Architecture after engineering?


Hi, I'm curious if anyone here has ever actually jumped ship on an engineering degree and gone into architecture.

I'm about to graduate with a B.Sc in mechanical engineering. I'm not particularly excited about pursuing it further and I'd like to go into architecture.

I don't pretend to have the design skills to compete for a spot in an M.Arch program so I mean to take a B.Sc in Architecture first(Canada, probably at Carleton).

Specifically, has anyone done these two degrees before? Can anyone give me some kind of comparison between the two? Am I about to get man-handled by architecture school?

Any feedback would be well appreciated.

Mar 26, 09 11:36 am
el jeffe

both antoine predock and myself bailed on mechanical engineering for architecture, and that's about the extent of any career similarity i might have with him.

Mar 26, 09 2:34 pm  · 
vado retro

Speaking of albucrackee, i went to grad school with several hombres who had bachelor degrees in engineering. You can find a program that will allow you to get a grad degree in architecture with an under grad in another field.

Mar 26, 09 3:58 pm  · 

I am in the exact same boat but would like to head out south to the states.

However, I find that most schools (at least top ones) have preference to B.A and B.Sc liberal arts degrees over an engineering degree.

Mar 26, 09 4:21 pm  · 

I'm a mechanical engineer (three years out of my BEng), and I was just accepted into both MArch programs I applied to (Pratt and UToronto). So it's certainly possible...I wouldn't waste another 4 years doing another bachelor's, that's for sure.

That said, I have a lot of creative/artistic hobbies (totally unrelated to architecture) which helped with the portfolio.

cfso1952 is right though, most if not all of the Ivies have requirements for architectural history courses (in addition to physics and math which you should have) which are hard to fit into a demanding mech eng program (much less take once you are finished), and MIT specifically states that candidates with a "balanced" undergraduate program are preferred.

Mar 26, 09 5:42 pm  · 

Tell me the name of university I am b.e.mechanical from india , mba in operation from india , want to do M.arch from Canada is possible if yes suggest me the university's


d33s5: out of curiosity, you graduated from McGill?

Mar 26, 09 10:35 pm  · 

know a structural engineer who made the jump. except for the pay, seems to be much happier.

Mar 26, 09 10:36 pm  · 

really?? MUCH happier? lol

Mar 26, 09 10:48 pm  · 

Thanks for the responses.

d33s5: Considering you spent 3 years doing something which presumably won't apply directly to your future Arch career, why are you so certain that 4 years in another undergrad would be a waste?

I'm not really interested in heading to the states. As a Canadian citizen I wouldn't be eligible for any financial aid, on top of paying international student fees.

If there's one thing I've taken away from my engineering degree, it's that it takes a long time and lots of practice to develop skills (programming or circuit design for example). I can only assume the same is true of drawing and model building etc...

Basically, is a [canadian] undergrad in architecture really just running the gauntlet and weeding out kids who can't handle it? Or, would I have the opportunity to learn and develop relevant skills? Anyone have fond memories of Carleton architecture in particular?

I don't think the amount of time it takes is important. I'm sure waking up when I'm 30 is going suck a lot more if I hate my job than if I'm still a student.

Mar 27, 09 3:46 am  · 

i did it. BSME from Tufts, 3-year M.Arch at OSU. it's been a breeze. maybe architecture's easier, or maybe it just suits my personality better, but i've never looked back.

Mar 27, 09 3:44 pm  · 

cfso1952: yeah, McGill...that's CREEPY! Do I know you? You must be on my facebook or gchat to know that...

RunAwayRiley, I didn't graduate from undergrad intending to pursue architecture. I also spent 3 years making money (yay money) in a job (mechanical consulting) which does happen to apply to an architecture career (albeit not directly, and it does happen to be more of a coincidence than anything else). I just feel like doing another undergrad (4 years) plus an MArch (2-3.5 years) is way too much school when you can easily bypass the extra 4 years and go straight into an MArch. That's rational, no?

Also, there are other ways to build design skills than doing another undergrad. Many schools in the US offer summer programs and I bet most art schools in Canada offer pretty decent continuing ed programs. I know Emily Carr does.

