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A bachelor's degree in architecture (B.Arch) or Diploma in architecture is needed to become a qualified architect. For practical purposes there is no difference between the two qualifications.
The basic eligibility criteria for B.Arch is 10+2 (senior secondary Class XII) or equivalent referred to as the qualifying examination from a recognized Board/University with a minimum of 50% marks in Science subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics). Besides this, the candidate must qualify an entrance examination.
Entrance Tests : Admission to first year of Five years full time undergraduate course in Architecture (Bachelor of Architecture) in various colleges of India is through National and State level entrance examinations.
Candidates have to appear for the Joint Entrance Examination on an All India basis for entry to undergraduate programmes in B. Architecture and B. Planning in government and private institutes. The paper consists of Mathematics, an Aptitude Test and a Drawing test. The National Aptitude test in Architecture (NATA), the online test with drawing exam is conducted by the National Institute of Advanced Studies and Architecture in association with the Council of Architecture (COA). NATA scores are used by admissions authorities of different unaided & Government aided schools / colleges of Architecture, to provide common measures for comparing the qualifications of applicants. NATA measures aesthetic sensitivity, critical thinking, perception, observation and architectural awareness.
Entrance to architecture programmes at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT's) is through the national level Joint Entrance Examination (JEE- Advanced). Private institutes conduct entrance exams of their own. Different states also hold separate entrance exams for admission to architecture and engineering colleges in the state.
Duration & Course Content : The B.Arch degree programme is of 5 years duration and includes a period of practical experience. The apprenticeship (usually for one semester) has to be done under a practicing architect. The B. Arch degree prepares the theoretical foundations and gives some practical insight on which a student later develops proficiency and functional accuracy.
Subject content of B.Arch course includes architectural design (drawing and painting), acoustics, surveying and leveling, estimating and costing, methods of construction, materials management, history of architecture, draftsmanship, environmental planning, applied mechanics, structural designing, computer applications etc. Some colleges teach architecture-related software packages such as AutoCAD and 3D Studio Max.
Apart from the degree course in B.Arch, Diploma in architecture are also available in some institutes as either full time or part time. It will take seven years to complete the part-time diploma courses.
After completing B.Arch, the candidates if they wish can go for post graduation i.e Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) which is of 2 to 3 semester duration. At the postgraduate level one can specialise in areas like construction management, town planning, interior design, naval architecture, landscape designing, building engineering and management etc.
Doctoral programmes (Ph.D) can be pursued after M.Arch or with a B.Arch plus five years experience in professional practice or teaching or research.
Personal Skills : A successful architect requires special qualifications like designing talent, business aptitude, social awareness and legal knowledge. They must have excellent communication and drawing skills, keen observation, vivid imagination, creativity, ideas and the ability to visualise. Other qualities includes leadership, managerial qualities, resourcefulness and ability to work as a team. They must also possess sufficient grasp of all aspects of building technology to be able to design for various needs under different conditions. Computer literacy also is required for writing specifications, two- and three-dimensional drafting, and financial management. Knowledge of CADD is essential.
Basic training makes an architecture graduate to design and execute any type of building or complex.
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