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what classes/programs a high student should attend for architecture

tekkeetekkee Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
edited April 2010 in Architecture Major
Im currently a high school sophmore and want to be an architect. Im wondering what classes i should take or programs i should enroll in to better prepare myself for college and help me get accepted into a college for architecture.
i know i need to take more advanced math and science classes. I have a basic grasp on google sketch up and Auto Cad but know i need to get more experianced with these. I plan to take classes in design and sketching and painting over the summer as well as volunteer for habit for hummanity etc. But was wondering what are just some basic tips that could help me? any advice is appreciated
Post edited by tekkee on

Replies to: what classes/programs a high student should attend for architecture

  • SSDSSD Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    If you are planning to attend a 5yr program, take AP English, Physics, Calculus and whatever AP classes you can. This will reduce your course load. The first year is especially difficult and taking less classes will save you.
  • NYCHADesignNYCHADesign Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    The usual math, physics, drawing, autocad, are all helpful for the architecture curriculum.

    One subject that almost nobody brings up is HISTORY. When I started my B.Arch, the history of architecture curriculum was absolutely intense. It is an integral part of the education of an architect. Not all schools emphasize it as much, but mine sure did.

    Read as much as you can about the history of architecture. Who the great architects were. Their philosophies; their lives in general.
  • Arctic92Arctic92 Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    look into the ACE Mentoring program.
  • tekkeetekkee Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thanks for the advice, i for sure will be looking more into the ACE mentor program, and am in ap euro now so i definatly will keep with ao history. In your opinion is it more important to focus on learning cad, and sketchup, or more on classes like AP physics, and calc. For 5 yr programs, are colleges looking more at my grades, or drafting and design skills? or both? im just kinda confused on what i should really be focusing on obviously grades are important but colleges are becoming more selective now and im jsut wondering what i need to be ahead of the game...
  • PsiPsi Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    Grades are very important. Within any given school, architecture programs are among the most selective in regard to admissions, so good grades plus good SAT/ACT scores are essential.

    When my son visited several architecture programs last year, the faculty from all programs also emphasized developing one's drawing and sketching skills. They cared more about these skills than whether or not a student knew autocad or Sketch-up. Drawing skills are especially important if you apply to a program that requires a portfolio (and there are several good posts on this forum about putting together a portfolio).

    Some schools recommend that students take certain courses in high school so that they can place out or get credit for some core requirements in college (and presumably free up time in their college schedules for studio or design courses). For example, Kansas or Kansas State recommended that HS seniors take the equivalent of the first-level writing course that is required for most freshmen. At my son's HS, this course was offered through a joint program with one of the community colleges. So, if there are specific architecture programs you are interested in, it would be wise to look into their recommendations/requirements.
  • NYCHADesignNYCHADesign Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    I would put less of an emphasis on CAD than the other subjects you mentioned. CAD is something you can always learn; this is unlike math or physics, which many people simply cannot do well in.

    Psi brought up writing. As an architect with 20 years experience, I cannot tell you how important great writing skills are.
  • rick12rick12 Registered User Posts: 642 Member
    I think you should learn Sketchup because it will be useful, but it's easy, watch the videos and practice a bit. Learning to sketch, that is much harder, but it will be a really valuable skill that you should develop. Carry a sketchbook around and draw what is around you. Don't worry if your first sketches are bad, they all are, just keep practicing till you get better.

    The advice about getting AP credit for as many requirements as you can is also very good advice. Studio will eat you up, any load you can reduce for your other courses will be a big help. It will also allow you to take other courses that you are really interested in rather than just meeting the requirements.

  • worried_momworried_mom Registered User Posts: 2,205 Senior Member
    All of the posters above have offered you great advice and I concur with their recommendations:

    -- Focus on getting good grades and SAT/ACT scores.
    -- Take challenging classes -- especially any AP classes that you can.
    -- Practice your hand drawing as much as possible. (I would not worry about learning CAD as it is far less important; in fact, most incoming freshmen do not have any CAD experience.)
    -- Take formal classes in drawing, painting, and other media to help build a portfolio, which many top programs require. Consider taking AP Art or AP Art History if your high school offers them.
    -- Start investigating potential architecture programs to see if they have specific recommendations/requirements for admission.

    You are wise to be starting your research now.
  • tekkeetekkee Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    thanks for all the advice, i was putting way too much emphasis on improving my cad skills, sketching etc, and will instead try to focus more on the math and science part, as well as writing etc.
This discussion has been closed.