What studies to become an Architect in France?

photo of a building site to become an architect in France

What studies to become an Architect in France?

What studies to become an Architect in France? 1800 941 Methods Studio
photo of a building site to become an architect in France

The profession of architect combines beautiful, concrete and technical. It is a profession that makes many future high school graduates dream. Methods Studio Architecteur invites you to take stock of the possible studies to become an architect in France.

How to become an architect in France, what training?

What studies to do to become an architect in Paris?

To become an architect, we count in France 23 schools of architecture. 20 of them are ENSA (national schools of architecture), and are managed by the Ministry of Culture. They are spread throughout France: 6 in Île-de-France and 14 in the provinces.

The other three schools are: ESA (Special School of Architecture), located in Paris, which is the only private school, INSA (National Higher Institute of Applied Sciences) in Strasbourg, which is a public school of engineers and architects, and Chaillot School of the City of architecture and heritage – ECCAP. In all three cases, the students leave with a diploma recognized as equivalent to those awarded in the ENSAs. In total, around 3,000 high school graduates each year embark on studies to become an architect in France.


How to integrate these schools of architecture?

Recruitment in these schools is done either on file or by competitive examination with written tests, presentation of a personal work file then interview.

It takes minimum 5 years of studies after the baccalaureate to train in the profession of architect, it is a Bac + 5 training. The training begins with 3 years of studies to obtain a diploma in architecture, then continues with 2 years of training to validate the State diploma in architecture (ADE, State-certified architect).

Finally, it is possible to continue with a sixth year of studies, in order to hold a the HMONP (the former DPLG). The HMONP is the Authorization to exercise the Project Management in his Own Name.

The course can be supplemented by training courses specialization in town planning and heritage for example, and allow to hold an additional master's degree. 

Which baccalaureate to study architecture in France?

You must have a bachelor's degree to start studying architecture in France. Even if nearly half of the first-year baccalaureate holders in architecture hold a BAC S, it is possible to enter architecture studies with another Bac: bac stmg, bac pro, bac L, bac sti2d, bac es or bac std2a. The most important thing is to defend the arguments that make you want to become an architect. 

 architect profession is a profession that requires combining technique, design and needs, within a legal framework. This is why the architecture schools strive to constitute promotions with a great mix of profiles, in order to promote exchanges and diversity at the end of training. Some will be more oriented towards the technical aspect of the job, others will prefer the design and creative side, but all will have benefited from the qualities of others to forge a solid foundation in the profession. 

So don't let the hearsay prevent you from realizing your dream of becoming an architect! A Bac S, yes why not, but not only! Above all, do a BAC in which you will feel at your place and which will encourage you to invest yourself. As the first selection is generally made on file, you will surely be more confident and will be able to present a better file with a baccalaureate with honors, rather than with a Bac S obtained in difficulty.

Architect or engineer, why choose? 

Architect or engineer in Ile de France?

The architects are in contact with many trades. We could say that they are generalists, who must be able to understand several languages, especially that of engineers. They will be able to make the coordination of all the actors of a construction or renovation project.

The architect may be called upon to intervene in the design of buildings, project management, regulations, the study of integrated furniture, or even feasibility studies.

What is the difference between an architect and a civil engineer?

Civil engineers must master, among other things, structural engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering. In particular, they will perform sizing calculations to ensure the resistance of the materials and of the entire building.

In summary, we can say that the architect will be the conductor of a global architectural project, both technically and in design and others, when the civil engineer will act in a more technical field.

The double degree Architect-Civil Engineer in France

Become an Architect-Engineer

Trades architect and civil engineer go together. This is why the ENSAs have created a training double degree Architect-Civil Engineer, for students who wish to exercise both the profession of architect and that of civil engineer.
To integrate a double degree Architect - Civil Engineer, you must first hold a Bac S with honorsat least, then be admitted to the Architectural course in one of the 20 ENSAs in France. The selection is then made on interview with a jury, which will retain on average one in ten candidates.

A partnership with engineering schools

Each ENSA develops its double degree with an engineering school. For example, ENSA Paris Belleville is in partnership with the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), corn ENSA Paris La Villette developed his double degree with ESTP, the Higher School of Public Works.

How does the Architectural - Civil Engineer double degree course work?

We will give the example of the Paris La Villette - ESTP double degree course. During the first three years of a bachelor's degree in architecture, the dual-course students follow a scientific preparation for the ESTP. During the two years of Master, they follow in parallel the courses of the 1st year of engineering school. They are then admitted on title in the 2nd year of engineering school, then present their end-of-study project the following year.


Become Engineer-Architects

After the Bac you did not go to an architectural school but you preferred to continue on the path of engineering. It is not yet too late to reorient yourself
Indeed, the engineering schools that are partners of the ENSAs also offer Dual-degree course Engineer - Architects. The selection is also made on file and interview with Jury and studies are done with students Architects - Engineers. 
It is important to note that many engineering schools like the Central Schools, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech or ESTP offers a Double degree in Milan, based on a dedicated Engineer - Architect training combining both skills. 

Training as an architect abroad is possible!

European, Swiss, Icelandic and Liechtenstein architectural degrees are recognized throughout Europe, and therefore in France. Be careful, however, if all courses are generally 5 years of study, their content varies from one country to another. In some countries such as Germany and Spain, training is very technical, while in other countries such as Portugal, training is more oriented towards the fine arts.

Want to discover more distant horizons? So know that training in Armenia, Lebanon, Quebec and Serbia are recognized in France, through bilateral agreements.

As you will have understood, the profession of architect is regulated in France, and requires graduating from a school recognized by the state. Studies are relatively long (5 to 6 years), so it is important to learn about the profession before you start. It is possible for you to embark on double degrees in Architect and Civil Engineer, or to go abroad to obtain, in addition to your diploma, an enriching experience with a culture different from ours, and you build your own course.

Do not hesitate to discuss with architects, to clarify any questions you may have before you start. Architect is a passionate profession!

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