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Do you want to be an Architect

Architecture is one of the few careers which challenge your creative and analytical skills. Architects need to have strong analytical and technical skills. They should be able to design and innovate, visualize an idea, assess it’s feasibility  and finally communicate it well.  This makes architecture among the top paying professions. Modern architectural marvels such as Sydney Opera House, Petronas Towers, Burj Khalifa,  Palm Jemeirah, Marina Sands, Atomium, Skytree are the consequences of the creative insights conceived by some brilliant architects.

Is Architecture an art form or a science? The ancient literature on Architecture  by the Roman architect Vitruvius in the 1st century AD says  buildings must have:

  • Durability – a building should stand up robustly and remain in good condition.
  • Utility – it should be suitable for the purposes for which it is used.
  • Beauty – it should be aesthetically pleasing.

Ancient buildings that survive today are not only beautiful but also very strong and durable.

Mere construction of buildings is not architecture.  The 20th-century architect Le Corbusier wrote: “You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. But suddenly you touch my heart that is architecture.”


Modern concepts of Sustainable Architecture 

Architects are concerned with form and function. Modern  buildings are functional which means they make living or working in them a pleasure. They help people in living a better life.

In the late 20th century a new concept of sustainability was added, hence sustainable architecture. To satisfy the contemporary ethos a building should be constructed in a manner which is environmentally friendly in terms of the production of its materials, its impact upon the natural and built environment of its surrounding area and the demands that it makes upon non-sustainable power sources for heating, cooling, water and waste management and lighting.


Architecture courses in India

To get enrolled in an undergraduate course, one must have science (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) in 12th standard. The candidate must appear for National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) conducted by the Council of Architecture.  After passing the exam, one can enroll in the different colleges depending on the score obtained by them in the NATA test. Private colleges might have additional criteria and norms. Students who wish to enroll at Indian Institutes of Technology must crack JEE.

The duration of the under-graduation is 5 years. Followed by graduation, students are required to do an internship under an architect or with a  firm. One can also enroll for a 2 year post- graduation for a specialization.

Different types of Architecture courses offered in India

  • Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch)
  • E (Architecture Engineering)
  • Tech ( Architecture Engineering )
  • Tech (Town & Country Planning)
  • Phi ( Architecture Engineering)
  • Diploma (Architecture Engineering)
  • Diploma in ( Architecture Assistantship)

Top architecture colleges in India

  • School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi
  • Sir JJ College of Architecture, University of Mumbai
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, School of Planning & Architecture, Hyderabad
  • Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad.
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
  • Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal
  • India Education Society’s College of Architecture, Mumbai
  • Pune University, Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Architecture, Pune


Studying Architecture courses abroad;

Some universities at United Kingdom, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Canada, Italy and Denmark offer good architecture courses. One can plan for an undergraduate course there followed by an internship and then come back to India and practice architecture.


Entrance requirements:

Some of the universities have their own entrance criteria which could be sought from the website of the universities. Few universities have set 75% as the minimum requirement for the students who have passed Indian boards and some permit admissions based on the SAT scores. An IELTS score is required which is an English language proficiency test.

Students from the IB diploma programme, must have Maths and Physics at Higher level.  For students of Cambridge givng the A levels students Maths and Physics at A level with a good score is sufficient. Some Universities in Canada may require an additional Chemistry, though most European Universities do not require chemistry.

Design Portfolio 

Besides Physics and Math a student must have a strong inclination towards art and design.  You must show a portfolio of original creative work like paper craft, pottery, drawing, painting, or renditions of your art on the computer. Typically a University abroad may ask you to send a presentation showing 10-15 pieces of your original art samples.

If you are good at design software like Adobe illustrator or CAD/CAM it will impress the admisions department of any University.


You may use your summer after the 11th  standard to do an internship with a design firm or an architecture firm. You have to convince them of your ability to learn and contribute to their work. Even if you pick up a few tips on good design it will expand your vision  and also convince the top Universities abroad of your desire to become an architect. So your education starts even before you have joined the 5 year architecture course!

Why study abroad? Is it worth it

Their are limited seats in the few top Architectural colleges in India so we still lag behind in availability of seats. If you are a good student with a passion for architecture,and if you can afford it then try to enroll in the top colleges only. Do not settle for less. Remember architecture is about inspiration and a good university will inspire its students.

Foreign universities in Netherlands allow their students to work on live projects in which you can work on building projects within the country or also in other countries. You do get a lot of experience, responsibility and inspiration. All these are important qualities in an architect.

Some international universities offering architecture courses;

University and Course offered Duration Course fee
 University of South Australia
·     Bachelor of Interior Architecture 4 year(s) full-time AUD$ 20,900 per annum
·     Bachelor of  Architectural Studies 3 year(s) full-time AUD$ 30,400 per annum
IE School of Architecture and Design,Spain
·        Bachelors in Architecture 5 year(s) full-time € 20,300 per annum
·        Bachelors in Design 4year(s) full-time € 20,300 per annum
Technological University of Eindhoven, Netherlands 3 year(s) full-time € 11,000 per annum
B.Sc Architechture, urbanism and building science
Glasgow School of Art, Scotland 3 year(s) full-time+ 1 year training  £16,800 per annum
B.Arch (Architecture)
University of  Toronto, Canada 4 year(s) full-time $ 45,690 / Year
Bachelors in Architecture studies


JAM Campus Abroad:

If you’d like to know more about the courses, fees and entry requirements get in touch with us at campusabroad@jammag.com. Tell us a bit about yourself and why you want to pursue architecture.


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