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Value of B.Arch. Versus M.Arch. I Degree for New Hires?
How do employers view potential hires' degrees? Is there any benefit to having an M.Arch. I degree (without an undergraduate degree) over a B. Arch. degree from a comparable school, as long as both degrees are from accredited programs?
I'm currently a student at the University of Kansas and have the choice of receiving a B.Arch. or M.Arch degree because the B.Arch program is being discontinued and the school now only offers an M.Arch. I degree to undergraduate students. The only differences in requirements are the addition of one class and a study abroad requirement for the M.Arch I.
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Broaden Your Experience as an Undergrad
As a 1993 graduate of Roger Williams with a B.Arch degree, I felt at the time, and still feel, that too many courses were crammed into 5 years. We were immediately immersed in the world of architecture with little or no room to explore other courses of study. Of course, more than half dropped out. I had spent a year at another college not studying architecture, and I was much more prepared for the rigor of the architecture program. Due to the time constraints, few students could pursue a minor or participate in sports. The social and emotional development that are so important to the college experience took a back seat to a narrowly focused course of study. If I had it to do all over again, I would have started with a bachelor’s degree in something unrelated. This is what I would recommend to anyone interested in pursuing architecture as a profession, and I suspect that would also make them a much stronger job candidate.
Robert Swinburne, AIA
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