Architecture Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Drexel’s Architecture Program different?
Drexel’s Architecture Program is a nationally recognized, unique curriculum that combines rigorous architectural studies with professional experience, contributing to proven employment outcomes for alumni. Students in our 2 + 4 and Part-Time Evening tracks work closely with the faculty and staff to develop skill sets and knowledge before entering to work in the field full-time during their studies. Our impressive faculty of working architecture professionals utilize their connections within the city of Philadelphia to place students in high level architecture firms around the area.
Students not only graduate with an accredited degree and the opportunity to become fully licensed in the field of Architecture, but with career connections that will launch their professional practice. Some transfer students arrive to the program already working in architecture firms. Our 2+4 students start to interview for their first architectural jobs in the third year as they begin their studies in the evening. Due to this direct work experience while in school, our students have often accumulated several years of work experience necessary for qualification for the licensing exam.
What is the difference between the 2+4 Option and Transfer students, the two educational tracks Drexel University’s Architecture Program offers?
Both of these options offer alternative entry points into the part-time evening professional curriculum and lead to the same National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited B. Arch. degree:
- The 2+4 Option is designed for recent high school graduates who spend their first two years in the program as ‘traditional’ full-time college students. Starting in the third year of study, students may pursue part or full-time day jobs in the field of architecture while attending courses part-time in the evening. Essentially, after completing their day of work, they would then attend courses part-time Monday through Thursday after 6:00 PM. The Architecture 2+4 Option is a six-year NAAB accredited architecture degree program comprised of 227 quarter credits.
- The Part-time Evening Option attracts transfer students from a wide variety of backgrounds with a passion for the study of architecture. Many of our Part-Time Evening students have completed some college credits locally or have even completed full bachelor degrees but are interested in completing a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree as a career change. Students in the part-time program, attend courses Monday through Thursday after 6:00 PM and have the same opportunity to work full- or part-time in the field of architecture. The Part-Time Evening Option is a seven-year, part-time NAAB accredited architecture degree program comprised of 227 credits.
Learn more about the different Architecture educational tracks and see degree requirements on the Drexel Course Catalog. Still not sure which track is right for you? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to schedule a one-on-one advising session.
What is IPAL?
Drexel University’s Architecture Program is one of 26 NAAB-accredited programs across the United States to offer this unique pathway to architectural licensure. The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) is an option, within a NAAB- accredited program, that gives students the opportunity to complete all requirements for licensure while earning a Bachelor of Architecture B.Arch. degree. IPAL integrates the education, real-world experience, and examination requirements of licensure into your Architecture degree program. This can help jumpstart your architecture career and open up new architecture employment opportunities after graduation. Learn more about IPAL and how it may benefit you in your architecture education here.
Will I be able to be a licensed Architect after completing the Drexel Architecture Program?
To become an Architect, you will need three things:
- Education: You must complete a professional degree in architecture from a NAAB accredited program – a B.Arch. or M.Arch. degree, which both mee the same accreditation requirements
- Experience: You have to document real-world experience in architectural practice through the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
- Examination: You must complete the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) that ensures you have gained the knowledge and skills necessary to practice architecture in areas of health safety, and public welfare
Once you have earned your degree, gained sufficient experiences, and passed all the exams, you can apply for a license to practice architecture in the jurisdiction of your choice. Students who complete our National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited professional Bachelor of Architecture program, as well as the requisite three years of practical experience, will qualify to sit for a State professional licensing exam. Our 2 + 4 and Part-Time Architecture programs are designed to prepare you for licensure by incorporating many of the practical years of experience during your degree.
Will I need to earn a Master degree after Drexel’s Bachelor’s Architecture degree?
No. Drexel Architecture graduates do not have to complete a Master of Architecture to sit for their licensure to become registered architects. Some of our graduates do decide to earn a Master degree after completing their B. Arch. at Drexel University for personal development and because they are interested in specific fields of study. A number of our students have recently matriculated to graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Harvard University, and numerous programs in the USA and abroad to further their studies and research.
What type of co-op is offered for Architecture?
We like to say that our Architecture Program offers an extreme version of co-op rather than the traditional Drexel co-op experience. Students are encouraged during their third year of study to apply for full- or part-time positions in local architecture firms in the Philadelphia area. Faculty help to prepare students to develop a resume, portfolio and interview skills before applying for positions.
We have an established history and reputation for placing our students in local Philadelphia firms. Our students are highly regarded by the industry and our faculty work hard to maintain this standard as well as place students in appropriate work environments based on their interests and skill levels.
Is Philadelphia known for being a center of Architecture?
Philadelphia is uniquely positioned as the only UNESCO World Heritage city in the United States of America, an honor that recognizes the importance of the architectural and cultural history of the city. Philadelphia and the surrounding tri-state area are nationally recognized as a center for architectural education, acclaimed architecture firms and for its vital architectural heritage. Our students have been employed at prestigious architecture and construction firms in the city including Kieran Timberlake, MGA Architects, DIGSAU, VSBA Architects, AOS Architects, EwingCole and BLTa Architects as well as many other excellent small and large firms in the city and region.
How do students find jobs while taking courses part-time?
Our Associate Director for Student Placement works with both students and regional employers to facilitate job placement. Students are treated as employees—not interns—and the jobs they qualify for are paid positions that offer employment benefits based on length of service, including health care, paid vacation time, 401K retirement plans and, in some cases, tuition remission. We encourage students to work throughout their years of their program, obtaining the professional experience and recording IXP credit necessary to sit for architecture licensure.
