Architecture Schools: The Best of the Best
What are my favorite architecture schools? That is an easy question for me. The University of Washington is my favorite architecture school of course. That is my Alma mater. It is also where I received my Bachelors and Masters degrees. All joking aside. There are a lot of great schools out there, each with different focuses and strengths. These strengths should act as a selection guide in your search. In California, where I’m located right now, there are quite a few high caliber schools.
The Nation’s Best Architecture Schools
In California, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is the best school. Also, we see excellent graduates from there. Next, Cal Poly Pomona is another really good one. Then you have the NewSchool of Architecture located in San Diego, which has done pretty well. Not very well known, but they’ve released some pretty great architects. Also, Berkeley has a very good school. USC is a little bit different in their approach to teaching architecture. But, they’re still a pretty decent school.
UCLA has a Masters program, which is a great school as well. Did you know, that every state has their individual school of architecture? The key to making a perfect choice is to look at the school’s accreditation. It is in your best interest to make sure that they’re in good standing. Also, you will want to check that their academic structure has the capacity to train their students. Lastly, it’s important to visit these schools.
Location: Your Architecture School’s Best Friend
Location is a critical factor when choosing the perfect architecture school for you. The ideal learning environment depends on the type of architect you would like to become. Also, the quality of education you’ll receive from a school depends on the setting. The projects we study in school provide us with the experience necessary to conduct real-world projects.
Urban vs. Rural Schools
The education from a school in an urban setting will vary from a school that is in a rural area. In urban school settings, you get more exposure to real-world projects. While also receiving experience with diverse types of buildings. In a rural area, you don’t have access to as many of these projects.
When I was in school I choose to study at The University of Washington in Seattle. There seemed to be a certain beauty and prestige associated with this area of the country. In this location, we had a lot of projects built in Seattle which were relevant to our studies. This is one of the most important things I would consider if I were to become an architect.
How to Become an Architect without Architecture School
The only other way to become an architect is to work under a professional architect for eight years.
Once you have paid your dues under the tutelage of an architect he can then sign you off to take the licensing exam. The problem with this route is that the employer might not commit to educating the student.
You don’t hear it often, but there have been occasions that were quite successful. An example of this path is the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. He opted to skip architecture school. He apprenticed under Louis Sullivan, one of the great architects of all time. Louis committed to educating him and training him full-time. It is also wise to remember that Frank Lloyd Wright was not an average student. He was an architectural genius. He could have taught many others without an education because he was very intuitive in the field.