Architecture School Rankings

Read about degree programs in architecture, which usually lead to a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) or Master of Architecture (M.Arch). Find out what three universities have to offer in terms of program features and rankings, and see what other schools in the U.S. provide training for architects.

School Overviews

Students who are interested in careers as architects must earn a professional B.Arch or M.Arch from a school that has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The three schools featured below are all NAAB-accredited and include California Polytechnic State University, Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. These schools all have nationally ranked architecture programs. Some schools offer non-professional degrees for students who do not plan on obtaining a state architect's license.

1. California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo

School Highlight: The school is ranked #1 in top public schools in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report.

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) ranked in the top 10 best universities in the West, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015. Nearly 9% of the university's 20,000 students enroll in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, where they can earn a B.Arch or Master's in Architecture, Architectural Engineering and City and Regional Planning. Students can also major in Landscape Architecture and pursue a graduate degree in Architecture Management through Orfalea College of Business. Program emphasis is on direct experience and a balanced curriculum that combines courses in art and science.

2. Rice University in Houston, TX

School Highlight: Rice has a study abroad program at its Paris campus for senior architecture students.

Rice University tied for 18th place on U.S. News & World Report's survey of national universities for 2015. Undergraduates can pursue a 6-year Bachelor of Arts in Architecture program leading to a professional B.Arch; a non-professional Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies is also available. Students in the B.Arch program may spend a semester in Paris; fifth-year students in the Preceptorship Program can acquire real-world experience at a top architectural firm. The M.Arch program can be completed in three, five or seven semesters, depending on a student's prior architectural education.

3. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

School Highlight: Home of PennPraxis, a faculty-student research group that works with organizations around the world.

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) tied for ninth place on U.S. News & World Report's list of national universities in 2015. Undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture; a special intensive major is available to those interested in earning a Master of Architecture. Graduate programs can lead to an M.Arch., a Master of Science in Design (M.S.D.), a Master of Environmental Building Design, an M.S. in Architecture and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture.

Study abroad programs include opportunities for students in Paris, London and Columbia. Penn's architectural programs emphasize all aspects of design, ranging from hand drawing to computer-aided design (CAD).

Top Architecture Schools

Name of School Distinction Location
Cornell University Architecture students can go on to choose from 10 master's and 3 doctoral programs Ithaca, NY
Harvard University Harvard offers numerous awards, medals, fellowships and travel awards for architecture students Cambridge, MA
Kansas State University College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Planning and Design both offer graduate programs in architecture Manhattan, KS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology The Department of Architecture was one of the 4 original MIT departments Cambridge, MA
Southern California Institute of Architecture One of the few independent architecture schools in the U.S. with undergraduate and graduate programs Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas UT's architecture and planning library houses subscriptions to hundreds of magazines and hundreds of thousands of books for students to reference Austin, TX
Yale University Joint master's degree programs offered by the School of Management and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies New Haven, CT

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