Best Bachelor’s in Architecture 2020

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

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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

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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 demand, particularly in major metropolitan areas.

3

The University of Texas at Austin

College Choice Score: 94.76

Average Net Price: $14,356

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4

Syracuse University

College Choice Score: 93.61

Average Net Price: $35,306

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5

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

College Choice Score: 92.86

Average Net Price: $19,002

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6

University of Southern California

College Choice Score: 92.70

Average Net Price: $32,892

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7

University of California-Berkeley

College Choice Score: 91.35

Average Net Price: $18,178

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8

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

College Choice Score: 90.19

Average Net Price: $18,700

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9

Washington University in St Louis

College Choice Score: 89.34

Average Net Price: $27,777

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10

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

College Choice Score: 88.92

Average Net Price: $28,494

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11

University of Virginia-Main Campus

College Choice Score: 86.62

Average Net Price: $16,594

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12

Rhode Island School of Design

College Choice Score: 85.82

Average Net Price: $39,777

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13

University of Notre Dame

College Choice Score: 85.66

Average Net Price: $27,453

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14

Carnegie Mellon University

College Choice Score: 85.25

Average Net Price: $29,817

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15

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

College Choice Score: 83.93

Average Net Price: $15,873

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16

Tulane University of Louisiana

College Choice Score: 83.62

Average Net Price: $33,886

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17

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

College Choice Score: 82.97

Average Net Price: $37,648

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18

University of California-Los Angeles

College Choice Score: 82.80

Average Net Price: $14,760

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19

Northeastern University

College Choice Score: 82.40

Average Net Price: $30,784

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20

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

College Choice Score: 81.45

Average Net Price: $16,408

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21

Illinois Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 79.00

Average Net Price: $26,324

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22

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

College Choice Score: 78.23

Average Net Price: $16,808

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