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I have a little over two years left in the Navy and i would like to start pursuing an architecture degree/career. Ive looked into AAU, as they offer an architecture BFA completely online and I'm from the area. Unfortunately, Ive read some disappointing things about this school. Ive also read on some threads here that it would probably be best to take some general education classes while I'm still in the navy, and find a school to attend when i get out.
Does any one have any advice? Remarks on AAU's architecture program?
Regardless of the institution offering it, an architecture BFA will be a waste of four years. It's not a professional degree, and you'll pretty much have to start over when you get into a professional program. To get a license to practice architecture, you need to have a NAAB accredited degree. Those come in a couple of different flavors: Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture (Professional). The former takes 5 years to complete. The latter takes 2-3 years, after you've finished your bachelor's degree and enrolled in the masters program (so, 6-7 years total). The BArch is by far the better way to go unless you want to teach some day.
Even if you never intend to get a license, having only a BFA will put you at a significant disadvantage in the job market.
Choose a different career path. What about naval architecture?
Southern Illinois University, they love the Navy and have branch campuses at sea and on base Naval Submarine Base Groton, CT, Dover Air Force Base, Oceana Naval Air Station, North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego Naval Medical Center, San Diego Naval Station, Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to name a few. They are a small emerging program located in Carbondale, SIUC has a strong veterans and active service member support system. The program is a hands on 4 +2 B arch and Master of Arch in one place and feeds into University of Illinois and Washington university. So give a state school a look we are in the backyard of the senator who gave us the GI Bill Paul Simon.
The student's are much more diverse too so you won't be the only one over 22 or over 30 in your class.
Over and OUT