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2021 General Architecture Degree Guide

Architects employ creativity, artistry and technical know-how to dream up and plan buildings and environments. As an architect you will be able to leave your mark on the physical environment, implementing plans to improve the health and well-being of entire communities.

You must be determined and focused in order to succeed in this major. This is a competitive field that combines both art and engineering, requiring you to not only make aesthetically pleasing structures, but also safe and functional structures. Architecture is not easy, but this could be an excellent major for someone with technical skills, artistic vision and a competitive drive.

General Architecture Degrees Decreasing

#111 Most Popular Major
6.1k Degrees Awarded
-22.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, general architecture was the 111th most popular major nationwide with 6,145 degrees awarded. This represents a 22.3% reduction in architecture degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -7,514.

Approximately 117 colleges in the U.S. offer a general architecture degree of some kind. Our 2021 Best Colleges for General Architecture ranking analyzes 55 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for general architecture students. Explore this or one of our many other custom architecture rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in General Architecture

As an architect you must be able to do more than draw precisely and to scale. It is important to accurately focus on small details, while still having the big picture in mind. Use creativity and imagination in order to distinguish your style when designing physical structures. Students will learn how to analyze problems using critical thinking skills, as well as learn to understanding scientific theories and work through difficult math problems. Communication skills are highly important in order to communicate your vision. Architects in the field will encounter a range of tasks from designing a building to acting as a project manager.

Architects need to understand historical, modern and contemporary designs. Your skill set will not stop merely at design talent, but you will also take into account environmental and social concerns. As an architect, you will need clear engineering ability. An architect also needs to be business savvy and communicate effectively in order to be successful.

Work experience is required in order to become a licensed architect. Students need to complete the Intern Development Program (IDP) which is a minimum of three years of professional experience. This includes a variety of tasks that allow you to smoothly transition from student to professional.

Prior Education for an Architecture Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most architecture degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific architecture careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

General Architecture Degree Types

Architecture degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a professional practice doctorate's in general architecture to something that takes less time like a associate's. Depending on the general architecture degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to architecture, with approximately 42.4% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to architecture tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 47.1%
Master’s Degree 23.0%
Doctoral Degree 10.0%
First Professional Degree 9.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 6.9%

96.3% of architecture workers have at least a bachelor's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in general architecture have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the architecture career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Architecture Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$47k Average Starting Salary
5% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree with architecture will leave students with a broad set of skills. Students will be able to work for architectural firms, though some may prefer to be self-employed so that they can have as much creative freedom as they want.

Growth Projected for Architecture Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your architecture degree? General Architecture careers are expected to grow 5.1% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to general architecture.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Architectural and Engineering Managers 190,000 5.5%
Architects 134,200 4.2%
Architecture Professors 10,500 10.5%

How Much Money Do People With a Architecture Degree Make?

General Architecture graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $46,998 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $16,100 to as high as $61,200. As you might expect, salaries for architecture graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Architecture Majors

Salaries for general architecture graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers architecture grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers $148,970
Architecture Professors $99,320
Architects $88,860

Getting Your General Architecture Degree

With over 289 different architecture degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased architecture school rankings to help you with this.

One of 8 majors within the Architecture & Related Services area of study, General Architecture has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Architecture

Related Major Annual Graduates
Architectural Sciences & Technology 5,448
Urban & Regional Planning 2,729
Landscape Architecture 1,177
Environmental Design 717
Interior Architecture 663

View All Architecture Related Majors >


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