best community college with architecture program in CA



i am a undergraduate student in WA and wanna transfer to other states because WA cc doesn't have architecture program. I am looking for a good cc which provide architecture programs and i would love to transfer to CSU or other universities in other states after my associate degree. 

I would like the cc which not located in very big and crowed city. Other states' cc is also okay for me. I just want a cc which have archi program.

is there any recommend? 

Thank you

Jul 13, 15 7:35 pm

If your intent is beyond an associate degree you may do better just doing credits you can make sure will transfer. Actually doing an associates degree will likely result in many credits going to waste when you move on.

Jul 13, 15 7:48 pm  · 


You don't necessarily have to have an associates degree labeled "architecture" or "architecture technology". It needs to be closely architecture related and they can evaluated courses on a course by course basis.

You can just simply go to a university with an architecture program so what's the issue?

If I were doing an associates with a plan to go into architecture school, I would get an associates transfer degree. In Oregon, it would be an AA-OT but you would do something similar for Washington. The key is your courses are dealing with general education requirements for a Bachelor's level degree. 

Jul 13, 15 9:15 pm  · 

I hear that Orange coast college, in Costa Mesa, CA has one of the best arch programs for cc's. They send their kids to UCLA, and Berkekly.  Also another really good one is Pasadena community college. 

Jul 13, 15 11:02 pm  · 

There is one problem with your question and that is that in order to obtain an accredited 5 year bachelor of architecture degree, you need 10 semesters of studio classes. Studio classes are usually around 5 or 6 units each and you will not find one in a community college. So it is likely that you could spend years at a community college and be placed into first year in a 5 year program. It is not very often that they will grant second year placement as a CC transfer student and I have only ever heard of 1 that was placed in 3rd year.

However there are a few community college architecture programs in Orange County that are very good and very different from one another. I'm not sure what your definition of less populated area is, but moving to the most populous state in the country might not be the best place to find it. Also more populous areas tend to have more to offer since there are likely to be more people who have a shared demand for more esoteric things.

First off Saddleback College in Mission Viejo has a program that is mostly based on giving their students practical and marketable skills. It is important to note that CA is one of the few states where you don't need an accredited degree to get licensed. So Saddleback would be a good place to start if you wanted to attempt the risky move of acquiring skills, getting hired on at a firm and accumulating 8 years of experience and getting licensed free of oppressive student loan debt.

Orange Coast on the other hand has many of the same skills classes like Revit and AutoCAD but the program there seems to have more emphasis on design. They are a rare school that offers classes in Rhino, which are fantastic classes,btw. Also more of the students there utilize digital design on their projects.

Hope that helps.

Jul 17, 15 3:55 pm  · 

take a look at los angeles institute of architecture and design. 

Jul 19, 15 11:37 am  · 

I have a architectural and building tech associate's and I am in a A.A (Pre-articulated) architecture program and trust me go to as closely related as possible especially if your using student loans. They will cut your aide if you play too much if you go to a tech degree most of your courses WILL not transfer and you will have to start all over like me. I think out of 60 credits only one architecture course transferred to my A.A program and that was architecture history 1 not 2 I still have to take history 2. In any case taking a A.S  program in architectural and building technology and a 1 year stint as a architectural draftsman has increased my understanding of a multitude of subjects in the construction industry.

I focused on the books I bought and I am getting a 101 on construction processes on light wood framing, masonry, steel frame, light gauge steel frame etc from re-reading all my books. Site-cast construction is interesting, with one way and two way slabs took a while for me to see what the hell their doing. A program so directed towards construction combined with what I'm studying now in actual  architecture school  has given me a more construction side of looking at things not architecturally.

One of my prime focus is to think more art and not so much on CD"S. I hope this helped to make you think to get as much design work in your college credits as possible.

Jul 20, 15 10:04 am  · 

I think various Architectural programs do vary, depending on the environment or by taking architecture online- Missouri Online / LTU M Arch Online are two alternatives in the USA.  Community colleges may provide architecture associate degrees and one may decided if its for you or not.  Its generally better to take a BA/BS degree for real life work in a practical world which employment offers no free freebies.  Salaries are not grown by trees, its a monetary cycle of life forces, resources, and competitive opportunities to be dealt with.  A land is crucial to one's life force for taxation, checks and balances as much as the tending of the natural environment which must be focused.  Private institutions, may be costly or if luckily scholarships on the way with hidden agenda of debts to be buried in the future!  I look life and architecture for design, reflection of nature to one's bondage as much as ancestral homes from traditions to generations.  Conceptually speaking of structures on building houses, buildings, designing restaurants, and landscapes are all in view of civilization from larger point of view.  A small scale to be easily are the ownership of land masses if you pay taxes ahead of time while maintaining the trustworthiness of landlord mentality then its the real deal of art on trophies and creations from one's imagery on 3-D imaging!

Jul 22, 15 6:12 pm  · 

Diablo valley community college in pleasant hill, ca.  there were many of them transferred to Berkeley. 

