As a child, did you build tall buildings and pretty apartments with your Lego set? Don't be shy in accepting it; architecture is pretty cool. Take it from Ted Mosbey, "The Architect". Being an Architect is not a simple job; you're responsible for the buildings and designs you create, so why not choose one of the Best Architecture Schools in the US to make sure your future designs not only make the residents happy but also keep them safe? So, here's a list of the best architecture universities in the US. You can also explore some architecture schools in the UK for an informed decision. Take your pick!
What is an Architecture Degree?
It's a good idea to grasp what studying architecture as a major in college would hold before moving on to googling for the best schools for architecture in the US. Architecture combines art, mathematics, science and logistics in the planning and construction of structures. A degree in Architecture will teach you how to accurately sketch up building ideas by hand or by using computer tools. Students who major in architecture in college might pick between a four-year or five-year Bachelor's programme. Students will graduate from the five-year curriculum with a degree and be prepared to enter the profession. Make sure to have your US student visa ready before you apply for an architecture degree.
What should you consider when looking for the top architecture schools in the US?
As a student, it's your job to research and fact-check the University to which you'll be applying for further education. So, to be on the safer side, here are a few things you must consider before finalizing the top architecture universities in the US:
1. Campus size
2. Presence of graduates
3. Student-to-faculty ratio
4. Campus culture
5. Class size
6. Programme-specific opportunities
12 Best Architecture Schools in the US
Now that we have discussed what an architecture degree is, you may be asking, "where can I find the best Achitecture schools in US?" There are many architecture schools in the US offering architecture degrees around the country, but the best school may vary with respect to all the students. To help you compare all your options, we have come up with a list of a few of the top Architecture schools in the US:
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT)
QS Ranking - #1
Location: 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States
Course Fee: $50,000 to $60,000
Courses: Architecture, Architecture Design Studio II
Acceptance Rate: 4%
MIT is a world-renowned university with being first in THe QS rankings; whose goal is to expand knowledge and train future scientists, engineers, and scholars in these and other fields so that they can best serve their country and the rest of the globe in the twenty-first century making it one of the best Architecture universities in USA. Students who enrol in the MIT architecture department receive a thorough education of the built environment. The University wants to provide students with the knowledge and creativity that helps them to be the best in this field. Each year, roughly 250 students enrol in the master's programme.
2. Rice University
QS Ranking - #145
Location: 6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005, United States
Course Fee: $30,00- to $40,000
Courses: BA in Architecture, M.Arch
Acceptance Rate: 6%
Rice University aspires to transformative research, unparalleled teaching, and contributions to the welfare of the world. Rice University is a renowned research university with a special dedication to undergraduate education. Despite being situated in the huge Texas metropolis of Houston, Rice University's architecture programme is the smallest in the nation. This can be a fantastic fit if you're seeking the Best Architecture Schools in the US for individualized attention. The architecture programme at Rice University provides its students with a "preceptorship." which means that students will complete a paid internship with a renowned architecture company in the US or overseas during their fourth and fifth years.
3. Harvard University
QS Ranking - #4
Location: Cambridge, MA, United States
Course Fee: $55,000 to $60,000
Courses: M.Arch, Architecture II, Landscape Architecture (MLA), M.Arch+MLA
Acceptance Rate: 3%
It's no surprise that Harvard is in the best Architecture schools in the US with fifth position in the QS ranking. The mission of Harvard University is to cultivate leaders who create a change in the world through excellence in teaching, learning, and research. Their Architecture programmes train students in the best way possible to make them future-ready. In recent news, Harvard researchers have finally uncovered how Roman Architecture has survived for centuries. This proves that the researchers at Harvard University not only focus on future architecture but also are eager to study and learn from the past.
4. The University Of California, Berkeley (UCB)
QS Ranking - #10
Location: Berkeley, CA, United States
Fee: $22,000 to $35,000
Courses: M.Sc Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
Acceptance Rate: 12%
If you wish to be a prolific designer like Julia Morgan, who helped define what Californian architecture is today, you should consider studying architecture in the University of California at Berkeley.Here, students seeking their first certified professional degree receive a complete and demanding education leading to the practice of architecture through the University of California, Berkeley's architecture department. Depending on their previous training and experience, students can select from a range of paths within a two- to three-year curriculum. With an institution like this, there's no doubt this is one of the best architecture colleges in the US.
5. Columbia University
QS Ranking - #24
Location: New York, NY 10027, United States
Fee: $60,000 to $70,000
Courses: M.Arch, M.Sc in Advanced Architectural Design, M.Sc in Architecture and Urban Design
Acceptance Rate: 3.7%
In addition to being one of the most significant research institutions in the world, Columbia University offers undergraduate and graduate students a unique and prestigious learning environment in a variety of academic and professional subjects which makes it one of the best architecture schools in the US. The Columbia University architecture programme is run in cooperation with Barnard College, a partner institution. With an emphasis on architecture, students will finish a liberal arts education. Moreover, many students go on to graduate programmes. Even though it's just fiction,for all the HIMYM fanatics, Ted Mosbey was once a professor here who taught Architecture 101.
6. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
QS Ranking - #29
Location: Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States
Fee: $32,000 to $40,000
Courses: M.A. in Architecture, M.Sc in Architecture and Urban Design
Acceptance Rate: 10%
UCLA is a truly global university that offers a diverse range of opportunities. It is multicultural, forward-thinking, and located in one of the best cities in the world. The results are evident in the rankings, with the University consistently being included among the best architecture colleges in the US. This is due to the University's abundant resources, illustrious reputation, and, most importantly, its strong commitment to making a genuine impact in the world. With a prime location, the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture focuses on urban design. This programme places emphasis on studio culture. Many top architecture listings include the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture as one of the top architecture schools in the US
7. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
QS Ranking - #88
Location: North Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30332, United States
Fee: $15,000 to $25,000
Courses: M.Sc in Architecture, MArch, MArch/MSc in Architecture and City and Regional Planning
Acceptance Rate: 21%
Leading research institution, Georgia Institute of Technology is dedicated to enhancing human welfare via cutting-edge science and technology. The goal of this best architecture school in the US is to produce leaders who will progress technology and enhance the Architecture industry. Its mission and strategic plan are dedicated to educating its students to build a better future.
8. Cornell University
QS Ranking - #13
Location: Ithaca, NY 14850, United States
Fee: $27,000 to $35,000
Courses: M.Arch, M.Sc Advanced Architectural Design, M.Sc Architectural Science, Landscape Architecture
Acceptance Rate: 8%
Development of energy-efficient semiconductor technologies and materials- That's what Cornell is doing, leading a $34 million research facility. Cornell University has embraced the revolutionary spirit that established the University and supported one another in following unconventional paths to bring about change on a local and global level. One of the longest-running art programmes in the country is ready to celebrate its 150th anniversary: Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. Undoubtedly, one of the best architecture schools in the US.
9. University of Pennsylvania
QS Ranking - #12
Location: Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Fee: $55,000 to $65,000
Courses: B.A. in Architecture: Design, M.Arch, M.Sc in Architecture
Acceptance Rate: 7%
UPenn is in the top 10% of the country for architecture. More specifically, it was ranked #5 out of 74 schools by College Factual. It is also ranked #1 in Pennsylvania. This is proof enough for it to be mentioned among the best architecture universities in the US. The University of Pennsylvania's architecture programme provides a thorough and demanding curriculum that equips graduates for the entire spectrum of activities in the Architecture profession.
10. Yale University
QS Ranking - #16
Location: New Haven, CT 06520, United States
Fee: $50,769 to $65,987
Courses: BA in architecture, M.Arch
Acceptance Rate: 6%
Since the institution's establishment in 1701, Yale has been committed to advancing and igniting creativity and protecting knowledge for future generations. Yale College is a small learning environment that offers training in the liberal arts and sciences to all undergraduates. The Yale architecture programme blends components of an architectural school with a liberal arts education. After completing this Architecture programme, graduates have to apply for a license in order to work as architects. With this scale of education, it's safe to say that Yale University is one of the best architecture schools in the US.
11. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
QS Ranking - #33
Location: 500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States
Fee: $49,232 to $60,056
Courses: B.Arch, M.Sc in Architecture Design and Research, MSc in Architecture, Landscape Architecture
Acceptance Rate: 23%
The academic vigour of Michigan delivers distinction in all academic fields and around the world. Due to the exceptional quality of its 19 schools and colleges, faculty with a global reputation, and departments with 250 degree programmes, the University of Michigan is regarded as a leader in higher education. The University offers multiple architecture degrees for students to opt for. So, unsurprisingly, the University of Michigan is one of the best architecture schools in the US.
12. New York University
QS Ranking - #38
Location: New York, NY 10012, United States
Fee: $56,876 to $70,045
Courses: M.A. in Historical and Substantial Architecture
Acceptance Rate: 13%
Since its establishment in 1831, NYU has been a leader in higher education, adopting an urban identity and professional focus. The programme for Urban Design and Architecture Studies (UDAS) offers an integrative analytical approach to these fields. Both a comprehensive, humanistic view of the city's physical features and pre-professional training for aspiring architects, city planners, public administrators, and authors on urban issues are provided by this curriculum. For information on various scholarships and financial aid, students should visit NYU's financial assistance website. Even though New York University is the last on this list, it surely isn't the least, making it one of the best architecture schools in the US.
Best Architecture schools according to States
Career opportunities after Masters of Architecture
2. Architectural technologist
3. Interior and spatial designer
4. Building surveyor
5. Town planner
6. Production designer
7. Historic buildings inspector
8. Structural engineer
It is tough to make a definitive conclusion on the Best architecture schools in the US because different schools excel in different areas, and what may be the best fit for one student may not be the best fit for another. Make sure to do your own research and decide what is most important to you in an architecture program before making a decision on which school to attend. If you can't afford to study in the US, there are various scholarships in USA that can help you achieve your dream of studying at one of the Best Architecture Schools in the US or any field of study.
As a student, if you’re left with a lot of time on your hands and don't know what to do, here’s how to make the most of your time in the US.