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Taking a master’s degree in architecture without a bachelor’s

miomugi

Hi! Is it possible to be a licensed architect only with a Master of Arts in Architecture? I’m currently taking a Bachelor’s degree that isn’t architecture-related (in the Philippines); but I’m planning on studying abroad to obtain an architecture master’s.

 
Jan 19, 21 9:18 pm
hellion

As with most countries, you need a professional five-year architecture degree (BArch / BSc Arch or equivalent) to qualify for licensure. This also applies to those who obtained the same/equivalent degree from another country (i.e. Ed Calma of Lor Calma & Partners got his 5-year degree from Pratt). I'm licensed in the Philippines and as far as I know, that is the standard requirement. You can qualify for licensure with a master's degree only if it is accredited as a professional degree (similar to the M.Arch I in the United States). (i.e. Denise De Castro of DEQA and Anna Sy of CS Design Consultancy got their M.Arch I's from the GSD)

An M.A. is not considered a professional degree in some/most countries especially in the PH, but more of a post-professional degree. Anyway, best to ask PRC and the UAP on this matter, too! 

What program are you in right now? If the end goal is to get licensed as an architect, why not shift or transfer to a 5-year architecture program their in the PH instead then take your masters after?

Jan 19, 21 11:21 pm  · 
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miomugi

Thank you for this very detailed and helpful reply, I appreciate it! I am currently a business major. Since I am only a few semesters away from graduating, I figured it would be more practical to finish this degree first. Also, it wasn’t only until now that I’ve realized how much I would want to pursue a career in architecture :(

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hellion

A few semesters may be short, but is still ample time for you to really think about it and research your options if that's what you truly want to pursue. Often in undergrad, we tend to rethink our position and reasons for being in our program and consider shifting out as soon as possible. But, it could also just be a phase. (I know I did when I was halfway the program and I considered going to medicine afterwards or shifting to a pre-med program.) But in this case, should you really want to pursue architecture and become licensed, you have two possible options: (1) Do the 5-year professional BS Arch in the PH or in another country (much longer route) or (2) Do a 3.5-year professional M.Arch I in another country (US). With (2), you might want to check with the local board and professional organizations how the credits/units will translate or transfer locally, and if such program can be accredited locally to qualify you for licensure.

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miomugi

Hi! Thank you again for this detailed response. I agree that college students, including myself, often undergo phases of doubt when it comes to staying or shifting from their programs. I actually planned on taking up BS Arch before; I just didn’t pass the entrance exam of the university I was aiming for. As I’m taking a different route now, regrets of choosing not to pursue architecture have never been more apparent.
Based on your reply (I’m more inclined towards the 2nd option), I found US-based online universities offering the 3-year M.Arch.

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miomugi

Hi! Thank you again for this detailed response. I agree that college students, including myself, often undergo phases of doubt when it comes to staying or shifting from their programs. I actually planned on taking up BS Arch before; I just didn’t pass the entrance exam of the university I was aiming for. As I’m taking a different route now, regrets of choosing not to pursue architecture have never been more apparent.
Based on your reply (I’m more inclined towards the 2nd option), I found US-based online universities offering the 3-year M.Arch.

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miomugi

(continued) Hopefully, that’ll be sufficient to get an architect’s license here in the Philippines. I’m just a little wary of its riskiness, considering that legal requirements state that a BS Arch is necessary. That is all, thank you again so much for your helpful
replies :)

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