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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 the degree options at three leading institutions, and find a table that lists other schools across the country that provide training for aspiring architects.

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School Information

Degree programs in architecture teach students how to design a variety of buildings and facades, as well as draw detailed plans of electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems. In order to work as an architect, students must complete a program that has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and fulfill the requirements for state licensure. The three universities featured below offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs that have been approved by the NAAB and include an Ivy League institution.

Top U.S. Schools with Architecture Programs

1. Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

The Department of Architecture at Cornell University, an Ivy League school, offers an NAAB-accredited undergraduate program that leads to 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.) 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 Maser of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the History of Architecture and Urban Development.

2. Columbia University in New York, NY

In 2012, Columbia University was ranked fourth among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Through the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the university offers a 3-year professional M.Arch. program that has been approved by the NAAB. Master's degree programs are also available in architecture and urban design, advanced architectural research and advanced architectural design. Graduate students who are interested in the history and theory of architecture can pursue a doctoral degree.

3. Clemson University in Clemson, SC

The Princeton Review identified Clemson University as a best value college in 2012. The university offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture; a minor in architecture is available for students enrolled in another undergraduate program. The M.Arch programs have been approved by the NAAB and include a 2-year program for students who hold pre-professional bachelor's degrees in architecture; the 3-year program is designed for those who hold degrees in unrelated fields. Clemson University 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 or animated architecture.

List of Ten Good Architecture Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
Auburn University Architecture students must purchase a laptop Auburn, AL
Barnard College Undergraduate architecture program partners with Columbia University in New York New York, NY
Clemson University Master's degree program offers a concentration in architecture and health Clemson, SC
Columbia University Fifth-oldest university in the U.S. New York, NY
Cornell University Offers a degree in landscape architecture Ithaca, NY
Middlebury College Ranked fifth among national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 Middlebury, VT
Smith College Graduate architecture program requires prerequisite coursework in physics and calculus Northampton, MA
University of Arizona Offers professional architecture programs and a graduate certificate in heritage conservation Tucson, AZ
Washington State University First land-grant university in the state Pullman, WA
Yale University School of Architecture offers several joint-degree programs New Haven, CT
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
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    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Architectural History
      • Environmental Design
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
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    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture

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