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Best Architecture Graduate Schools in the U.S.

Learn about the best graduate architecture schools in the U.S., which can help students advance their skills or prepare for careers in education and research. Review the degree options at four universities, as well as what's unique to other schools that offer graduate studies in architecture. View article »

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  • 0:00 School Overviews
  • 0:51 Harvard University in…
  • 1:42 Columbia University in…
  • 2:28 M.I.T. in Cambridge, MA
  • 3:10 Cornell University in…
  • 3:55 Top Architecture…

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Graduate-level architecture programs can lead to a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture, or post-professional degree. Students can choose between these programs based on their previous experience and career goals. Four of the top graduate architecture schools in the U.S. include three Ivy League institutions, Harvard University, Columbia University, and Cornell University, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All four schools were ranked among the top 15 national universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2017 listings. They have also received high marks from DesignIntelligence for the quality of their graduate architectural programs in 2016.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Harvard University offers fellowships, prizes, and travel programs to architecture students. Harvard University, one of the oldest colleges in the U.S., is a private research institution that ranked number two on U.S. News & World Report's list of best national universities for 2017. DesignIntelligence ranked Harvard's graduate architecture programs first on its 'America's Best Architecture and Design Schools' survey in 2016. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers a Ph.D. in Architecture for students seeking careers in teaching or research. Those who meet the minimum degree requirements can apply for an interim M.A. in Architecture award. The Graduate School of Design offers a professional M.Arch. I and post-professional M.Arch. II.

Columbia University in New York, NY

At Columbia University, the Shape of Two Cities: New York-Paris Program is for students who want to study architecture in the U.S. and abroad. As of 2017, Columbia University tied at fifth on U.S. News & World Report's list of best national universities. The university's graduate programs in architecture also ranked fourth among their peers by DesignIntelligence in 2016. Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation offers multiple M.Arch. and Master of Science programs in architecture, a Ph.D. in Architecture, and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning. The school is also home to the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, one of the nation's most renowned architectural archival collections.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Architectural History
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  • Urban and Regional Planning

Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA

Architecture was one of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's four original academic departments. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ranks seventh on U.S. News & World Report's list of top national universities in 2017. In addition, MIT's graduate programs in architecture received fifth place on DesignIntelligence's list of top graduate architecture programs for 2016. The school's Department of Architecture offers four master's degree programs and three doctoral programs in the areas of study including art, culture, and technology; history, theory, and criticism; computation; and building technology.

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

Cornell University offers multiple degree options at the graduate level. For 2017, Cornell was tied for #15 on U.S. News and World Report's list of the best universities in the country. Its graduate level architecture programs were ranked #2 by DesignIntelligence in 2016. At the master's degree level, Cornell offers a Professional Master of Architecture for students who want to prepare for a career in the field, as well as post-professional Master of Architecture for trained architects who already have a B.Arch. or an M.Arch. but want to pursue more advanced architecture studies. Graduate students can also enroll in a Ph.D. in History of Architecture and Urban Development program.

Top Architecture Graduate Schools

Now let's take a look at more institutions with excellent graduate-level architecture degree offerings.

  • Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta offers M.Arch., post-professional M.Arch., and Ph.D. programs.
  • The University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, offers a 6-year combined B.S.A.E./M.Arch. program.
  • The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia was ranked #2 on DesignIntelligence's survey of graduate landscape architecture programs for 2016.
  • The University of Texas at Austin offers professional and post-professional M.Arch. programs, as well as M.S. programs in sustainable or urban design, historic preservation, and architectural studies.
  • Washington University in St. Louis offers architecture-oriented study abroad programs. The school is based in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was ranked third among top schools for its graduate architecture programs by DesignIntelligence in 2016.

Aspiring and experienced architects can find graduate-level training at well-respected universities throughout the country.

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