Top Ten Architecture Colleges

Read about the top ten architecture colleges in the United States, through which students learn how to design functional and economical buildings and structures for human use and enjoyment. Learn about the program options at three of the ten schools, and find a list of other top architectural colleges in the country.

School Overview

The three schools highlighted below are high-ranking architectural colleges that offer programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), an academic requirement for professional architects in most states. School choices include the University of Texas in Austin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University, an Ivy League institution, all three of which offer undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture.

1. University of Texas at Austin

School Highlight: The University of Texas at Austin is a large, research-based university that placed 53rd among national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015.

Aspiring architects at the undergraduate level can pursue a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architectural Studies with a specialized track in architectural history. Dual-degree programs include a 6-year B.Arch./B.S. in Architectural Studies and 5-year B.Arch./Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).

The university also offers two graduate programs leading to a professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.). Interdisciplinary graduate programs include studies in sustainable design, urban design and historic preservation. Advanced students can earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture.

2. Yale University in New Haven, CT

School Highlight: In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Yale University third among national universities, as well as second for its architectural school.

The Yale School of Architecture offers several undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture, as well as three joint degree programs. In addition to a B.A. in Architecture, the programs include a professional and post-professional M.Arch., Master of Environmental Design and Ph.D. in Architecture. Students pursuing joint master's degree programs can combine their study of architecture with business, environmental design or environmental studies.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked seventh on the U.S. News & World Report list of national universities in 2015; it also had the number one undergraduate engineering program in the country for the same year.

The School of Architecture offers a general undergraduate program and four graduate programs in architecture, including an M.Arch. Students can also earn a Master of Science (M.S) in Art, Culture and Technology or Building Technology; an M.S. in Architecture Studies within five disciplines is also available. Areas of specialization found in the doctoral program include theory and criticism in architecture and art; design and computation or building technology.

Top Architecture Colleges

School Name Distinction Location
Columbia University Master of Science (M.S.) in Advanced Architectural Design program New York, NY
Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) in New York City Center Ithaca, NY
Princeton University Center for Architecture, Urbanism and Infrastructure Princeton, NJ
Rice University Students in the Rice School Architectural Global program can study at the Rice School of Architecture in Paris Houston, TX
University of Pennsylvania Research labs are the Digital Design Research Lab and the Building Simulation Group Philadelphia, PA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Externship program for 4-year undergraduates Blacksburg, VA
Washington University in St. Louis Dual-degree program leading to a Master of Social Work/Master of Architecture St. Louis, MO

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