Arts, Architecture, and Film

Choosing an Architecture Program

How do you go about selecting an architecture program? In addition to factors that are issues for students in any field, such as program cost, selectiveness, size, and location, some additional factors are particularly important for architecture students:

  • If you are seeking a professional-level degree, the program should be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Only specific degree programs receive NAAB accreditation, not entire schools or universities. The same institution may offer some architecture degrees that are professionally accredited and some that are not. Visit www.naab.org for a list of accredited degree programs.

  • Understand the basic types of degrees available and how they vary in length, requirements, and outcomes. Learn about types of courses offered in architecture programs—courses in design, structures, systems, graphics/drawing, architectural history, general education, computer use and programming, site practice, and elective areas.

  • Level of confidence. How confident are you in your choice of becoming an architect? Do you want other career options as you progress through college or do you want to pursue becoming an architect as quickly and intensively as possible?

  • Art vs science. Architecture combines art and science. Some aspects of architecture associated with art include its use of color, design, texture, form, and shape. Some science-oriented aspects of architecture include concerns related to structure, systems, materials, and construction methods. Some degree programs are more arts-focused while others are more science-focused.

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Architecture: U.S. Study

If you are interested in a career as an architect, begin early. Your own environment—home, school, community—is a good laboratory for study. By learning to "see" buildings, spaces, and their relationships, you will become sensitive to elements that concern architects. Notice the effects of color, texture, light, and shape—the "tools" of architecture. Analyze your positive and negative reactions and see if you can connect them to design elements. Look for rhythm and pattern, simplicity and ornament, old and new in your environment, and notice the variety that exists. Think about the values expressed in buildings’ design.

In secondary school, plan a program strong in English and other languages, history, social studies, mathematics, and physics. If you can, add courses in business and computer science. It may surprise you to know that today freehand drawing skills will be more useful to you than drafting ability.

Architectural Education

Essentially, there are three types of architecture degree programs—preprofessional, professional, and postprofessional.

Preprofessional

Preprofessional architecture degrees are four-year degrees that do not, by themselves, qualify a graduate to practice as a professional architect. These degrees have such titles as Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture, B.S. in Architectural Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Bachelor of Environmental Design, or Bachelor of Architectural Studies. The amount of architecture work in the program varies by institution, and determines the time required to complete further professional architecture studies.

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U.S. Study in Film

The Application Process

Hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities offer programs in film. Each sets their own admissions requirements and deadlines. You’ll want to start early to find the right program for you and have the best chance at admission and financial aid, ideally beginning your research a year or more before you plan to start classes.

Almost all U.S. undergraduate programs require students to have completed secondary school (passing the GED test battery may sometimes be substituted). Graduate programs expect good undergraduate grades, though study may be in a different field in the case of many programs. All programs will ask that you demonstrate proficiency in English (typically by taking the TOEFL test)

Often scores on the SAT Reasoning and/or two or three SAT Subject tests will be requested of undergraduate applicants and GRE scores of graduate applicants, though some schools do not require these of international students and others do not require them from any applicants. More selective institutions often have such additional requirements as recommendations from your teachers, information on extracurricular activities, and a written statement of purpose or other essay.

Most selective university and professional school programs in film require a portfolio of applicant’s creative work. For undergraduates, submission of an actual film may not be necessary—some programs may instead accept such options as drawings or an essay. Schools will generally specify exactly what is acceptable. Be sure to follow instructions, which will usually be very precise in terms of what formats are acceptable and maximum length of submitted recordings or videos.

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