by Lee W. Waldrep, Ph.D., editor of ARCHCareersGuide
What is the best way to research an architecture program? Most would suggest you visit the campus and meet with faculty/representatives from the architecture program. But many students may not have the resources nor time to visit.
Well, attending an Architecture/Design Career Day/College Fair (see below) is the next best method to learn the details of an architecture program.
Attending the college day was a valuable resource for me because I was exposed to the many great options (programs) for my desired career path of architecture. During the event, I asked questions and interacted with colleges from across the country. Attending the college day in high school was a key resource in my college decision. – Frida Palacios
While many high schools and community colleges host annual college fairs, these events do not focus on architecture programs. Fortunately, there are a few annual events that are specifically for students interested in architecture. Even if you do not live in the immediate area, the investment in time and travel are well worth the cost as you can visit many programs at the same time.
Held in the fall, these architecture Career Days/College Fairs are a great opportunity for you to learn more about pursuing an architecture degree. You can interact with representatives from different programs and ask specific questions (see examples below); you will connect with faculty, program administrators, and possibly students and alumni. Having these conversations will help you gain a better insight and help make a decision about which program is right for you.
Attending the college day is a must if you are interested in architecture. I learned a great deal about the colleges with whom I visited and the career paths involved in architecture; as a result, I became excited about my future in architecture. – Alysia Bounds
At these events you will have a chance to meet with many programs, allowing you to maximize your engagement in just a single day. And, in addition to meeting with program representatives, these events often provide workshops on topics such as selecting a school, career options, or financing your education, as well as portfolio reviews and guest speakers. Thus, kick start your research by attending one of the events in Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, or New York!
Questions to Ask School Representatives
- What degree(s)/major(s) do you offer?
- What is special or unique about your program?
- What is the admission process? Is a portfolio required?
- What financial aid/scholarships are available?
- How does your school assist students with post-graduation plans?
- Do you have a graduate program?
- Does the program offer hands-on and/or workplace experience as part of the curriculum?
- What kind of professional experience does your faculty have?
- Are there opportunities for study abroad?
Upcoming College Fairs
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Boston Society of Architects – Architecture / Design College Fair
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Temple University – Philadelphia Architecture + Design Fair
Saturday, October 13, 2018
AIA Dallas – 2B an Architect
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Consortium for Design and Construction Careers – Chicago Architecture + Design College Day
New York, NY
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Center for Architecture – Architecture & Design College Fair
For more information, please contact Lee Waldrep at ARCHCareersGuide.