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I'm an undergraduate engineering student who is very interested and enthusiastic about sustainable and environmentally friendly architecture. I initially started a bachelors of environmental design but quickly realized that it was heavily design/arts focused and had little to no science or math. I decided that if I am to one day become an architect I wanted to have a solid foundation of mechanics, math, materials etc. Therefore, I enrolled in the engineering program and am currently completing my first general year. I'm now faced with two options: a bachelors of civil engineering (which covers structures as well as some environmental and transportation) or a bachelors of biosystems/environmental engineering specializing in sustainable building systems. One is more focused on the structural aspects and one is more focused on the sustainabilty aspects although there is some definite overlap. For example, the environmental engineering program offers courses like civ eng materials and structural analysis while the civil engineering program offers options of pollution assesment and water contamination. It just so happens that three of my first year courses are included in the environmental engineering degree so that means I would have a little leg up.

Based on your experiences, what would be more attractive to architecture masters programs? What about working as an engineer at an architecture firm? How about simply as working as an engineer?

I've done a fair bit of research but I would greatly appreciate any input!

Thanks

Tom
 

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I'm an undergraduate engineering student who is very interested and enthusiastic about sustainable and environmentally friendly architecture. I initially started a bachelors of environmental design but quickly realized that it was heavily design/arts focused and had little to no science or math. I decided that if I am to one day become an architect I wanted to have a solid foundation of mechanics, math, materials etc. Therefore, I enrolled in the engineering program and am currently completing my first general year. I'm now faced with two options: a bachelors of civil engineering (which covers structures as well as some environmental and transportation) or a bachelors of biosystems/environmental engineering specializing in sustainable building systems. One is more focused on the structural aspects and one is more focused on the sustainabilty aspects although there is some definite overlap. For example, the environmental engineering program offers courses like civ eng materials and structural analysis while the civil engineering program offers options of pollution assesment and water contamination. It just so happens that three of my first year courses are included in the environmental engineering degree so that means I would have a little leg up.

Based on your experiences, what would be more attractive to architecture masters programs? What about working as an engineer at an architecture firm? How about simply as working as an engineer?

I've done a fair bit of research but I would greatly appreciate any input!

Thanks

Tom
Well, which classes do you like so far? But I'm not sure why you have to make a decision by the end of your first year. You should have at least another year to figure out which engineering discipline to concentrate on.

Personally, I don't think it matters much. You can continue in the field of engineering or you can do what the architect Julia Morgan did--switch to architecture after getting a degree in engineering.
 

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I am a 3rd year Civil Engineering student, and I work for an architectural firm. From my experience, you really have to know what you like and enjoy.

If you really like math, science, mechanics and like to have a solid foundation on that - perhaps you might want to work on architectural projects, but as an engineer and from the perspective of an Engineer.

As for a Masters in Architecture, I think that is specific to each program. Some Schools wont allow you to do that jump while others allow you with the condition you take specific course. I have heard of Engineering students entering not Masters, but Bac. in Architecture too.

You should, if you really are interested, go and speak directly with the schools you are interested in. So you get accurate response.
 
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