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Old 31.05.2012, 07:48
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becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Hello , I need help in understanding the PATH to becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.
So far I have understood the following..there are 3 unis in Switzerland that offer architecture, ETHZ, EPFL and USI (Italian section). They all offer at both B and M level. It was on USI's website that I found the information about students with BArch from other institutions qualifying for their masters program.
In the US, if you have a BArch, that's a professional degree and you do not need to take a Masters, but it seems that in Switzerland the path is different. That is what I do not understand - the PATH to becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland. Anyone here become an architect in Switzerland or know of one, who could shed light on this?? Thank you!
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Old 31.05.2012, 09:04
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Why architecture, my daughter is one and tells me that getting a job after studies can be more challenging then the studies themselvs.
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Old 31.05.2012, 09:18
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Thanks for the insight! Actually, I'm inquiring for a friend who at the moment is in the States, he wants to come over and complete his studies in Switzerland but he isn't sure which route to take .
Did your daughter study in Switzerland?
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Old 31.05.2012, 09:35
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Hi there.

There are many more routes your friend can chose from to become a licensed (here it's called dipl. or Diplomierter ) Architect. I studied Architecture at ETHZ with one year at EPFL whereas my husband studied in Winterthur at the ZAHW and friends have studied in Basel, Biel and Luzern. I'd suggest you contact ETH and the like directly as everything has changed since we’ve all finished our education ten or more years ago (back then it was not called Bachelor and Masters, that's how old I am ). Good luck with the research.

Maybe there will be someone else on EF who has more recent experience.
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Old 31.05.2012, 09:44
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Great, thank you (-: i was wondering if anyone had started studying architecture in a foreign ( non-Swiss) uni and then transferred to a Swiss uni. And how the credits, previous studies etc are rated towards the dipl. Architect....
Thank you for as much info as poss!
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Old 31.05.2012, 12:04
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Why does your friend want to do this? Is s/he planning on working in Europe? I would check if his qualifications are useful back in his home country. I know it's not always the case.
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Old 31.05.2012, 13:12
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

He is planning on finishing his studies in CH. At the mo he has a BA in architecture but is not sure that is enough to be an architect in Swiss ...
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Old 31.05.2012, 13:39
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

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He is planning on finishing his studies in CH. At the mo he has a BA in architecture but is not sure that is enough to be an architect in SWITZERLAND ...
So his plan is to live and work in Switzerland?

He should get in touch with the federal education department to see if his current degree is recognized here. If not, then he should call the schools in the cantons he speaks the best* and ask them how to get accepted to their program.

*What languages does he speak?
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Old 31.05.2012, 14:51
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

3 hours of burger flipping or kebab stuffing is enough to call yourself an architect.

What you (and your potential costumers) are looking for is "Architect SIA". SIA stand for the Swiss society of engineers and architects.

You should contact them if you can get the prestigious membership.
http://www.sia.ch/en/membership/membership/
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Old 31.05.2012, 15:44
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Er...thanks for that
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Old 31.05.2012, 18:04
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

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Er...thanks for that
Let me explain it a little better. You do not need a license to be an architect or offer your service as an architect. Thus, as anybody could be an architect there must be some quality assurance. This is done through SIA. Iff you are a member of SIA you can call yourself Architect SIA, including your Acedemic title. MSc Arch SIA, or Dipl. Arch ETH/SIA,, and so on. A serious costumer will only look for an Architect SIA. That means you will need the SIA membership to successfully work as an architect in Switzerland.

To get membership you need normally at least a Swiss Master degree (or be in the Register A). If a foreign degree is equivalent to a Swiss one is up to the Swiss universities and ETH/EPFL which offer an equivalent degree. SIA may help to find out if a foreign degree is equivalent and sufficient.
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Old 31.05.2012, 18:12
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Thank you!! Very helpful
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Old 31.05.2012, 18:20
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Architects in CH don't seem to be very creative IMHO, it's just a matter of drawing a concrete box with space for some windows. So the only choice the client has is large windows or small, as they assume you want a white bathroom, kitchen with all white walls & parquet floor.
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Old 31.05.2012, 19:00
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Addendum and correction (Otherwise Mr. Tom will groan once more at me ):

In some cantons (Vaud, Genève, Lucerne, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Ticino) you have to be registered to be an architect. Please see here. And also here regarding recognition of foreign diplomas in general.
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Old 31.05.2012, 19:09
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

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Hello , I need help in understanding the PATH to becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.
!
The term "architect" is not (yet) a protected title. Some Cantons do have minimum requirements for making planning submissions (e.g. Canton Luzern, §63 PBV). In any event the academic titles are protected.

You can study architecture at
- Eidg. Technische Hochschule ETH
- Universität Genf IAUG
- Universität der italienischen Schweiz USI
- Fachhochschulen FH

SIA is a private association, however, in order to join as a member you will need to have a diploma from one of the schools/universities above or an equivalent foreign diploma.

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Architects in CH don't seem to be very creative IMHO, it's just a matter of drawing a concrete box with space for some windows. So the only choice the client has is large windows or small, as they assume you want a white bathroom, kitchen with all white walls & parquet floor.
Creativity is a bit difficult where the owners/clients want to maximize space and profits and minimize costs.
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Old 31.05.2012, 20:28
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Re: becoming a licensed, professional architect in Switzerland.

Fribourg University also has an Architecture and Engineering Department so that's another one to add to your list.
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