Architecture studies

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Studio workstations for architecture students in the Stuckeman Family Building at Pennsylvania State University in State College . The students spend a large part of their working days here.
workshop in the Stuckeman Family Building
Lecture area in the Stuckeman Family Building
Classroom in the Stuckeman Family Building

This article deals with the study of architecture , i.e. with the scientifically oriented learning and research of the planned design, design and construction of buildings.


The contents of the architecture course change constantly like the tasks of the architect . The varied and widely diversified course differs depending on the university; from training to become a generalist to concentrating on individual areas. The subjects are or can be: design, representation technology, building science , history of architecture or building and art history , architectural informatics , architectural theory , building construction , construction management , building chemistry or building materials science , building physics , building services , structural engineering or structural engineering in the field of concrete construction, timber construction , steel construction , (if necessary basic construction ) as well as urban development and land-use planning , building law (or building and planning law), open space and landscape planning, possibly also interior planning .

Depending on the department and individual interests, there are different specializations. The architecture course provides students with basic knowledge and the knowledge they need to later work as an architect. In addition to the pure imparting of knowledge, the training of individual skills, strategies and working techniques is also important.

However, the architecture degree does not necessarily include the fields of civil engineering , interior design and landscape architecture . There are different training paths for each of these.


The training to become an architect can take place at a total of 64 universities. The number of people who were registered for an architectural subject was almost 31,000 in 2011 (out of a total of around 2.5 million students).

entry requirements

The entry requirements ( high school diploma , technical college entrance qualification , internship , vocational training in construction) are different. Since they change more often, it makes sense to inquire about them directly from the respective university. Some universities carry out their own selection process for study suitability , in which the artistic aptitude of the applicant is checked (presentation of drawings, interviews, etc.). In Germany, only the Abitur certificate is required at 21 universities, an aptitude test is required at 11 universities and an internship is required at 32 universities.

Duration of study

The duration of the study varies depending on the university and the desired degree. A study with the completion of a graduate engineer (Dipl.-Ing.) Usually takes as a standard period of study at a university ten semesters and at a technical school for eight semesters. A consecutive Bachelor / Master course lasts 10 semesters including the master’s thesis , whereby at most universities the Bachelor’s six and the Master’s four semesters are designed. At some universities, a practical semester is integrated into the course of study. However, the average duration of study - especially at universities - is often longer than the theoretical standard period of study.

Fields of study

Basically, there are three different fields of study in Germany, which are determined by the choice of university: architecture (building construction) , interior design and landscape architecture . In the “classic” architecture course (structural engineering) there are usually different specializations that you choose after the basic course, e.g. B. Town planning, monument maintenance, construction management, agriculture.

Form of teaching

The form of teaching is very different from subject to subject and from professor to professor. In the subjects that deal with imparting knowledge, teaching takes place primarily in lectures and training seminars. In the subjects to increase the creative and individual skills of the students and the development of their own attitude to design and construction, the students themselves develop knowledge within the framework of individual tasks and projects with a lot of initiative. As a result, many module examinations within the course are not taken in the form of written exams, but in the form of submissions (especially drafts and work plans).

The basic services for a design task that are required up to the submission of the design are mostly floor plans, sections and views, as well as a design model. Often the presentation and explanation of the draft in the plenary is part of the task.

There are teachers who teach the students their architectural concept and techniques in the form of a “master class”. The students benefit directly from the teacher's experience. Many design professors contribute their experience as architects or often run an architecture office alongside their teaching .


In 2010, around 6,000 students successfully passed the final exam. The degree is different depending on the university. In the past it was mainly the graduate engineer in architecture (Dipl.-Ing.). After successfully completing your degree you are not an “architect”. The job title “architect” is protected in Germany and may only be worn by members of the Chamber of Architects . Only with the professional title "architect" or as a civil engineer listed in the directory of engineers authorized to build a building is one in Germany unrestrictedly entitled to building submission (large building submission authorization).

In the course of the Bologna Process , the diploma courses are being phased out and are being converted to graded courses. Therefore, it is already only possible to obtain a Bachelor's or Master's degree at numerous universities . As a rule, the degrees Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) As well as Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) awarded. A graduate of architecture studies can, for example, be awarded the B.Sc. of Architecture .

The bachelor's degree is sometimes viewed by the German chambers of architects as not qualifying for a profession and therefore does not meet the requirements for admission to the respective chamber of architects. The advantages of this degree should lie in the modular structure of the study and the higher international comparability.

Professional qualification

After completing his training, the graduate is not yet an architect in Germany within the meaning of architectural law . Only several years of practical activity entitle him to be entered in the architects' lists of the chambers of architects in the federal states. In most countries, the basic requirement for admission to a chamber is completion of at least eight semesters of architecture studies and two years of professional experience. With the optional specialization in urban planning , even as a member of a chamber of architects, you do not have the professional title “ architect ” but “ urban planner ”.


There are 1,004 professors working in the architecture course, 16.8% of them women (169 as of the 2012/2013 winter semester).


Architectural training at the University of Liechtenstein in the Principality of Liechtenstein is based on the internationally established bachelor, master and doctorate system. Lecturers and students from over 20 nations are represented. The master’s degree with the specializations “ Sustainable Design ”, “ Design Theory ” and “ Urbanscape ” is exclusively in English. Furthermore, u. a. Further training courses for architects offered, for construction management, construction economics, energy and ecology, property valuation and damage-free planning.


Universities with architectural training:

Universities with architectural training:


Universities and colleges with architectural training:

United States

A building belonging to the MIT School of Architecture and Planning

Some of the most well-known architecture schools in the world are in the United States , including B .:

Universities like this one offer a variety of courses and degrees. The basic requirement for a professional license as an architect in the USA is a mostly 5-year bachelor's degree. Many architects then complete a 3-year master’s degree. While the bachelor's degree is a general study in many other college courses , the architecture subject focuses on subject-specific aspects very early on. Because the universities each have their own training concepts in the subject of architecture, it is not very common in this subject to change universities after the associate degree (for reasons of cost savings, for example).

Architecture, architectural engineering , landscape architecture, and construction management are separate subjects in the United States.

Web links



Websites of the universities / colleges:

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Ulrike EichhornArchitects. Your job. Your life.  Edition Eichhorn, Berlin 2013.  ISBN 978-3-8442-6702-0
  2. a b Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences - /
  3. HafenCity University Hamburg - Archive link ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg -
  5. The ArchitekturWerkstatt - ArchitekturWerkstatt St.Gallen on
  6. Patrick Lynch: The Top 200 Universities in the World for Architecture 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017 .
  7. USC debuts in a "Top 10 Architecture Schools" list, joining Harvard, Yale, SCI-Arc, and UCLA. Retrieved September 7, 2018 .
  8. Cal Poly Architecture Program Ranked No. 2 in the nation. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 1, 2018 ; accessed on September 7, 2018 .
  9. Cornell Holds No. 1 Rank As America's Top Undergraduate Architecture School. Retrieved September 7, 2018 .
  10. ^ Architecture Versus Architectural Engineering. Retrieved September 7, 2018 . Difference Between Landscape Architect & Architect. Retrieved September 7, 2018 .