Architecture Graduate School Rankings

Architects are designers of buildings and other structures. These professionals are required to have at least bachelor's degrees in architecture for licensure; however, many schools offer graduate professional programs which are becoming the industry standard. Graduate architecture schools are ranked academically each year by the Design Futures Council.

Architecture Graduate School Rankings Overview

The Design Futures Council is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on architecture. Each year, its bi-monthly publication, DesignIntelligence, releases an issue that ranks the top U.S. undergraduate and graduate architecture schools.

Ranking Methodology

Rankings are determined by the firms and organizations that hire architects, and these groups report on the career preparedness of architecture school graduates. The rankings are administered by the Greenway Group, a consulting firm that interviews the hiring authorities at architecture firms and organizations throughout the country.

For the 2014 rankings, data was gathered from over 650 professional practices, and over 2,500 students were surveyed on their satisfaction with their program. Those interested in the current rankings can find them at the DesignIntelligence website ( Also ranked are the best industrial design schools, landscape architecture schools and interior design schools, all of which are affiliated with the field of architecture.

2014 Rankings

DesignIntelligence ranked architecture graduate schools in its 'America's Best Architecture and Design Schools' survey. The 2014 top ten grad school rankings were as follows:

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Columbia University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cornell University
  • Rice University
  • University of Michigan
  • Kansas State University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Texas at Austin

Graduate Program Requirements

Students will want to find a graduate architecture school that's accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, which adheres to national standards, and a state architectural registration board, which sets its own standards. Master's degree programs in architecture can take 1-5 years to complete, depending on whether or not the graduate student holds an undergraduate degree in architecture.

Graduate programs focus on history and theory, practical experiences, physical sciences and building design, with an emphasis on computer-aided design. Those who graduate and meet internship requirements may sit for the Architect Registration Exam to earn their architect license.

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