Currently an Engineering Student, but Prospective Master's in Architecture Student...Is There Any Hope?


Hello All,

I recently stumbled upon this website and I think it's great!

Anyway, here's my story/predicament: I am currently a junior undergrad majoring in naval architecture (ship design) at SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, NY. When I graduate, I will be classified as an engineer rather than an architect. You're probably thinking to yourself, "Naval architecture? Engineer? What the heck is he doing here?" Let me explain.

My original love was for architecture. This love spanned back to elementary school. I loved drawing buildings, house plans, building with LEGOs, etc. (I still do!) I thought I would be going to college for architecture...that is, until the economy went belly up. After coming to a realization that having that newly printed bachelor's of architecture degree was essentially worthless, I decided to pursue my other passion- ships. So here I am, a few semesters from graduating, and I'm not as happy or satisfied as when I first started. I have found out that what I am doing is roughly 95% engineering and 5% architecture/creativity. Don't get me wrong; I am fascinated with the things I learn here, but I just miss the creativity and it's not the major I thought it would be. Everything is all technical and requires knowledge of most of the fields in engineering.

All of our focus is based upon building utilitarian ships, ie container ships, tankers, etc. What I really want to get into is cruise ship/yacht design. I feel that after earning my naval architecture degree and getting my master's in architecture, getting my dream job should be more attainable. Yes, I know I have to start small, but I am willing to work my way up the ranks. My academic adviser said this was a great idea, but he raised the same issue I had- JOBS.

My question to you guys is, is it worth it? Is it worth the money and time to go to grad school for architecture in this day and age? If I do go to grad school, will I then be "overqualified" when I start job hunting? Will I be able to make it through?

The market for a naval architect is pretty good with a reasonably high salary, but I want to be more than that. Since I am still in school and willing to learn, I want to really experience my first calling- architecture. I know this is long and drawn out, but this is as short as I can make it without leaving out any major details. I highly appreciate it if you can give me some insight. Thank you.


PS, my heart is set on going to CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture in Manhattan. I love their curriculum and it seems like a good value. If any of you have any thoughts or info about this school, your input is greatly appreciated!

Jan 28, 13 7:24 pm
Clearly you want to do something unique. What degrees do people who design these type of boats have? I bet not architecture. We design buildings. Maybe interior design would be better- then you'd know how to design the "shell" of the boat- as a naval arch and the "core" as an interior designer.
Jan 29, 13 9:29 pm

Thanks for the reply, gruen.

Yes, I understand architects design buildings, but ship design firms I have looked at hire both architects and interior designers. I'm also more interested in the architectural side, ie spatial planning, room flow and function, etc rather than the interior design and decorating. 

Feb 4, 13 4:36 pm

You are looking for Interior Architecture and Product Design.

Try Kansas State University - one of the best product design programs in the country year after year.

Feb 4, 13 7:08 pm

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