Q&A: are there any programs where one can become an architect without a bachelors in architecture?

Question by Saji82NO: are there any programs where one can become an architect without a bachelors in architecture?
I know it changes by state, but I guess if I’m desperate enough I can move for this.

Is it possible to become an architect without a B.Arch? Is there maybe a way to do it with simply a masters in architecture? Or would any respectable architectural college not accept someone with a bachelors in another discipline?

I already have a bachelors and going back for a B.Arch would be impossible as I have practically borrowed all I can from the government and have no intentions of borrowing privately. Maybe scholarships, but I know there are a few grants and loans that I am disqualified from because I have my bachelors already. Grad school would be a different story concerning financial aid.

I have also heard of ways to be grandfathered into a license by working in an architectural firm for something like 10 years. If thats true I don’t think its even possible because I don’t see many firms hiring someone without any related degree. Likewise draftsmen are probably getting weeded out as more things become automated with computers, at least young new draftsmen. Even then Id have to go back to school for something that is not a graduate degree (some sort of A.A. Drafting or something).

Why is it that men like Frank Lloyd Wright can just on a whim drop out of college, and maybe never even finish high school, pick up a job at a leading architectural firm in Chicago, and roll from there to become an incredible architect? Today people need so much school for nothing.

Even if I had these degrees and licenses I probably wouldn’t get paid sufficiently to live on if I could even find work. Blah… everything seems pointless to aim for these days.

Best answer:

Answer by Diane A
I guess there is a question in there. Architecture is a tough career and regulated due to the public safety issues–you can have some one designing & building structures that are unsafe or dangerous. You can try for a masters in architecture with another bachelors but you will need to take a good deal of the undergrad architecture classes ( you would need to know drafting, CAD, building codes, site plans, interior space planning etc). While you would not get the degree (BA in architecture) you would essentially be getting the course work. You are correct that you can apprentice to an architect but that is lengthy and usually reserved for talented people from the design field etc.

Schooling is not for nothing. Many of FLW’s buildings are falling down because he did not understand structural integrity well. Many tragedies in history have been caused by bad & unsafe building disasters. Rules & regulations & licensing requirements are put in place so that those things do not happen again. In the “old days” buildings were a few stories, max. Now they are dozens of stories tall-you need someone who knows what they are doing, just like any other career that impacts the public.

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