Schools with Residential Architecture Programs: How to Choose

Residential architecture is a specialty dealing with the design, construction and renovation of single-family housing, multi-unit apartment buildings, assisted living homes or any other community or residential facility. Many professional architecture schools around the country offer courses and other opportunities to study residential architecture.

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Those interested in residential architecture may want to start their search with the 123 universities and colleges that offer a professional degree in architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees offered by these programs are, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most commonly required for state licensure as a residential architect (www.bls.gov).

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10 Schools for Architecture

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition* (2015-2016)
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Master's, Doctoral Graduate $41,832
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Undergraduate $47,600; Graduate $38,700
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Undergraduate $53,000; Graduate $42,280
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Undergraduate $46,704; Graduate $46,400
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $49,116; Graduate $29,500
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's In-state Undergraduate $11,000; Out-of-state Undergraduate $26,334; In-state Graduate $12,790; Out-of-state Graduate $24,532
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $48,093; Graduate $47,300
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state Undergraduate $13,856; Out-of-state Undergraduate $43,476; In-state Graduate $20,638; Out-of-state Graduate $41,688
University of Texas Arlington, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Post-graduate Certificate In-state Undergraduate $9,208; Out-of-state Undergraduate $19,104; In-state Graduate $6,959; Out-of-state Graduate $14,713
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's In-state Undergraduate $15,192; Out-of-state Undergraduate $44,365; In-state Graduate $14,518; Out-of-state Graduate $24,316

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

When selecting an architecture program, there are several things to keep in mind.

  • Students may tailor their search to programs offering courses in the residential subfield.
  • Some programs allow choosing a focus for a final capstone, design or research project.
  • Find schools with renowned, experienced faculty.
  • Schools near historic residential landmarks may appeal to students interested in that area of architecture.

Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)

Undergraduate, professional architecture degrees generally take five years to complete. Course requirements tend to focus heavily on professional architecture training, including design studio work and applied mathematics, in addition to general education courses.

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

The M.Arch. degree can take 2-3 years to complete, depending on the student's prior academic experience; students who possess a B.Arch. typically receive advanced standing. Many graduate programs require the student to complete an original research thesis in a specialized area of interest, such as urban residential design or community development.

Those interested in pursuing a career in architecture can choose from a number of reputable institutions across the United States that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The most common programs are bachelor's and master's degree programs, although some schools also offer doctoral degrees and graduate certificates.

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