A person generally needs at least five years of college to become an architect. A four-year pre-professional degree can be obtained, followed by one to five years in a professional degree program.
Pre-professional architecture degrees can include bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and sometimes doctorates. In addition to this, an architect must obtain a professional degree that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Years spent obtaining a pre-professional degree can detract from the amount of years necessary to obtain a professional degree. After a person receives a professional degree, he may choose to specialize even further by obtaining a post-professional degree.