Student Placement maintains an internal job posting board that allows local employers to post job descriptions and review current student portfolios. Our faculty works as a liaison with regional offices to solicit opportunities for our students. Prior to applying for jobs, we host workshops to help students develop a professional resume, curate a portfolio, and conduct mock interview practice sessions. For students beginning the process of seeking employment, the Architecture program hosts an annual job fair for third year students during the start of Fall term.
Can Architecture students study abroad?
Yes, we offer specially developed Intensive Courses Abroad (ICA) with a focus on art, architecture and urban design, typically two-week study tours of architecturally significant international locations. Because most students are working during the day, we program a preparatory course in the quarter before the tour with a series of evening classes in which we discuss readings, listen to focused talks on the art and architecture of a region, and learn about the political structure, language and cultural history of the regions we visit.
Usually in the first two weeks of September, prior to the start of the Fall quarter, the students travel independently to the study site to join their classmates for an intensive and exciting experience touring towns, cities and countryside of their particular destination. Students travel with two Drexel instructors. Architecture study tours include a lot of walking, drawing at rest places, exploring the streetscapes, and enjoying the cultures and cuisines of a foreign destination. Recent Architecture study abroad destinations include cities and regions in Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
A faculty coordinator arranges accommodations and travel in country. The students are responsible for individual travel arrangements to and from the destination. Departmental scholarships are available based on need. We encourage all of our students to participate in at least one intensive study tour experience, which we feel is an invaluable part of an architectural education. You can learn more about Drexel Architecture study abroad opportunities here.
What is the workload for an average Architecture student? How does the workload change when you go part-time?
Architecture is a time and labor-intensive major at every institution. For our 2+4 students, the workload as full-time students is often intense as we recommend optimizing their academic schedules in their first two years to maximize the advantage of University’s offerings in the day. When 2+4 and transfer students merge into a single cohort during their part-time curriculum, the load changes at this point and requires a careful and efficient balancing by necessity to manage both a day job with a demanding evening course of study. To be a successful student, you must learn how to plan and manage your time to make the most of every day.
Usually, the week of our students includes 4-5 days of work in a professional office with two to three evenings per week attending classes at Drexel University. Weekends are recovery moments, including laundry, food shopping, etc., but also offer blocks of time needed to do homework assignments, complete readings and draw through the latest iteration of your studio project.
The Drexel Architecture Program is a very intense program. The faculty watches carefully to support, remind, redirect and encourage. Generally, the faculty are in awe of how well our students rise to the challenge.
When I go Part-Time, will there be studio space for me to work on campus?
Yes, there is an evening studio space on the third floor of the URBN Center, dedicated as a large collaborative work environment with a computer lab and making space. While full-time students have designated desks in the building, part-time architecture students have access to hotdesks that are reserved for their exclusive use. All of our students also have access to the Printing facilities, Hybrid Making Lab, Maker Spaces and Woodshop. Learn more about Architecture facilities and specialized equipment here.
Will I be able to double major or minor while in the Architecture Program?
Students are able to pursue a minor while attending our Architecture Program however, we suggest meeting with your Academic Advisor early in their college career at Drexel to discuss your best pathway to achieve a minor. Students must keep in mind their credit load with their work schedule when they go part-time in our curriculum. See a complete list of undergraduate minors offered by Drexel University here.
We generally do not recommend that Architecture students pursue a double major; it would be very difficult to achieve and may add more time to complete both degrees. However, we have worked with many students to develop a portfolio of work to apply for graduate studies after completing their Bachelors.
What is the cost structure of the Architecture Program?
Students in the Architecture 2 +4 Option pay the full-time Drexel tuition rate for their first two years of full-time study. Scholarships and institutional grants usually help lower their full-time tuition bills. However, after the first two years when students transition to working and attending classes part-time, students pay per credit in lieu of our full tuition rate.
Our part-time curriculum tuition rate has been set by the University for the evening Architecture program. This discounted tuition rate may increase annually, but it is roughly half of the general part-time rate per credit as long as students take classes after 6 pm. A student pays for the number of credits taken per quarter and a term fee.
For an up-to-date breakdown of tuition costs and University fees, visit Drexel Central.
Do you require Architecture applicants to submit a portfolio?
Yes, students who are applying to our 2 + 4 and Part-Time Evening options are required to submit a portfolio with their application to Drexel University’s Architecture Program. Prospective students for the 2+4 Option can find Architecture portfolio guidelines on our Admissions website. If you are applying as a transfer student to the Part-Time Evening Option, keep in mind that your portfolio should illustrate your design and representation skills and give us a sense of your proficiency in the studio-based classes for which you seek to transfer credit. Professional working drawing work is less important than studio based projects in art, architecture and photography.
If you have questions regarding your portfolio or would like to schedule a one-on-one conversation, please fill out our request form or email email@example.com.
As a transfer student, what track would I place in? Will I be able to work while in the program?
Students interested in transferring to Drexel University’s Architecture program are considered for the Part-Time Evening Program track, which can be completed in seven years or less depending on prior credit. Students in the Part-Time evening Option take the same curriculum as our 2 + 4 students and have access to our career development resources in the Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism. We highly encourage students in the Part-Time Evening Option to work in the architecture profession once they have developed a portfolio and resumé to apply for positions. Students who are currently working in the field can still maintain their position while attending classes part-time.
For more information regarding our Transfer application process, please go to our Admissions website. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about transfer credits, admissions requirements, or to schedule a one-on-one meeting.
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