best architecture schools

What Are the Best Architecture Schools Worldwide?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Do you have a deep passion for delving into designs, with an aim to stand out in the field of architecture? If that’s the case, you must be looking for the best architectural education. Consequently, it’s vitally important to learn how to study and develop as an architect.

Identifying the best architecture schools can be tough. However, we’ve done the tough work for you and prepared a list of the best architecture schools in the United States and worldwide.

The Discipline of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture, a professional degree, is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S. ) or Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (B.A.). It is typically a 3-4 year program in the United States, depending on the major and minor subjects.

Architecture School

Architecture schools grant the applicant a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree which they might opt for but there are several alternative architecture degrees.

The other method/option if you don’t have a Bachelor of Architecture degree is to earn a Master’s degree in Architecture. The duration of Master of Architecture degrees could be anywhere between a year or slightly above three years, depending on your past experience as an architectural intern.

Such projects are typically carried out for five years. By the end of the program you will have the necessary course materials as well as practical experience that will enable you to pass the Architecture Registration Exam and begin working as an architect.

  • Drafting
  • Structural design
  • Architectural theory
  • Construction methods

The list below examines the best undergraduate degrees available to high school and transfer students interested in architecture and related professions. In addition, some of the most economical and high-quality institutions with architecture programs are listed below.

These are some of the most famous architects of the 21st century and architecture that has shaped modern era construction.

31 Best Architecture Schools in the US

1. California Polytechnic State University (CAL POLY)

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

Calis Polypopular university in San Luis Obispo of Californie. Five years is as much as required in order to complete my course on architecture. The well-known College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) at Cal Poly provides a unique combination of eight-degree programs in five closely connected departments:The well-known College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) at Cal Poly provides a unique combination of eight-degree programs in five closely connected departments:

  • Architecture
  • Landscape architecture
  • Architectural engineering
  • City and regional planning
  • Construction management

2. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

The Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) resides as a public research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the USA. Students could pick specific subfield to enter composing sustainable or computational design. Alongside the impregnable basic in architectural studies, learned from other CMU areas can be incorporated and intertwined such as the humanities, sciences, business, and robotics.

3. Cooper Union For The Advancement of Science And Art

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

Being aligned with the best tradition of Cooper Union, this architecture school will strive to achieve the highest level of professional training and provide its students with a challenging intellectual ambiance. Consequently, the University’s architectural curriculum has a distinct offering which is exceptional in producing world-class architects, artists, and engineers.

At Cooper Union, we are based in the very center of the vibrant NYC metro area of Manhattan. The diverse character of the city, in addition to the outside of the studio and classroom, the city’s numerous cultural, educational, and civic institutions, form an exceptional suulve for teachers and students.

4. Cornell University

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

The architecture program at Cornell University is divided into 6 modules namely design, philosophy, history, tech, representation, and structures. The first three school years are solely spent on the broad core curriculum that founds the foundation for the whole architectural education. Here, while your progression throughout the last four semesters is in multiple fields, you can opt to change your career choice.

All available concentrations in architecture include:

  • Architecture
  • Culture and Society
  • Architectural Analysis
  • History of Architecture
  • Architectural Science and Technology
  • Visual Representation in Architecture

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

Students at the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology are exposed to theoretical knowledge, practical stages of the design as well as problem-solving techniques. With its high reputation, if it is good at design teaching, I think it would certainly be one of the best ones. Mindful of this, it has an international presence by means of both camp and research, too.

Georgia Tech is one of the four university in the state which is at the forefront of research and one of the 34 educational institutions in the University System of Georgia. This is an urban college with a recognized focus on modern technology that plays a comparative role between the practical and academic training. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia somewhere around 5th Street.

6. Harvard University

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the United States, is among the top ranking architecture schools in the country. There is the college which is the oldest higher education sinstitution in USA. It was founded in 1636. This encompasses ten degree-granting schools, two theaters, five museums and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Lastly, it is at the University of Oxford where the largest academic library system in the world is located, so all the resources you might need for your studies load here. Furthermore, it has effectively established financial aid packages and they are used by more than 60% of current students.

Architecture Studies is a College-wide course which is offered jointly by the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the Harvard undergraduates to take. A study in one of the best universities, such as Harvard University, inspires and lifts the spirit of generations of students, as in the past ten US presidents, four foreign heads of state, 260 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars.

Even if the school is a bit on the high end of prices, the amount of the quality you will get will make it all worthwhile. The School has a policy of making its courses accessible, not only to the citizens of the country but also to students who are international. Thus, if we impress you perfectly and you feel that this college is amazing enough, you can obtain an Hb2 visa to be here. Barely neither you, nor don’t forget to contact an immigration lawyer for US immigration advice before submitting the visa.

