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BA vs BS

Kidd

Hello all,

I was wondering what you all thought of the BS vs BA in architecture. Is there any real value to going the extra year besides stamping? I know there are successful BAs but what does that mean for those going into the profession? I'm trying to decide if I want to go the extra year or not since I'll be running out of funds at the end of the 3rd year (military).

Any suggestions or insights from those with both? And if I decide to do the 4yr program, how does that affect IDP? After a set amount of time, am I eligible to sit for licensing or is that last year really critical if I end up changing my mind.

Thanks

 
Feb 25, 15 12:15 pm
natematt

^mostly this.

Also, I would comment that a lot of people do BArchs and still get Masters, professional or not.

Additionally, I was slapped with this not too long ago, you don't actually need a professional degree to be licensed. in many states there are alternate ways involving work experience. However, in all likelihood getting a professional degree will work best for you.

I would also comment, under the possibility that you did mean a BA Arch and a BS Arch, that the Bachelor of Arts degrees and Bachelor of Science degrees tend to be pretty similar. More often than not the Arts ones are slightly more of a liberal arts nature, and the Science ones are more technical/professional nature. BSArchs seem to do better getting into abbreviated masters programs.

Feb 25, 15 3:25 pm  · 
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Kidd

I'm already in school going for the 5-yr program. And I did mean the 4-year Bachelor of Science vs the 5-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch).  I'm going to set up my IDP and everything soon as I am about to finish my 2nd year. I wanted to know what advantages either held over the other, if any at all. Most people I know are getting the B. Arch because that's that what we need in order for licensing. While I wouldn't mind being able to stamp my own work or whatever the case is, I don't find it really all that important. I could just as easily do design work and have someone else do the stamps for me.

Right now, I feel like that additional year really isn't going to benefit me in anyway besides a thesis that could get me into graduate school if I ever decide to get additional education. Is thesis year a very necessary part of academia in concern with architecture? I would argue that if I start my thesis now (I have a couple of ideas) that I could, theoretically by the time 4th year is about to start or finish, have it near completion. Then possibly use that 5th year as an intern. Would that be something I should talk to my chair about?

Thanks for the replies natematt and CHI-GMP.

Feb 25, 15 4:06 pm  · 
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bklyntotfc

This will vary school to school, but often 4 year degrees are much less intensive in terms of how much of your focus is on architecture v. other subjects.  4 year degrees are often set up so that you declare 'architecture' as your major, frequently after your sophomore year.  So a student may take just 4 semesters of studio.

5 year programs are typically focused on architecture from day 1.  So you graduate with 10 semesters of studio.   That's a big difference.

If there's no money for tuition, you may not have a choice, but down the road, the cost of paying a licensed architect to stamp every set of drawings, year after year may cost more than a years tuition.

I went to a school where there was both a 4 year and a 5 year option.  In 3rd year, we were sitting around the student union, and one of us started bitching about how much it sucked to have to be in college for a 5th year.  One of the group laughed, and said "that's funny, that really would suck."  After an awkward pause and some discussion, it was clear that he really had no idea he was in a 5 year program.  The next day he transferred to the 4 year degree.

Can you satisfy the requirements of the 4 year degree by completing the first 4 years of the 5 year program?  If you can, you should be able to return to school later to complete the 5th year.  Or start going to school part time so that you can work while taking a half course load.  Talk to the school administration to see what's possible.

Feb 25, 15 4:37 pm  · 
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Kidd

I had a nice lengthy reply and then I backspaced out of the page.

In short, thanks bklyntotfc. I'll talk to my undergrad chair and see what he says about that. Also, I'll try and get a sample of what they require from thesis students so I can try to get my thoughts in order. We are on the quarter system, so I've already done 6 studio courses. Not sure what that translates to in semesters.

If I decide to change to a 4 year degree program, do I gain any benefits?

Feb 25, 15 5:15 pm  · 
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natematt

^besides saving time/money, no.

In a lot of circumstances you will want/need to be licensed, so I wouldn't resign yourself to never stamping drawings.

Thesis is a vague concept. most of the time it's just a slightly more involved and outlandish studio project. This is good, and usually has a positive impact on applications to just about anything. Then again you can have regular studio projects with the same impact. My most noticed project for job interviews tended to be my last regular studio project from my Masters program. If you have a strong portfolio it's likely people won't even know what is your thesis and what is not.

Feb 25, 15 5:31 pm  · 
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Kidd

Thanks natematt. I have nothing in my portfolio right now that I'm proud of for a couple of reasons. I'm hanging on hoping that it will get better but right now, it's looking bleak. They are force feeding us parametric-ism and to be frank, I don't like it at all.

If I can get away with a solid thesis in lieu of actual studio (never received a bad critique), I'll figure something out.

Feb 25, 15 6:01 pm  · 
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placebeyondthesplines

Which 5-year program?

Feb 25, 15 7:46 pm  · 
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Kidd

My school has the Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, but I think they call the B Arch. Bachelor of Science in Arch. Confusing really.

Feb 26, 15 10:10 am  · 
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natematt

Yeah, you got to work out at least a couple decent projects. If you really dislike what you are doing it might be better to do a shorter program and then a MAsters.

Or just transfer.

Feb 26, 15 11:45 am  · 
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If you want to be an architect, and don't want to end up with $200k of debt, and doing porn on the side, go for the BArch.

