Best Architecture Degrees

If you have a passion for design, an artistic eye, and a drive to create, then you have the potential to be a talented architect.

BB Architecture CollegeChoice

Perhaps you already know this about yourself! If you’ve been thinking about becoming an architecture then you have an exciting and creative road ahead of you. However, even though you may have decided which major you’d like to pursue, it can be difficult to figure out where to turn for your studies. With over 120 different National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) schools in the United States alone, the decision can certainly be overwhelming.

What kind of architecture degree should you get?

When you’re thinking about getting your undergraduate degree in architecture, the first consideration you need to make is regarding the quality of the program. A good architecture degree will be accredited by NAAB and is usually the bare minimum for pursuing further graduate studies in architecture. You can choose between an online or a traditional program for your studies in architecture.

When in doubt, remember that an online degree is a great way to meet your career goals – without having to leave home or the security of your current job. Most online degrees are affordable and allow you the convenience of studying from any location – without sacrificing the quality of your degree. If you are looking for the right online school, consider our comprehensive ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities for a deeper look at the best schools.

How much money do people make with a bachelor’s degree in architecture?

Although growth in the field of architecture is slightly lower than average, at about four percent by 2026, architects are faced with increasingly diverse and rewarding tasks. Because many architects now use computer software to design and plan buildings and to meet the demands of their clients, architects who have strong interpersonal and technological skills are in high demand.

You can expect to earn a higher than average salary after receiving a degree in architecture. In fact, the average pay is about $79,380 per year in most states! Architects who work in a government setting, as well as those employed in engineering and construction services, tend to earn the highest starting salaries. Remember, earning a graduate degree upon completing your bachelor’s program can also help to increase your earnings.

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in architecture?

With a bachelor’s degree in architecture, you will be fully equipped with the skills and education necessary to design and plan houses, office buildings, commercial structures, factories, and more. You will meet with your clients to determine their goals and come up with plans as to how you can best meet those goals. You might prepare scaled drawings by computer software or by hand, or you might manage construction contracts.

Some architecture degrees include specialized pathways in certain industries, like business or education, so that you can tailor your studies to meet your specific career goals. Perhaps you want to plan elaborate museums or ornate city parks. Maybe you just want to design houses. Whatever option you choose, as an architect, you’ll have access to an exciting career that will always be needed. After all, people will always need places to live, work, learn, and eat!

What are the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in architecture?

There are generally three basic steps to become an architect. First, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture. You can do this in four to five years, with many candidates going on to earn an additional master’s degree in architecture.

A bachelor’ degree will provide you with training in topics like architectural history, architectural theory, building design, computer-aided- design and drafting, and construction methods. You will also take a rigorous set of courses in liberal arts, mathematics, and the physical sciences.

Almost every state requires that an architect hold a degree from a school that is accredited by NAAB, and all states require architects to be licensed. Licensure is usually obtained after completing a degree in architecture, participating in a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

What are the best online bachelor’s degrees in architecture?

The best degrees in architecture are those that offer you a valuable program of study, but also that are affordable, flexible, and convenient. In developing our list of the best schools, we look at programs all around the country, evaluating their reputation, program quality, return on investment, and most importantly, student satisfaction.

Before finalizing our list, we also analyze exactly how much this degree is going to cost. Our goal is to make sure you receive the most accurate list of schools so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Be sure to check out our methodology page for a more detailed explanation of how we compile our data.

After we’ve crunched the numbers, we move on to publishing our list of the best schools in architecture. Our list represents not only the best degrees available but is also representative of schools that are sure to fit any budget or lifestyle. Take a look at our top choices below, and begin the process of enrolling in a rewarding degree program today.

1

Rice University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $24,131

Program Website

Overview

Rice is one of the nation’s leading research universities and maintains a commitment to student education that is both entrepreneurial and aspirational in nature. The school is small, with an enrollment of roughly 4,000 students. The university has a rich student life as it is located in one of the country’s most vibrant cities. Class sizes are small and faculty are dedicated to student success and happiness. The university is unique in that it meets 100 percent of all admitted students’ demonstrated financial need, making it a great value for your money.