7. Illinois Institute of Technology(IIT)

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

The Education Architecture Department of the IIT includes both students and professors with particularly remarkable achievements in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, design and urbanism. The Bachelor’s degree of IIT is designed considering the fact that every student selflessly wants their practices to shape the crafts of the future built world. It has been positioned to be the top architecture program in the country.

The National Architectural Accrediting Board, an agency that is responsible for the qualification of architectural schools recognizes this five years, STEM- designation of the degree. It enables a graduate to automatically become an architect as a registered professional without going back to school. The academy program aims at merging high ends of digital technologies with sivalueable design ways, collaborative thinking and professional practice.

8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

MIT is located in Cambridge, United States. It is a privately endowed, independent, coeducational university with five schools:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Management
  • Architecture and planning
  • Humanities, arts, and social sciences

It is worth noting that, MIT is a great institute to study architecture because it not only concentrates on the extra-curricular activities. Besides, it presents the most diverse multidisciplinary sports program on a global scale, as it has 33 varsity sports. Not only the academic side, the artistic aspect of campus life leaves its mark on students.

The Architecture Department is committed to keeping the human values afloat and catering to a suitable space design that accommodates the ever-changing roles of architecture in modern society. The academic program celebrates and favors individual creativity within an environment focused on a humanistic, socially, and ecologically conscious system of values.

As expected, the school has big names to prove its success. Among them are John O. Merrill and Louis H. Skidmore, who graduated in 1922-1923. They co-founded Skidmore Owings and Merrill, one of the largest architectural firms in the US. Another is I.M. Pei, who graduated in 1940 and won the 1983 Pritzker Prize in architecture.

9. Northeastern University

Northeastern University as seen from above. Aerial photography taken around campus in June 2010.

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

Northeastern University is undoubtedly one of the top architecture schools in the country, the US. The college gathers a strong faculty, professors in teaching, practice, as well as in scholarship and research, with a clear aim to overcome the positive impact of urbanization of today by uniting to find solutions to the problems it brings.

The topics of the class carry different points of view such as design, history, technology, businesses, and culture that reflects global impacts. What makes the program stand out is its commitment not only to the application of critical thinking and innovative design to the practical problems cities around the world now face but also to inventive, practical methods to solve those problems.

10. Pratt Institute

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

Similarly, Pratt Institute is an elite architectural school in New York. The curricular sequence in the field of design consists essential parts such as analysis skills, design, technology knowledge, building, representation, sustainability, and social responsibility. It gives through and thorough knowledge on the architectural subjects.

The program continues to update tools and materials following the philosophy: old is not enough for present-day educational process. The consequences of this is that Pratt students learn to be free in their creative and non-creative thinking thus being honest in their studies and inspired by other architectural developers.

11. Princeton University

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

The undergraduate curriculum at the School of Architecture at Princeton University focuses on architecture and introduces architecture within the context of a liberal arts education. Undergraduates study a variety of disciplines that contribute to an architect’s knowledge and vision. These include:

  • Architectural analysis
  • Representation
  • Computing and construction technologies
  • architectural design
  • The history and theory of architecture and urbanization

A wide academic program like this also helps students prepare for graduate school in architecture and related fields, including:

  • Visual arts
  • Art history
  • Urban planning
  • Civil engineering
  • Landscape architecture

12. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

RISD is a great school to study architecture since it stresses the process, artistic sensibilities, and social and ethical responsibilities inherent in fine arts. As they identify and explain a personal approach to the field, students hone their capacity to think and communicate through sketching, making, writing, and discussing ideas with others.

13. Rice University

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

Rice University stands out as a renowned institution for research that aims to create an intellectual base for the future architects taking on their professions. Being located in the city of Houston, Texas, which is the fourth-largest area of all the metropolitan areas, it is well-placed.

Rice Architecture’s modest student-to-faculty ratio of 5:1 fostered community promotes personal training where thoughtful methods are discovered in the studio focusing on undergraduates and graduates.

14. Syracuse University, New York

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

The five-year Architecture program provides a comprehensive approach to designing the built environment through a rigorous and interesting professional course of study. The design studio is the program’s heart.

Students learn design principles while working alongside their peers in this session. Professors provide instruction through substantial one-on-one communication and formal and informal work assessments.

15. Texas A & M University-College Station

Image Credits: re-thinkingthefuture.com

The BLA program at Texas A&M University, which is known as the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, is also the oldest in the state. It is a 5 years curriculum offered by American Society of Landscape Architects and accredited by Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards. The BSLA program has had provisional accreditation status since 1971, and it has never fallen below that standard.

