I'm in High School, and want to get into an elite architectural school, such as Cornell, for college. I am only a freshman, so I have some time to build up a portfolio, but I was wondering exactly what prerequisites I would need to get into such a school. My High School does offer a course in architecture, as well as many advanced math and drawing classes. Which classes would be most beneficial for me to pursue this dream?
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Architecture is a broad field and is seen as a marriage between arts and engineering. But it also involves psychology, sociology, environmental studies, history, business, technology, carpentry, drawing, etc.
Since you have already identified Architecture as an interest, at this stage, is not about what classes in high school will help you pursue your dream, but rather to learn about the field in its broad spectrum and figure what you really like about it. Which role do you think you want to play in this field?
In today's practical world, architecture is also part of a wider industry...the development and building industry. If you are a more technical person, maybe construction and engineering would be of more interest. If you are more business minded, then maybe you want to stand on the developer side. If you are more artsy, then maybe an architect or interior designer.
Once you figure out the above, and if you are still certain you want to go into architecture design, then you could strengthen your artistic skills, take some art courses, photography courses, do well in your math and science (especially physics) classes. But MOST OF ALL, sit in Barnes and Nobles one day every weekend or every month and just flip through all the architecture magazines and see what really catches your eye. Is it the Architectural Digest or Elle Home, or is it the Dwell and A+U? The more you read, the more you will learn about the field.
But it's not just about the pretty pictures in the magazines. That is the glamorous part of Architecture. But behind the scenes it is a lot of sweat and tears, long hours and frustrations. So be aware of what to expect in the real world as well.
Hope that helps and sparks some curiosity and more questions.