Program Features

This degree consists of a variety of classes in the architecture curriculum, as well as courses in other departments like engineering, business, and environmental studies. This program is highly interdisciplinary and allows students to pursue coursework in other fields as well as to engage in paid internships at architecture firms around the world. Required courses include studies in topics such as:

  • Professionalism and Management in Architectural Practice
  • Architectural Problems
  • Architectural Problems: Studio
  • Preceptorship Program

Notables

Rice University is well-respected for its architecture program, in which students enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of just 5:1. Students are guaranteed to receive personalized attention throughout the duration of their studies, most of which take about six years to complete. This 62-credit program is just one of many dynamic, hands-on programs offered at Rice. This university, located in Houston, TX, provides its students with unparalleled support and attention.

2

Cornell University

College Choice Score: 98.80

Average Net Price: $31,449

Program Website

Overview

Cornell’s program in architecture is the oldest in the United States and also recognized as one of the most prestigious. Located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell is ranked as one of the best undergraduate architecture schools by multiple organizations, including the Greenway Group and U.S. News & World Report. Most students will spend about five years to earn their bachelor’s at Cornell, pursuing a profound liberal arts curriculum before moving on to advanced architecture and interdisciplinary courses.

Program Features

All students in this degree follow the same core curriculum for the first three years of study, providing them with the impressive base they need before moving on to take elective courses. During the final two years of study, candidates may concentrate in one of five areas of study, which include Architecture, Culture, and Society, History of Architecture, Architectural Analysis, Visual Representation in Architecture, and Architectural Science and Technology. Required core courses include:

  • Representation I: Freehand Architectural Drawing
  • History of Architecture
  • Environmental Systems I: Site and Sustainability
  • Representation II: Media of Representation

Notables

This degree is unique in that it gives students exemplary opportunities to an exclusive (yet prestigious) alumni network around the world. Since the program has been around since the early days of the discipline, candidates have access to a large network of alumni and research support. Students can engage in hands-on learning opportunities on campus as well as abroad. The program has locations in New York City and Rome, along with the main campus in Ithaca. Students graduating from this program are in high dem

3

The University of Texas at Austin

College Choice Score: 94.76

Average Net Price: $14,356

Program Website

Overview

The University of Texas at Austin began offering professional degrees in 1910. The architecture degree remains one of the most popular programs of study to this day. Today the university is home to a five-year professional Bachelor of Architecture degree as well as a four-year pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies. Motivated students also have the option of earning both degrees through the dual degree program. Most candidates can complete this option in just six full years of study.

Program Features

At the University of Texas at Austin, students are able to pursue and enhance their design skills both inside and outside the classroom. Multiple study abroad choices are available such as Tuscany and Mexico as well as many other locations. Honors students may receive hands-on work experience within the professional residency program, which pairs students with architectural firms in 29 different countries. Required courses include:

  • Architecture and Society
  • World Architecture: Origins to 1750
  • Topics in the History of Architecture
  • Principles of Physical Planning
  • Construction

Notables

This school is ranked as one of the best providers of undergraduate education in architecture in the entire country. Named as a Best Value school by the Princeton Review, Kiplinger, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report, the quality of this program cannot be overstated. Through their studies, students learn how to develop their skills in a studio format. The university allows students to focus on pursuing their degree without having to worry about finances as tuition starts at a low rate of just $10,000 per year for in-state students.

4

Syracuse University

College Choice Score: 93.61

Average Net Price: $35,306

Program Website

Overview

Syracuse University is ranked as one of the Best National Universities and as a Best Value schools by U.S. News & World Report. When you begin to examine the quality and affordability of its degree programs, it’s no wonder as to why! The School of Architecture is no exception, offering an undergraduate program that prepares students to integrate the fundamentals of design concepts with the modern technologies they will need to examine the world with an architectural lens. This program can be pursued on-campus in Syracuse, NY, or at one of the university’s many other locations.

