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BS in Architecture in the Philippines

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  1. Read about the BS in Architecture course:
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Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSArch) is a 5-year college degree intended for people who wish to pursue a career in Architecture. Architectural education provides students with knowledge and skills in planning, designing and constructing buildings taking into account the principles of utility, strength and aesthetics.

The BS in Architecture curriculum comprises of CHED-mandated general education courses; technical subjects in Math, Science and Basic Engineering; and professional Architecture courses presented thru classroom lectures, laboratory classes and studio design activities.

Keeping abreast with the current trends in Architectural industry, most schools provide technologically upgraded studio facilities for the study of computer aided designs.

The BS in Architecture program in the Philippines is offered in ladder type curriculum:

The first three years put emphasis on providing opportunities for the students to draw and design with a sense of quality and technical expertise; to develop visual perception, and to understand construction as a means of communication of principles. Upon satisfactory completion of the prescribed courses at certain level, students will be granted Certifications for the technical skills acquired, such as Certificate in Drafting Technology; Certificate in Building Technology and Utilities; and Certificate in CADD.

The last two years are used to plan actual projects and explore the more detailed spatial and visual considerations and to gain knowledge in computer science as applied to Architecture. Special emphasis is given on the importance of research as evidenced by the thesis requirement for the course. Additionally, the knowledge and understanding of the ethical guidelines of the profession is a significant component of the program. (source)

Is Architecture a profession?

Architecture is a profession. A graduate of BS in Architecture who passed the Architecture Licensure Examination is called an Architect. An Architect is technically defined as a person professionally and academically qualified, registered and licensed under Republic Act No. 9266 with a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card issued by the Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture and the Professional Regulation Commission.

What are the admission requirements for BSArchi?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate. Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers admission.
  • Must pass the college entrance examination
  • Must pass the interview conducted by the college / university admission officer
  • Some schools require particular rating in the National Secondary Assessment Test (NSAT)
  • Some schools require particular high school grade or gross point average

What skills will help you succeed in this course?

  • Artistic talent and Drawing skills
  • Technical Skills – the ability to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer–related duties
  • Creativity
  • Analytical skills – the ability to visualize, articulate, and solve problems.
  • Basic Mathematical skills – the ability to solve and use different computational methods
  • English skills – the ability to read, write and converse in English as most technical literature is in English.
  • Interpersonal skills – will help you in studying together with classmates, doing group assignments and forming connections with friends and colleges.

How difficult is this course?

BS in Architecture is both interesting and challenging. Natural artistic talent plays a big part into it, as this profession requires a lot of drawing skills and creativity. Students are expected to draw extensively and build chipboard models or building prototypes. The course also requires numerical proficiency used for cost estimation, surveying, structural load and other mathematical computations. Production of the required drawing projects and presentation materials require lots of hard work, patience and careful attention to details. But since Architecture is not just a science but also an art, a passionate student who overcomes these challenges might really enjoy studying Architecture.

How long does it take to complete BS in Architecture in the Philippines?

Normally, the BSArchi takes 5 years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

On The Job Training / Internship

CHED Memorandum Order no.61 mandates that Schools of Architecture shall have an active and organized program for on-the-job and diversified training for its students which shall include: assistance in organizing student employer interviews; maintenance of a job-available card file with an index of potential local employers; and if needed, assistance to employers, and fast transfer of students' academic transcripts to speed up the employment process.

The Board Exam

An Architecture graduate needs to take and pass the Architectural Licensure Examination (ALE) before he/she can practice as a Licensed Architect. The examination is conducted by the Board of Architecture under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

The licensure examination for Architects shall cover the following subjects: History and Theory of Architecture; Principles of Planning and Architectural Practice; Structural Design, Building Materials, Urban Design and Architectural Interiors; and Architectural Design and Site Planning and Architectural Specifications, and Methods of Construction and Utilities. (source, sec.14)

Most Architecture students who completed the regular 5-year course opt to review for several months before the January licensure exam. However, those who finished the course on irregular time-frame typically choose the March examination date. Review programs are usually provided for by the school. However, some students decide on enrolling at specialized review centers.

