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rbdetsport

Architect Schooling

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Hi all! I know many of you are studying architecture or have studied architecture so I figured I could come here to ask some questions.

I am currently looking in to colleges to attend and still trying to narrow it down on what major to pursue. I have always had my heart set on architecture, but lately I have been thinking more about civil engineering. Yes, in a broader perspective, these two things are very much a like, but I want to go into a major that includes the engineering, architecture, and planning aspects.

Ever since I was very young I have been in love with cities and buildings. The love for buildings and the architecture of them stemmed from my love for cities- Hints the want for a city planning major. With the architecture, I am best with the math and science thinking. The math weighs over the art for me. This is where the engineering comes in. But I still love the style that comes from art.

At UofM or UofD, is it possible to have a major in architecture with a minor in city planning? Does architecture have largely to do with engineering in job search?

I apologize for my ranting... I am just really confused with my future right now.

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If you pursue an undergraduate degree in architecture at U of M I don't think it's impossible to get a second degree in engineering, but you will probably have to take quite a few summer classes, and add possibly an extra year.

Architecture is ALOT of work at both schools (I have two friends who go to U of D) The same can be said at Lawrence tech as well. So you don't want to load up your college schedule too much if you decided to pursue a career in this area.

U of M does not have an undergraduate program in urban planning. It's only offered as a grad program.

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While architecture combines that kind of creative art thinking with that kind of creative technical problem solving thinking, I think that architecture in general is more art heavy. It seems like the hardcore technology stuff is always in the context of art (beautiful forms being derived from technology, or how technology is morally pure, and all of that type of stuff). But at the same time there are plenty of academics who don't have anything to do with the technological side of it, and just write about the artsy/philosophical/moral side of architecture. There are also academics who only deal with materials and assemblies and things like that, but like I said before, it seems like when they talk about their stuff it's in the context of the art side. But that's just based off my experience at U of M.

But there are actually a lot of different jobs in architecture firms, and some of them are more technical things and some of them are more designy things.

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I know that Lawrence Tech has a dual degree program in architecture and civil engineering. It's either a 5 or a 6 year program, but it seems to be quite popular. When you finish, you will have both a BS in Architecture and a BS in Civil Engineering. Most of the classes for the dual degree program are the same as going for straight architecture, but the dual degree requires you to take the more advanced math classes and physics classes. They aren't too bad, from what I've been told, but I suck at math so I didn't bother.

I can testify to the previous comments made about the intensity of architecture school. I haven't had time to sleep the last two nights because I've been up trying to finish my midterm project that's due in a matter of hours. I'm in graduate school at Lawrence, and the intensity of the graduate program is quite a bit higher than in the undergrad program (the fact that I work full time & go to school full time doesn't help anything). I can't speak to the intensities of U of M or U of D, but I can tell you that the most intense years at LTU are the 2nd and 3rd years of the undergraduate program. They use those years to weed out people who aren't good enough to make it through. All-nighters are not uncommon, and pretty much the norm during finals week. The work is manageable if you can learn to be good with time management. Freshman year is kind of blah compared to the other years, since you do general art projects and don't really touch building design yet. Senior year gets easier again, since the studios aren't as involved, and there is more time for you to take pointless electives, like History of Detroit.

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I'm an incoming freshman at U of M, and I'm pursuing a career in urban/city planning.

From what I understand, you apply to the school of Architecture and Urban Planning at Michigan as a Junior, where you can gain a bachelors in Architecture. From there on, you can either go on to obtain a Masters in Architecture, or a Masters of Urban Planning.

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My recommendation is not to pass up Eastern Michigan University. They have one of the best accredited undergrad planning programs in the state. Grads from the program have a super high job placement rate and work all over the country. Eastern is also nice because of its location to Ann Arbor and Detroit, making a commute if you live in this area already, quite convient. It is a lot cheaper too. The program teaches practical uses instead of just threory, much unlike what I have heard U of M and LT teaches only theory. If you like cities as much as I do then I think you really should consider getting your undergrad BS degree in planning and then move on up to architecture or engineering.

OH yeah, I amost forgot... GO EAGLES! :P

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I don't want this to be taken the wrong way urban_izzy, but while job placement is important, I think rb is interested in career elevation. While a technical degree at Eastern is valuable, it's only an architectural drafting degree. It's so specialized, the number of hats you could wear working at a firm are more limited. Drafters are definitely in high demand now, but once you start working, you are stuck at the position for a very long time. They basically do the same work the interns do. Hell, at my firm the interns do more interesting work sometimes. If he's primarily interested in engineering, maybe that's the way to go then, and the drafting degree can supplement his core major. I might be wrong, but I don't agree with putting planning before architecture if he would like to do both. You put yourself at risk for many extra years in college when taking the programs in the reverse direction maximizes your time and money.

But I think rb is not quite sure what exactly he wants (which is definitely a good thing!) so pursuing a full architectural degree and experimenting with the variety of related careers at a bigger university is the best option.

Here's a few more things he should know about architecture in general

Having an engineering and architectural degree is VERY VERY beneficial in the job market in terms of being competitive and receiving a significantly higher salary. However possessing both degrees is rare, so don't feel this is an absolute must. If you are up for taking the time and the extra work, then go for it.

and if you want to test out urban planning, you can take some intro classes as electives at U of M. However, they are not core curriculum classes. They basically cover material that you already know about or have heard here at urbanplanet.

In the graduate program at U of M, you can dual enroll to get both your masters in architecture and planning even if you are still undecided as a senior college student.