Program Features

The first three years of this degree program focus on a core curriculum that encompasses the theory and rich history of architectural design. It also brings students to a mastery level in drawing, multimedia design, and other techniques. By the second year of study, students will learn how to incorporate their own individual design methodologies and to complete detailed studio work. Other required and elective courses may include:

  • Architectural Design
  • Introduction to the History of Architecture
  • Art and Architecture of India
  • Modern Architecture; The International Style to Present

Notables

This degree is highly customizable, allowing students to complete work that represents their own passions and career goals. What all students will have in common, however, is that each must complete a design thesis and proposal that will be compared against the work of other students. Syracuse University was the first school in the nation to offer a formal undergraduate degree in architecture, and to this day the university attracts prestigious faculty who teach classes to students from all over the world.

5

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

College Choice Score: 92.86

Average Net Price: $19,002

Program Website

Overview

California Polytechnic State University operates many campuses. The San Luis Obispo campus is home to one of the country’s top-ranked programs in architecture. Recognized as one of the best regional universities, best public schools, and best colleges for veterans, this school has one of the largest architectural programs in the United States. Over 850 full-time students are currently enrolled with this degree, which provides students with an education that combines both art and science to foster necessary skills.

Program Features

This program is unique in that it does not restrict students to on-campus study. Architecture students have the opportunity to study and intern in other states and countries, with top destinations for study abroad and cooperative learning including Copenhagen, Japan, San Francisco, Florence, Rome, and more. Required courses for the major include:

  • Design and Visual Communication
  • History of World Architecture
  • Architectural Systems INtegration
  • Issues in Contemporary Professional Practice
  • Architectural Technology Fundamentals

Notables

In addition to giving students the opportunity to experience vibrant on-campus life, California Polytechnic also boasts an experiential curriculum that provides students with the foundational skills necessary to complete the three-year professional internship required by the state of California. Tuition is low, starting at just $9,000 for in-state students, which permits students to experience the best of both worlds by combining affordability with value.

6

University of Southern California

College Choice Score: 92.70

Average Net Price: $32,892

Program Website

Overview

The University of Southern California, located in Los Angeles, CA, is a private university that was founded in 1880. This school has an urban campus with a small-town feel, home to nearly 20,000 undergraduate students. The Bachelor of Architecture degree is a five-year professional degree that prepares students for immediate entry into the field of architecture, while the four-year Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies is another suitable alternative. The school also offers an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in GeoDesign program.

Program Features

This program is unique in that it doesn’t require students to complete several semesters of electives before progressing to the coursework required in their majors. Although the first two years do focus on introductory work, students can take architectural courses right from the very beginning. Students will take classes in subjects such as:

  • Building Structures
  • The Fundamentals of Design Communication
  • Architecture in Relation to Culture and Community
  • World History of Architecture
  • Construction Materials and Methods

Notables

During the last two years of their studies, students will spend most of their time examining different types of architecture and exploring which disciplines may interest them most. The fifth year of the program consists of a far-reaching design studio project, which is completed in conjunction with coursework in professional practice and design studio research. This degree culminates in a license or potential for licensure that enables students to work in most areas of the country, and in any element of architecture.

7

University of California-Berkeley

College Choice Score: 91.35

Average Net Price: $18,178

Program Website

Overview

The University of California-Berkeley is located in Berkeley, CA and has a widespread campus culture that emphasizes the importance of collaboration, innovation, and research. The school offers a myriad of research and hands-on learning opportunities, many of which are offered via the College of Environmental Design. This school offers a host of undergraduate programs in architecture as well as in specialty areas like Sustainable Environmental Design, Urban Studies, and Landscape Architecture. All of these programs emphasize the importance of responsibility when it comes to conserving and using resources.

