Possibly changing university program.



I am a first year university student in the sciences. I really like the sciences but I have realized recently I dont have the satifaction i need. In highschool i explaored the arts and really liked to build things. I went into the science because everything made sense to me. I wanted to make more sense of everything....kinda how i felt but dont really know what it means anymore. 

I recently found and architecture firm that was really interesting. I think that was the spark. There building were really different and natural. I saw thw images and though that that was something I would like to do. 

But im not sure if it just a phase. I really feel strongly about this but I dont know if its strong enough.

I also know that architecture and even the science isnt what i really thing about it. Meaning i know its not easy and i know i nothing about how it really is. I always hear stories about how long it takes to become an architect, but im just really confused and have no idea how i interpret anything.

Any advice for me? Has anyone else gone through the same thing?

Feb 1, 19 11:04 am
Non Sequitur

What advice do you want?  Does your current university offer an architecture degree?  If so, go audit a few classes and see for yourself.  Arch school is not the same as a typical university degree and you'll be required to think conceptually and critically much more than if you stay in pure sciences (ie.  there is often no correct answer to a design problem).  That's a very succinct summary of arch studio.  The rest, depending on the quality of the university, is about business and construction practices/detailing.

Before making the jump... and keeping in mind that you're barely out of highschool, ask yourself what it is that you like about "architecture".  Is it the romantic big picture and grand swooping design of famous buildings, or is it the programmatic and technical problem solving that brings ideas to (buildable) reality?  

Feb 1, 19 11:23 am

I was in a similar boat in school.  I started as a different major, but always had architecture in the back of my mind as a second option.  I become very unhappy with my major for various reasons and decided to talk to some of my friends who were in the arch department.

What I did: sit in a some classes, even if its the middle of the semester.  Just get a feel for what the info is like, and if you are interested in what the profs are saying.  I sat in on architectural history, but any intro/first year class (not studio) would be a good start. Go to the bookstore, and look at what books you'd need for those classes.  Do any of them appeal to you?  Find someone who is in that major and ask questions.  I was picking up books for a different class, and saw a guy buying books for a systems class.  I asked him if he was an arch major and from there just started asking him questions about it.  What that guy in the bookstore told me was, 'you really have to want to be here.  It's a lot of work but very rewarding if your heart is in it.'  

Feb 1, 19 12:04 pm

Can i ask if it worked out?.

And yes i am siting in classess and reading books. Im just getting a feel of everything right now. 

It is relatively easy to switch in arch at my university because it requires no portfolio, but it also isnt the best program. Im not sure if i should choose a different university so stay in mine.

Feb 1, 19 12:11 pm

It did work out. I'm a licensed architect now. My university required a portfolio to get into the second year of the program and to officially change majors. But anyone could take intro classes.

If you are at a state school, you'll be fine.  It doesn't matter if you go to ivies or some place fancy.  If you are starting at the Bachelors level (I'm assuming you're looking at a 4 year, Bachelor of Science program), you'll need a Masters to get a licensed in most states.  If its a Bachelors of Architecture, no Master is needed.  Masters programs come in all shapes and sizes; many people even stay at their same university and go on to the graduate school there.  If you are unsure, check out: 


Work experience in architect's offices, travel, and networking on the student's part can somewhat mitigate being in a weak program. It will be on you to make opportunities for yourself. Whatever you do, don't spend too much borrowed money on the degree. Avoid heavy student and parent loan debt.


Agreed, thisisnotmyname has good advice. I would like to add that because I went to a state school, they weren't overly concern with making sure I rigidly adhered to their philosophies about architecture, and left some room during my last years to explore my own interests. For instance, I was very interested in historic architecture so they allowed me to switch out some electives for more history/hands-on courses in lieu of the prescribed watercolor and advanced rendering classes that my classmates took. I personally think this is one of the beauties of a state school. That and the cheaper price tag.


In addition to sitting in on some classes, try to spend some time in two or more working architects' offices to see what they do all day.    The profession has many facets that are not talked about in USA architecture schools.

Feb 1, 19 3:02 pm

Thanks for the great advice!

Mt school offers a bachelors in arts in architectural studies... so its not a bachelor in science but arts. It's at the University of Toronto. I hear stories about how other programs are better. I also know that you have to make opportunities for yourself, I'm looking into different opportunities I can take to build connections. 

As of now I'm doing a lot more research and still can't decide if the program at my uni is the one I want to do. 

Feb 3, 19 5:57 pm

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