Architecture is the stream of engineering and design dealing with the conceptualisation, planning, creation, and construction of buildings and other edifices.
The architecture stream is wide-ranging and comprises various styles, such as classical, contemporary, neoclassical, and industrial as well as various specialisations like residential architecture, landscape planning, environmental design, and restoration architecture.
Undergraduate degrees offered in Architecture include the following-
Each degree comes with a gamut of specialisations in different sectors.
Specialisations in Architecture degrees include the following:
Students can enrol on architecture colleges by appearing for architecture entrance exams held across the country. The eligibility criteria are as follows-
There are two main entrance tests prescribed by the Council of Architecture offering admission to architectural colleges in India: JEE-Main Paper 2 and NATA.
JEE-Main Paper 2
The Join Entrance Exam (JEE) is the centralized entrance exam in India for admission to engineering and architecture colleges and courses in India. Conducted by the National Testing Authority (NTA), papers 2A and 2B of the JEE-Main examination are the entrances conducted for B Arch and B.Plan. courses.
The JEE entrance exams are conducted twice each year in two sessions in January and April; candidates may appear for a maximum of two attempts per year.
JEE-Main paper 2A is a three-hour computer-based (CBT)-cum-drawing test for B Arch and is independent of JEE-Main paper 1. It is composed of three sections of 82 questions and 400 marks in total:
JEE-Main paper 2B is a three-hour computer-based (CBT)-cum-drawing test for B.Plan. and is also independent of JEE-Main paper 1. It is composed of three sections of 105 questions and 400 marks in total:
National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA)
NATA is the nationally-conducted architecture aptitude test conducted by the Council of Architecture.
NATA is conducted twice a year and offers admission to several prestigious institutions such as selective IITs and NITs, BIT Mesra, Sir J J College of Architecture, and CEPT University.
The question paper is composed of 200 marks, and candidates are allotted three hours to complete the exam. The paper has 125 questions and is composed of PCM and aptitude MCQs and drawing tests.
Some architecture colleges in India also have their respective institute-specific entrance
The syllabi for architecture entrance tests cover topics including mathematical concepts, architectural history and general knowledge, logical and mathematical reasoning, perspective, and drawing/sketching aptitude.
The top 30 architecture colleges based on the rankings of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2022 are as follows-
Students with an artistic and aesthetic knack interested in designing and construction will find architecture the perfect career for themselves. Students may gauge their aptitude for architecture with the following criteria:
The most promising and lucrative architecture specialisations to opt for are-
Architecture programmes in India span five years and 10 semesters. Students are assessed on a percentage/grade-point average (GPA) basis through internal assessments and end-semester written exams.
The B Arch course material comprises subjects such as the history of architecture, architectural graphics, building materials, mathematical concepts, structural design, housing, computer technology, pricing and cost estimation, and environmental studies among several more. Besides written assessments in the form of unit tests, theses, and dissertations, architecture students are also assessed through practical evaluations in the form of drawing and rendering assessments, field trip reports, practical work experience, and working drawings/designs. There are16 mandatory working weeks of practical training during the 8th or 9th Semester as mandated by the Council of Architecture.
Each semester/year contains a fixed target of grade points which must be completed for promotion to the next year and acquiring the degree.
The fee structure for architecture colleges in India ranges between 3-5 lakhs per annum for a four-year architecture course. The fee structure may vary depending on the college and course/specialisation of the student’s choice.
Central/state governments, private organisations, and several universities offer scholarships, fellowships, and financial aid to help support less-privileged students aspiring toward an architecture degree. Here are some of the popular scholarships provided to students wishing to pursue architecture courses in India:
An internship under the tutelage of a licensed architect is a mandatory requirement for receiving a professional degree in architecture from a university in India.
The Council of Architecture has mandated compulsory internships/practical training at architectural practices/government architecture departments under the tutelage of licensed architects registered with the Council.
The mandatory internships are designed to facilitate the understanding of the evolution of an architectural project from design to execution, where students will be inducted into the development of conceptual ideas, presentation skills, client meetings, tendering procedures, site supervision, etc. Candidates must also present and defend their portfolio before a jury/panel at the end of their internship period.
