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Architecture Degree Programs

There are several types of degrees and degree programs (the accredited programs are sometimes referred to as "professional degrees"). It is worth noting that the schools of architecture are not accredited—only the specific professional degree programs are accredited.

1. Pre-professional architecture degree.

This term refers to architecturally-focused four-year degrees that are design to prepare its graduates for a professional graduate degree. These degrees have such titles as BS in Architecture, BS in Architectural Studies, BA in Architecture, Bachelor of Environmental Design, Bachelor of Architectural Studies, etc.; the amount of architecture work in the program varies and will determine the length of time required to complete further professional architecture studies.

2. Professional architecture degree.

A professional architecture degree is accredited by NAAB. Degrees from accredited programs are required by most jurisdictions for licensure as an architect. These degrees are the Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch) degree, the Master of Architecture (M Arch) degree or the Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch) degree. The Bachelor of Architecture normally requires at least five years to complete. The Master of Architecture requires from one to five years to complete depending on the individual student's previous education. When the master's degree follows a four-year, pre-professional architecture degree, it represents the "two" in the term "four-plus-two" program, and is the final portion of the professional phase of the study program.

3. Post-professional architecture degree.

This is a graduate degree offered to students who already have a professional degree in architecture. Such degree programs are not able to be accredited by NAAB. The degrees may be in highly specialized areas of study such as design theory, health care facilities, preservation, interior design, solar design, etc. This type of degree can be either a master's degree or, in a few cases, a PhD or other doctorate.