Best Architecture Schools in the US

hallway harvard universtiy - best architecture schools in the US

Architecture and design hot degrees to have. So, if you are spacially creative and intrigued by the built environment. If you like using your imagination to create a concept and action plan for new construction and renovation projects. Then finding one of the best architecture schools should be your first move.


Best Architecture Schools in the US


MIT Architecture

Cambridge, MA

The Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning MIT in the 1970s became an innovator in various fields of architecture. Also in 1985, the MIT Media Lab opened. The lab attracted more than $40M of investments in research in engineering and computer technologies in its first seven years of operation. You can get an idea of ​​the set and content of lectures from the MIT online archive, where materials on more than 200 different courses are published only on architecture.

Ray and Maria Stata Center at MIT (Photo by Delphine Ménard) - Best Architecture Schools in the US
Ray and Maria Stata Center at MIT (Photo by Delphine Ménard)

GSAPP: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

New York, NY

At Columbia University, only master’s programs are available, but immediately in seven areas. In addition to architecture, urbanism and urban improvement, courses on development, preservation of historical heritage, experimental architecture and curatorial activities under the abbreviation of the CCCP are: Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture. Columbia University has the largest architectural library in the US with more than 400,000 titles and a replenished collection of 900 periodicals. In addition, the school has 12 laboratories dedicated to various aspects of architecture: working with information visualization, computer technology, and scripting, studying phenomena in the development of individual regions.

Avery Hall architecture studios at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, New York City (Photo by GSAPPstudent)
Avery Hall architecture studios at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, New York City (Photo by GSAPPstudent)
hyptnoic sconce by koket

APP: College of Architecture, Art, and Planning

Ithica, NY

For the past 10 years, Cornell University has been one of the best architecture schools in the US. The training is five years with a subsequent two-year course in the magistracy. Moreover, in the first year, students have only four subjects in the schedule. In addition to the design studio, the history of architecture and drawing, and the Environmental Systems course is part of the plan which focuses on studying the interaction of buildings with the site, landscape and ecology. For the last two years, students form a program for themselves. In addition, as part of the summer program, there is a project campus where you can work on creating real objects. Further, faculty professors every year organize a trip lasting 8 weeks in a separate new region.

A.D. White Reading Room, Uris Library, Cornell University (Photo by eflon) - best architecture schools in the us
A.D. White Reading Room, Uris Library, Cornell University (Photo by eflon)

Cal Poly: College of Architecture & Environmental Design

San Luis Obispo, CA

The main period of the school’s development began after a major anonymous donation to the faculty. A former student who never completed his studies at a California school donated $ 60 million to science. Thanks to it, the school systematically rose in the ranking of Design Intelligence. In recent years it confidently takes the second position. Most of all, professionals note the training of students in two areas: “structures and materials” and “energy-efficient design”. The school program emphasizes the principles of polytechnic education. Thus, the first courses cover mathematics, physics, structural calculations, and among the subjects to choose from, there are political economics, philosophy and the foundations of negotiation.

Models from the Tectonics Studio (ARC 301 and ARC 504), Building 7 Atrium (George Proctor)
Photo via Cal Poly Dept. of Architecture
Models from the Tectonics Studio (ARC 301 and ARC 504), Building 7 Atrium (George Proctor)
Photo via
Cal Poly Dept. of Architecture

GSD: Harvard Graduate School of Design

Cambridge, MA

At various times, the five Pritzker Prize winners studied at the Harvard Faculty of Architecture. It was here their teachers included Rafael Moneo, Rem Koolhaas, Jacques Herzog, and Pierre de Meron. In addition, it was at Harvard that the world’s first school of landscape architecture started, and with the advent of Walter Gropius in 1937, a new round of development began. The university offers master’s degrees in architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture, as well as, postgraduate programs on the verge of technology, society, and the environment.

Hallway at Harvard University gsd - best architecture schools in the us
Hallway at Harvard University

World of Architects: Who They Are, What They Do & Why Hire Them


Boston Architectural College (BAC)

Boston, MA

The 129-year-old Boston Architectural College is an advanced design education institution. The university is located in the heart of historic Boston Cove. BAC teaching and learning is based on professional practice to provide students with interdisciplinary, innovative education. Thus, students learn their profession by studying and working for practicing architects. The interaction of education and practice gives graduates a thorough preparation for a career in design with a strong professional network and the ability to fulfill the internship requirements for licensing NCARB before graduation. Plus, don’t fear if you are feeling stuck, as you can always contact a writing service in which professional writers can help you with essays.

Boston Architectural College (Photo by MAW Northwest)
Boston Architectural College (Photo by MAW Northwest)

NewSchool of Architecture and Design

San Diego, CA

NewSchool of Architecture and Design reinforces the theory voiced in the classroom by its direct application in the real world. Most members of the teaching staff are also practitioners. By bringing the present and future of architecture and design into the classroom, they help students prepare for a professional career.

NSAD sets a fully practice-oriented curriculum – whether it is the basic principles of architecture or the latest trends in environmental friendliness and design aesthetics. NSAD’s architecture education programs are accredited by the United States National Architectural Council.

NewSchool of Architecture & Design
NewSchool of Architecture & Design

To Sum It Up

Education in architecture and design is gaining new momentum. So, the Design Intelligence portal every year for 16 years makes a rating of the best schools. They base their results on the answers to the question “According to the experience of your bureau over the past five years, which university students were best prepared?” The rating is compiled separately for undergraduate and graduate programs.

A list of the first ten schools in 2019, along with data for the previous seven years, is available on the Architectural Record magazine portal. Despite the fact that schools undergo mandatory certification at the National Council of Commissions for Architectural Registration (NCARB), programs at different universities can be very different. Therefore, for this list, we not only collected the most successful schools from different ratings but tried to show exactly their different approaches to architectural education. In this article, only 7 architecture schools are presented, but they are some of the best not only in the US but also in the world.

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