Career opportunities for BSArchi graduates

  • Jobs for licensed Architects (board exam passers)

    • Entry Level jobs
      Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:
      • Junior Architect – works in a construction firm and are involved with designing new buildings, extensions or alterations to existing buildings, or advising on the restoration and conservation of old properties.
      • Junior Design Architect – works under the senior design architect and helps in rendering and building proto-types to demonstrate design concepts
      • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or Computer-Aided Design and Draft (CADD) Architect – uses CAD systems application to create electronic versions of the technical drawings and design plans for buildings and machinery.
      • Building Surveyors – often work on preventative measures to keep buildings in good condition and look to make buildings sustainable.
    • Advanced Positions
      Require years of extensive experience and practice:
      • Principal Architect – a licensed architect who owns an architecture firm or one who shares an ownership interest with the other architects in the firm.
      • Architectural project manager – work closely with the construction project manager and coordinate the work of the design team and manage communication with the client. The issues of budget, scheduling, and quality-control are the responsibility of the Project Manager in an architect's office.
      • Architectural Technologists are architectural specialists who turn the concept into reality in the completed construction. Concerned with the technical side of design, ensure that an attractive functional building performs successfully by making sure that the right materials are used and that building regulations are met.
      • Building Conservation Officer – advises on and promotes the protection of the historic environment and, in particular, its long-term care, preservation and enhancement of enlisted buildings within conservation areas.
      • Senior Design Architect – have experience in strategic master planning, and is responsible for managing assigned architecture projects, including development of concept drawings and designs, and meeting client expectations, while ensuring work is within project scope, meets the project schedule deadlines and is within budget.
      • Architecture Researcher – researches, designs and develops solutions to highly complex and technical issues, designs system architecture, workflows, data flows and databases; recommends solutions to highly complex problems to provide technical direction on systems analysis, design, development and testing.
      • Academician – architects who are faculty members, instructors, and professors in an institution that offers Architectural course
  • Jobs for Non Board Passers:

    • Intern Architect or architectural intern is a person who has successfully completed a professional degree in architecture and works under the supervision of a licensed architect and preparing for professional registration exams or licensure as an architect.
    • AutoCAD Operator or Technician – uses computer software to help Architects and Engineers to prepare blueprints and drawings. These are very significant in creating a whole lot of products, which include manufactured items, structures and buildings.
    • Industrial Product Designers – create a wide range of items, from everyday products, such as mobile phones, household appliances and cars, to larger items, such as industrial tools, equipment and machinery
  • Jobs not related to architecture that graduates can apply to

    • Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
    • Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
    • Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills
  • Career Opportunities Abroad

    There are plenty of job opportunities overseas for Filipino Architects, Draftsman, AutoCAD Operators and other Architectural related positions are available in East Asia, Australia and the Middle East. (source).
  • Salary Levels

    The salary range of professional architects in the Philippines with 1–4 years experience ranges from php15,000 to php18,000 per month, while those with more experience and in the more advanced positions can earn between php25,000 and php40,000 per month (source).

    Salaries for those who work abroad are generally much higher.

Find schools offering BS in Architecture:

Reviews of BS in Architecture graduates:

list bulletWhy did I choose Architecture: I was fond of doing some arts or drawings since grade school and I thought that the skills I had suited on this course. I also had a dream of being an Architect and being able to create some designs for my own projects.

list bulletAbout my college education: Personally, I do not think that there are subjects that were so difficult to learn, since I really liked this course. Nothing is impossible as long as you like what you are doing.

The interesting and enjoyable parts about Architecture were the activities of doing arts, colors and designs since you can use your imagination and apply the skills you have learned. Sometimes I found the lectures on other subjects boring. While knowing new things, arts, decoration and fun colors are very interesting for me.

list bulletMy current job: I am currently working in a Business Process Outsourcing company.
I am assigned in financial accounts as a collecting agent. My main job is to collect for clients with more than 5 years debt. It is not an easy job but I am starting to get used to it since I have been working in this industry for years already.

I am also studying another course now, a management course since I have a goal of being promoted to supervisory or managerial position in the same company I am working now.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: With regards to my current job, I cannot say that what I have learned on college is practical. I am not using the skills I have learned from the Architecture course.

I could say that the subjects related to English comprehension or the English subject in general are somewhat useful, since I am using the English language in dealing with the clients.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: After my graduation, I got a job in a month.
I really need to have a work that time since I needed to support myself so, I applied to a job even it was not related to my course. Even I am not practicing or using what I have learned, I am still thankful that I have used my Bachelor's or college degree in applying for a job. There are industries that will require or need degree course graduates on any course.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Architecture: I would recommend the BS Architecture course for those who aspire to be Architects someday. It can be a fulfilling career if you really like it and not just forced into it.

Entry level jobs are mostly waged minimum or a bit above minimum. The salary will be higher as you gained more experienced and worked longer on a company.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course: It is important that you love what you are doing as well as what you are studying. Having the passion on this course would help you deal with various difficulties you might encounter while studying.

You can be more skilled on designing if you have focus on learning the techniques and necessary things about it.
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