MArch vs BArch

<p>What are the pros and cons of a 4+2 MArch program vs a 5 yr BArch program? Do people who have a BArch generally get an MArch eventually?</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>Curriculum:
B.Arch programs have inherently more design studios than M.Arch programs because of its length (5 years). Although B.Arch and M.Arch students usually share the same vertical studios (advanced design studios) later on, B.Arch students are better prepared with more foundation studios (3 years) than M.Arch students (1 year), making their education more grounded and rigorous. I am a strong believer that having more exposure to different studios helps you become more rigorous in your thinking.</p>

<p>The trend is that M.Arch programs tend to be more avant gard than B.Arch programs. You certainly see different types of work coming out of B.Arch programs and M.Arch programs. But this is probably largely dependent on the school that you attend. </p>

<p>While both programs are difficult, I can say that as a B.Arch student, the B.Arch is a serious grind. B.Arch schools beat you to death for 5 years to finish you off with a tough thesis. 5 years of torture and plenty of exposure to design studios certainly produce very talented students who have a killer work ethic. </p>

<p>The M.Arch is no easy ride either but it's slightly shorter. But M.Arch students also have had 4 years of college prior to their M.Arch education so people come in with a wide range of views and experiences. This can be very useful because architecture education is largely dependent on an array of different fields and topics. </p>

<p>Age Difference:
The students in your studio are really conducive to your architectural education because you learn a lot from them. The age gap between B.Arch students and M.Arch students is quite big and affects how you learn architecture. </p>

<p>M.Arch students are a couple of years older, tend to be more mature, and have previous experience in other fields. They bring in a variety of views and talents to studio. The M.Arch student body also tends to be much more international. At my school, probably more than half of the students come from another country. This can be a lot of fun because they bring in different viewpoints and experiences.</p>

<p>B.Arch students come in young, fresh, and ready to be molded by the curriculum. At my school, the B.Arch's tend to pull more all nighters and risk more than M.Arch students. Although this is a big generalization, younger people tend to be more open to different ideas and are willing to push themselves much more than M.Arch students. On the other hand, M.Arch students tend to be more mature and are able to grasp theory and architectural concepts easier.</p>

<p>Graduation Job Opportunities:</p>

<p>M.Arch graduates statistically have higher starting salaries than B.Arch students. My guess is that M.Arch graduates have had more prior professional experience than B.Arch students so they are more useful to a firm. </p>

<p>But given into consideration the age difference, B.Arch graduates can advance faster in the profession because they graduate earlier and can start work earlier than M.Arch students, allowing them to work towards their license earlier. Generally B.Arch's tend to have less debt than M.Arch students because they don't have to pay for 2.5 more years of tuition.</p>

<p>The benefit of a B.Arch degree is that you can get a graduate degree in something else afterward you graduate, like a MSRD, urban planning, MBA etc. The graduate degree can complement your architecture undergraduate degree or give you greater exposure to other fields. </p>

<p>Most B.Arch graduates do not go on to get a M.Arch 2 (1.5 yrs) right after unless they want to teach. Many work for a couple of years and then return to school to pursue a M.Arch 2 or another degree (construction, real estate development, etc). </p>

<p>As you can tell, this assessment is probably pretty biased because I am a B.Arch student. As an advocate for the B.arch program, I find it somewhat surprising that NAAB wants to weed out the B.Arch program in favor of the M.Arch program. Perhaps a M.Arch student here can explain why. </p>

<p>Ultimately, drive and talent matter far more to your development than whether you pursue a B.Arch or a M.Arch.</p>

<p>My daughter chose a 4+2 program for a couple reasons. She wanted to make sure she had time for a great study abroad program. She was able to spend her entire junior year in Europe. Also, many people consider it a good idea to learn from different faculty in different places. This is common practice for many other majors. She knew in applying to B.S. programs that she would apply to other schools for her M.S. in order to have that exposure. Finally, she wanted the opportunity to study other subjects and have a broad liberal arts education. She was able to do so because of her AP credits.</p>

<p>Here's an interesting summary of this topic.</p>

<p>ARCHCareers:</a> BArch vs. MArch: Pros and Cons</p>

<p>Can someone explain what a "4+2" plan is. Thanks</p>

<p>a 4 plus 2 is when you get a bachelor of science in architecture (not a bachelor of architecture). The BS takes 4 years. Then you go to get your MArch which takes another 2 years (if you have a degree in architecture, if you have BS/BA in anything else, then you have to go for 3 years).</p>

<p>Also in a 4+2 program, you can take time to work before beginning grad school. Many people think that having real world work experience in architecture prepares you for advanced academics and that you'll get more out of the Master's, therefore preparing better for exams and career. </p>

<p>Neither way seems to be absolutely better than the other. It's great that architecture students have an option like this. Please note that there are also 5-year M.Arch programs. Tulane is an example and I'm sure others can list additional programs.</p>

<p>U of Kansas and Kansas St are two other 5-year M. Arch programs</p>

<p>So if someone had a B.Arch already, could they still go on to get an M.Arch? Would that be a waste of time compared to getting an M.Arch directly through the 4+2 plan?</p>