Program Features

This degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Completion of the program enables students to pursue architectural licenses as well as to continue on to further studies. All undergraduates follow the same program of study until they reach their junior year, at which point they begin taking architecture-intensive coursework. Required courses include studies in topics such as:

  • Design and Professional Practice
  • Social and Cultural Processes in Architecture and Urbanism
  • Design Theories, Methods, and Practice
  • Building Science and Sustainability
  • Structures and Construction

Notables

This degree isn’t just one of the most prestigious of its kind – it’s also one of the most affordable. A range of financial aid opportunities are available, including specialty scholarships such as the Architecture Undergraduate Scholarship. This award is offered annually in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000. Other aid opportunities, like grants and graduate study fellowships, are also available. This degree is offered with two tracks: one in Design Research, which explores a specific theme during the senior year, and the other in Studio, which requires more architecture courses and a design studio each semester.

8

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

College Choice Score: 90.19

Average Net Price: $18,700

Program Website

Overview

Its name may be a mouthful, but Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has so much to offer students who are seeking a high-quality degree in architecture. Offered through the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, this program allows students to spend the entire first year of their studies in creating their own foundational programs. Students will begin professional studies as soon as the second year, engaging in a hands-on program that sets candidates up for lifelong career success.

Program Features

This program is diverse, allowing students to explore all aspects of architecture while supported by a caring, attentive community of faculty members, support staff, and peers. Students will learn about all of the factors involved in building design, including those that are environmental, technological, humanistic, and artistic in nature. While many of the courses students will take are electives, a sample schedule might include classes such as:

  • The Art of Building
  • Building Materials
  • Building Assemblies
  • History of Architecture
  • Basic Principles of Structures

Notables

This school is one of the best of its kind, receiving top rankings by U.S. News  World Report. It is recognized as one of the best global universities, a top college for veterans, and a best national university overall. The school features multiple study-abroad and off-campus programs. For example, fourth-year students may pursue off-campus options at places like The Washington-Alexandria Center or the Chicago Studio. They may also participate in the Extern Program or the Study Abroad program to further develop their skills and provide opportunities for independent study.

9

Washington University in St Louis

College Choice Score: 89.34

Average Net Price: $27,777

Program Website

Overview

Washington University in St. Louis is located in St. Louis, MO and was founded in 1853. A small school, this university has an enrollment of fewer than 8,000 students and is an affordable option for students seeking a private school education in architecture. The school is divided into four schools serving both graduate and undergraduate students. The Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts is home to the College of Architecture as well as other colleges and is just one of many departments in this internationally recognized research university.  The architecture degree is offered as a stand-alone program or as a joint 4+2 program that allows candidates to receive a master’s degree as well as a bachelor’s.

Program Features

The Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts combines professional studio programs with one of the country’s most prestigious art museum. With a curriculum backed by research, extensive hands-on learning opportunities, and dedicated faculty support, the degree in architecture is designed for students who want to learn more about how to respond to the way people live. Students who have personal interests in areas like painting, drawing, photography, and the environment are especially encouraged to apply to this program. Required courses include:

  • Introduction to Design Processes
  • Architectural Design
  • Environmental Systems
  • Building Systems

Notables

This program is taught by faculty who are both nationally and internationally renowned researchers and practitioners. As a result, they are committed to students’ undergraduate success and serve as academic advisers, curriculum developers, and influencers. The school itself is one of the country’s most impressive displays of architecture, featuring several architecturally important buildings that are now home to studios and classrooms.

10

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

College Choice Score: 88.92

Average Net Price: $28,494

Program Website

Overview

Cooper Union has offered exceptional programs in architecture for over 150 years. As a result, the school has a reputation for training qualified architects. After all, the university is highly specialized, offering only programs in architecture, art, and engineering. Students receive access to a rigorous course of study that stresses the importance of architecture as well as technical skills, artistic ability, technological awareness, and cultural sensitivity. Located in downtown Manhattan, Cooper Union offers architecture students unique opportunities to explore one of the richest urban environments in the entire world.