16. The Visual College Of Art And Design, Vancouver

Image source: biv.com

The for-profit career college, VCAD or Visual College of Art and Design, located in Vancouver, Canada, belongs to the Eminata Group. The campus runs a Diploma in design related areas, of which Architecture and Interior Design are two distinct subjects.

Those who graduated from this institution are generally competent and efficient in the aspects of design comprising various physical layouts of residential, commercial, industrial and public spaces. The effectiveness of the school architecture program is not only confirmed in practical and theoretical concepts of architecture in Canada, but students also benefit from it as well.

Other Great Architecture Schools in the US Include:

  1. Tulane UniversityNew Orleans, Louisiana.
  2. The University of CaliforniaBerkeley, California.
  3. University of California Los Angeles, California.
  4. The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
  5. The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Illinois.
  6. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbour, Michigan.
  7. The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  8. The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  9. The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  10. The University of Texas at Austin, Texas.
  11. The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
  12. University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
  13. University of Washington Seattle, Washington.
  14. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at Blacksburg, Virginia.
  15. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

21 Best Architecture Schools Worldwide

We interact with architecture every day. Structures worldwide have a tale to tell, from antique castles to gothic cathedrals, modern museums to skyscrapers. Our list highlights the best Architecture universities in the world to study architecture according to QS World University Rankings. 

1. Delft University of Technology

Image Credits: researchgate.net

Delft University of Technology, situated in Netherlands, has an enormous campus, one of the many in the world. At this 161-hectare complex, there will be restaurants, parks, a bicycle lane, a botanical garden, a new media center, a flying simulator, and a wind tunnels and propulsion lab.

Delft Institution of Technology is one of the best universities considered to be studied for architecture because it has rendered the University 54th best in the world in the latest QS World University Rankings in 2018.

  • Architecture
  • Environmental studies
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Engineering and technology
  • Civil and structural engineering 

2. University College London(UCL), United Kingdom

Image Credits: Study.eu

UCL occupies this prominent position as one of the world’s most vibrant cities that offers you unlimited advantages in London. It was the first university in England that accepted women to university education and the first one to provide access to everyone regardless of their religion or social background. Did you know this?

UCL is a university of high calibre for the sake of overseas architecture students as it is known to have 18,000 international students from more than 150 countries, thus making it a liberal one. Furthermore, among university alumni and staff there have been more than 30 recipients of the Prize, each of these being the pioneer in his or her field of science for the given decade since the Prize was established.

UCL recognizes that pupils come to this programme for different goals and is thus committed to providing you with better tools towards achieving your objectives. Together, we will enhance your skills and viability for a successful career in architecture.

3. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH ZURICH)

Image Credits: glassdoor.com

ETH Zurich is a Swiss university based in Zurich. It has a reputation for cutting-edge research and innovation and is one of the world’s premier science and technology universities. Albert Einstein is among the university’s graduates. In addition, ETH Zurich researches various sectors, including engineering, architecture, chemistry, and physics.

At ETH Zurich architecture department, the academic program combines solid theory with practical application. Although German is the primary teaching language for undergraduates, most master’s programs and doctoral courses are taught in English.

4. National University of Singapore (NUS)

Image Credits: mcdonnell.wustl

NUS is a high-class, an Asian university which name is also well-known across the globe. It globalizes teaching and research, being based on the Asian dimensions of these processes. NUS architecture students think deeper than just appearances and technical skills development. They utilize their mental capabilities to be more creative, evaluate the performance and impact of their works on the society.

The offerings and structures are shaped to help you enjoy the campus life. Being an architecture student, you will find a variety of such channels for the community where you study. That may be through leadership education, club and organization membership, or social work experience with local organizations.

5. Manchester School of Architecture (MSA)

Image Credits: seed.manchester.ac.uk

Manchaster School of Architecture (MSA) is one of its kinds since it is a merger of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and The University of Manchester (UoM). It can be found at the distance of just a half mile from the city center. It joins the schools of architecture with one and over century of educational history to form one of the largest architecture schools in the UK.

The MSA’s architecture research ranges disciplines and covers theses scope. The discipline of landscape architect is that which manages the urban design, urban development, ecological and landscape design as well as the historic environment protection and management.

The main institution in charge of the research at this centre is the Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC). The research work will not only include but also fly the flag for postgraduate research and taught programs as well, and you will be gladly invited to participate actively in the school’s research culture.

6. Tsinghua University

Image Credits: easyuni.com

Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) is one of its kinds since it is a merger of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and The University of Manchester (UoM). It can be found at the distance of just a half mile from the city center. It joins the schools of architecture with one and over century of educational history to form one of the largest architecture schools in the UK.

