Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts - Feasable?


Hello Archinect!

I currently hold a B.S.Arch degree from UIChicago, have been interning for a little over a year at FJG Architects (Mies's interns; they are all IIT grads and I have been lucky enough to be mentored under them. I learned more from my bosses than I have in 4 years at school).

It is now time for me to begin applying to graduate schools for my Masters, as it is required for my license. I have picked out all of my favorite programs in the states (Harvard, Yale, MIT, Sci-arc, Michigan, Cornell), but have been keeping one eye on schools outside of EU.

One that sticks out to me in particular is the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. They have a very good 2-year program for their MArch, not to mention it is split up into 4 different options:


"You may apply for four different Master's programmes:

a) MA: Architecture in Urban Context (study dep. 2)

b) MA: Architecture, Process and Project Development (study dep. 3)

c) MA: Industrial Design in Architectural Contexts (study dep. 11)

d) MA: CITAstudio: Computation in Architecture (CITA)"

The program I believe will fit my goals the best is 'b'.


My questions:

1. Has anyone else applied/considered applying to this school? What do you think of it? Their application process seems to be very similar to state schools, outside of needing a GRE score, which I'm perfectly fine with.

2. How easy/hard is it to convert/process your Master's degree from a EU university when applying for a license in the States? I know it is NAAB accredited, but it can't be that easy.

3. How do the programs in EU different than those in the states? Will the software be different (ArchiCAD over Revit I imagine)? Is their building process that much different than that in the states?


Thank you!

Sep 19, 13 3:01 pm

Hi Gary,

I studied in dept. 11 in the inaugural English master's program and graduated in 2011. At that time there were only two options - dept. 2 and dept. 11, so I can't comment on the program you are interested in.

I have made a blog post about some general questions I get from students interested in the experience there;

I also have a student blog on Archinect.

To answer your questions more specifically, I am in Canada so I don't know about your accreditation process. For myself, if I want to get licensed I should first get my degree accredited by NCARB (the Canadian version of NAAB), which is basically about paying a large non-refundable fee for them to look over the courses I took and decide if it's equivalent to a Canadian accredited degree.

From there I would begin the normal internship process to get the experience outlined by law in Canada. I assume it's kinda the same for you, more or less in that order. If I had kept living in DK after graduating (which was impossible because of visa restrictions, that may now have been changed), I could practice as an architect straight away since they don't distinguish between licensed and unlicensed. In other EU countries I could follow each country's particular guidelines but when I graduated I got a 'degree equivalency' package which could show another EU country that I had fulfilled the ECTS credits required to become an architect. When I worked in Berlin, my title was 'architektin' (female architect, how PC) regardless of whether I was registered or not.

Since I now practice in landscape urbanism & public space design, it's not on my mind to get licensed in Canada so more or less I don't bother thinking on it ;)

I am not sure about other programs in the EU but at KARCH the approach is very hands off. The semester was composed of a series of intensive week-long workshops near the beginning of the semester, followed by a single design project. They view design as the most important course and so half of your credits are derived from design (i.e., don't fail this course....)

You get most of your 'elective' credits by participating in the workshops; then there are some courses that run alongside your design course: History and Theory and a technical course "TEK 5" (comes after TEK 1-4, which happen in the bachelor year so you don't have to worry about it). There are some optional work shops you can take if you feel like you have time; these are mostly computer programs but are often taught only in Danish. However, you can go along anyways and usually someone will try to translate for you. We learned Rhino & 3D Studio Max, you could also take ArchiCAD and other programs.

Hope this helps, and best of luck.

Sep 19, 13 4:10 pm  · 

I had a similar experience studying in Denmark at an erhvervsakademi. With the huge budget cuts to the education sector in the last few years, I don’t think that the program quality has improved. The stuff you noted (lack of structure and professionalism in program planning, completely internal exam critics, pressure to conform to a Danish standard, expecting other students to teach you instead of professors) is things that I have come to associate with education here. I really don’t understand why KADK is so highly praised internationally or why it’s so elitist with undergraduate admissions.


and of course by NCARB I mean the CACB. Too many damn acronyms in this profession!

Sep 19, 13 4:27 pm  · 


Thank you so much! Its a top choice for me right now. Its very cheap too (5000 euros for foreign students? really?) and I've been to Copenhagen before and I absolutely love it. My only worry is that they are extremely selective with their foreign students (they only get 10 outside of EU) apparently.