Program Features

This five-year program culminates in a professional degree that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The curriculum prepares students with a variety of culturally and intellectually stimulated courses that focus on a wider view of architecture. This degree is highly interdisciplinary, encouraging students to take courses in other areas. Required courses for the major include:

  • Design
  • Structures
  • History of Architecture
  • The Modern Context: Figures and Topics
  • Environmental Technologies

Notables

In addition to a bachelors in architecture, Cooper Union also offers a Master of Architecture II post-professional degree program. This program was founded in 2009 and expands upon the intellectual vision of the undergraduate program, enabling students who wish to pursue higher research and design skills to succeed in a more sophisticated environment. Multiple concentrations are available, including those in theory and criticism of architecture, urban studies, and technologies.

11

University of Virginia-Main Campus

College Choice Score: 86.62

Average Net Price: $16,594

Program Website

Overview

A public institution founded in 1819, the University of Virginia is a large university with a total undergraduate enrollment of nearly 17,000 students. This suburban school is located in Charlottesville, VA and offers a vibrant campus culture along with dozens of exceptional majors. The Bachelor of Science in Architecture is just one of the innovative and investigative degrees offered at this award-winning institution.

Program Features

This degree prepares students to address and incorporate the methodologies necessary to understand and transform the environment they build. Students will learn how to use design as a way to inquire and to explore new visions for all kinds of settings, from cities to buildings – even the clothing that we wear. During the first year of study, all tuners will share a Common First Year curriculum, taking courses in three School of Architecture departments. These include Architectural History, Urban & Environmental Planning, and Architecture.

  • Lessons of the Lawn
  • Geometric Modeling and Visualization
  • Foundation Studio
  • World Contemporary Architecture
  • 20th Century History of Ideas

Notables

In addition to the core courses outlined above, students may also pursue one of two concentrations within their undergraduate studies. These include the Pre-Professional program and the Design Thinking/ Design Practices concentration. This 124-credit program takes most students just four years to complete, allowing them to move on to permanent employment as qualified and licensed architects shortly thereafter. Ranked as one of the best colleges for veterans as well as one of the top national universities by U.S. News & World Report, this school is perhaps one of the best for students seeking a flexible and affordable option.

12

Rhode Island School of Design

College Choice Score: 85.82

Average Net Price: $39,777

Program Website

Overview

The Rhode Island School of Design is a small school located in the heart of Providence, RI. However, what it’s lacking in population it more than makes up for in the quality of its programs. This close-knit university is home to just 2,014 undergraduate students, and most class sizes contain fewer than 16 students. This university offers one of the most attentive programs in architecture, offering a dynamic five-year professional Bachelor of Architecture program.

Program Features

This degree has a strong emphasis in the design studio, allowing students to develop their skills in technology and artistic design, while at the same time working with their peers to advance their understanding of architecture. Students will examine all of the technical aspects of architectural development, but will also learn how to think critically and to express their ideas through visual and written methods. Required courses include:

  • Spatial Dynamics
  • Theory and History of Art and Design
  • Topics in History, Philosophy, and the Social sciences
  • The Making of Design Principles
  • Wood Structures

Notables

This program is one of the most hands-on of its kind, allowing students to integrate liberal arts courses with architectural and structural analysis in an up-close-and-personal way. Students will begin advanced studio work in their third year of study. Seniors may focus on environmental design, while fifth-year students pursue methods of integrated building systems and principles of professional practice. All students will also complete intensive work on a degree project of their own choosing, allowing them to demonstrate their skills in a real-world setting.

13

University of Notre Dame

College Choice Score: 85.66

Average Net Price: $27,453

Program Website

Overview

The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 by the Congregation of Holy Cross. This national, independent Catholic University is located in Notre Dame, IN, and allows any student admitted to the university to declare an architecture major. This challenging degree in architecture exposes students to elements of classical and urban architecture. An intensive five-year program, this degree produces engaged and qualified students who are able to pursue permanent licensure.

