sculpture on the landscape.

Granted, aesthetics are a principle of concern but they are balanced with real world, down to earth design thinking.

 

observant
Feb 18, 13 5:09 pm

B.A. and B.S. mostly is a difference in only the general education courses. However, each school is different in this respect of what a B.A. and what a B.S. entails.

Correct again, though in some cases, the B.A. and B.S. don't follow conventional logic that one has more technical content than the other.  There are a few exceptions, though not many. 

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