The Best High School Classes for Architecture

The Best High School Classes for Architecture

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Architects need to understand a variety of principles from the fields of art, mathematics, and science. So what are high school electives that can help you prepare for architecture school?

The best high school classes for architecture are related to physics, drawing, sculpting, photography, and art history. Aspiring architecture students can also consider technology electives, humanities, woodworking classes, molding, foreign languages, and mathematics electives (such as calculus and linear algebra).

We will discuss which classes are best for architecture school and how they will help you get your architecture degree.

Best Art Classes to Prepare for Architecture Schools

Art classes are crucial for future architects. Architecture is an art that combines many other arts and physical sciences. Future architects need to understand design principles with the following courses:

  • With Drawing classes, you only use pencil, paper, and, if you wish, colored pencils. You learn shading, lines, and a little about 3D drawings. Learning to put 3D shapes on paper and understanding perspective is at the core of architectural education.
  • Photography classes can be more helpful than you realize. Photography teaches dark versus soft lighting, the abstract and human condition, motion, color, and editing. The lighting aspect is super important because that is a major element of what makes a good picture. When you build, you want your architectural creation to have the lighting you want. Photography can also help you appreciate color schemes and the importance of blending in with your surroundings.
  • 3D Art, although sometimes used in drawing classes, will go more in-depth with the concepts. 3D classes are super crucial because if you can’t make a decent 3D drawing of your design, nobody will understand your architectural drawing. In addition to 3D art, Sculpting classes would also be an excellent idea because not only is it the literal 3D aspect of art, it’s architecture in its smallest forms. Getting a little hands-on experience will be good for the body and soul.
  • When you do these prerequisite classes, consider taking the Studio Art/AP Studio classes as well. They create portfolios of past and present creations and having an excellent portfolio of things you have created will boost you up when you apply for colleges that accept architecture students.

Other suitable classes could be welding, woodworking, manufacturing, and CAD. Any class that helps you create a piece from start to finish will give you valuable skills. Ask your high school if they offer any of these types of classes.

Best Math And Science Courses for Aspiring Architects

Math electives aren’t a thing for most high schoolers (because it’s mandatory anyway), but taking extra math classes kind of does put it into the elective category. These math classes will save your life in architecture. Without the math in architecture, no building would be safe, and we would all be camping outside. These classes (as well as science classes) also help you develop problem-solving skills, trial and error, and logic.

First of all, you will need to take all the required math classes for high school. Algebra I and II are on the list, and so is Geometry, and they are all the foundations of more complicated math. Once those classes have been taken and aced, it is recommended that you take higher-level math classes. AP-level classes are great because they can give you credits that transfer to college.

  • Trigonometry is a highly recommended class to take because it studies the relationships between the sides and angles of triangles. Certain parts of Trig are also found in Geometry, but Geometry was only an intro to the complicated world of Trigonometry.
  • Calculus, another highly recommended course, is the study of how things change. You can also deduct the consequences of those changes. Knowing math like this could help a lot when laying out the design of a building on a certain stretch of land that is often exposed to earthquakes.
  • Physics is crucial for high school students enrolling in architecture programs. It is part of the Natural Sciences, and it teaches force, comprehension, and tension, all of which will be used by architects to create safe structures for everyone to enjoy.
  • Biology is another class that teaches more about the biological part of architecture because you are building on land and forests, and jungles. Learning about biology can put into perspective how you are affecting the environment. You can’t have science without math, and you need a balance of both in the architectural world.

Other High School Courses for Future Architects

Other high school classes that would be considered very useful, would be

  • Mechanical drawing and CAD (Computer Aided Design)
  • History, preferably art history.
  • Humanities, to sharpen your communication skills and your ability to express your ideas out loud.
  • Technology courses for your designs and plans.
  • English to improve writing skills and develop critical thinking.
  • Possibly a foreign language, which would be super useful if you’re traveling abroad.
  • Project management.

The architectural environment requires a lot of communication with the people you will work with. If you are a future architect who is shy or quiet, do activities and electives that will take you out of your comfort zone such as choir, band, orchestra, team sports, clubs, or a musical. There are a lot of ways to refine your skills!

Outside Resources

I strongly recommend that you get in touch with your high school guidance counselor. He will present you with the best classes to succeed in your future architecture degree program.

If you have more passion for becoming the greatest architect ever, carry around a notebook or a journal. Draw anything and everything you see, whether it be people, animals, birds, and buildings. Find details and observe whatever you see. It will help a lot in the artistic world of an architect.

Also, read all you can about architecture and the different cultures that surround some of the best architectural landscapes in the world! Talk and do job shadowing for people who work in these fields and learn from them. If you live in an area where you can work summer jobs or programs for architects, go for it!

Something else to be good at when it comes to architecture is managing your time and plans. Make sure everything is finished and on schedule, and there is no better way to start than when you’re in high school.

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About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a labor market expert. He is a mathematician who graduated from EPFL.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job board where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.