How to be an Architect in the Philippines

How to be an Architect in the Philippines

It’s not an easy path to be an architect in the Philippines. It’s not just a five-year course, in fact, preparation could take up to 7-10 years if you’re going to count everything. If you want to know if Architecture is the course to choose, check out 13 Reasons Why Choose Architecture. If you’re sure about it, here are the steps you’ll have to take before you become a licensed architect in the Philippines.

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Table of Contents

Know which Senior High Track to take (2 years)

When I took up B.S. Architecture, we still didn’t have the K-12 system in the Philippines. Now that we do, here are the benefits you could take from each strand. 

Benefits of S.T.E.M.

If you’re starting from senior high school, S.T.E.M. or the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand could be a good choice since Architecture is a technical course. 

In this strand, you’ll encounter Earth Science, Pre-calculus and Basic Calculus, and Physics — which are all subjects I’ve encountered as “minors” during my university years. 

This strand is particularly for those who will choose a career involving Science and Mathematics and since Architecture is a Bachelor of Science degree, this is the strand you might want to take.

Benefits of the Art and Design Track

The Arts and Design Track are for those aspiring artists. It’s for those who wish to express their creativity. Since Architecture is both a technical and a creative course, this could also be for you.

In this track, you’ll be taught the general knowledge of the arts such as dance, theatre, media, music, visual arts, and photography — all of which are hobbies of a lot of architecture students I know. 

According to, this track could help you in pursuing Architecture, Interior Design, and Graphic Design among others. They will give you the opportunity to learn computer aided design softwares which are used in the field such as AutoCAD, Google Sketch Up, Photoshop, VRAY, and 3DS Max among others.

These are softwares you won’t normally learn in university because it depends on your school’s curriculum and because in my experience, a lot of us have self-taught ourselves in learning them. To learn them ahead of time could be extremely helpful as you get to speed up your work overtime, the more you practice their use. 

How to be an Architect in the Philippines

Take the 5-year Architecture Course

B.S. Architecture takes 5 years to accomplish for you to get that degree. Unlike other courses which normally take 4 years, you’ll be studying for one more year compared to your other peers. 

The courses you’ll be taking probably depends on what university you’re enrolled in but generally, here are what you’ll encounter that’s related to architecture (possibly named differently):

  • Architecture Drafting
  • Theory of Architecture
  • Visual Technique
  • Architectural Design
  • Building Techniques
  • History of Architecture
  • Building Utilities
  • Professional Practice and Professional Ethics
  • Engineering Science
  • Architectural Structures
  • Planning
  • Surveying
  • Specializations
    • Tropical Design
    • Heritage Conservation
    • Housing
    • Landscape Architecture
    • Environmental Management
  • Architectural Interiors

There are a lot of subtopics in each of these courses which you’ll be learning throughout those 5 years. Personally, I view Architecture as 10% aesthetics, 90% technicalities and planning.

How to be an Architect in the Philippines

Experience 2 Years of Apprenticeship

You’d think you’re finished in the learning phase when you graduate with that B.S. Architecture degree but in the Philippines, before you can take the Architecture Licensure Exam or ALE, you’ll need to have that 2 years of apprenticeship experience. You can’t take the exam without it. 

They say that the exam is approximately 30% theoretical and 70% based on experience which is why this 2-year apprenticeship is required. Whether or not that’s exaggerated (I can’t say for sure since I haven’t taken the exam as of writing), it shows that you’ll still be experiencing a lot of learning in the field outside of school. 

It matters what firm you’ll go to because the type of experience you’ll have will be based on that. Whether you’ll be learning a lot of things on site you could use or not, your apprenticeship experience would help greatly when taking the exam. 

In the Philippines, you’ll be filling up an architectural logbook containing all your work experiences with signatures of your supervising architects. This is required for you to take the ALE.

How to be an Architect in the Philippines

Take the Architecture Licensure Board Exam (ALE) (6 Months Review)

Whether or not you’ll be taking a break from work for your architecture review is up to you. Some people take 6 months of review school whilst others just review themselves. Personally, I think review schools help especially with the mock exams. You’ll want to schedule your review based on which time of year you’ll be taking the exam. 

After taking the architecture licensure exam on your scheduled date, just wait for the results and voila! If you pass, then you’re now an officially licensed architect of the Philippines!

The architecture course is absolutely not easy but it sure can be fulfilling. It gets stressful, toxic, and demotivating. Some people switch careers or course overtime but if it’s your passion and what you believe in, it can really work out well — after some time. There’s a lot to go through and I hope this helps you oversee what you could experience along the way before becoming a licensed architect in the Philippines.

How to be an Architect in the Philippines

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