Hi, I'm interested in taking Arch as my major. But i still haven't decide if i should take B.arch/ BS (could get some advice here) and should i go to college first for 2 years then transfer into uni or should i just go to university immediately? (i want to take USA- maybe California? ) and which college/ university is great for improving my skill and get a job? i know this is commong question as it should depend on myself but.. im so confused!

Right now I'm in my last year of senior highschool, which is disastrous how late am i to think about this. 

Oct 16, 18 10:12 am

Transferring from a community college is a waste of two years, and the money associated with it.  The architecture program will be a set number of studio years, regardless of the credits you transfer.  

Oct 16, 18 10:16 am

Thx for your information, but isn't college supposed to be lower price? and as far as i know and univ 2 years would be a general study?(except i'm wrong about this sorry). Well,i'm considering college because i don't feel that confident in my art portofolio, so i thought maybe i could help myself to push my GPA in college and it'll become easier to go to uni cause uni acceptance rate is quite lower than college does.


no. try listening. you will have 4-5 years worth of courses and studios in an undergraduate architecture program, regardless of what credits you transfer from a shitty community college. how is this so mystifying?



Architecture programs are structurally discriminatory against community college graduates. In a way, they really don't want them so don't waste your time if you are a community college graduate. It isn't worth your time. If you are a high school graduate, just enroll in either a B.A. or B.S. in Architecture for a 4+2 program OR you enroll in a B.Arch. Forget the community college.

Until the fantasy of a major educational reform of architecture becomes a reality, if you chosen community college, just don't pursue architecture. Choose something else. They don't like community college graduates or get license in a state by experience oriented path to licensure where they may give you some credit for the community college education. In those states, it is easier to find employers willing to hire people without a B.Arch.


While most programs don't officially want to say they are discriminatory against community colleges. There may or may not be any mal-intent. However, in my personal opinion, if they aren't discriminatory against community college students then they would structure their offering in such a way as to not be discriminating. They would pack the general ed stuff needed in the first two years of their program and then the following three years would be structured as the architectural curriculum. They would have done something about the curriculum.


"Architecture programs are structurally discriminatory against community college graduates."

Conversely, the general study requirements provided by a Community College are not considered relevant to the practice of Architecture.


All degrees have the general education requirements as stipulated by the state and that includes B.Arch degrees from any public university so when someone attains an Associate-Transfer degrees, then a B.Arch degree that isn't discriminatory against community college would be structured so that basically the first two years of the curriculum is general education and the last 3 YEARS is all architecture major's requirements. In any case, the curriculum would still be the same number of credits of courses towards the program. Maybe there is a couple more credits per term or semester for the studio courses since you don't have to spend 3-4 credits or so per term of upper division on general education courses. There is options like that in structuring the layout of the degrees. An associate transfer degree is basically all general education core education required of any state college/university level degree from any post-secondary institution that is accredited by any regional accreditation. This means any university with an NAAB accredited bachelors degree in architecture. Since they all require general education in their degree program then why not have it structured so that people transferring with an associate transfer degree or otherwise has completed the general education requirements at the community college level could enroll into a B.Arch and be primarily focused on the architecture major's courses at that point? The NAAB accreditation allows for it. A B.Arch isn't 225 credits of only architecture courses. It's more like around 135 credits including major's electives.


(225 term credits..... 135 term credits) You may have to adjust for number of semester credits. The above is based on terms not semester. Just use the multiplier of 2/3 or 0.666666666 and round off for the decimal resolution error.


There is a little give or take but it's a ballpark figure anyway.


The B.Arch is a five-year program with architecture courses throughout your five years. This type of degree is accredited meaning you will qualify for licensure.

Yes, community colleges are cheaper but they are limited in their offerings. Many do offer programs where you can do two years, get an associates degree and then transfer as a junior to a four year program. That is not the case with a B.Arch program since it is architecture classes through all five years. At best you would get your core classes done during those two years but would still have five years of architecture courses.

Community college would possibly work better getting a BS, but then you would have to get a Masters to qualify for licensure. Just doing the B.Arch is likely cheaper overall than doing a mix and match of schools. 

Oct 16, 18 2:00 pm

Wow, the advices were all new to me, it really helped me a lot in many ways, thank you. Especially for explaining me how is the university majority perspectives and the pathways for the licensing stuff. So far, I decided to go for B.Arch and I'm sure to take university rather than college because of this forum. I'm gladly to receive any new informations. 

Oh, and do you guys have any University recommendation? Maybe in California? or a personal experience/knowledge (I've been thinking to try UCLA/UCB/Cal.Poly but I'm not sure which is the best for me)

Thank you, sorry if i was being naive.