Program Features

Coursework at the University of Notre Dame is one-of-a-kind and committed to exposing students to the fundamentals of architecture before moving on to computer-based modeling. In fact, computer technologies aren’t introduced until the fourth year of the degree program. Students learn how to design new buildings that are environmentally and economically sustainable and have remarkable longevity through pursuing individualized concentrations in areas such as:

  • Furniture Design
  • Architectural Practice and Enterprise
  • Preservation and Restoration

Notables

This program is unique in that all students must participate in a year-long study abroad program in Rome. This experience requires students to integrate their understanding of classical architecture with real-world examples. Before leaving, students will also engage in Expo Roma, a weekend to celebrate their experiences in Rome. Fourth-year students may also participate in the university’s annual career and internship fair, while fifth-year students will take coursework in professional practice to prepare them for licensure.

14

Carnegie Mellon University

College Choice Score: 85.25

Average Net Price: $29,817

Program Website

Overview

Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mellon University is a private school that was founded in 1900. With a relatively small undergraduate enrolment of fewer than 700 students, this urban school offers students access to one of the most architecturally significant cities in the country, with a vibrant and diverse campus. Although Carnegie Mellon is best known for its programs in the sciences and technologies, the university also has remarkable programs in the arts and design fields, too. Among them is the NAAB-accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree program.

Program Features

This program of study enables students to pursue the professional practice, either in the broad industry or with a particular specialty in mind. All students begin their studies with a specific three-year sequence of foundational courses. After the fourth year, students may also pursue a path of their own choosing, selecting an Advanced Synthesis Option Studio and different electives each semester. Students may choose to specialize or to hybridize, taking studios such as:

  • Robotic Affordances
  • Matter Matters
  • Furniture
  • Urban Design Build

Notables

In addition to the opportunities available for hybridizing or customizing degrees in architecture, students may also choose to diversify their degrees by combining their studies with a non-professional degree in another department. For example, the BXA Intercollege Degree Program prepares students to graduate with a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts, a Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts, or a Bachelor of Science and Arts. This enables candidates to pursue unique careers of their own design and choosing. Faculty of all of these courses are award-winning architects and sustainability experts.

15

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

College Choice Score: 83.93

Average Net Price: $15,873

Program Website

Overview

Located in Atlanta, GA, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a public university that was founded in 1885. This school has a large urban campus of over 400 acres and a massive student population of nearly 16,000s students. Ranked as one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Institute of Technology offers a wide range of student activities, support services, and majors. One of the most popular? The Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

Program Features

The Bachelor of Science in Architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology prepares students with a rigorous, highly respected education in architecture. It centers around all areas of the discipline including technology, design, theory, history, and communication. Courses consist of studio classes, history, theory, and technological training. Incubator workshops are offered to all students, allowing them to hone their skills and pursue their passions. Required courses include:

  • Environmental Systems
  • Architecture Design Studio
  • Construction Technology
  • Architecture Modeling and Media
  • History of Architecture

Notables

In addition to the rational architecture major at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the school also offers an International Plan. This program is designed for students who seek to develop a basic level of global competence within their studies. It allows students to engage in opportunities like international internships and study abroad, and consists of foreign language coursework, cultural and global training, and international experience, and a capstone course. This degree is a hallmark of the architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and part of the reason why this program is ranked as one of the best in the country.

16

Tulane University of Louisiana

College Choice Score: 83.62

Average Net Price: $33,886

Program Website

Overview

A private university located in New Orleans, LA, Tulane was founded in 1834 and has a centuries-old tradition of educating students in architecture as well as in a number of other prominent degree programs. With a total enrolment of fewer than 7,000 undergraduate students, Tulane is ranked as one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. The school has exceptional opportunities for student life and has a reputation for academic rigor, operating a well-regarded law school, a specialty school in Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and, of course, the renowned Tulane School of Architecture.

Program Features

This five-year program includes a range of required courses and electives that are designed to prepare students with extensive professional training and residential experiences. Students will engage in significant studio work, while also enjoying the flexibility to study abroad or to minor or major in another division. In the fourth year of study, all students will spend a semester at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, studying in programs like urban design, design/build, and housing. Other required classes include:

  • Architecture Studio
  • Digital Media Workshop
  • Integrated Building Systems
  • Service Learning
  • Professional Concerns

Notables

Tulane offers multiple study abroad programs, allowing students to engage in studies in locations such as Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Courses range from one week to a full semester and can be pursued as early as the fourth semester of study. Students may also pursue other interests in any of the other Tulane InterDisciplinary Experience courses, allowing them to engage with other students in an immersive, interactive environment.

17

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

College Choice Score: 82.97

Average Net Price: $37,648

Program Website

Overview

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private institution that was founded in 1824 and has a total undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 7,000 students. With a small campus of fewer than 300 acres, this suburban university offers a quaint, receptive program in which students can learn from dedicated faculty and staff. The school is home to a nationally-recognized engineering program but also includes other technologically-minded and well-respected degree programs such as the award-winning Bachelor of Architecture professional degree.

Program Features

This degree is perfect for students who are curious about the creative, scientific, and technological aspects of designing. Students receive access to a comprehensive curriculum that centers around the principles of architectural design, the history and theory of the discipline, and the core technology competencies necessary for future career success. Required courses include:

  • Architectural Media
  • The Ethos of Architecture
  • Digital Constructs
  • Materials and Design
  • Energy, Comfort, and Ecology

Notables

This degree is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board and provides students with multiple opportunities for unique extracurricular experiences. For example, the school offers a semester-long program in New York City for students to study at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology. Students may also participate in experiences at the renowned architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. They can pursue research on next-generation sustainability initiatives, or even engage in study abroad in Italy, China, or India.

18

University of California-Los Angeles

College Choice Score: 82.80

Average Net Price: $14,760

Program Website

Overview

The University of California-Los Angeles, often known as UCLA, was founded in 1919. A public university with a large enrolment of over 31,000 students, this urban university is just five miles from the Pacific Ocean and offers over 1000 different student organizations and 240 undergraduate and graduate majors. The Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies that consists of a two-year major beginning in the junior year of residence.

Program Features

This degree is typically completed beginning in the third year of university study, with the first two years consisting of general education and liberal arts requirements. The basic curriculum of this program places students in close-knit seminar and studio settings, allowing them to interact closely with fellow designers, professionals, and faculty scholars. Required courses include studies in topics such as:

  • Issues in Contemporary Design
  • Domestic Architecture
  • Modernism and Metropolis
  • History of Architecture and Urban Design (Baroque to the Present)

Notables

Students have plenty of opportunities to succeed at The University of California. In addition to the many student groups operated on campus, each student may also participate in volunteer work through the Volunteer Center. This center houses over 220 student groups and is committed to serving the local community. This university is ranked as one of the Best Colleges for Veteran as well as a Best Value School by U.S. News & World Report, which serves as a testament to the exceptional student services, affordability, and academic quality provided at this university.

19

Northeastern University

College Choice Score: 82.40

Average Net Price: $30,784

Program Website

Overview

Northeastern University is located in Boston, MA and is one of the most impressive universities in the entire country. Founded in 1898, and fostering a large undergraduate enrolment of nearly 14,000 students, this urban school provides students with substantial real-world work experience before they ever leave campus. The Bachelor of Science in Architecture at Northeastern University combines the professional training necessary for a high-caliber career in architecture as well as the creative problem-solving skills necessary to deal with the challenges of the twenty-first-century world.

Program Features

The curriculum of this program combines intensive studio courses that require students to tackle problems of the modern city head-on. Most instruction occurs in studio, with one-on-one consultations between faculty, classmates, and visiting critics existing on a nearly daily basis. Students will also participate in two six-month cooperative learning experiences. These are designed to provide students with real-world experiences in architecture. Other required classes include:

  • Architecture and Global Cultures, Prehistory to 1400
  • Site, Space, and Program
  • Architectonic Systems
  • Architecture, modernity, and the City
  • Advanced Architectural Communication

Notables

Students may learn in a variety of hands-on settings while studying at Northeastern University. In addition to the aforementioned cooperative learning experiences, the school also offers optional study abroad programs in Segovia, Spain. The school also offers an accredited one-year graduate program to students who have already completed the undergraduate program. This allows students who are seeking further credentials or pathways to licensure to finish their studies quickly and seamlessly – without having to leave campus.

