Community College for Architecture?


Hi, I'm currently taking a gap year after graduating. I'm an aspiring architect and have been accepted to Pratt Institute but could not attend due to personal reasons as well as the tuition.

I'm considering going to Community College and transferring afterwards.

So my question is this:

1. Is it difficult to transfer from a community college to a bachelor degree university? (if not articulated)

2. Do universities count community college credits? I've heard upon transfer, you have to start from year 1 if transferred from a cc.

3. Is it more expensive to transfer from cc to a college in another state?

Ive done well in high school and am pretty confident I can stay focused in a cc. If you know any CCs, suggestions would be really helpful.

Thank you

Nov 3, 13 8:17 am
It's not difficult at all just depends on what they accept. I'd say take humanities and basic courses at CC.. Like Math, English, language courses, etc. Maybe even basic structures courses too. Every architecture school has it's own design philosophies and very few accept credits from other schools. That's been my experience. I was going to transfer from one BArch program to another but would have lost almost all my design courses. School were within the same state though.
Nov 3, 13 8:53 am  · 
1  · 

I did this.

I deferred acceptance a year and took 32 credits at a community college. This transferred as 25 credits into my undergrad program and probably saved me $15000 in the end. However, because studios are all sequential I ended up still spending four years at my undergrad school. I did less credits per semester though so it helped give me more time for things.  I would point out that I figured all of this out before hand. With the exception of the extra year everything was planned, that on the other hand was a fluke because I couldn’t get into the one course that I needed in order to finish a year’s worth of design course at cc but in the end I found the extra time beneficial.

So for all your questions I would say the key is planning.  You ask us about this, but there is no way we can answer you accurately because it is all about the schools and how they chose to operate, there is a distinct possibility that it could work quite well, but you have to talk to the schools and find out from them. If you do not know that the courses you are taking will transfer before you sign up for them you will likely end up gaining very little. I knew people that had several years of undergrad and got single digit transfer credits for their time because they just took courses without knowing they would transfer.

Nov 3, 13 10:30 am  · 
1  · 
I, too, had experience with this. I finished 2 years of Architecture Studies and was lucky enough to transfer into sophomore studio instead of freshman. With My gen Eds completed my architecture GPA dipped as I basically took only studio classes which counted toward my degree. So looking into minors like urban planning and or business could be beneficial to maintain full time status if desired.
Nov 4, 13 1:41 am  · 

Hey, I went to CC and transferred into University for Barch program. Its a pain regarding the process of transfer especially if you are planning to transfer to many different schools. Regarding the admission to university, that part is really depend on how well did you do at CC. 

2. Many schools will place you into lower level studio because like J.W.Smith said, they have their own design philosophies. However, your studio credits usually transfer and you will be placed higher if you go to university in the area that your CC is located in because they usually have some kind of agreement or at least is familiar with the curriculum of CC. It is important that you get out of CC asap because a lot of CC's architecture courses do not transfer to university due to articulation criteria. Thus, its better if you take GE classes more than Arch classes. But then again you do need a good portfolio to transfer, therefore design studio is very important also. 

3. yes it will be expensive to transfer into another state just because of out of state tuition assuming that you will be going to public university. In some states, residency policy quite tricky. Also, you have to consider the living expenses. 

Personal opinion: start to look into the schools you want to go to asap and narrow down the classes that are required by those school to gain admission and take those classes. Do not follow your CC curriculum, instead, follow the university curriculum. Portfolio is really important when you transfer because you have already taken design studios. Just to give you an idea of how different the placement process is for different school, I'll tell you where i got into and where they placed me. also keep in mind that i did 2 years of design studio at CC.

Pratt: first year, very little classes transferred and they're mostly GE. 

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: 3rd year with summer studio.

USC: 2nd with summer studio. 

Like i said, very little architecture classes transferred for all 3 schools. I picked USC and good luck on your journey. If you are passionate about what you do then it will show in your portfolio. You'll be fine where ever you choose to apply. 

Nov 4, 13 5:48 pm  · 

could you tell me which CC you studied?


The community college option only works if you know what you want, are motivated, are focused and won't get distracted or depressed by the students around you who you've developed a rapport with who disappear mid-term, and, mostly, if the c.c. has articulation agreements with a B.Arch. or BSAS/BAAS granting school.  Generally, they are somewhat geographically restricted.  In Calif., for example, they know the score for a transfer over to USC, the Cal Poly schools, Berkeley, and, out of state, generally for ASU and U of O.  They've seen these transfers before and have an ongoing dialogue with these schools, so the transfer is more predictable.  If you're in Calif., and want to transfer to Va. Tech., then it will be more of a wild card as to what would transfer.  Also, a transfer between a place on quarters and one on semesters is messy, and needs to be monitored much more cautiously.  The Cal Poly schools use quarters.

In general, it's fine if the c.c. is both respected and has a history of feeding (not literally) students into your desired destination school.

Nov 7, 13 1:02 pm  · 


I’m an undergraduate student 

1.Is there any community college recommendations for arch programs in california?

2. Is it easy to transfer from community college to university?

Thank you !!

Jul 12, 20 3:27 am  · 
1  · 

Hello Skylar


Hello Skylar 

1) I would recommend OCC, they have a rigorous architecture program which includes Environmental Studies, Construction Documentation and the BIM Integrated Design with Frame CAD. What we don't have is a structures course, that's at Mt SAC. 

2) For state college, CSU, GPA matters and CPP/CPSLO will only take top GPA before considering the applicants portfolio for studio placement. However, out of State schools are easier to get in, unless you plan on staying here in California. NewSchool of Architecture, SCI Arc and Woodburry are easier to get in but come at a price. 

Best wishes!


Is it possible to finish architecture program in CC within 2 years??

Thank you!!

Jul 14, 20 11:11 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

anything is possible if you pay-off the right people.



There is also El Camino College/ ECC (in Torrance) and East Los Angeles College/ELAC.  ECC has a rather robust architecture program that has successfully transitioned online, including all it's lab/ studio classes under the current conditions. They have various Learning Tracks that include the design process (3 design studios), graphic communications, BIM, arch history, as well as methods & materials (which includes a "structures" class). The program is in the process of revamping to be more aligned with the 4 and 5 yr programs. I cannot speak to ELAC, but they also seem to have a robust program.

I hope this helps, MARC

Jul 27, 20 3:36 pm  · 
Dr. Architecture just posted an article on the topic of community college architecture programs.  There is definitely an advantage but you must also plan ahead to the accredited program to which you plan to transfer.


Aug 1, 20 8:06 am  · 
Le Courvoisier's comment has been hidden
Le Courvoisier

Guess Dr Arch is working his way through all the colleges after resigning in disgrace from multiple schools.

Aug 1, 20 1:17 pm  · 

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