Architecture is a crucial discipline and a valuable course of study in today’s world. Beyond physical environments and their purposes, architecture also represents human culture and how we live. For those looking to practice architecture and make a career out of it, studying it in university is the first step to that vision.
Finding the right architecture school is a critical aspect of preparing for future roles and jobs, and it can be tough to look for and choose the right school for you. The architecture program you take should be relevant and high-quality, handled by knowledgeable educators. Students should also look for a university that can nurture skills and teach them essential lessons from architecture such as teamwork, communication, personal style, technical-know how, and more.
Other than looking at accolades, awards, scholarship opportunities, and the like, here are some ways you can research universities to help you choose the right architecture school for you.
Look at student reviews
While students may want to make their own decisions, listening to their peers’ opinions may guide them to a good choice. As the e-learning platform Studocu points out that many university rankings compare schools based on the amount of money invested in research or the number of articles published. Their own world university rankings, however, consider students’ views from the inside. This ranking is based on how students perceive life on campus; students rate their school based on 15 categories, including course quality, facilities, sports culture, on-campus housing, and even the dating scene. These factors can guide a student looking for an architecture university, as the overall experience should be considered apart from just their program of choice. Since students have first-hand knowledge of campus life, they can provide valuable insights that can narrow down the options for schools.
Research notable alumni and alumni networks
Current students can provide a valuable look into a university, but so can the graduates of years past. Looking up a school’s alums can help you see if the college has educated and nurtured prominent names in the architecture industry and beyond. It also helps to know the trajectory of their careers after graduation, which could indicate that the quality of education in that college or university is high. It may even help to know if the school’s alum network is strong and whether they give back or donate to the campus to improve the education and facilities. Alumni satisfaction is a crucial element in enhancing a university’s offerings. If previous graduates are satisfied with the quality enough to continue being active in the community, that could be a good sign that you can obtain a high-quality education that is continuously evolving and improving.
Visit your top-choice campuses
Reviews and accolades are valuable information when choosing a school but may only capture part of the picture. If you have some top candidates for your chosen university, visiting them or going on a campus tour can offer an inside view into what the school has to offer. An effective college visit can help you understand the local community, observe the school’s facilities, evaluate the academic departments, talk to architecture professors, and more. Perhaps even the university’s architecture itself can give you more insight; it may reveal if the school put a lot of thought and care into its structures. Visiting a university also allows you to gauge the distance between home and the school, or you can get a feel for the on-campus housing. You can even check out nearby campuses, which may broaden your horizons and open up a new option.
Choosing where to attend higher education can be a nerve-wracking decision-making experience, but with the right questions and enough research, you can learn which school is right for you.