Architecture Schools in Houston, TX with Degree Program Overviews

Oct 01, 2020

Houston, TX, Architecture Schools

The Houston, TX, area has several schools that offer architecture programs. This article offers information on three that are no more than 45 miles from downtown. There is information about these degree programs as well as a table of pertinent information about each school, such as enrollment, campus setting, tuition and the percentage of students who graduate. At the end of the article is a little information about one more school that offers architecture studies.

  • Less than two miles from downtown, University of Houston offers a bachelor's degree in architecture as well as several master's degree programs in architecture and architectural science.
  • Prairie View A & M University is about 45 miles northwest of Houston and has a bachelor's and a master's program in architecture.
  • Rice University offers several bachelor's programs and a master's degree program for architecture students. Rice is about five miles from downtown Houston.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are considering a school for their architecture studies need to be aware of many factors. This table presents important information about these schools in a format that makes it easy to compare them.

University of Houston Prairie View A & M University Rice University
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2019) 46,148* 8,940* 7,282*
Campus Setting Large city Distant town Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) $9,221, in-state; $21,749, out-of-state* $10,786, in-state; $25,654, out-of-state* $49,112*
% of First-Time Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2018-2019) 87%* 91%* 69%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2019) 65%* 80%* 9%*
Undergraduate Retention Rate (2018-2019) 85% for full-time, 68% for part-time students* 66% for full-time students* 98% for full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2013) 61%* 36%* 93%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

University of Houston

The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston offers both graduate and undergraduate programs in architecture, in addition to degree programs in other design-related fields. Graduate program applicants are required to submit a portfolio, with the exception of those entering the Master of Architecture Level I track.

Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)

This 5-year professional degree program includes more than 100 credit hours of architecture courses, in addition to 15 hours of electives. Aspiring architects complete design studios, as well as classes in architectural history, urban environments and building regulations.

Master of Architecture

There are various master's degrees available at the University of Houston in architecture. MARCH+3 is for students who hold at least a bachelor's degree in another field, and MARCH+2 is for those with a bachelor's degree in architecture or environmental design. Both levels include multiple design studio classes, and course topics include modern architecture and construction methods.

Master of Science in Architecture

The post-professional Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture degree program is designed for students who already have a professional degree in architecture. Students complete at least 36 units in this degree focused on studio design.

Master of Arts in Architectural Studies

Students who hold a bachelor's degree can choose the Master of Arts in Architectural Studies program. Students complete design studio credits and independent research.

Master of Science in Industrial Design

This master's degree is a 36-credit interdisciplinary program that doesn't require an undergraduate degree in industrial design, although completion of prerequisite courses may be needed. Students will be exploring topics like integrated design research, advanced design materials, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization projects and a design thesis.

Prairie View A & M University

Established in 1876, Prairie View A & M was the first state-supported institution in Texas for African Americans; it's now open to students of all ethnicities. In 1998, the School of Architecture was established, and today it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Bachelor of Science in Architecture

This bachelor's degree program consists of 132 credits, and students may choose between a professional or non-professional track. The professional track prepares students for the Master of Architecture program. The non-professional track provides students with a basic foundation in architectural studies. Coursework for both tracks includes technical writing, architecture design, sustainable building and structural systems.

Master of Architecture

Students who pursue the Master of Architecture are placed within one of three program options. The first option is for students who matriculated from Prairie View A & M's undergraduate professional track, while the second option is for students who hold a pre-professional bachelor's degree in architecture. The third option is tailored to students with a bachelor's degree in an area other than architecture.

Rice University

Rice University's School of Architecture offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Students can take advantage of the school's study abroad opportunities, which are offered in places such as Paris.

Bachelor of Art (B.A.) in Architecture/Bachelor of Architecture

The 4-year B.A. program introduces students to basic design concepts and skills. This program bridges with the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.), so students immediately follow their undergraduate degree with two years of study towards a B.Arch. After earning a B.A., students are granted a preceptorship in which they gain nine months of professional experience.

Bachelor of Art in Architectural Studies

At the end of their sophomore year, undergraduates admitted to Rice's School of Architecture can opt out of the B.A./B.Arch. professional program. Instead, they can pursue a B.A. in Architectural Studies. The beginning curriculum is similar to that of the B.A. in Architecture program, but architectural studies students take fewer studio classes and may pursue a broader range of academic interests.

Master of Architecture

This degree program offers several pathways. In the first option meant for students with a bachelor's degree in another field, or with an architecture degree that doesn't meet certain standards, students will take four core design studio courses, four courses in technology and 10-credits of studio courses in architectural problems. The second option is designed for students who already hold an approved undergraduate degree in architecture. Coursework is similar to the first option with 14 credits of a thesis required for degree completion. Either option may be taken with a thesis for completion or as a non-thesis program.

Other School Option

A certificate of completion in architectural construction and building technology is available at Lee College, located 26.8 miles from downtown Houston.

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