Pre-Professional Architecture School


When making my college decisions I was very much on the fence about going to a 4+2 program or a 5 year architecture program. I decided on the 4 year and I am currently in my 2nd year of a small pre-professional liberal arts degree. I have  realized that the liberal arts path and this school is not for me and I am very ready to start more intensive studios and related courses as well as be in a program with more students in my major.

I am considering trying to transfer to a 5 year program. Would you recommend this?

And if not, can you suggest schools that have good 4 year programs? 

Nov 6, 12 12:41 pm

Definitely go for the 5 year program so that a masters degree will be an option for you not a must have. I had a 4 year degree and I was pretty screwed because of that. The 4 year program is totally worthless today.

Nov 6, 12 1:59 pm

I got a 4+2 and am a firm believer of its value.  But I think it's important to select a different MARCH school from Bachelors.  It gives you the needed varied perspective.

My piers with 5 year professional degree all have somewhat limited perspective of what constitutes architecture since they got it from one place and one place only (also because they have 1 less year of exposure and development).  Also, though it’s a choice, people with 5 year BA seldom go back for MARCH. 

Of course, your degree and the school from which you obtained it do not guarantee a successful career.  But, despise what you hear, a Masters is and will always be more respectable in this profession that values knowledge and expertise.  If may not matter initially when you are hired to just draft, but that’s not where your career will / should remain (hopefully).

Nov 6, 12 2:58 pm
Dr. Architecture

You can transfer to a 5-year BArch, but you will start over as a first year student and take five years to graduate.  If you still believe that 4+2 is the route, investigate the universities that have such a program - you can use with or to research programs.

Much of your choice may depend on where you live and what courses you have taken and will transfer.

Nov 20, 12 11:53 am

I agree 4yr is worthless. Your job choices are highly limited. After you gets years of experience it's not a big deal if you have a 5 or a masters. They just want you to have a professional.

Now if money is not a problem and you wanna do grad school (experience 2 colleges, etc), then sure do a 4+2.

Nov 21, 12 12:02 am
Honestly, I got a 4+2 and I am so thankful because like others say on here you get a great perspective and people rarely go back for their m.arch if they have a 5 year degree. Most schools are transitioning to the 4+2 program anyhow...

BUT - what I highly recommend is either 1. finishing your bachelors where you are now with a major in architecture and get your 2 or 2.5 year MArch (because you will have plenty of "intensive" studios that you spend many sleepless nights in- who knows, it may get intense in your program next semester) or 2. get a bachelors in some other field, like psychology or business or english or another language that you could still finish in 2 years AND THEN applying for a 3 year MArch "core" program that caters to students with different educational backgrounds. These programs are typically not known about but all the top schools offer them.

Oftentimes a different background is not only appreciated in architecture school but jobs as well. There are many skills that architecture students lack bc of the nature of the program but are very much needed in school and work, such as presentation skills, negotiation, networking, marketing, writing, etc.

There will be plenty time for those sleepless nights in studio where there is little time for personal health and friends. In the meantime just push your software skills and you can minimize time and money by taking either of the routes that were suggested.

Good luck!
Nov 21, 12 2:52 am

Instead of a 4+2 B.Arch, consider a 4+3 M.Arch (4yr degree of your choice and a 3 yr Masters of Architecture degree).

If you're just trying to check the educational box on the road to licensure then you can certainly fast track your progress by trying to transfer to a 5 yr program.  But this depends on how much of your classes will transfer.

...and start by checking the licensure requirements for the state you plan on getting your first license in...there might be an even more efficient path.

However, I would encourage a more experiential path.  I personally would rather take the scenic route opportunity.  I think it's more enriching.  Architecture is an interdisciplinary profession that often benefits from a broad spectrum of experiential input.

So, consider engaging classes in current Liberal Arts program that you find more interesting and perhaps indirectly related but nonetheless having value to your vision of architecture.

Enjoy the ride...especially the roads less travelled!

Feb 17, 19 5:13 pm

Agreed. Definitely consider doing 7 years in school. Paying tuition all those years while also not working will pay massive dividends when you finally are making tons of money in the thriving architecture industry.


Nothing a small loan from your parents won't make work. People should also consider living in a different country for a year and/or consider having a huge trust fund from your family.


Oh that's brilliant...I got into architecture for the money too.  I could have considered a job that really put me at the source of wealth and professional fulfillment like being a bank clerk...but I just wasn't creative enough.  Apparently I wouldn't have even needed a college education.  I think I'm gonna just go out and try and get a life...apparently no parents or trust fund required.  If that doesn't work out maybe I can be a successful sarchasticologist.

Feb 18, 19 10:06 pm

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