Pt I: 5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Architecture School

Interested in studying architecture and looking for ways to prepare? Study Architecture, in partnership with the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), has put together a series called “An Application Guide to Architecture Schools” where we will share tips and tricks from current and former architecture students. Over the next few months, look out for more posts as part of this ongoing series.

Tip #1: Research. Research. Research.

There are many paths to becoming a licensed architect. If that’s your goal, it’s important to know which schools offer degree programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Additionally, you should also assess what area of focus a school emphasizes. For example, some schools are art intensive, some are technology-focused and others are community-centered.

Tip #2: Take an art class.

It’s a common misconception that studying architecture will be extremely math-intensive. While every program has different requirements, art and/or design is a staple in most programs. Architecture is a blend of art and science and so cultivating those art skills early will definitely give you a leg up. As a student, you’ll discover that an architecture degree can lead to many careers.

Tip #3: Get social.

Social media is a great way to expose yourself to design content from around the world. Check out student work on Instagram @imadethat_, keep up with what’s happening at architecture schools on Instagram @studyarchitecture, and get a preview of what student leaders are doing with their design and service work on Instagram by following @aiasorg.

Tip #4: Explore some architectural sites.

This can often be done right where you live. Architecture is everywhere. From historic homes found in the south to skyscrapers lining city streets, each building found in your neighborhood contributes to the social, political and environmental story of your community.

Tip #5: Visit a few schools.

If time and money permits, it’s always best to visit the school’s campus so you can see the student work, take a tour of the school, and ask questions in person. See the next page for a shortlist of questions you can ask the admissions department. 

This post is part one of a series entitled An Application Guide to Architecture School. Download the guide as a PDF.

Written by Kendall Nicholson, Amanda Gann, Sarah Curry, and Adam Fogel. Special thanks to the AIAS Equity and Diversity Task Force for their contribution.