Top Architectural Graduate Schools: List of Schools

Jun 15, 2021

Graduate programs in architecture can be found across the country at both the master's and doctoral level. Several of the best schools are featured here, with highlights and rankings.

School Information

The University of California - Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as Virginia Polytechnical offer Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master of Science in Architecture and Ph.D. in Architecture programs. MIT and Virginia Tech are located in the eastern United States, while Berkeley is located on the West Coast. All these schools are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Architectural Record.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge

School Highlight: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a consistently top-ranked research university, and in 2017, it was ranked seventh among national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

MIT offers both master's and doctoral degrees in architecture. MIT's traditional M.Arch. is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The Master of Science in Architecture Studies is a degree geared toward those whose interests are in non-professional, theoretical architectural study. Doctoral degrees are awarded in computation, building technology, and history, theory and criticism of architecture and art. MIT is also ranked 5th in top graduate architectural programs for 2016 by Architectural Record.

University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: The University of California - Berkeley (UC Berkeley) was ranked tied for 20th among the best colleges in the nation in 2017, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The university offers two master's degrees in architecture, including a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture. The architecture department at Berkeley is committed to environmentally sound design, and students can focus on digital design media with an international perspective. The Master of Science in Architecture is a non-professional degree, and students in this degree program can choose from one of two areas of specialization, including history, theory and society, as well as building science and sustainability. UC Berkeley also offers a doctoral degree in architecture, which often leads to careers in research, government and academia. Architectural Record listed the school as the sixth-best graduate-level architecture program in 2016.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, VA

School Highlight: Virginia Tech offers a study abroad travel program in Europe for architecture students.

According to Architectural Record, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ranks #9 in the nation for graduate architecture programs. The school is also ranked by U.S. News and World Report as #27 in top public schools for 2017. Virginia Tech offers two master's programs, a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture, as well as a Ph.D. in Architecture and Design Research.

List of Good Graduate Schools for Architecture

On top of the three featured schools, the following also offer top-rated programs in graduate architecture:

  • Columbia University in New York has more than 10 architecture labs.
  • Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA offers several fellowships and other financial awards to graduate architecture students.
  • Iowa State University located in Ames, IA, shows dual graduate architecture degrees in planning and business administration.
  • The University of California at Los Angeles has a dedicated fabrication shop and computing facilities for architecture students.
  • At the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, graduate architecture students can participate in co-op program.
  • The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor offers dual graduate degrees in architecture and urban planning, business administration or engineering.
  • Eugene, OR, is home to the University of Oregon architecture program, which was ranked #1 in 2015 by DesignIntelligence for sustainable design practices and principles.
  • The University of Southern California at Los Angeles offers study abroad opportunities for graduate architecture students.
  • The University of Texas at Austin had graduate and undergraduate architecture programs ranked in the top ten in the nation by DesignIntelligence in 2014.

MIT, UC-Berkeley and Virginia Tech are among the top graduate architecture schools in the U.S. However, advanced degrees in architecture can be found at other highly-ranked schools around the country.

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