Architecture FAQ's

Q: Do I need to be admitted to the programs?
A: No. Our programs are open admission, but you should speak to one of the architecture faculty members to ensure that you are enrolling in the correct classes. Many classes have prerequisites and required sequences.

Q: I only want to design houses, what degree do I need?
A: Architectural design is not separated into residential or commercial. Most municipalities require the person making the design decisions to be a licensed architect.

Q: I'm not very good at math can I still be an architect?
A: Many people think that architecture requires more math than it actually does. An architectural education is demanding and rigorous.You must be intelligent, creative and able to work very hard and you must be reasonably good at math. Almost all architectural degrees require you to complete a calculus and college physics class. Many architects found these to be challenging classes but were able to complete them. More importantly, though, you must be able to think spatially and use logic to solve problems.

Q: I took a bunch of CADD and architecture classes in high school. Can I get credit for them?
A: COD has a number of dual credit and articulated credit agreements with area high schools, which allow students to receive credit for their high school classes. If your school is not on the list, you may still be able to receive advanced placement within our architecture curriculum. You will need to speak with an architecture faculty member to determine your placement. Classes that may be available for advanced placement are:

  1. Arch 1101 -- Basic Architectural Drafting
  2. Arch 1211 -- Basic Computer Aided Drafting -- AutoCad
  3. Arch 1212 -- Advanced Computer Aided Drafting -- AutoCad
  4. Arch 1141 -- Construction Methods I
  5. Arch 2142 -- Construction Methods II

Q: I've worked in the field. Can I get credit for my life experience?
A:
No. COD does not give credit for life experience but we do value what it has taught you. Life experience may allow you to place directly into more advanced classes. You will need to speak with an architecture faculty member to determine your placement.

Q: I want to be a developer. Which degree is best for me?
A: It depends on exactly what you want to do but the construction management degree is probably the best fit. It will give you the skills you need to organize and manage construction projects from concept through completion. With this degree, you will need to hire architects, engineers and contractors.

Q: I always wanted to be an architect. Can I pursue this field as a career change?
A: You can, but it requires a large commitment from you. If you already have an undergraduate degree, you can enter directly into special Masters of Architecture programs designed for students like you. All of the universities offer these programs, but admission is very competitive and the programs require you to be a full-time, day student. These programs are typically three to three and one-half years long. Many students have used our design classes to prepare their portfolios, which are an important part of the admissions criteria.

Q: Where do students transfer after COD?
A: Our students transfer all over the country, but the easiest and most common transfers are to our regional schools. Currently, the most popular schools for architectural transfer are:

  1. Illinois Institute of Technology
  2. Judson University
  3. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  4. University of Illinois-Chicago
  5. Southern Illinois University


Popular transfer destinations for Construction Management students are:

  1. Purdue
  2. Illinois State University
  3. Bradley University


Students have also been accepted to these schools:

  1. University of Arizona
  2. The Copper Union
  3. California College of Art
  4. University of Washington
  5. Woodbury University
  6. Washington University St Louis (graduate school)
  7. Rice University (graduate school)

Q: I just want to get my general education classes done at COD and then transfer. What classes should I take?
A: You need to match the freshman and sophomore years' curriculums at the school to which you want to transfer. If you look at the architecture and construction management curriculum at any school, you will see specific math and science classes, but you will also see a number of architecture and construction management classes. If you don't take comparable classes while you are here at COD, you may transfer 30 or more credit hours but you will still be at the beginning of their sequence and will need three or four more years to complete your undergraduate degree.Talk to an architectural faculty member to determine the best selection of classes.
Q: How long will it take me to complete a degree at COD?
A: Our degrees range from 65 to 68 credit hours, which many students are able to complete in two years, especially if they attend summer school. How long it will take you will depend on the strength of your high school preparation and how many hours you are able to take each semester. Many of our students need to take several levels of math before they are able to complete the degree. Also, if you are working while going to school, you may need to take fewer credits each semester.

Q: How much homework can I expect?
A: College classes differ from high school classes in the amount of independent work that is expected of the student. For every credit hour you should expect two to three hours of homework per week. If you are taking a standard, full-time load of 15 credits, that would mean 30 to 45 hours of homework a week in addition to your class time.

Q: I'm not sure if I want to go into this field. Can you recommend one class for me to take to find out more about it?
A: You could begin with the Intro to Architecture, Intro to Construction Management or Basic Architectural Drafting to get a taste of each of the fields. But because of the prerequisite sequences and the breadth of topics within each field, we encourage students to take the recommended first semester of classes. These classes include several universal general education classes, but it also exposes you to all of the important topics of the fields and ensures that if you decide to continue you will not be missing any prerequisite courses.


Contact Information

Jane Ostergaard, Coordinator
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1048, (630) 942-2331

Peter Deeman, Program Advisor    
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1047, (630) 942-2548

Arts, Communication, and Hospitality Division
McAninch Arts Center (MAC), Room 219, (630) 942-2048