Oct 17, 18 6:19 am

You should also be aware that the way you're using "university" vs. "college" isn't the way they're used in the US. There are many colleges that offer a B.Arch - so you don't necessarily need to choose a university.   "College" in the US generally just means an institution that offers undergraduate degree programs. A university typically offers graduate programs in addition to bachelor programs, and typically offers more fields of study than a college offers. A university may contain one or several colleges.

Universities aren't necessarily more selective in admissions, or more expensive, than colleges.  There are many private elite colleges, and many more affordable state universities.

"Community college" usually refers to a local institution that has mostly 2-year associate degree programs, and sometimes trade/vocational programs, and sometimes also remedial and life skills programs and programs for people who didn't finish high school, etc.  Community colleges can be an affordable way for students to get general education credits - but as has been discussed by others, transferring into an architecture program from a community college is not always smooth and sometimes results in more time spent overall.


Oops, sorry about that. what I mean is "community college" when i said "college" back there :) and thanks for the advice .

On the fence

You can save money going to community college but it will cost you in time as others have pointed out.  So you knock out 60 credits of general educational credits such as math, language arts, science, electives etc etc.  But then you go to the five year architecture school.  It will take you five more years but you will only have to go part time for a few semesters.  This could be a benefit if money is the concern.  Save at community college and then allows you time to have a part time job when at the university.  But that is 7 years in the end for the 5 year BS degree.

Oct 17, 18 11:13 am

Assuming their student visa allows them to be a part time student.

On the fence

Missed the part where he/she is not in the US. But I did exactly what I stated above. Transferred to the university with 60 credits. Not all went to my major but a lot did. I then petitioned the school to allow me and about 15 others in the same situation to combine 2nd and 3rd year studio. 2nd year was morning and 3rd year was afternoon. So that year I pretty much had 4 hour studio in the morning, lunch and 4 hour studio in the afternoon. Worked out for me but not certain others can pull it off.


Yeah, I'm not from the US. What do you mean by "transferred to the university with 60 credits"? and where do you transferred from /to?( it's okay if you want to keep it private though)

Btw the petition sounded really great!


When you graduate or not from a community college, college, university, etc. and enroll in another college or university, the credits for courses you have earned would be transferred and through a process called "articulation", many courses especially general education courses like college level writing, math, college level physics, etc. would be credited for the same equivalent courses at the college or university that you are going to attend. The transfer process with prior college courses usually means you don't have to take the same equivalent courses taken at a previous college at the new college or university. This isn't always a 100% articulation. While all prior courses would be in your overall transcripts, it does not mean your courses will all be articulated or counted towards your degree. At many universities, a maximum of 135 (I think or something around those numbers) credits give or take from a community college can be credited to the new degree. If it sounds complicated, you're right. It's academic crap that you should not get too concerned about the reasons and why. Transfer doesn't just apply to transferring from community college to university but also from one university to another. All of the above is primarily around undergraduate level 1-year pre-Associates level certificate, Associates degrees, and Bachelors level degrees. What I said above is is only relatively true to Undergraduate level education and that is the intent of the discussion points for B.Arch programs. Don't assume it is correct to graduate level programs.


The explanation were great thank you!

We do transfer students from second and third year to 5 year schools in LA and beyond, most of them transfer to Woodbury, USC, SCI-Arc, Cal Poly, UCLA sometimes with great scholarships and we have students with a BA or BS degree preparing, applying and getting accepted for graduate programs of the same schools. We are a transfer program almost all of our students are here for that purpose only and 95% of final 2nd year studio transfer each year. Only very few apply for associate degree which has little or no value in itself in today's architectural job market. I am talking about East LA College in the heart of urban Los Angeles.

Oh, you are invited if you are in the area.

Oct 17, 18 1:07 pm

Thank you! I will check it out!


The opinions in this thread seem like they are largely coming from people who did one or the other.

I did exactly what you are asking about, and it saved me a lot of money. The real key is knowing what you are going to do after CC, and exactly how credits will transfer. Most architecture schools are in sequence, as is mentioned above, and that will drive how long it takes you to get through them. However, a lot of the schools don't have architecture specific design classes the first year, they are often basic design courses that you can find transferable credits for. I knew which undergrad I was going to before i went to CC, and took 32 credits that transferred as 25. 

If you don't plan it well, it will be a disaster. If you do plan it well, it can save you a lot of money and really not impact your education much because of how many gen-eds and basic courses you'll take either way. 

I would be very careful about this though. 

