Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch.) Salary and Information

There is only one school in the US that offers the Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch.) degree, and 100% online programs are not available. Architectural school can be demanding that your actual presence is needed to experience 3D artforms. While a D.Arch degree is not a prerequisite to becoming an architect, it can help you grab a higher position.

The common stereotype says “architects are engineers who can’t do Math”. However, architects are more than structural artists and surely, they are not ignorant of math. An architect is a guy you need to build your dream house.

What does an architect do?

Architects design buildings, houses, lawns, and other real properties. They initially craw concepts in paper and then make 3D representations in plastic, cardboard, or virtual software. Aside from the structures themselves, architects pay much attention to how the interior looks. They divide space in rooms and compartment and suggest appropriate furniture that fits the overlying theme. Sometimes, they work in teams to provide the best service for their clients.

The construction team is not only composed of architects but also with engineers and other professionals. During a project, the architects decide what materials to use in construction. They heed the advice of clients regarding cost limitations. They rely on engineers on matters of wiring, plumbing, and piping. Thus, they work hand in hand with engineers to formulate the blueprint.

Apart from the lighting, painting, and finishing, architects also pay close attention to the surrounding structures and areas. For instance, in designing a condominium complex, they take into account a lot of natural factors such as shadows, sunrise, sunset, airflow, water presence, and disaster risks like fault lines and coastal hazards. Recent architectural trends nowadays emphasize sustainability, wherein designs aim to minimize pollution and public disturbance.

Contemporary architects not only conceptualize stand-alone buildings but communities that function as a single organism. Here, architects ventures into urban planning. An urban planner classifies districts in a city or town into residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, institutional, or a mixture of these classifications. They look at the grand design of a city from above, connecting public and private spaces through transportation routes and mobility facilities. Moreover, architect participates further in societal transformations by drafting laws and policies that govern the establishment of buildings.

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited architecture schools in the US. The accreditation body oversees quality education for undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs in architecture. In 2018, only one school in the US is accredited to open a Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch.) degree.

How do I earn my D.Arch. Degree?

After finishing your 5-year undergraduate program in architecture, you may proceed to take a licensure exam and enroll in architecture school. The D.Arch program lasts for three to four years. It might be shorter if you have a masters degree. For beginners in architecture, pre-requisite subjects from undergraduate architecture can be taken in one semester. Another semester will be added for the boot camp.

The D.Arch program requires a capstone project under the supervision of an adviser from the institution. The capstone project might be an actual design for a specific project somewhere. It could also be an avant-garde endeavor that may advance current architectural practices.

In contrast to the “Ph.D. in Architecture” degree, the D.Arch program does not require a dissertation. Ph.D. in Architecture programs are more research-oriented and aims to formulate a new theory or criticize existing theories in the field. Nonetheless, both titles belong to the doctorate level – Ph.D. leaning more on the academic sphere and D.Arch on the professional sphere.

What type of degree do I need to pursue research or educate others in architecture?

To teach in architecture, the professor must at least have a Ph.D. in Architecture or D.Arch degree. To teach in an undergrad school, a masters degree may suffice. In some cases, a bachelor’s degree holder may teach in colleges given that the architect has proficient achievements in his/her field.

Research architects work on enriching architectural knowledge. They study the history of designs from ancient civilizations to modern megalopolises. Also, many architects share their work in academic journals, magazines, and fancy coffee table books.

How do I earn a transitional or bridge D.Arch. Degree?

Unfortunately, no online program as of the moment is available for a D.Arch degree. Also, architectural coursework requires so many hands-on activities that an online setting is not conducive for learning.

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my D.Arch. Degree?

As mentioned before, architects works along with engineers for the technical aspects of construction. Most especially, they work closely with clients. In special cases, architects work on the preservation of old structures and heritage monuments. They can also work as urban planners employed by either private corporations or government institutions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US, the median salary of an architect $78,470 per year, but that is with just a bachelor’s degree. Architects with more credentials can easily earn six figures. Prices may vary depending on the client and the project.

Do I need a license to be an architect?

A D.Arch degree is not required to have a license in the US. After passing a 5-year architecture program in an accredited school by the NAAB, the graduate will take the Architectural Registration Examinations (ARE) sponsored by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

What schools offer Doctor of Architect degrees?

In 2018, only the University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a D.Arch program. They require students to be on campus and has an accredited program for overseas students. You may also take advantage of their “Global Track Dual Degree” with Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning (Shanghai, China). The D.Arch. program of the University of Manoa exposes their students to the latest architectural practices particularly in the Asia Pacific Region.

Currently, most schools offer “PhD in Architecture” as doctorate level titles for architects. Examples of these schools are: University of Illinois in Champaign, IL: University of California Berkeley in Berkeley, CA; and Yale University in New Haven, CT. These schools adopt the traditional classroom learning with a touch of online communication with professors.

Do you want to build your own dream house, or make others’ dream houses a reality? Be an architect and earn your D.Arch degree now!