Listen to the podcast today, I hit this topic, and Schools of Architecture, hard.

Feb 26, 15 3:05 pm  · 
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Kidd

natematt, would it be more beneficial to do my own projects instead of studio projects? I feel that I haven't learned anything in studio that is going to help me become a better designer. Granted, I'm still early in my education, but still, I should feel as if I've learned a little at least, right?

Ken, I'll take a listen after my building systems class. I have to hand draft some construction details in the next 50 minutes. Porn on the side is a tempting career path honestly ^_^

Feb 26, 15 3:11 pm  · 
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natematt

It's tough to do your own projects and have them be really beneficial to you as a designer, especially early on. I'd try to get into studios that you think you'd enjoy/learn from, and also steer your projects in directions you'd like. The feedback from working in a class is really valuable.

That said, any project you do for yourself is a learning experience, just don't let it poison how you work. I knew a guy in grad school that liked to ignore studio and do his own work... awful designer, but on top of that he couldn't work with other people or take critiques because he was so isolated in his approach. You get Stockholm syndrome from your own projects sometimes, and it takes other people's input to snap you out of it.

Feb 26, 15 4:51 pm  · 
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Kidd

The bad part is that the years have the same instructor(s) for the entire school year and there aren't any other studios we can join. So for second year, I'm stuck with what I have and just have to eat the shit and grin. I get the design and I kind of understand where they are coming from, but it's the forced feeding that I am against. I can't grow as a designer I feel if I don't get a chance, while in school at least, to do my own designs. Next year we'll be given more intensive work and we'll be behind where we need to be as a class. It'll feel like 2 years completely wasted.

Feb 26, 15 7:42 pm  · 
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sirhc

Where do you go to school? Just curious..

Feb 26, 15 8:32 pm  · 
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tlee55

Hello Brandon

Fellow veteran here! I would recommend going for a BArch. I spent four years getting a degree in Design and applied for a number of interior design firms and couldn't get in. It was difficult to even get an interview because most wanted individuals with a professional degree in Architecture. With the BArch you will full fill the minimun requirements that firms look for when they want to hire someone. Right now I'm going back to school to get my MArch and have 1.5 yrs left of the gi bill. The remainding 2 years will be out of pocket. If you can get the first 4 yrs paid for by the VA and pay out of pocket or through loans for the last yr I would recommend it. Once you have your profession degree it will open many doors for you.

Feb 26, 15 11:07 pm  · 
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Kidd

sirhc, I attend Newschool of Architecture + Design in San Diego.

tlee55 thanks for the information. That is one of the difficulties I'm trying to figure a way around. I have enough debt as it is with going to school back in 05-06 at UNL. If I can get the summer paid for somehow, I'll take more classes as well, that way I can get the 4 years through before the VA runs dry. If a BArch is the best course, then I'll stick it out, but I'll also look into transferring since I don't feel I'm getting the education I need. But the downside of that is that I don't have anything in my portfolio that I'm proud of. I don't even want to show my family what I've been doing.

Feb 27, 15 10:54 am  · 
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tlee55

Brandon:

Did you know that the Gi Bill allows you to get up to 48 months of benefits under two different programs? I used the first 16 month of gi bill under the selective reserve gi bill and will use the remaining 32 under the post 9/11. It was not my intent to get 48 months it just happen that when I became eligible for post 9/11 they told me that I had 32 months because of this exception. So check with your VA counselor to see if you can roll over to another program so you can get 48 months.   

Feb 27, 15 4:24 pm  · 
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tlee55

Brandon:

Below is a link to show you if you fall under the 48 month rule. Hope this helps. And thanks for your service!

http://www.armystudyguide.com/education/blog/under-the-rule-of-48-how-do-i-get-my-additional-12-months-of-benefits.html

Feb 27, 15 4:27 pm  · 
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tlee55

Here is a link to the VA website lining out how veterans can fall under rule 48.

 

https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/523/kw/48%20month%20rule/session/L3RpbWUvMTQyNTA3Mjk2NS9zaWQvSFJoaUE0Z20%3D

Feb 27, 15 4:38 pm  · 
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Kidd

Thanks tlee55. I'll give them a look and then ask around to see if it's possible for me. I'm trying to finish this without having to take 2 years of loans (although maybe some grants/scholarships will help some).

Thank you for your service as well tlee55. There are quite a few vets in my school, seems to attract them all branches. Weird to think about it but once you're in, you recognize things more.

Feb 27, 15 8:50 pm  · 
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backbay

My impression is that a lot of people getting the unaccredited degree think they'll go and get a master if they want a license, but then don't because LIFE happens.  Go the extra year.  A year is nothing, and then you don't have this huge professional limitation in front of you that you can't get past without making sacrifices at what will likely be an even busier time in your life.

You have more free time in college and your early 20's than you ever will at any other point in your life.

Feb 28, 15 5:04 pm  · 
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Kidd

backbay, that is true. I will probably bite the bullet and just do the extra year, although I will continue to look for ways to circumvent that and get out earlier if possible. By the way, I'm 28 years old, so I've passed that majestic "freedom" you speak of but still have an incredible amount of flexibility in my life. San Diego offers a lot of opportunities for me, so I'll continue to learn and if the school doesn't fit my tastes or I get to the breaking point of not learning, I'll move on. Thank you for your response though. Truly invaluable.

Feb 28, 15 5:13 pm  · 
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