I'd highly suggest contacting people at all universities. Find out what they have to offer, and be sure you know what type of degree you are getting. There are people who will help you plan a long term career direction in the best way possible. And definitely visit the facilities and talk to students!

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Wolverine, where did you get the idea that an Urban Planning degree is a technical architectural drafting degree? You are very confused if thats what you think a planning degree is.

"Having an engineering and architectural degree is VERY VERY beneficial in the job market in terms of being competitive and receiving a significantly higher salary. However possessing both degrees is rare, so don't feel this is an absolute must. If you are up for taking the time and the extra work, then go for it.

and if you want to test out urban planning, you can take some intro classes as electives at U of M. However, they are not core curriculum classes. They basically cover material that you already know about or have heard here at urbanplanet.

In the graduate program at U of M, you can dual enroll to get both your masters in architecture and planning even if you are still undecided as a senior college student."

First, by having a planning/architecture or planning/engineering degree you will have great opportunities in the job market as well. This is less rare because it is easier to obtain when it comes down to the time and money put in for schooling. Just remember that employees prefer someone that can relate to people and crunch numbers rather than a drone that creates wonderful building plans but has no idea what is best for people or how to talk to them.

Second, if you are interested in urban planning do yourself a favor and don't go to U of M, because as wolverine has already proven above, you will not get the proper education.

Finally I would recommend that if you choose to go the planning/whatever route you go ahead and get your bachelors at EMU, MSU, or WSU, the best accredited schools in the state, while taking pre-arch/eng classes. Then transfer to another school i.e. U of M, LT, or U of D for the masters. By doing this you will be more marketable, educated, and qualified for your career in buildings and cities.

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I believe that Michigan Tech in Houghton has the best Civil Engineering program in the state but I'm not sure if they offer architecture. Eastern Michigan has the largest Historic Preservation graduate program in the country and will give you a great background combo of architecture and planning, if you are interested in historic preservation.

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Wolverine, where did you get the idea that an Urban Planning degree is a technical architectural drafting degree? You are very confused if thats what you think a planning degree is.

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I had absolutely no idea that Eastern had an urban planning program. If I would have known I would have taken classes there. Something I would say about it though, is that they put it in the Geography and Geology Department, and the building it is in is where they have that and other physical science type classes, as well as historic preservation. Meanwhile U of M's planning is in the same building as architecture (and also art, though TCAUP and art don't talk much), and is part of its own college within the university. I can't say without knowing more about them, but I think it says something about each's slant on planning, the program's culture, and position within the university. You should take a tour of both.

I have to warn you about "pre-arch" programs though. Eastern had a "pre-arch" program, so I transferred there, assuming that's what I wanted. But when I got there, I was sent on a wild goose chase through all semi-related departments trying to find someone who could talk to me about the pre-arch program, and no one had any idea what I was talking about. Eventually I found who I was trying to find (someone from the construction management program who happened to be the pre-arch guy on the side), and I was basically told that there are no architecture related classes at Eastern, and that I need to talk to wherever I plan on transferring to, about whatever architecture classes I need to take, which was unfortunately all he could tell me, because there is no pre-arch program at Eastern. So before you do anything or go anywhere, make sure they really have the classes you need.

I was able to get into U of M's architecture program, but looking back I think I really would have benefited from taking real pre-arch classes. The other students already had model building experience, were already introduced to academia, already knew some of the other architecture students, already had stuff to put in their admissions portfolio, and already had an architecture studio type course. If it wasn't for my "independent research" (cough cough, urban planet, wikipedia, etc. :rolleyes: ), I don't think I would have done very well. But now I think TCAUP requires that you take their pre-arch studio class during the summer semester if you transfer from a different university, so that isn't a big problem. However, Lawrence Tech and University of Detroit Mercy are integrated programs, you take architecture classes and gen eds at the same time, spread across all your years at school, so there is no "pre-arch".

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My statement was in relation to architecture, which I had inferred from your response about THEORY. If you are going to talk about any program at U of M that has THEORY in relation to the topic ARCHITECTURE schooling, we are mostly likely talking about architecture. Numerous schools offer degrees in architectural drafting, and I thought you were steering him in this direction.

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you should move south and try out either auburn or tennessee. both have very good programs. just be ready for the architorture building at tennessee. it's been known to eat up juniors and spit them out. oh yeah, and they have sec football. you know, schools that can actually beat ohio state. ;) (sorry, i had to slip that in!)

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This thread has been very information. Please continue. I'm in the same exact spot as rb.

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I can tell you what NOT to do. Do not attend a non NCARB accredited school. This will make your transition into becoming a registered architect a complete nightmare. I have a degree from a school in Florida and I can't become registered in just about 95% of the states. I've also tried to transfer credits to UM and LTU but it doesn't work, wrong accreditation. So basically at 40 years old and with over 25 years in architecture and construction (I grew up in a construction family) I would have to basically start from scratch at LTU. It makes me mad because I was a PA at two different firms and I had MofA's from LTU UD UM and some out of state schools working for me at every level and they couldn't design their way out of a cardboard box, yet THEY could become registered while I can't (in Michigan). I've taken the steps to take the ARE through Wisconsin, still doesn't help me here, I guess I'll have to pack up my family and move to Green Bay (better football anyway).

So in a nut shell, don't do what I did, take your time and thoroughly investigate each program you are interested in.

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O.k. all you students of architecture - Name that style...

original.jpg

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