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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

FAQ

ARCHITECTURE - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the difference between a four-year degree program and a five-year degree program?

Some schools offer a four-year undergraduate program in architecture leading to either a BA or a BS in architecture. This four-year degree is a “pre-professional” degree and is not adequate for a license. The student seeking a license will then continue for two more years and receive an M.Arch (a "first professional degree"), either from the same institution or at another. Often the two programs of study are interrupted by a period of professional experience. This path is often referred to as a "4 + 2" program.

arch project

Schools that offer a five-year program provide a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree. This is a "professional degree", one that satisfies the academic requirements for a license. After earning the degree, the aspiring architect must work in a licensed office as an intern, and is then eligible to sit for the licensing exam. Five-year programs are for those who are 100% certain they want to become architects, as there is not as much of a liberal arts emphasis.

If you think you may be interested in pursuing other career paths, it is highly recommended that you follow the four year degree program in order to obtain knowledge and skills applicable to other fields such as; Construction, Construction Management, Real Estate, Interior Design, Furniture Design, Stage Design, Architectural Photography, Graphic Design, etc...

Please note that with either program, you will study for at least 6 years if you want to obtain a Master’s degree (M.Arch).

What is the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Architecture?

It is a four-year undergraduate degree in architecture. Bachelor of Science in Architecture at UTA is NOT a professional degree in Architecture.

What is the average salary of an Architect?

The Bureau of Labor statistics reports the median annual wage for architects was $72,550 in 2010. The best paid 10 percent in the profession made approximately $119,500, while the bottom 10 percent made approximately $ 42,860. The highest paid in the profession work in the metropolitan areas of Sarasota, Fla., Allentown, Penn, and Sacramento.

How hard is the program?

Architecture is a time consuming academic field - not harder than Medicine or Law, but hard.

Are there any books recommended for Architecture students?

  • 101 Things I learned in Architecture School
  • Drawing with the Right Side of your Brain
  • Architect?

What is the definition of design?

Design is a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation. It defines the specifications, plans, parameters, costs, activities, processes and how and what to do within legal, political, social, environmental, safety and economic constraints in achieving that objective. It is also the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, industrial products, etc...) Design has different connotations in different fields as defined by different design disciplines. In some cases, the direct construction of an object (pottery, graphic design, jewelry, etc...) is also considered design.

What is the definition of Architecture?

Architecture can be defined as the art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures. The practice of the architect consists of the offering or rendering of professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or build environment.

In relation to buildings, architecture entails the process of planning, designing and constructing forms, space and ambiance that reflect functional, technical, social, environmental, and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, light and shadow. Architecture encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including the scheduling, cost estimating, and construction administration. As documentation produced by architects, typically drawings, plans and technical specifications, architecture defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

What does an Architect do?

Architects design all types of buildings from a small house to larger scale structures such as museums, theaters, schools, etc. Many architects also design neighborhoods, urban areas, and sometimes even entire cities.

What qualities are important for an Architect to possess?

Intellectual curiosity, love for creative activities, passion for humanity, willingness to continue learning, attention to detail, interest in craft, concern for accuracy, attention to precision, awareness of social and cultural issues.

How does an Architect differ from an Engineer?

Engineers design materials, structures and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, safety and cost. Engineers design the engineering aspects of buildings such as structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing.  Engineers also design roads, highways, factories etc. Architects are trained to understand and be familiar with engineering and structural aspects of buildings.

How does Architecture differ from Interior Design?

The main difference between architecture and interior design is typically the scale that they work at. Interior design tends to "zoom-in" at the scale of the individual user. An interior designer may design a furniture plan for a large office building or he/she may customize the cabinetry and hardware for a master bathroom. Architects may work at this increased scale when they are designing a detailed private residence, but the focus may also "zoom-out" to include large complexes of buildings or even urban design problems, such as the design of neighborhoods.

Architects and interior designers are licensed to guarantee the health, safety and welfare of building occupants. The responsibility of the architect includes the adequacy of the building structural system, whereas interior designers are not licensed to provide structural services.

What can I do with a degree in Architecture?

Many things. First and foremost to become an Architect; however, some people with an architectural degree enter into the fields of: 

  • Architectural Technologist
  • Spatial designer
  • Interior Design
  • Construction
  • Stage Design
  • Film Design
  • Furniture Design,
  • Building Legal Analyst, etc...

Why study Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington?

We offer a nationally recognized program in architecture located in one of the most vibrant metropolitan areas in the US, with a wide range of Study Abroad Programs and Exchange Programs with many European and Central American countries. UT-Arlington School of Architecture is a design-focused school with degreed programs in undergraduate and graduate studies.

What is the benefit of graduating from an accredited Architecture program?

In order to be able to take the Architectural Exam and become a licensed architect, one needs a professional degree (masters or bachelor degree in architecture) from an accredited school of architecture.

After graduation, what do I have to do to become a Registered Architect?

All of NCARB’s 54 U.S. jurisdictions have an experience requirement that must be documented and completed before one becomes licensed. This time between fulfilling the education requirement and getting licensed is referred to as an architectural internship. NCARB’s Intern Development Program (IDP) guides interns through this process and is the standard accepted means of completing the experience requirement in almost all U.S. jurisdictions. Download the IDP Guidelines .

Applicants must work for a registered architect long enough to meet the minimum required Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements to qualify for licensure. All architecture students may register for the IDP program as soon as they are enrolled in a NAAB accredited architecture program. A portion  of IDP can be earned through internship and part-time work while studying architecture. It is not the intention of NCARB, nor is it recommended by the School of Architecture that students work while attending University.  The goal of early registration in IDP is for students to be able to receive credit for part-time employment, in an approved setting, during the summer or for any internship served while taking time off from school or between undergraduate and graduate schools.

In the state of Texas, the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) offers an “Early Exam Route”. This is offered to applicants who have earned the required NAAB Accredited degree and have completed at least six months full time or 12 months part time in an approved work environment. This is specific to the state of Texas. Any applicant applying for registration in a different state must research the testing requirements for that jurisdiction.