Top Architecture Colleges, Schools and Universities in the U.S.

Read about the top architecture colleges, schools and universities in the U.S. Learn about degree options at four leading institutions, and find a list of other schools across the country that provide training for aspiring architects. View article »

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  • 0:04 School Information
  • 0:48 Cornell University
  • 1:40 Columbia University
  • 2:17 Clemson University
  • 3:02 Auburn University
  • 3:40 Top Architecture Schools

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Video Transcript

School Information

Architecture programs can be found at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels at many highly-ranked schools. These schools include Cornell University, Clemson University, Columbia University, and Auburn University.

To work as an architect, students must complete a program that's been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and fulfill requirements for state licensure. The four universities that follow offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs that have been approved by the NAAB. Additionally, three of the universities were nationally ranked by DesignIntelligence, a publication of the Design Futures Council, and all four are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Cornell University

In 2016, DesignIntelligence ranked Cornell University the #1 school for undergraduate architecture programs and the #2 school for graduate architecture programs. In addition, U.S. News & World Report rated Cornell, located in Ithaca, NY, the 15th-best national university in 2016.

The university's Department of Architecture offers an undergraduate program for a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.). Unique to the program is the chance to study in New York City or spend a semester in Rome. The department also offers an accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program with two options, including one for students who hold an undergraduate degree in another major. Additional programs include an undergraduate minor in architecture, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the History of Architecture and Urban Development.

Columbia University

Located in New York City, Columbia University was DesignIntelligence's choice as the #4 school for graduate architecture programs in 2016. U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia 5th among national universities in 2016 as well.

Through its Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the university offers a three-year professional M.Arch. program. Master's programs are also available in urban planning, urban design, and advanced architectural design. Graduate students who are interested in the history and theory of architecture can pursue a doctoral degree.

Clemson University

U.S. News & World Report ranked Clemson University the 23rd-best public school in the nation in 2016.

The university, located in Clemson, SC, offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. A minor in architecture is available for students enrolled in another undergraduate program. Clemson's M.Arch. options include a two-year program for students who hold a pre-professional bachelor's degree in architecture and a three-year program for those who hold a degree in an unrelated field. Clemson also offers a non-professional Master of Science in Architecture and a Ph.D. in Planning, Design, and the Built Environment, with specializations in architecture and health, design and building, and animated architecture.

Auburn University

Located in Auburn, AL, Auburn University was DesignIntelligence's choice as the 8th-best school for undergraduate architecture programs in 2016. The school was also ranked among the top 50 public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

The school offers a Bachelor of Architecture program that prepares students to take the Architect Registration Examination. Interior architecture and environmental design programs are also available. Students in the environmental design program can complete a pre-landscape architecture track. Auburn students can pursue a landscape architecture master's degree as well.

Top Architecture Schools in the U.S.

Other top architecture schools include the following:

School Name Location Distinction
Middlebury College Middlebury, VT Ranked 4th among national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report as of 2017
Barnard College New York, NY Has an undergraduate architecture program that partners with Columbia University in New York
Smith College Northampton, MA Offers a graduate architecture program that requires prerequisite coursework in physics and calculus
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Has a program with a focus on sustainability, hands-on education, and the environment
Washington State University Pullman, WA First land-grant university in the state
Yale University New Haven, CT School of Architecture offers several joint-degree programs

Architecture students have many options to consider when choosing a top school for undergraduate or graduate studies, including dual-degree programs and specializations.

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