How do I prepare myself for a M. Arch program without a B.A. in Architecture?

<p>Hi all,
So I am currently a sophomore at a small liberal arts college that I love. The campus is great, the academics stellar, and the overall atmosphere is perfect for me. The only problem is that it does not have a B.A. Architecture program. So my problem is this: a. Is it even possible for me to get into a decent M. Arch program without a B.A in architecture? and b. What courses should I take/what should my undergraduate major be if I want to pursue architecture in the future? </p>

<p>My general question is this: How should I prepare for a M. Arch program?</p>

<p>Thank you all so much!</p>

<p>Yes, it is more than possible to get into a decent M.Arch prog w/o a B.A. in architecture.
The M.Arch 1 is a first-professional degree; thus, not only can anyone (with a B.A/B.S) apply to the M.Arch program, most people who get accepted into M.Arch programs have little to no background in formal architecture.
1) Take physics, math, and whatever other pre-reqs the M.Arch programs have (typically it's 1-2 semesters of Art/Arch History, a few Studio Art courses). As a (rising/finishing) sophomore, you're at a great point in time to hit on at least some of these pre-reqs
2) Attend an intro-arch. program (Career Discovery @ Harvard, the Paris/NY program @ Columbia) or study abroad for a summer/semester/year @ DIS, Lexia, &c. Not only will you get a bit of formal studio training/experience, you'll also get a minute taste of what studio culture is like.
3) Take studio classes/undertake art projects. Start building up your portfolio now. Even if you don't plan on applying to grad school for another 2, 5, 7 years from now, start documenting your art works.
4) learn to sketch.
5) start to pick apart all the M.Arch programs out there. Some schools you'll invariably rule out due to their pedagogy or curriculum structure &c. Visit the schools that are even of vague interest to you. Sit in on classes, talk to professors, talk to the students. Trust me, you'll learn a ton.</p>

<p>I think Quatsch gave you lots of good information so I’ll just add a few comments based on my son’s experience. He majored in art and art history at a small liberal arts college and has just finished his first year in an M.Arch1 program. </p>

<p>Many architecture schools have information sessions – usually in the fall – which will help you understand the admissions process. </p>

<p>Different programs have different math/physics requirements but to be on the safe side take at least one semester calculus and physics, more if you are so inclined. All M.Arch programs require some drawing, some art history. All place great significance on the portfolio. My son was advised that it didn’t matter if the portfolio contained architectural drawings, but in fact he was asked by one school to submit architectural work as an addendum.</p>

<p>Not absolutely necessary but a good idea: try to work or intern at an architecture firm over the summer or attend one of those architecture exploration summer workshops. </p>

<p>Be advised that admissions to M.Arch programs is very competitive. The schools want to put together a balanced class – gender, race, economic status, age, education and work experience. Just like undergrad you’ll want to apply to a range of reach/match/safety. </p>

<p>Money may also be a factor. My understanding is that partial grants are given fairly often but that full paid tuition is rare. If money is an issue for you (of course it is for everyone) think about applying to a school that has a co-op program. Unlike some of the other professions, like law or medicine, starting salaries after graduation are relatively low so you want to be careful with debt.</p>