I got more questions but I'll just refer to your blog.

Sep 19, 13 11:53 pm  · 



I'm from the EU and I think they have a good MArch program there. It is definetely a very good choice, good quality and low tuition!! As low as free if you are an EU student or Danish permanent resident. Also, the Danish Government offers scholarships for International students, they give you a monthly stipend of about 700 E... check that out in the KADK webpage! Yes they are selective... but it's worth trying!

Feb 5, 14 6:04 pm  · 

Hi Roshi, ( and other people)

I have also heard from friends that it has very good tailored programs.

My question is if you have applied for the school this year, and if you still happen to have the pdf application form that should be downloaded from the website?

If yes, would be very nice if you can share that with me at my email address

Thank you :)

Mar 4, 15 4:46 am  · 
Sorrowful Giuseppe


It is a good school and good place to live in. Europe could be a good experience as well.

What I am about to say is that what I see you have got B.S.Arch instead of B.Arch that suggest that in order to get licensed you will need to go do Masters of Architecture at NAAB accredited school. In your case it can be 3 years program.

With an European degree which is no question could be good education you will have to go through degree evaluating process, which is doable of course, but takes more than US degree.

I did my BArch in EU in 2002-07 and I think it was good, but when I came back to US I have needed a US degree to get licensed.

As for the software AutoCAD 3D MAX are widely used and ArchiCAD too, but I am pretty sure now Rhino has become very popular  too

And one more thing, as far as I know if you have one of parent or alive grandparent born in a EU country you may apply for a residency card.

Good luck!

Mar 4, 15 9:10 am  · 

Hello :)

Few weeks ago i received an acceptance letter from KADK. I am an international student, I got accepted to Masters in Architecture- Spatial Design, Perception and Detail.

I would like to ask if anyone has more information about this program; any tips, concerns or advises would be very much appreciated.

I was also wondering what is the acceptance rate for international students at KADK.

Thank you for your time.

Jun 6, 16 6:42 am  · 

Hi, I received an acceptance letter from KADK, master in spatial design, too. If you learned anything by that time, could you share with me?


Hello everyone,

I have got an acceptance letter from Aarhus School of Architecture and I am an international student. Thought it would be relevant to ask some questions about the school as some of you might be from Denmark or studied there. 

My questions are:

1. What is usually the student teacher ratio? I am looking at studios like context, constructing an archive and tectonic culture as my first three priority.

2. How good is Aarhus for an architecture student to network and enjoy? I believe for an architecture study the city /town living in is of a huge influence, so thats why I am asking.

3. From what I have read online and from the website, Aarhus looks like a school which does a lot of hands on work and has a workshop based studio. Am I getting the right vibe?

4. I would like to know the reputation of the school internationally.

Thank you.

Jun 10, 16 2:43 am  · 

Its pretty hard when you dont speak Danish

Jul 13, 19 7:57 am  · 

A few caveats: KADK’s programs at their core are art based, not practical. The Danish style of learning, which is group focused, is a culture shock when you come from the US. And in general in Denmark, the international programs are much lower quality in teaching and programming than the Danish language programs (I can only speak to my experiences but this is what I’ve noticed).

I’d definitely recommend trying to talk to current students here from Canada or the US. If you are the type of person who is very academically minded and wants to explore different courses, all the US schools you named will have superior programs over KADK and you won’t have issues getting licensed in the US. I would only recommend studying architecture in Denmark for affordability reasons or if you want to have a primarily European/Scandinavian career. Even then, the EU will respect an American masters degree as an equivalent.

If you are like me and need a degree that’s cheap and you want to work in Europe as an architect, it’s not a bad gig. I found that it’s easier to balance part-time work here with studies, and easier to take advantage of opportunities than in the US because people are very relaxed here. Ultimately, you will be responsible for much of your learning and growth without a rigid program structure. 

Also so far, most students I know from KADK don’t know how to use Revit. It’s all rhino/grasshopper/autoCAD. The interns from KADK spend hours rendering. Most I know go to separate Revit courses to learn after graduating.

I started in Cornell undergrad before transferring here to a technologist program so my viewpoint is mainly based on that. 

Jul 15, 19 11:50 pm  · 

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