Architecture students will not be permitted to enrol for the tenth-semester architectural design thesis/dissertation/project course until they complete their practical training/internship.
After completing undergraduate architectural courses like B Arch/B Plan, students may opt for higher education with Masters/PhD degrees. Here are a few postgraduate study and research opportunities in India:
Popular entrance examinations held across India to offer admission into postgraduate architecture courses include the following–
Several universities and institutions abroad offer excellent architectural, design, and planning programmes. Here are some of the best global architectural institutions for students wishing to pursue a degree abroad:
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, United States
2. Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
3. UCL, London, United Kingdom
4. ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology / Zürich, Switzerland
5. Harvard University, Cambridge, United States
6. National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
7. Manchester School of Architecture, United Kingdom
8. University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, United States
9. Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
10. Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Acquiring an architecture degree opens several avenues and career prospects in both the public and private sectors. Architecture students are offered placement opportunities by their college’s Training And Placement (T&P) cells from their final/penultimate year. Students may practice as professional architects only after registering with the Council of Architecture.
Top architectural companies recruiting from leading organisations in India include:
Some of the leading architecture companies and practices in the world include-
After completing their architecture degrees and registering with the Council of Architecture as licensed architects, students may choose from various career prospects depending on their specialisations. Some of the popular and lucrative career prospects in architecture include:
1. Project Architect
2. Architectural Designer
3. Architecture Engineer
4. Principal Architect
5. Construction Manager
6. Industrial Designer
7. Landscape Architect
8. Interior Designer
9. Urban Planner
10. Environment and Sustainability Architect
The average starting salaries for architecture graduates range between 2 to 3 lakhs per annum and can go as high as 40 LPA for senior architects.
Urban Planning, Sustainability Architecture, Commercial Architecture, and Industrial Architecture are some of the specializations which have reported the highest starting salaries in India.
Architecture is a creative and technical field combining aspects of engineering and designing to plan and construct structures and edifices. Students who are interested in architecture may also find an affinity for similar subjects such as-
Do IITs offer Architecture courses?
Only two IITs in India offer B Arch- Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Candidates may obtain admission into these IITs by clearing the IIT AAT (Architecture Aptitude Test).
What is the difference between JEE-Main paper-1 and JEE-Main paper-2?
JEE-Main paper-1 is the entrance exam offering seats for engineering programmes in various science and technology institutes. JEE-Main paper-2 is the entrance exam offering seats in architecture programmes across architecture and planning colleges in India.
The two papers are independent, and a candidate may appear in either or both of these papers.
Which is the most lucrative specialisation in Architecture?
Architectural technicians, landscape architects, urban planners, and historical preservation architects have been reported to earn the highest wages in the architecture sector.
However, an architect’s salary also depends on their experience as well as the sector (public/private/government/non-profit) in which they work.
What services do architects provide?
An architect’s responsibilities range from reconnaissance and negotiations with the client and evaluation and analyses of the construction sites and funds to the design, execution, and inspection and evaluation of the final structure.
Which are the best colleges in India for B Arch?
The best colleges in India for B Arch are the IITs (Roorkee and Kharagpur), the Schools of Architecture and Planning (SPAs) and selective BITs and NITs.
Some of the leading private colleges for studying architecture include Sir J J College Of Architecture, CEPT University, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and Sushant School of Art and Architecture.
What is the difference between B Arch and B Plan?
B Arch or “Bachelor of Architecture” is a five-year undergraduate degree where students learn theoretical and practical principles of architecture to design, conceptualise, construct, and evaluate various physical structures.
B.Plan. or “Bachelor of Planning” is a four-year undergraduate degree where students learn the principles of planning, environmental, and sustainable development. Planning is a branch of engineering with commonalities in design, environmental management, and natural and human resource preservation.
What is the difference between the job roles of an architect and a civil engineer?
An architect works on the design, planning, and creation of buildings and other physical structures whereas a civil engineer deals with all the technical processes of the creation of civil structures, from design to execution. A civil engineer’s scope is wider as it covers not just buildings and similar structures but also sanitation systems, drainage processes, waterworks, and transportation infrastructure, to name a few.