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How to become an architect in the US and UK?

Categories: education abroad
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How to become an architect in the US and UK?

SMAPSE experts want to tell you how to become an architect in the USA and the UK and advise on suitable programs and universities.

Students who wish to be architects are advised to start preparing as early as high school. SMAPSE  specialists recommend you to pay attention to exact subjects, such as geometry, algebra and physics, but do not forget about disciplines that develop aesthetic sensitivity and imagination. Most modern architecture has been developed using computer-aided design (CAD) programs, so familiarity with technology and computers will be useful.

To become an architect in the United States, you must obtain a license in one of 55 jurisdictions (also known as state licensing commissions). Although licensing requirements vary across jurisdictions, it is usually necessary to:

  • get a degree accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Council (NAAB) - Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, Doctor of Architecture.
  • Gain and document professional experience through the Intern Development Program (IDP). IDP requires that trainee architects earn 5,600 educational hours in various job categories, such as programming, site analysis, zoning requirements, contract negotiation, and project management.
  • pass the national licensing exam - Architect Registration Examination (ARE®).

Once the requirements for education, experience and exams in their jurisdiction are met, students can apply for initial licensing!

For a degree, SMAPSE experts recommend SMAPSE partner university in the USA, where the design department is the largest in the country.

Arizona State University - TOP-100 University of the World Architecture (QS World University Rankings)

Programs: Architecture, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Environmental Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Design Research, Innovation and Venture Development.

Cost: 33,000 $ (maximum discount - 15,500 $ )


The process of qualifying an architect in the UK is very similar to the process in the United States.


Students need to obtain a bachelor's degree accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), then obtain and document work experience through the Professional Experience Development Record (PEDR) portal. After students can go to get a master's program, which lasts 2 years. And after accumulating 24 months of work experience, students pass the final exam. Passing final exams entitles you to register with a professional architectural organization, which will open the door to many career opportunities.


SAMPSE specialists offer a Foundation course with guaranteed admission to one of the following universities:

  1. University of Nottingham - # 14 in Architecture (Complete University Guide 2020). Foundation cost: 18,920 £.
  2. University of Brighton - # 21 in student satisfaction with teaching architecture (Guardian University Guide 2020). Foundation cost: 15,090 £.
  3. UWE Bristol - # 6 in Architecture (Guardian University Guide 2020). Foundation cost: 13,780 £.
  4. University of Liverpool - # 11 in Architecture (Time and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020). Foundation cost: 17,080 £.
  5. University of Nottingham Trent - # 29 in Architecture (Complete University Guide 2020). Foundation cost: 15,090 £.
  6. University of Westminster - # 24 in Architecture (Guardian University Guide 2020). Foundation cost: 16,480 £.

University of Westminster, University of Liverpool and University of Nottingham Trent have additional Foundation requirements, such as a portfolio and motivation letter.

For all questions, write to us by mail:

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