Architectural Association undergrad 5 years vs GSAPP grad 3 years


Hi everyone,

I need some insight on deciding which program would best fit for me to study architecture. I am a french citizen and have a bachelor in neuroscience from a US university. I was accepted into the AA for First year experimental programme, but I am debating whether it's worth going back to undergrad or if I should try to go the graduate school route and apply to Columbia GSAPP. Some concerns I have are how difficult it would be to get licensed in the USA then move back to europe and practice there. It takes a lot less time to go through the grad school path here in the USA but is it worth the hassle? Do I need to convert my license to practice in for example Paris?

Another question is which school has a better education and reputation and to get job after graduating? 

One cannot go directly to grad school without an undergraduate degree in architecture at the AA or any other school in the UK or EU. But obviously going to school in London would be significantly cheaper too. And I'm also nervous to reject an acceptance and potentially not get in to any good grad school programs in the US. 

May 5, 20 6:44 pm

Hi @aavsgsapp - Congrats - both are great Schools and difficult to compare one to the other as better - Both offer global/international education with strong alumni networks.

The advantage to Columbia is that you are are entering having completed undergrad education - The AA will generally include students without previous University experience. Masters programs want the students to build upon knowledge and experience of previous education - you will meet many other students with diverse backgrounds and realize the importance of your neuroscience background to architecture.

Getting licensed in the US or the UK is a pain. In the UK you need 2 years practice experience and then undertake Part 3 coursework/exam which is generally 6-12 months part time. 

Suggest you work backwards looking at what France requires for licensure - 

May 6, 20 5:12 am  · 
1  · 


I'd love to know more about what you've decided. I have an undergraduate degree from the US, but eventually want to live/work in Spain, but it seems more logical to work/get licensed for the US.

What route do you think you'll take?

Jul 23, 21 9:20 pm  · 

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