2 answers

What education is needed to become an architect?

Asked Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Things you can consider for this specific question...

What is the highest degree needed to become an architect?
Are there multiple paths to becoming an architect?
Is there any other experience/certification required?

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2 answers

Laura’s Answer

Updated Indianapolis, Indiana

There are generally two ways to earn a degree in architecture ( undergraduate and graduate) but the specifics make a difference if you intend to be a licensed architect. licensed architects must meet specific expectations that combine a professional degree and years of work experience and passing a difficult test- rules vary per state. Degree requirements also vary, some are 5 years and most are 4 yr undergrad plus 2-3 yrs of grad. A degeee in architecture can be very fulfilling and is full of designing and problem solving studio classes but also math and other general study courses. Many people use the skills learned from their architectural education in real estate, interior design, or writing and in my case at IU, to make sure all our building are designed and maintained as best as possible for our students and faculty

Laura recommends the following next steps:

  • Look at courses required at the architecture school nearest you and see if your high school courses relate

Kira’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Hi Alexandra,


There is actually only one way to become an architect. You have to go to a University!


As far as I know, and that varies a bit from country to country (I have a professional license in Germany and USA) a bachelor (undergrad) degree is not enough to apply for a professional license, you have to have a master (post grad degree). It might differ in other EU and non-EU countries. In Germany and USA a post grad degree + so and so many years of professional work experiences under the supervision of a licensed architect are required. The professional years also differ from state to state (in the US and in Germany). Some states have 3 years others have 4 years. I would always recommend to check the website of the AIA (American Institute or Architects) of the chapter of the state that the student/graduate lives in. (In Germany that would be the “Architektenkammer” of one of the 16 states).

Also for foreign licensed architects different requirement may apply. For me as a licensed architect from Germany boundaries to get a license in the US are lower than for licensed architects e.g. from Russia.

So if a student wants to pursue a professional license I highly recommend to make a master.  


On the other site I don’t make use of my licenses and never had the need to.

There a plenty of job options in the field (like real estate management in multi national companies, FM, portfolio management, etc.) which don’t require a professional license. For those jobs a undergrad degree might be enough.


If someone is planning to pursue a career in the academic environment a PhD might be requirement.


Hope that helps!

Especially the situation with the licenses are a bit complicated and highly different in different countries.

If someone decides to work in another country I would always try to stay in school until I have the highest possible degree.