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How do I Choose the Best Postgraduate Architecture Program?

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  • Written By: Angela Johnson
  • Edited By: Amanda L. Wardle
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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When choosing the best postgraduate architecture program, it is important to consider the accreditation of the school. Other important considerations include the technology used in the coursework and the program's method of keeping up to date with the changing industry upgrades. The ranking of the school or program among other postgraduate architecture programs may be a factor for some candidates. Knowing the prerequisites required will help with academic planning. Potential scholarships offered by the program may also be important for those considering these programs.

To ensure the best education, the postgraduate architecture program should be accredited by a recognized accrediting institution, such as the National Architectural Accrediting Board in the US or the Canadian Architectural Certification Board. Accreditation boards review programs and give accreditation to those institutions that meet the quality standards of the architecture industry. Most state registration boards or industry associations in the US require that members graduate from an accredited program.

The technology in the architectural industry changes fairly quickly, and it is important to seek a program that is able to keep up with these changes. Some of the most cutting edge programs include the best technology in computerized programs for architecture. There are many different types of architecture programs that focus on different areas and may utilize certain technology. It is wise to choose a program whose focus and technology is aligned with the specific type of future job expectations one has.

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Many architecture firms only accept employees who have completed their postgraduate architecture training in one of the highest ranking programs. There are non-profit organizations or boards that govern the architecture industry and the training institutions. In the US, the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) offers a ranking system for architecture training institutions. There are similar international organizations who rank each learning institution.

Knowing what prerequisites are required in each program will help determine if a student is prepared for the coursework in the postgraduate architecture program. If requirements have not been met, the student may need to rework his or her academic plan. Beginning the search for a postgraduate program prior to completing undergraduate coursework can help students to ensure that they can complete the required courses before graduating.

Postgraduate school can be expensive, and scholarships are a great way of easing the cost. It can be beneficial to inquire with each school regarding the types of scholarships offered. Some scholarships are not publicized, resulting in fewer competitors. Many institutions offer full and partial scholarships, but students should be mindful of application deadlines, as some may be early in the year.

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