Becoming an Architect


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Career in Architecture

To want to be an architect, the most important thing is to have a love for buildings. Like doctors and lawyers, architects have to complete university programs and lengthy internships.

Architects must be licensed before they can practice. In order to get a license you need a degree in architecture. Courses include architectural theory, building design, math, and science. Then, you must finish an internship and pass all sections of a license exam.

While still in high school, take the following subjects:

  • Science & Engineering/Technology: the design process; materials and tools
  • Mathematics: sorting and using 2d and 3d shapes; measuring and estimating
  • Social Sciences: exploring and mapping places in the neighborhood, home and school
  • Art courses - drawing, painting, sculpture, or photography - will be helpful in developing your ability to visualize: elements and principles of design; materials, methods & techniques
  • Language Arts: speaking; writing; presentation skills
  • Elective courses in computers and business will be extremely helpful

Employment requirements for registered Architects

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited school of architecture, or
  • Completion of the syllabus of studies from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
  • A master's degree in architecture
  • Completion of a three-year internship under the supervision of a registered architect
  • Completion of the Examination for Architecture in Canada (ExAC), or, if you wish to work in the United States, the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) from NCARB
  • Registration with the provincial/territorial association of architects in the province/territory of work

For more information, visit the Architecture Canada website.

Schools of Architecture

Architectural accreditation signifies that a professional program in Architecture has a satisfactory standard of educational achievement. This achievement is ascertained by an evaluation process carried out by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB).  The list of Accredited Canadian Universities - Schools of Architecture can be found on the Canadian Architectural Certification Board website.

Syllabus Program

The Architecture Canada (RAIC) Syllabus Program provides access to Architectural education to Canadians who, for reasons of geography or personal circumstances, are unable to attend one of the ten Canadian University Schools of Architecture, as well as International Architecture Graduates (IAG) who come to Canada and require additional courses.

To obtain more information on the Syllabus program, see Architecture Canada (RAIC)'s Syllabus Program.