<p>if you have a BArch you can still get an MArch but if you know you want an MArch, they 4+2 would work</p>

<p>it is important to note though that with a 4 yr degree, you can work, but you are not overly desirable as a candidate b/c you don't have your license (you need a 5 yr BArch). </p>

<p>So if you get a BArch you can get a job easier and then eventually go back for your MArch and your company may be more likely to pay for it.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone for your insightful answers! (Sorry for the late reply.. I haven't been on CC for a while..)
Here's a new problem: my parents are concerned about the (relatively) low entry-level income for architects. My dad is a electrical engineer and he is advocating for a major in engineering instead. I also think that a career in engineering would be exciting; however, I do not want to give up my interest in architecture without exploring the field further. The question is, is there anyway I could double major in engineering and architecture (probably a b.s. or b.a. program), although both seem to be pretty intensive majors? Does anyone know any school that are flexible with double-majoring across these two fields?</p>

<p>Have you thought about an Architectural Engineering program? Here is an example of the major at Penn State:
Undergraduate</a> Degree Programs: Engineering</p>

<p>Also, think about Facilities Planning and Management. Here is one at Cornell: Facilities</a> Planning and Management</p>

<p>Both are options that combine the engineering and architecture concepts.</p>

<p>Not to be harsh Kathy, but you need to tell your parents that this is not their life, it's your life. You don't want to be miserable at 50, in a career that your father picked out because he was concerned about your income at 22. You need to decide if you are passionate about studying architecture, if you are, then go pursue your passion. Most people either fit into an architecture mindset, or an engineering mindset, very, very few people have both. I would pick one of the two and not try to find a compromise such as 'architectural engineering'.</p>

<p>I did two years of engineering, had a 3.9gpa, and at the end of my sophomore finals decided that I did not like engineering and wanted to transfer into architecture. When I called my father to inform him his reply was;'we have always trusted you, do what you think is right'. I have always been grateful to him for that and hope that when my moment comes as a father that I will be able to do the same.</p>

<p>rick</p>

<p>rick12, you make a good point, and I agree with you. </p>

<p>Though, there would be the MArch option after the BS in Architectural Engineering or Facilities Planning and Management. </p>

<p>It's tough to argue with the parents when they are paying the bills.</p>

<p>I agree with rick12!!!! I majored in electrical engineering. Loved it. In the work world found I preferred studying engineering rather than working at it in the real world. Got an MBA in marketing. Spent 20+ years in marketing (mostly product management in high tech), loved it but eventually got burned out. Got a teaching certificate and starting my 5th year teaching 8th grade math--the best job I ever have had even with the 40% pay cut I took to become a teacher. Life is better. My son wants to be an architect. Initially in elementary school he wanted to be an artist. All I told him was do what you like doing and do it the best to your ability. Salary did not stop him. He starts next week the BArch program at USC.</p>

<p>Rick is so right. Take a look at this biography from Architect Magazine.</p>

<p>William</a> Rawn Associates</p>

<p>
[quote]
THE STORY OF HOW William Rawn became an architect will sound familiar to most other architects—at least the beginning of it. As a child in Pasadena, Calif., Rawn showed artistic talent and enjoyed building models and imaginary towns. As an undergraduate at Yale, he sat in on an art history course taught by Vincent Scully and was inspired.</p>

<p>So he went off to law school and became an attorney.</p>

<p>“Your parents push you in directions they think [are] best,” Rawn says with hindsight. At Harvard Law, he was able to fit in three for-credit courses at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts before graduating with a J.D. in 1969. While working for a law firm in Washington, D.C., he started making limited-edition silkscreens, which were soon carried by the prestigious Pace Gallery in New York. That helped Rawn make up his mind to pursue design and go to architecture school.</p>

<p>“I took the attitude that if I didn't like it, I could always go back [to law],” Rawn remembers. “Within two months, it was clear that I was probably a better architect than lawyer, and much more passionate about it.” He received an M.Arch. from MIT in 1979

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<p>Yeah, I agree with you that picking a career that I like is important. But it's not like that I don't like engineering. As unlikely as it sounds, I can see myself doing either one and enjoying it, although architecture is the one thing I would really hate to give up or not try. My parents are also more understanding than how I might have portraited them. They want me to be happy and money, as their experience with the lack of it has taught them, is a factor. I've heard on this forum and in other places that architecture is not a very secure career, and I agree with my parents that there should be a plan B.
But anyway, I do realize that double majoring in those two fields is probably not practical, and I know that I don't want to go into a compromise like architectural engineering (thanks for the suggestion though). I am thinking about a double major in architecture and computer science instead. I can always moonlight as a self-employed programmer when the going gets tough on the architecture side :)</p>

<p>My son is definitely sure he will like architecture. He is not concerned about the security--no field is secure these days. He does have a Plan B, though. If architecture doesn't work out, he will major in mathematics. </p>

<p>One thing to consider: all studies/surveys show about 50% of people are not working in their major. I majored in electrical engineering but was an engineer for only 5 years. Spent 20+ years in marketing (did eventually get an MBA). Now I am an 8th grade math teacher. Took a 40% pay cut to become a teacher--best career decision I ever made.</p>