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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 Shrinking in Popularity

#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 6,100 degrees awarded. This 1,360 less than the prior year, a decrease of 22.3%.

There are 117 schools offering degrees in general architecture in the United States. This year's Best Colleges for General Architecture ranking compares 55 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of architecture programs later in this article.

General Architecture Degree Requirements

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.

Architecture Degree Program Entry Requirements

general architecture degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional architecture certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of General Architecture Degrees

There are various different levels of architecture degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a in general architecture to something that takes less time like a . The type of architecture degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

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. Find out other typical degree levels for architecture workers below.

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. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in general architecture have received.


This of course varies depending on which architecture career you choose.

Architecture Careers

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 Architecture Grads Make?

Recently graduated general architecture students earned an average of $46,998 in 2017-2018. 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.


Highest Paid Architecture Careers

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 272 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.

General Architecture is one of 8 different types of Architecture & Related Services programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Architectural Sciences & Technology 5,123
Urban & Regional Planning 2,633
Landscape Architecture 1,142
Environmental Design 697
Interior Architecture 662

View All Architecture Related Majors >


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