Oct 22, 18 12:03 pm

It won't necessarily be a disaster but it would cost more and take longer. The other education while may not transfer can still be good knowledge to supplement what you will learn in architecture classes. Any CAD drafting and even historic preservation courses could be helpful and useful but the broad artistic thinking aspects of designing isn't in CAD it is in the mind and pencil/paper. The CAD skills are useful to get you to handle the technical drawing stage of design. It seems like it might be ass backward to learn CAD in associates level but don't worry about it. You can come back with those skills and apply it at the later studios work like you would in real practice. You conceptualize in paper & pencil/pen and later on you progress to CAD tools. Be mindful, I use CAD broadly to include BIM based tools like Revit and Archicad and others. CAD is basically computerized drafting so to speak. At least, traditionally. As most no longer do traditional drafting.


If you spend an extra year in school because you didn’t calculate credits right, it’s a disaster. If you spend an extra year in school because you wanted to take some extra art classes on the cheap, to prep yourself for the rest of your life in design, sure that might be a reasonable move. Either way, it’s about planning. But my statement was if you don’t plan it well it will be a disaster, so I stand by that. Also, doing any more CAD than is necessary to get credits in your next level of education is a waste.


The person seems to be looking to enter California so unlike residents, tuition per unit is not as cheap for out-of-state/foreign students. And the system is packed. 

If it's their first time here, they might have to wait and have some luck to get the basic required classes as they likely start from the bottom with little priority. That just kills time and a year can easily slip into one or two or more. 

On the fence

Paying a school for one extra year that you didn't plan for is a disaster times 2. You pay the school $20-$30k and you lose a years worth of wages. That, to me, is a disaster.



Yeah, it would be smart to apply to a couple of schools, not exclusively in California.... 


Why don't we have architecture "night school" ???? (aside from online architecture degrees)

This way, we can work and do the class work at night and weekends when we are not working?


Where would these night school students work though? Assuming firms will need to hire kids out of high school and if they're any good or devoted to a profession they have no idea about. If it's just regular students, that is something else but the whole structure of studio basically eliminates any time for work.


so lets say I have almost one year done of my first year of community college right now while in high school meaning I could potentially graduate early in college.My school has turned to a promise school where anyone who graduates from that school receives two years of community college for free what would you do ? would you take that opportunity and  finish all your under graduate credits and transfer or go straight into a four year university ?

Jan 16, 20 11:33 pm
Non Sequitur



yes, if the credits from the community college in fact fulfill your university or core credit, otherwise just take what's needed at not cost. If you're in any hurry that is. Free school = "Stay here...stay as long as you can... for the love of god cherish it.." - Billy Madison


Hi everyone. I'm going to study Architecture at a community college this fall and I'm a bit confused on which general education subjects should I take. Any ideas??


P.s: I know that studying architecture at a cc is not the best choice but I had to due to our financial issues. 

Feb 24, 20 6:14 am

What you should do is look at the typical requirements at the architecture schools to which you're considering transferring. Your architecture-related courses aren't very likely to be accepted as satisfying any core requirements in a 4-year (or 5-year) architecture program, but the required core general subjects usually will. At best the architecture-related courses may satisfy elective requirements.

General education requirements vary from one college to another. Fairly typical example: my undergrad program required 2 semesters each of English composition, philosophy, and history of art, and 1 semester each of math and a lab science - so any of those that students took in community college usually transferred directly.  Most other general education could count toward electives, though sometime courses are rejected if they're things that the school to which you're transferring doesn't offer themselves - for instance the program at which I teach doesn't accept any transfer credits of theater or dance courses, because our degree program doesn't offer those subjects.


Thanks a lot for sharing :)

atelier nobody

Depending on where you are, some CC architecture courses do transfer to universities, some don't. Make sure you know which applies in your case - if you can knock out your first 2 years of studio at the CC, do it, but if studios won't transfer, then you might be better off spending your CC time building more basic skills (e.g. drawing). Of course, this is in addition to Threesleeve's advice on GEs.


Ah I see. Thanks a lot for sharing. :)

Feb 24, 20 11:24 am

so spending 2 years at a cc will most likely result in 5 years at a NAAB accredited university so a total of 7 years to get a B.A. of Arch unless the cc satisfies the architecture requirements (is it rare for them to offer these requirements)???

Mar 21, 20 11:27 am

you might be able to get some credits for whatever you took in cc


Is it possible to knock off 2 years as long as the cc courses I take are transferable for architecture? Also if I am studying architecture isn't it better to do an associate degree in architecture at a cc and then transferring rather than just doing my general ed??

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