Career choice


I am currently pursuing a Architecture Technology degree, my long term goal is to become a registered Architect in New York. I have been told I have to intern for 6 years after graduation, in order to sit for the ARE, and was wondering if a undergrad in Architecture would be more beneficial than one in Arch. Tech.? 

If you were in my position what would you choose and why?

Please and thank you.

Nov 19, 19 12:41 pm
Non Sequitur

Is your arch tech degree accredited?

Nov 19, 19 12:49 pm
atelier nobody

Probably not relevant in the US - we have no such thing as accredited AT programs, and I don't believe any states or NCARB would give a Canadian accredited degree any more credit than a non-accredited one. The only way it might make a difference here is if there are M.Arch programs that considered it more highly than a non-accredited degree.

Non Sequitur

I did not catch the undergrad part, must have just assumed they meant M.arch. For what it's worth, there are no accredited undergrad degrees in canada (arch or arch tech).  I was curious to see if such an option was present in the US.

atelier nobody

I don't know of any graduate level AT programs in the US, certainly not accredited ones.

AT is not a "recognized" designation here - we're just plain old draftsmen unless/until we get a "better" degree or get licensed by the non-degree path. My (2-year) AT program got me a whole 6 months credit toward the 8 years I needed for licensure...


Yes, it is by accredited ABET.


ABET accreditation would apply more to engineering then architecture. You maybe able to use that possibly for licensure as an engineer (architectural engineering discipline... maybe). As for whether the architecture board will give it any credit or how much depends on the specific state licensing board in the U.S. I am not familiar enough with what NYS will accept and/or how much they would give credit to the degree. If the degree is from a U.S. educational institution then it won't be seen as a foreign degree but it may or may not make a difference in the amount of credit. I do know of at least one state that will accept ABET accredited degrees and provide some recognition of it that may reduce the amount of experience required compared to someone with only a high school diploma. NOTE: It's not six or eight or whatever years of interning. Only so much of it is for AXP and the rest is experience under the supervision of an architect. In six years or ten years, you're NOT an intern. You are an experienced non-licensed member of the architectural design staff of an architectural employer/firm likely with more advance responsibilities. Also to note: when you can sit for the ARE, is dependent on the state and not all states requires as much time but if you want to get initial licensure in NYS then you have to follow their rules.

atelier nobody

If you can afford it, complete your AT degree and then get an accredited M.Arch. If grad school is out of the question, but transferring to a different undergrad program is feasible, then an accredited B.Arch is your next best option.

Some states do have a path to licensure without an accredited degree, but I don't personally know NY's specific requirements, so you'll want to look them up on their web site (don't trust the NCARB web site on state requirements - always go straight to the states' own sites).

Nov 19, 19 12:54 pm

I wasn't planning on going for my masters, until my chairperson said if I complete the masters in Architecture, it will take off some of the interning years (5 years) that I have to complete before the exam; about 1 year from interning will be deducted (going off her word, cause it could be more). Therefore bringing me closer to being able to sit for the ARE. I definitely do not want to go for the masters. And I considered dropping the AT program for a accredited NCARB program, but since I do not have a portfolio at the moment, my professor said I'd have to start fresh, as in 5 year. I did not know it was that rigorous of a journey to become an architect, it took me by surprise when I really knew what was expected of this degree. Coming into college, being my first semester in, I did not know what I got myself into, and I feel like this degree is overlooked in the field and I really dont know if I should pursue it still ,or if I should finish it and get my masters, or just transfer for a NCARB program, or just drop the architecture dream in it of itself (something I'm trying to avoid).

p.s.- go to the NCARB website, it will guide you through exactly what you need to do to get licensed. Don’t listen to peer or professor or counselor hearsay, because the rules recently changed. And most currently licensed professions went through the old process anyway, so their info is probably out of date.

Make sure you are in an NAAB accredited arch program, because you can waste a lot of time going to a non-accredited college.
Nov 29, 19 4:38 pm

NYS uses a point system.  You need 12 points to get a license.  You can do all 12 points under the experience category, but that would take 12 years.  Your education offsets that amount of experience required.  A B.Arch/M.Arch counts as 9 points; you only need 3 years' experience.  A non-professional 4 year degree counts as 7 points, etc., you get the idea. I'm not sure how many points your degree would give you.  Check it out here:

If you can transfer to a B.Arch program, you'll be in school for 5 years, but won't require a masters.  With a B.Arch, in NYS, you can start testing right away and can be licensed within three years. 

Nov 29, 19 5:06 pm
New York is one of the few states that allow licensure without a degree of any kind, which requires 8 years of ‘interning’. Yes the tech degree counts for something in NY, shaving off some of those 8 years. Go to the New York State education page and it will explain what combinations of experience and schooling are required based on your situation. Also you can sit for the exams prior to completing all of the intern hours and take tests simulatenously. Plenty of 5 year degreed people don’t get the license til 5+ years out anyway. The more you work the easier the tests will be. Honestly I feel NY state has the right idea, experience really matters, and frankly one could make the argument that most school programs are rather useless in terms of preparing people for the profession. Choose the path for yourself that is cheapest. A few years here and there is a drop in the bucket compared to taking out expensive loans for a graduate degree you don’t seem to want, and don’t need unless you plan to teach someday. If you add up the NY experience + education combo it paints a fairly clear picture of the situation, more school = less experience required and vice versa. The trade off is that if you’ve been working to learn more than being in school that’s additional income years and experience on your resume vs time you’re paying to ‘learn’ in school and getting little to nothing on your resume. That’s additional time for a 401K to vest etc etc. go to the source, ny state education website, do not take advice from people who don’t even live in the country much less the state. Canada’s rules are very different than New York.
Nov 29, 19 5:12 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: