Top Architecture Graduate Programs Overview

Read about graduate architecture programs, which can lead to a professional Master of Architecture or Master of Science in a closely related field. Learn about the degree options at four high-ranking schools, and find a list of other universities in the U.S. that offer graduate architecture programs.

Students pursuing a degree in architecture have many excellent programs to choose from. Below are details on several with some of the best graduate programs in the nation.

School Information

Most states require professional architects to obtain a professional Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture from an institution accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Master of Architecture programs that have been approved by the NAAB can be found at the four universities profiled below, all of which are members of the Ivy League.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: Students create a design thesis and participate in internships.

Harvard University located in Cambridge, MA has been rated number one in the nation's list of graduate architecture schools according to DesignIntelligence. On top of this, U.S. News & World Report ranked Harvard #2 in National Universities as well. The Harvard Graduate School of Design works in 26 different areas of concentration while offering a variety of master's degrees as well as doctorates (PhD).

Columbia University in New York, NY

School Highlight: Students participate in a series of studio courses.

Columbia University's graduate architecture program ranked fourth in the nation in 2017, according to DesignIntelligence. The university also tied at fifth on the U.S. News & World Report survey of national universities for 2017. Students in the Master of Architecture program take studio classes and pursue topics in history, theory and building technology. Columbia University also offers Master of Science programs in advanced architectural design or architecture and urban design.

Yale University in New Haven, CT

School Highlight: Students work on a building design project in the spring of their first year.

For 2017, Yale University has the fifth-best graduate architecture program in the country, as designated by DesignIntelligence. As of 2017, the university also tied at third among national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. In addition to an undergraduate major in architecture, the Yale School of Architecture offers a Master of Architecture, Master of Environmental Design and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture. Several joint master's degree programs are also available, which combine architecture with studies in business administration, environmental design or environmental management.

Princeton University in Princeton, NJ

School Highlight: The school offers a graduate certificate program in media and modernity.

Princeton University's graduate architecture program ranked 15th in the nation for 2013, according to DesignIntelligence. The university was also in first place on the U.S. News & World Report list of national universities for 2017. Princeton's School of Architecture offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, including the NAAB-accredited professional Master of Architecture and a post-professional degree for students who have already earned a Bachelor of Architecture.

Top Graduate Architecture Schools

The following schools also house some of the best architecture programs in the nation.

  • Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Ph.D. in History of Architecture and Urban Development.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology located in Cambridge, MA, offers master's degrees in five architectural disciplines.
  • The University of California in Los Angeles allows third-year students to study abroad.
  • In Ann Arbor, MI, the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor has a dual-degree programs in urban design, business administration and engineering.
  • The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA has a one-year, post-professional program in environmental building design.
  • The University of Texas in Austin offers a master's degree programs in architecture, urban design and historical preservation.

Harvard, Columbia, Yale and Princeton offer some of the top architecture graduate programs in the nation; they are also some of the top universities in America. However, there are plenty of other top notch programs around the country for an excellent graduate education in various architectural areas.

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