20

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

College Choice Score: 81.45

Average Net Price: $16,408

Program Website

Overview

Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a public university founded in 1817. This school has a large campus of over 3,000 acres and is ranked as one of U.S News & World Report’s Top National Universities. The architecture degree at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is offered through the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. This degree prepares students for employment in a variety of areas, including landscape architecture, work in architectural firms, or other creative work. It also enables candidates to pursue graduate study in topics like historic preservation, engineering, construction, or even art.

Program Features

The curriculum of this program emphasizes analytical and conceptual problem-solving skills by immersing students in lectures, seminars, and interactive studios from day one of study. This degree requires 125 credit hours of study which is made up of a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts and architecture curriculum. It culminates in a pre-professional Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture. Required courses for the major include:

  • Digital Drawing
  • History of Architecture
  • Basic Drawing
  • Fabrications/Representations
  • Environmental Systems

Notables

Taubman College is one of the 19 different colleges within the University of Michigan. The school houses many impressive features, including a cutting-edge digital fabrication laboratory and a 32,000 square foot design studio. Students may explore multiple study-abroad opportunities and engage in a stimulating series of conferences and guest lectures. Courses are small and taught by a committed and award-winning faculty with a wide breadth and depth of design and research interests. With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 12:1, and a diverse student body, each student is uniquely supported in his or her academic plan.

21

Illinois Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 79.00

Average Net Price: $26,324

Program Website

Overview

The Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture (IIT) is home to some of the innovators of the country’s most substantial architectural contributions. This department was directed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the mid-20th century. This individual later became known as the father of modern architecture, giving the architecture program at IIT extensive notoriety and respect. A degree from IIT is respected by architectural firms all around the country.

Program Features

The curriculum of this program enables students to engage in a range of specializations and interactions, including those in digital design, planning, design/building, landscape architecture, and architectural history/theory. Students may also pursue optional minors in topics like business or urban affairs. Multiple dual-degree programs are available as well. Core required course include topics such as:

  • Design Communications
  • Site Design, Plan, and Ecology
  • Systems: Structural Analysis
  • Environment and Building Systems
  • Contemporary Urbanism

Notables

The faculty at the Illinois Institute of Technology consists of architects and landscape architects who are highly respected, recipients of awards and recognition, and are seriously dedicated to student success. Each year, the university operates a visiting faculty program that draws top-notch practitioners from all around the world. The curriculum of this program is rooted in studio practice and traditional principles, training students to emphasize detail and connect the art of building to that of construction. Students graduate from this program with the ability to lead and succeed in a variety of settings.

22

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

College Choice Score: 78.23

Average Net Price: $16,808

Program Website

Overview

The Bachelor of Design in Architecture at the University of Minnesota prepares students to pursue careers as qualified design professionals. This pre-professional degree program includes studio-based education along with a rigorous training program in building technology, history, and theory. Students receive a foundation in architectural principles while also being allowed to choose an area of focus. An additional graduate program is available, which only takes two additional years of study and is a requirement for students to pursue licensure in the state of Minnesota.

Program Features

This degree combines exceptional hands-on experiences and educational training with collaborative off-campus opportunities. Students will engage with research centers, practice communities, and other organizations to gain experience in community outreach, preservation, and sustainability efforts. Each student also has the option of pursuing a dual major or an alternative minor. Required courses for the undergraduate degree in architecture include:

  • Materials and Material Assemblies
  • Program and Typology
  • Urban Design
  • Advanced Design
  • Site and Context

Notables

This school not only affords students with multiple opportunities to enhance their studies and potential careers through hands-on service and learning opportunities, but it also is incredibly budget friendly. Each year, the school offers continuing students scholarship in excess of $165,000, as well as multiple assistantships and other opportunities. Students may also pursue concurrent degrees in topics like Heritage Conservation and Preservation, Sustainable Design, and Research Practices.