Designing and Building the Future

Architecture is the designing of buildings and man-made environments to achieve a desired aesthetic look and functionality. There are currently 125 schools in North America that offer Architecture degrees. It is important to remember that a degree is the first step toward licensure, followed by an internship period (typically three years). Every state has different requirements, so keep that in mind when planning your education and licensure.

Architects are often called upon to adapt existing buildings or areas and find a creative solution to an inherited problem. In some cases the client will want to make an older building ‘green’ by utilizing various alternative energies and methods, while still retaining a cutting edge style and appearance.

What Kind of Career Can I Have?

Architecture offers a wide variety of career options upon graduation. Architecture students work in many different industries, and very often continue their education by attaining advanced degrees. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be job growth through 2016 due to a resurgence of interest in green and environmentally friendly design and building. Salaries range depending on the level of education and experience, but the middle 50% of architects earn between $46,000 and $68,300 annually according to, 2014.

The possibilities increase dramatically if you are interested in international travel and work abroad. Depending on your college of choice, international study programs are available on almost every continent, and can be short term (2-4 weeks) as well as last up to a full year of study. Very often grants are available to pursue international studies as well.

Where Should I Go?

In 2014, Architecture Daily ranked the top undergraduate school as studies as California Polytechnic State University, Cornell University, Rice University, University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Polytechnic and State University. The average tuition rate for these five schools is $48,695 per year for out-of-state students. With tuition costs skyrocketing, it’s no wonder many students are looking to supplement their tuition costs with scholarships.

Tuition and Fee Waivers

Some schools offer waivers of tuition costs and fees for students meeting specific criteria. For instance, the University of Texas at Austin offers a limited number of tuition waivers for non-resident students. In addition, tuition and fees are often waived in full for students entering specific careers upon graduation – most often in public service.

Grants and Fellowships

Grants are often need based gifted monies (you don’t need to repay). They can come from federal or local government, your college of choice or private or nonprofit groups or businesses. There are several organizations that offer grants to architecture students specifically, such as The Center for Architecture Foundation, the Deborah J. Norden Fund and The Getty Research Institute, among others. Requirements are different for all and some involve an employment obligation for a specified time period upon graduation. It pays to research the grants offered thoroughly, and understand the guidelines and offer completely.

Are There Really Scholarships Available?

Scholarships are financial awards for your education that do not need to be repaid. While they are typically awarded based on merit, very often the scholarship committees take financial need into consideration in awarding their recipients. The amount of total financial aid cannot be more than the cost of attendance for your college or university.

Scholarships are typically developed to fit a particular student profile – whether based on academic interest or proficiency, ethnicity, interests or field of study, or they could be related to an affiliation (such as religion, military, club membership, employer, etc.).

Scholarships can help lessen the impact of ever increasing tuition costs. Scholarships help to fill the gap between low-income families and higher-income. Frequently government aid is focused on lower income students, leaving middle or higher-income families struggling with high tuition costs. Scholarships can help reduce the responsibility significantly. And for students paying their own way through school, it means less time spent working while trying to finish your degree.

Here Are Just A Handful Of The Many Architecture Scholarships Available:

AIA/F Diversity Advancement Scholarship – Offers up to $4,000, for US residents attending a NAAB accredited program.

ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship – Offers up to $5,000 for 4th year students pursuing advanced degrees into a NAAB accredited program.

Structural Engineering/Architecture Student Scholarship Program – Offers up $2,000 for architecture students at selected universities

The Barbara S. and W. Calvin McCall Carolinas Fellowship – Offers up to 3,000 for undergraduate students with an interest or specialization in concrete.

AAUW Graduate Fellowship – Offers up to $25,000 for undergraduate women pursuing a master’s degree in architecture.

AWA +D Scholarship – Scholarships amount varies. Applicants must be female students who live in California studying any aspect of architecture.

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities – Scholarship amount varies. There are 14+ different scholarships available for architecture students.

LA Foundation Scholarship – Offers $15,000 to Olmstead Scholars – University nominated student from landscape architecture program.

Landscape Forms Design for People Scholarship – Offers $3,000 to 4th year landscape architects.

Architecture Department First Generation Student Scholarship (Cal Poly) – Offers up to $3,500 to incoming freshmen or transfers into architecture program at Cal Poly with a minimum 2.5 G.P.A.

Because the cost of tuition is high, the competition for scholarships is high. It’s important to start your preparations early and pay attention to the details and guidelines of each individual scholarship. Don’t limit yourself to only high-dollar scholarships; it doesn’t matter whether you receive one larger scholarship or ten smaller ones – the goal is to acquire whatever assistance you can to reduce your financial responsibility. Apply for as many scholarships as you can; the more work you put in now the more possibilities you have for tuition coverage. If you don’t get a scholarship this year from one particular organization, try again next year. Use what you’ve learned, make adjustments if necessary, and don’t give up.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through