Bachelor of Design – Getting a Degree in Architecture

architecture_student_memeAfter some Googling, I have come to the understanding that Architecture Majors do not sleep, at all – according to the various memes anyway. Okay, maybe meme’s are meant to be a little exaggerated, but there has to be some truth behind them in order for them to be funny. So what do these sleepless nights consist of while studying architecture? I choose the University of Florida curriculum as an example because that is where my boss received his degree. Sorry, Mom & Dad (my parents are Florida State University graduates and still die-hard Seminole fans).

The website states that “a student’s creativity and individuality are rewarded in the School of Architecture’s studio-based learning experience. Students benefit from the close student-to-teacher ratios and a true interdisciplinary learning environment.” What is studio-based learning, you ask? Great question. “The studio sequence progressively and thoroughly explores various formal, conceptual, and technical considerations and how they interrelate in the creation of space. The ideas and experience that students gain in design studio are reinforced and amplified by support courses in history, theory, structural tectonics, building technology, and construction materials and methods.” The studio-based learning environment sounds like the perfect place for a creative mind to thrive: learn-by-doing, not learn-by-watching. Students must complete both the 5-year Bachelor degree and the 1-2 year Master degree in order to be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and to acquire jobs in a private practice.

Here is the Recommended Semester Plan, as presented by the University of Florida:

Semester 1
Architectural Design 1
Architectural History 1
(Composition, Math, Science)

Semester 2
Architectural Design 2
Architectural History 2
(Elective, Science)

Semester 3
Introduction to Digital Architecture
Theory of Architecture 1
Architectural Design 3
Precalculus: Algebra & Trigonometry

Semester 4
Architectural Design 4
Materials & Methods of Construction 1
Physics 1

Now here is the kicker – at this university, at the end of the fourth semester, “students will be selected to continue according to a competitive ranking of all applicants overall GPA, architectural GPA and faculty evaluation of design quality in the annual pin-up exhibits.” Talk about stressful! I cannot even imagine that situation. No wonder I studied journalism…

Semester 5
Architectural Design 5
Introduction to Architectural Structures
Architectural History 3

Semester 6
Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture
Architectural Design 6
Environmental Technology 1

Semester 7
Architectural Theory 2
Architectural Design 7
Environmental Technology 2

Semester 8
Building Information Modeling
Materials & Methods of Construction 2
Architectural Design 8

Graduate School:

Fall Semester
Advanced Studio 1
Structures Wood Steel Concrete

Spring Semester
Advanced Studio 2
Research Methods
Environmental Technology Option

Fall Semester
Advanced Studio 3
Master’s Research Project / Thesis Prep
History/Theory Option

Spring Semester
Thesis or Master’s Research Project
Professional Practice

Holy guacamole… that’s one heck-of-a schedule! I have even more respect for my boss now, after reading that. I mean, I always knew Architecture combined creativity and physics and mathematics, but I guess to see it all laid out like that and compare it to MY college schedule… wow! All of a sudden those meme’s dedicated to architecture students make complete sense! Seriously, Google “Architecture Student Meme’s” – they are too funny. So if anyone reading this has the dream of being an architect… be prepared for more than 4 years of college, a LOT of hard work, and a good dose of competition.