The MSA’s architecture research ranges disciplines and covers theses scope. The discipline of landscape architect is that which manages the urban design, urban development, ecological and landscape design as well as the historic environment protection and management.

The main institution in charge of the research at this centre is the Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC). The research work will not only include but also fly the flag for postgraduate research and taught programs as well, and you will be gladly invited to participate actively in the school’s research culture.

7. Politecnico Di Milano, Italy

Image Credits: talloiresnetwork.tufts

With approximately 45,000 students, Politecnico di Milano, founded in 1863, is one of Europe’s most prestigious technical colleges. It is the largest Italian university in Engineering, Architecture, and Design. Almost all postgraduate academic programs are taught in English, drawing many international students from over 100 countries.

The program in Architecture and Urban Design offers students advanced training in the field of Architectural Design. The educational path appropriately addresses the growing demand for architects to deal with the complexity of problems and their new professional responsibilities, as required worldwide.

The study focuses on the fundamentals of architectural design at various theoretical and practical scales. Optional courses, elective thematic and final Design Studios, allow students to personalize their educational experience.

8. University of Cambridge 

Image Credits: archdaily.com

Cambridge University is to be found amidst the old city of Cambridge, a 50 miles drive from London in the north. It is the forth ancient university in the world globally and the second in the English-speaking world, founded was in 1209.

The University of Cambridge is usually a centre of university that is famous for its education, research, and transnational view owing to its global quality and academic excellence.

The department of architecture in Cambridge puts all efforts to make the training of students more creative, inquisitive, and strong in intellect. Hence it got a good ratio of staff-to-student, an awesome library, reprographics rooms, workshops, studios and some other places for bigger and more complex projects.

9. The Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL)

Image Credits: epfl.ch

The EPFL is a scientific research institute and university with its main field in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is natural sciences and engineering. It has a student body from all across the world. The site of the EPFL campus (135 acres and 65 buildings) goes along the sides of Lake Geneva.

Architecture program is always in the conversion with the practical and the theoretical methods. During the course of their studies students work in a workshop specially allocated for it. Everybody has a well-equipped computing centre and machinery used in modeling.

In addition to that, study groups will have a well-equipped library and seminars regarding art, physics, architecture and human sciences that are leading in these fields along with relevant exhibitions. Furthermore it is compulsory that all students, regardless of the level, complete a one-year professional internship between the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degree.

10. Tongji University

Image Credits: studyinchinas.com

German Medical College now Tongji University was set up in 1927. Founded in 1913 , this university is one of the oldest and the most outstanding institutions China has got in higher education. It is broadly inclusive in its application by being strong in architecture, civil engineering, oceanography, engineering, sciences, medicine, management, arts, law, and economics.

The organization has cultivated a close linkage with the tile, which gives students the opportunity of getting deeper insights by getting in touch with the industryIt is the reason why Tungji engineering graduates are recruited in the regions of the country by the employers.

It offers a four-year intensive English-taught program. Students begin Tongji University in the first three semesters, UNSW in the fourth to sevent months, and finally Tongji University in the last semester.

11. Dublin Institute Of Design

 Image source: wikipedia.org

Dublin Institute of Design is Ireland’s first comprehensive private design school since it was established in 1866The institution will furnish its learners with the education in interior design, graphics, fashion, costume, web design, animation, and visual merchandising.

The university initiated a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design program that led to the graduation of the first students three years later in 1991. Since then, the institution has become a well-known brand among other institutions providing the same program. Placing yourself in Dublin, you’ll see how graduates of this school have been contributing to the services and urban development of the city.

12. The University Of Technology, Sydney

 Image source: uts.edu.au

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, is the home to the University of Technology Sydney UTS), a public research university with no small reputation in architecture and interior design. UTS uses a distinct model of learning, which encourages strong research performance and direct engagement with industry and the professions to give learners a practical learning experience.

Pushing boundaries is the university theme, and graduates of architecture and design in this institution have a say anywhere in the world. Using cutting-edge technology in dedicated studios, students learn to solve real-life problems, some of which were proposed by industries around the institution.

Meanwhile, the school program runs for only three years, and there is the option of both full-time and part-time.

Other Great Architecture Schools Worldwide Include:

  1. The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong SAR.
  2. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR.
  3. The University of Tokyo, Japan.
  4. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) Barcelona, Spain.
  5. Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin).
  6. Technical University of Munich, Germany.
  7. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
  8. The University of Melbourne.
  9. The University of Melbourne Parkville, Australia

Featured Image Credits: unsplash.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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