If you think that Carleton's undergrad is what you want to do, then go for it--but personally I would never choose that path.

Mar 27, 09 5:02 pm  · 

undergrad twice is not a waste of time. one of my friends did so, switching fields completely when going into architecture. i didn't get the sense my friend regretted that choice. the cost of education was a source of difficulty, and being 4 years older than colleagues and raising kids while still just getting started as professional was also a source of hardship. still, never did i get feeling that it was not worth it (for my friend).

it is not necessary, though.

many schools in canada have programs for people coming into architecture m.arch. from other disciplines, and a few have talked about their experiences here on archinect. you might find something on that through the search function.

Mar 27, 09 7:12 pm  · 

d33s5 : just an educated guess...since eng degrees at McGill are called

Mar 27, 09 7:22 pm  · 

Thanks for the discussion guys!
I think I'd made up my mind before I posted anything, but I'm glad to have heard a few more experienced opinions.

Jump: Thank you for the subtle hint at the search function ;)

I'll see you around next year in one of those commiserating threads.

Mar 28, 09 2:44 am  · 

I don't understand why you would do a B.Arch again unless you had all the money and time in the world...

I was a mechanical engineer for 3 years at UBC, graduated from commerce, now at ivy m.arch program that gave a very generous 18k scholarship/yr. There IS financial aid in the form of scholarships to internationals from good schools out there: i'm thinking rice. If I had went to UBC for m.arch, it would've cost around the same because ubc doesn't really give scholarships.

The class is split up with those with BA/Sc.Arch background and non-architecture other backgrounds... and to be honest the non-architecture backgrounds have caught up and in some cases doing better than those that had a 4 year arch degree...

just a thought.

Mar 28, 09 2:59 am  · 

Which school has best civil engineering program McMaster or Waterloo? And i was think of moving on to masters in architecture after

Apr 7, 09 11:58 pm  · 

I suppose Waterloo, for Civil Engineering programs in Canada,

UBC, Univ of Alberta, U of Toronto, McGill, Waterloo are schools you should consider.

Apr 8, 09 12:24 am  · 

I am also studying building engineering(architectural engineering in the U.S.) in Concorida and would like to study Architecture for my masters

I have 2 questions,first career wise how would it help that you have studied engineering in undergrad and architecture in grad?

Second is what is the top Architecture university in Canada?

RunAwayRiley I know you must have done alot of research about it so could you please help me.

Oct 1, 09 11:36 pm  · 

This is interesting to me, as I am finishing my B.Sc in Geography, and then considering further schooling. I am leaning more towards Architectural/Building Engineering, but still considering M.Arch futures. Its just interesting to see people from Engineering backgrounds looking to get out of it. makes me rethink my situation.

Oct 3, 09 10:14 pm  · 

m.arch three year programs exist for a reason.

i know a couple of structural engineers who graduated u.mich's 3G program with me and they were definitely great-to-above average designers... but i can say that about most of the the 3 year program class...

coming in from a different background makes you quite a bit more daring/naive in your work, which i believe is a good thing.

also, any theoretical background from a previously studied field is helpful in architecture school... especially if you are in a program that requires/allows for a thesis project.

just my 2 cents.

Oct 3, 09 10:30 pm  · 

Hello everyone,

I am BTech Mechanical, looking forward to pursue My MArch in Canada. Could you pl suggest me some universities or arch schools those provides admissions for non Barch students. 

And also tell me the future of March in Canada. 

Thanks in advance 

Jun 25, 18 10:30 am  · 
Non Sequitur

Is google broken? Try searching the forums first instead of replying to a 9 year old thread.

1  ·  1

I am also suffer from same I am b.e in mechanical I want to do m.arch from Canada if you get any link or any idea plz share with me

Non Sequitur

WHat the fuck? No, open up google and look. There are only 11 March in the country so it’s not hard.

1  ·  1

I only wanted to reply here another 2 years later just so I could give Non Sequitur a rash.

 ·  1
Non Sequitur

Rash not received.


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