Best Architecture Graduate Schools in the U.S.

Graduate-level architecture degrees are commonly offered as a first professional, studio-focused Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) or, for those who already are licensed and want to continue their education, a post-professional degree of the same name. Some architecture schools also offer a research-oriented Ph.D. in Architecture program.

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Top Graduate Schools for Architecture in the U.S.

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Established in 1636, Harvard University is one of the oldest colleges in the U.S. This private research university was ranked number one on U.S. News & World Report's 2012 list of best national universities. Architectural Record reported that DesignIntelligence named Harvard's graduate programs in architecture first on its America's Best Architecture and Design Schools list for 2012 ( The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture intended for those seeking teaching or research-oriented careers, with the option to apply for an M.A. in Architecture once minimum requirements have been met. The Graduate School of Design offers an M.Arch. I professional degree and an M.Arch. II post-professional degree.

2. Columbia University in New York, NY

Founded in 1754 as King's College, Columbia University ranks fourth on U.S. News & World Report's 2012 list of best national universities. In 2012, Columbia University's graduate programs in architecture were ranked third among top schools by DesignIntelligence, as reported by Architectural Record. The school is home to the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, one of the nation's renowned architectural archival collections. Individuals interested in studying architecture can look to Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Here, students can pursue various graduate degrees, including a professional M.Arch., two Master of Science programs in architecture and a Ph.D. in Architecture.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) began educating students in 1865 and currently operates one college and five schools. MIT was ranked fifth on U.S. News & World Report's list of top national universities in 2012. MIT's Department of Architecture offers graduate degree options in five areas of study: architectural design, art culture and technology, history theory and criticism, computation and building technology, although not all degree options lead to a professional M.Arch. MIT's graduate programs in architecture tied for sixth place on DesignIntelligence's list of top graduate programs in architecture in 2012.

Leading Schools for Architecture

School Name Distinction Location
Columbia University Features The Shape of Two Cities: New York-Paris Program for students who want to study architecture in the U.S. and abroad New York, NY
Cornell University Offers professional and post-professional M.Arch. degrees and Ph.D. in History of Architecture Ithaca, NY
Georgia Institute of Technology Features M.Arch., post-professional M.Arch. and Ph.D. programs Atlanta, GA
Harvard University Offers fellowships, prizes and travel programs or fellowships to architecture students Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Architecture was one of MIT's four original academic departments Cambridge, MA
University of Miami Offers a 6-year combined B.S.A.E./M.Arch. program Coral Gables, FL
University of Pennsylvania Tied for eighth position on DesignIntelligence's graduate architecture program ranking in 2012 Philadelphia, PA
University of Texas at Austin In addition to professional and post-professional M.Arch. programs, offers M.S. degrees in sustainable design, urban design, historic preservation and architectural studies Austin, TX
Washington University in St. Louis Architecture-oriented study abroad programs St. Louis, WA
Yale University Ranked second among top schools for its graduate architecture programs by DesignIntelligence in 2012 New Haven, CT
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