How Many Years Is Bs Architecture

Whether it’s designing buildings, parks, towns, or cities – architecture is a captivating profession with a lot to offer. But what does it take to become a professional architect? Well, for starters, you need to have a baccalaureate degree in architecture.

A professional architect must typically complete four or five years of accredited college education, plus take the Architect Registration Examination, as overseen by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Knowing this, the question for many emerging professionals is “how many years is a BS in architecture?”

Currently, the academic standards for a bachelor of architecture degree require students to complete around 150 credit hours of study over the course of four to five years. These credit hours include a variety of courses in general research, design, technical arts, and architecture history.

Many accredited schools and universities also require enrollment in an accredited programme to gain licensure. Examples of such programmes include the International Associate of Architecture Schools (IAAS), which provides an overview of the profession, detailed coursework, and a comprehensive test of your aptitude.

At most universities, the degree is designed to be completed in four years, but depending on the amount of credit hours a student desires to obtain, the completion time can range from three to five years. In the fourth or fifth year, students often take even more technical and design-related classes, or even a design final. It is also quite common for students to be required to perform practicum or internships to get valuable hands-on experience.

With all these difficult coursework and exams, it’s no wonder why some students end up taking an additional year to complete their baccalaureate degree in architecture. In some cases, the student may not realize the finer details of the degree until they begin their third year in the programme.

Subject Areas

When pursuing a baccalaureate degree in architecture, a student will typically study a variety of subjects that are pertinent to the profession. Most of these classes will range from basic design processes such as coding, sketching, computer-aided design (CAD), building sciences, and mathematics to larger topics such as Construction, Site Design, and Structural Design.

It is important to note that some Interior Design, Urban Design, and City Planning classes are also sometimes required. These topics are often related to the history of architecture, design, and building systems. Understanding these concepts helps students build a strong foundation for success upon graduation.

The program of study also generally includes courses related to professional practice, such as real estate law, contracts and contracts administration, finance, and business management. Of course, there may be rules and regulations specific to architecture which students will need to become familiar with as well.


In addition to a typical four to five year baccalaureate degree in architecture, aspiring professionals may also be eligible to pursue certification in the profession. Certification is usually provided by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and requires the completion of the Architect Registration Examination, the Architectural Experience Program, and a minimum degree requirement.

The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is the most widely-recognized examination of professional competence in architecture and consists of seven divisions. It tests the knowledge, skills, and ability to practice architecture in compliance with the applicable law and regulations.

The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) is a three-year post-baccalaureate program that is designed to support the student’s educational, professional, and practical work experiences and skills. Through the AXP, students may gain exposure to a variety of projects, design and construction techniques, materials, construction theory, and building codes.


The process of becoming an accredited architect culminates with the award of a professional license. States issue licenses on behalf of the individual’s profession, allowing them to practice and be compensated for their work. Generally, the requirements to obtain licensure include completing an accredited degree program, passing the Architect Registration Examination, and meeting at least one state’s licensing requirements.

Students should be aware that licensing requirements can vary from state to state and can be subject to change without notice. It is important to research the requirements in your location and use the necessary resources to ensure you are meeting all of the guidelines.


Completing a baccalaureate degree in architecture teaches students the principles and methods of design, as well as a mastery of the discipline’s history and theory. This degree opens up many possibilities for the graduate and may even provide the opportunity to further their education with a master’s or a doctorate in the field.

Furthermore, the degree also provides graduates with the legal rights and credentials to practice as an accredited architect. It is also a great way to gain more knowledge, develop friendships, and make connections that could be invaluable in the future – whether it’s finding a job, working with other professionals, or simply striving to succeed in the profession.

Job Opportunities

A bachelor’s degree in architecture is beneficial for those who are considering entering the field of architecture. As it is a highly competitive industry, a degree can prove vital in helping students to make a name for themselves. Not only does it show expertise and polish to potential employers, but it also provides the student with the potential to land a great job.

Employment opportunities for baccalaureate degree holders in architecture are very wide ranging. These may include designing residential and commercial buildings, parks, monuments, industrial buildings, transportation centers, and much more. Professionals with a degree may also find a career in urban planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and urban redevelopment.


Studying for a bachelor of architecture degree at a prestigious school or university typically requires four to five years of coursework, with successful completion leading to licensure and professional practice. During this time, students will need to pay attention to their curriculum and adhere to their chosen programme’s educational and professional guidelines. Familiarizing yourself with the professional and legal aspects of the profession is essential, as well as understanding and obeying the national and state regulations of the profession.

For those wishing to become a certified architect, a bachelor of architecture degree is essential – and with the potential for a wide range of rewarding jobs and career opportunities, it is well worth the effort.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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