Jul 22, 15 6:55 pm  · 

Above are great suggestions.

From my own experience teaching architecture at East Los Angeles College, ELAC, I can suggest it is one of the best programs, certainly the oldest one in So. Cal.

We have the largest student enrollment in all community college architecture programs in LA County offering two main thread of courses based on technology and design, augmented with theory and history. The program at ELAC has 10 + qualified faculty, full and part-time, with professional and design backgrounds and ongoing practices. The department maintains a fully equipped computer lab with latest design software and a shop with laser cutters, various 3D printers, CNC machines and other tools available to students.

The architecture program, as in many community colleges, is geared towards public education at no or very little cost affordable to most unprivileged communities as well as to people who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars for the first few years of their architecture education while getting quality training par with many universities. As most architectural training at community colleges are increasingly becoming transfer based, most of our student body are here to prepare themselves for this goal. We have students directly out of high school, out of military, students with previous university degrees developing portfolios to transfer master’s programs, foreign students and students trying their interest in architecture without spending huge amounts of money and getting an early build up on student loans.

This year we had a record number of 37 students transferred to universities including, Cal Poly Pomona and San Luis Obispo, USC, UC Berkeley, IIT, SCI-Arc, Woodbury University, New School in San Diego, Auburn University Rural Studio, UCLA and other reputable programs. In the recent past, this list included Syracuse, Arizona State University, University of Oregon, UCLA Suprastudio and others. That’s an excellent track record and proven success for a community college anywhere. Our students are sought after by local universities and the reputation is spreading. They are generally accepted to the second and third year of five-year programs if not graduate schools.

I thought architecture and urbanism in various schools in Los Angeles and from my point of view, ELAC has a great locational advantage for those who want to study architecture while getting the advantage of access to great universities around us in terms of lectures and other academic events, participating in exhibitions and competitions, European travel program, Rotterdam Biennale, IABR, and having our own lecture series with great guests including Teddy Cruz, Sarah Lorenzen, Victor Jones, John Southern, Glen Small, Mitchell De Jarnett, Robert Alexander, Allyne Winderman, Ana Escalante, Andy Wilcox and the list is growing. Our guest critics include, all the lecturers above and James Bacerra, Barry Milofsky, Katrin Tergsten, Mimi Zeiger, Amelia Taylor-Hochberg and many others from all the local colleges and universities, our previous students as well as architects from local practices also participate in our final reviews.

If you are interested in ELAC, drop me an e-mail via Archinect and I might be able to give you a more specific information. This is a great program in the center of urban Los Angeles and keeping a close eye on the city.

Aug 2, 15 3:49 am  · 
2  · 


I'm an undergraduate student at De Anza College, but I'm trying to find a good community college with an architecture program since De Anza doesn't have one. 

I hear about Pasadena City College and East Los Angeles College, which one would you recommend me? 

(Also I would like to transfer to UCLA or USC.) 


Apr 5, 18 3:04 pm  · 

In Southern California, Pasadena City College and Orange Coast College have the best community college Architecture programs.

Also, look into Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design (LAIAD). They are a preparatory program geared explicitly toward getting students into architecture school (for both undergrad and graduate.. many of their students get into great schools). They are affiliated with West LA community college.

Apr 6, 18 2:55 am  · 

I would definitely visit those schools mentioned. They all offer their unique programs and faculty. East LA College has a high transfer rate to USC, Cal Poly Pomona, Woodbury, SCI Arc, UCLA, UC Berkeley, New School and  many out of state schools. Community College architecture programs are becoming more of a transfer schools and saving students two-three years of tuition sometimes thousands of dollars while being academically competetive.

Apr 10, 18 11:17 am  · 
Attlee liu

Similar as johannahso

I am looking for a good cc which provide architecture programs that can help to transfer to CalPoly Pomona or other universities in LA  after Asso Degree. 

I heard that Pasadena CC is good but no easy to take the credit courses for too many students in the colleges. I also heard about Mt. San Antonio CC has good relationship with CalPoly Pomona. Also good transfer programmes hold in Glendale, East LA , El Camino, and Orange Coast. 

is there any good recommend for a fresh high school graduate? How to make the choice amoung all the above Colleges? 

Apr 17, 23 2:51 am  · 
Attlee liu

Thank JawkneeMusic !

In fact, I will a new immigrant to LA this Fall. I am studying the 1st year in Hong Kong Polytechnics University for the course BEng. in Building Science and Engineering.  Since there is different education system, US Universities  do not consider well my transfer application but also failed my application for the freshman as I have attended university. Basically, I finished the basic high school education and passed the open examination for high school, also got the TOFEL 90 mark. I am planning to get the Bachelor Degree in Architecture before starting the profession. I believe the path will be shorter and smooth to get the license. I just question which CC is more competitive to help me to transfer to the Universities.  

Apr 20, 23 3:22 am  · 

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