Colleges with Architecture Design Programs: How to Choose

Aspiring architects have multiple options when it comes to educational programs. Students who wish to study architecture design generally pursue degrees in architecture with design as their concentration or specialization.

While different types of undergraduate and graduate architecture programs are available, students who want to become licensed architects need to complete a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) or a Master of Architecture (M.Arch).

8 Schools with Architecture Programs

Below is a list of schools that offer architecture programs at various degree levels:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Auburn University Auburn, AL 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $10,424; Out-of-state: $28,040
Portland Community College Portland, OR 2-year, Public Associate's In-state: $3,766; Out-of-state: $8,374
Frank Lloyd Wright School for Architecture Scottsdale, AZ 4-year, Private Master's $40,500
Mercer County Community College West Windsor, NJ 2-year, Public Associate's In-district: $3,648; In-state: $4,788; Out-of-state: $6,900
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's and Master's Undergraduate: $43,318; Graduate: $33,312
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Bachelor's and Master's In-state (undergraduate): $13,790; In-state (graduate): $15,844
South Central College North Mankato, MN 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate's $5,379
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $48,436

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, school websites

School Selection Criteria

It is important to include the following when considering schools:

  • Students may choose from various pre-professional degrees, such as a B.S. or B.A. in Architecture, Bachelor of Architectural Studies or Bachelor in Environmental Design.
  • Students in an architecture program, either professional or pre-professional, may choose design studies from among the other concentrations in architecture, such as architectural history or architectural engineering.
  • Schools are often stringent about the requirements of their design progression; students may be required to formally apply to the architecture program in their second or third year of college by providing a design portfolio.
  • Aspiring architects should note that most state licensure laws require a professional degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Associate of Applied Technology in Architectural Technology

Students who wish to obtain entry-level positions in the field of architecture may do so with an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Technology degree. After graduation, students may work as beginning technicians who create drawings and documents related to construction, or they may continue their education in a bachelor's degree program. Some, though not all, associate programs offer concentrations in architecture design.

Bachelor of Architecture

When choosing a bachelor's degree program, students might consider which programs provide extra design courses beyond the typical design progression and whether or not a design-centered program is professional or pre-professional. Students in a professional program earn a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch), whereas students in a pre-professional program often earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in an architectural study.

Master of Architecture

Master's programs typically offer a wide variety of design specialization, including design criticism, digital design and health design. Students who have completed a pre-professional bachelor's degree program may enter into a professional Master of Architecture program, or M.Arch I, while students who have earned a B.Arch degree may enter into a post-professional Master of Architecture program, or M.Arch II.

There are undergraduate and graduate options for students interested in architecture design, including associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees. It is important to consider career goals and schools that are accredited by the NAAB before choosing a program.

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