Advice from Architecture Students

We asked architecture students and alumni to share with us their best advice for incoming architecture students. Below you will find a growing list! Enjoy!


Advice from Architecture Students

Whether you’re interested in applying to architecture school or have already begin your education in architecture… you are in the right place. Study Architecture curates resources for prospective and current students across North America and publishes them right here, on the Study Architecture blog. Over the last two years, we have asked students to share with us the best advice they have for students who are interested in studying architecture. Below you will find a short list of our favorites.


“It doesn’t matter if you think you can draw or not, what matters is that you put that pen onto paper and follow your intuition. That will take you farther than any software you can learn today.”

—Paul Germaine McCoy, M.Arch, University of Pennsylvania School of Design
    featured in Part V of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“Accept input from everyone and to understand that all your peers are at the same level as you – all their opinions will only strengthen your work. It’s not a competition, everyone is working.”

—Sophie Liu Ribeiro Da Silva, B.F.A. in Architecture, Savannah College of Art and Design 
    featured in Part V of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“Don’t be afraid to try, learn, or even work for a non-architectural experience – at the end of the day it will all merge to one like a swiss-army knife as your architectural asset.”

—James K. Jung, M.Arch, Savannah College of Art & Design 
   featured in Part IV of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“Always be reading – albeit aesthetic theory or architectural and historic references – while working on projects, and always be questioning the discourse.”

—Megan York, M.Arch, University of Pennsylvania School of Design
   featured in Part IV of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“1) Try new things and get out of your comfort zone. 2) Get to know different people – but better yet, get to know yourself.
I offer the first piece of advice largely because the world of architecture is so big, and there are so many opportunities for people to get involved inside and outside of the college. You may not know you’re excited about something until you try it. Even if it doesn’t pan out, you learn more about yourself at the end of it – bonus points if it leads you outside of the bubble of architecture school! This leads me to my second piece of advice. As you try new things and get out of your comfort zone, you tend to meet lots of different people: people whose process is different, beliefs are different, values are different, etc. These people help expand your mindset and allow you to develop your own unique worldview, which will in turn help you figure out where you fit in the profession. At the end of the day, the goal of school beyond getting good grades should be getting to know how you work, what your process is, and what architecture + design mean to YOU.

—Zachary Orig, B.Arch, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
featured in Part V of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“Productivity can take other forms than simply working on a drawing and is measured in more ways than just hours. Taking a step back from studio, reading books for enjoyment, asking about your studio mate’s projects, watching a film, exploring the environment around you, participating in organizations, and dedicating time to your hobbies are a few examples of sustainable ways you can keep your mind healthy and curious while simultaneously learning more about the world around you. This, in turn, leads to being able to produce ideas and solutions you may not have thought of without those experiences. By creating and managing a schedule that works for you and includes time for activities outside of architecture, you can gain control over a career that tends to control you.”

—Marco Nieto, M.Arch, University of Michigan
featured in Part II of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“Find a process that works for you and think of the considerable amount of time and rigor as an investment in yourself. Also, the friendships made in studio are crucial but don’t forget to make friends outside of architecture.”

—Juan Acosta, University of Texas at Austin
featured in Part I of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“Architecture school has an earned reputation. Between the impossible amounts of work, the crushing feeling after a not so great review or the sense that you aren’t quite keeping up with your cohort, architecture school can be the most difficult experience in a person’s life. That has definitely been the case for me, but it has also been the most rewarding. Architecture is so much more than “cool” buildings, it’s about the social interactions that take place within them. It’s about community engagement and thorough research to effect lasting, meaningful change. It is easy to lose sight of those things after staring at a computer all day. So, my advice would be to find ways to remind yourself of your passion for the profession. For me, it was walks to nearby buildings that I admired when I was having moments of doubt. The small amount of activity, fresh air and inspiring spaces tended to reset my focus.”

—Gable Bostic, University of Texas at Austin
featured in Part I of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


“It is important to consider how your project can be integrated with other disciplines. Throughout our process, we consulted professionals in the field of landscape architecture, the school of environmental science, along with faculty that have experience in infrastructural design. These conversations allowed us to broaden our goals for the proposal while gaining valued input that steered our project in directions we never would have considered. When it comes to producing the final presentation, make a list of deliverables and a schedule for yourself so you have time to go over final touches at the end. Also, think ahead in terms of how you can take those deliverables and optimize them for different digital formats such as social media platforms and publications.”

—Kate Katz and Ryan Shaaban, M.Arch, Tulane University
featured in Part I of the Study Architecture Student Showcase


If you are reading this as a current student or alumni and have more to offer, shoot us an email and we will add it to the list. We hope you have a happy holiday season and enjoy your much-deserved break. Make sure to follow us on Instagram at @imadethat_ and tag us in your published work!