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Top Degree Programs for Architecture - San Diego, CA

School and Ranking Information

Aspiring architecture students seeking an education in San Diego have only one for-profit and one nonprofit school in the city to choose from; other types of colleges and universities with architecture programs are located more than 75 miles from San Diego. Based on ranking and school location, the following university is considered a top school in San Diego for studies in architecture:

  • Winner: Woodbury University is the only nonprofit institution with a campus in San Diego that offers architecture programs. Students can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in this field of study.

School Info Chart

Category Woodbury University
Ranking #56 (tie) Best Regional Universities (West) (2015)*
Location Burbank, California
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) Undergrad: $33,150**
Architecture Degrees Offered Bachelor's and master's
Architecture Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2012-2013 114**
Most Popular Architecture Degree in 2012-2013 Bachelor's (87 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class 45%**
Noteworthy Architecture programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report; **NCES College Navigator

Woodbury University

  • Architecture students have access to a digital fabrication lab, computer labs, and metal and wood shops
  • Master of Architecture program in real estate development offers teachings from contractors and building officials, among other professionals
  • An on-campus exhibition space is used to display students' work

Though it is based in Burbank, CA, approximately 120 miles from San Diego, Woodbury University has one of its two other campuses situated in the city. The School of Architecture has a main facility in San Diego. The school awards a bachelor's and master's degree in architecture.

The curriculum of the Bachelor of Architecture covers architectural principles and processes, world architecture and theory. Students gain insight into building code interpretation, cost estimation and project administration. Before progressing to upper-level coursework, students submit a portfolio for review. They must complete 300 hours of work experience in a professional design office to graduate, and a degree project must be completed in the final year of the program.

The Master of Architecture is a 2-year program for those with a degree in architecture and a 3-year program for those without a prior degree in the field of study. Studies combine classroom lectures with studio work. Topics addressed in the program include drawing and modeling, modern architecture, advanced structures and environmental systems. Studio courses are taken in building design and infrastructures. A fieldwork studio course is also included.

The 1-year Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch) program combines studio and classroom experiences. The program allows for independent research study and for students to take classes in other areas, such as business and design. Master's degree students must complete a thesis and a portfolio.

The MSArch Landscape + Urbanism program is designed for professional and landscape architects. The program incorporates real-world scenarios in learning, focusing on U.S. and Latin American cultural perspectives. Courses examine geographic information system (GIS) mapping and visualization technology, urban spatial structures and landscape theory. Public policy as related to urban infrastructure, architectural design methods and approaches to community organization are among other topics discussed. A thesis project is required.

The MSArch in Real Estate Development for Architects is taught entirely in a studio format. Students learn about real-life developments created by architect-developers and are challenged to conceive of alternative designs. Course topics include construction cost estimating, and construction ethics. An original building proposal is required for the final thesis project.

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