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Advice for the Road to Architect Licensure

Woman sat down writing architecture notes with pen and paper next to another student studying.

When the majority of people think about the field of architecture, most think of a collaborative environment working closely with one's fellow coworkers, engineers, owners and clients. This perception holds true, as architecture thrives on collective effort and shared expertise. However, there is an aspect of the industry that most aspiring architecture students, and the general public at large may not know. 

The road to an architect licensure is full of ups and downs, passes and fails, and countless sleepless nights studying; much like back in grade school. One major struggle candidates often face throughout this process is feeling like they're on their own. This starkly contradicts the collaborative nature that's at the heart of architecture. While the professional settings thrive on group dynamics and constant peer communication, often, you find yourself heading home to hit the books solo. While this may not be how all experience this journey, this is indeed the experience for most. 

An invaluable strategy, drawn from my personal experience, is to seek out a community or study group. Don't be afraid to ask your peers and coworkers for help as well. Numerous resources, from your university to online forums or social media groups can facilitate connections with fellow candidates. Engaging with such communities offers a fresh perspective on study materials and fosters a deeper understanding of architectural concepts. For example, within a group, there may be someone employed at a firm that focuses on historical preservation and restoration, while the firm you work for may solely be new commercial construction. If you are not familiar with historical preservation, the subject matter may be a bit more confusing. Having someone to talk to and provide real world examples could help make the material less intimidating and enhance your retention. 

Community, much like within the profession, has the power to transform this solitary section of the road into a more collective experience, akin to the collaborative environments encountered throughout various stages of education and licensure. Countless groups, peers, and associations exist to offer support and assistance along the way. 


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