Best Schools of Architecture in the USA

Whenever the need to study arises, the best is sought. This is the major reason we have taken out time to inform you about the Best Schools of Architecture in the USA. Although there is no specific order for this arrangement because time and season cause changes. Nevertheless, the following have been continuously ranked as the Top Universities to Study Architecture in the USA.

In terms of architecture and architectural designs, the United States is equipped with edifices that are worthy of tourism attraction. Buildings such as the White House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Trump Tower, the Empire State Building and so much more are indications of America’s ruthlessness in architecture. It is, therefore, no surprise why you wish to study in the Top Architecture Schools in the USA.

Before we begin to list out these Top Architectural Schools in the USA, let us first give you a glimpse of what Architecture is all about.

What is Architecture?

In a nutshell, Architecture encompasses the process and the product of planning, designing and construction of houses (buildings) and other structures such as hospitals, markets, tunnels etc. Whatever needs to be built or constructed requires architecture and are all architectural works.

Just as the other works of art, there are also architectural works that are seen in the material form as buildings in most times. Architecture started as rural and words of mouth developed from trial and error methods to successful representation of paper drawings to physical structures.

Who Is An Architect?

Just as Architecture involves the planning, designing and construction of buildings, then an Architect is one who does these. In other words, An Architect is one who plans, designs and oversees the building of houses. According to Faezeh et al, in a publication on research gate, an Architect could also be seen as an Entrepreneur.

It is only those who have successfully satisfied the basic requirements to be called architects that are addressed as architects. These groups of persons are licensed by law to represent themselves as architects through the use of terms and titles.

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What Is Required To Become An Architect?

The requirements to become a professional architect vary and is dependent on location. To be addressed as an architect requires specialized training which involves advanced studies. This is because the roles and decisions of an architect affect public safety. Also required is the internship for practical experience/knowledge.

All these are required to get a practising license in order to practice Architecture. In almost all developed countries of the world, practising architecture is meant for only those who have qualified with the necessary license, certification or have registered with the relevant body. This body at times is a government regulatory body.

To get a license requires;

  • A university degree
  • Successful completion of board exams
  • Successful completion of the training period.

NB: The practical requirement (training), as well as academic and technical requirements to practice architecture, depend on legal authority. But basically, getting a degree in architecture from a university or college is essential.

Hence it is important to get a degree in Architecture from the best architectural schools.

Best Schools Of Architecture In The USA

At the inception of every academic journey, especially that which involves a monumental course as important as Architecture, nothing but the best is worth seeking. The best architecture schools in the USA have moved their educational programming to a more diverse but radical system of learning. This is to meet up with the challenges posed by the Best Universities to Study Architecture in the World.

Today, the Top Schools of Architecture in the USA have embedded computer science in their curriculum in order to ensure that their graduates compete favourably with their mates from Best Universities to Study Architecture in the World. Other disciplines such as engineering, business, construction management, social sciences and building sciences are also not left out in their curricula.

The essence of all these additional courses is to ensure that the market values of these graduates do not dwindle but rather increase. This is also done in order to curb waste and inefficiency out of the field of architecture.

In no specific order or arrangement, here we have listed out the Best Schools of Architecture in the USA. The table of contents above will enable you to navigate the best schools and make a choice.

  1. Cornell University

Cornell University is one of the Best Schools to Study Architecture in the USA. It is a private research institute that was established with the aim of discovering, preserving and disseminating knowledge. In the whole of the United States, the Architecture program at Cornell University is one of the oldest. As a private research institute, the University aims to be the best research institute known for novel discoveries of unexploited boundaries.

Best Schools of Architecture in the USA- Cornell University
Cornell University

It is in partnership with the State University of New York in order to ensure that different fields of knowledge are contributed to help the global citizens of the world. As a result of the adequate attention paid to learning and research, the students who graduate from Cornell University are profound experts in the profession.

The university runs both graduate and undergraduate programs in architecture. The undergraduate program is a five-year program in which a B.Arch. is acquired while the graduate program is a three and half year program. This stretch in the program is to enable the students to gain both practical and studio experience.

The curriculum is designed in such a way that the students learn Architecture, Culture and Society at large as well as a visual representation in Architecture and Architectural Technology. It is no surprise why Cornell University is always ranked among the Top Schools to Study Architecture in the USA.

Location:        Ithaca, New York
Official Website:,  Cornell Architectural Art Planning
  1. Rice University

Rice University was established in the year 1912. Ranked among the Top Architectural Schools in the USA, the William Marsh Rice University is very emphatic on the quality of education it offers. This is why the university is hell-bent on its 6:1 student-faculty ratio. Due to its unique location, it also serves as a place of sight-seeing and the university is deep-rooted in culture.

The University curriculum is designed in such a way that it solves architectural problems by means of research and collaboration. Covered in the curriculum are environmental studies, business and engineering. The students are equipped with internship opportunities where they are prepared by the most reputable firms. The aim of the internship period is to ensure that these graduates are allowed a good start in pursuit of a colourful career.

It offers also offers a studio-based practice and a preceptorship which gives the Architecture students of Rice University the opportunity to earn stipends while as undergraduates. This is why amongst the Best Architectural Schools in the use, Rice University is one of the Top Universities to study Architecture in the United States. It offers

Location:        Houston.
Official Website:, Rice University Architectural Undergraduate program,
  1. Syracuse University

Ranked as one of the Top Architecture Schools in the USA, Syracuse University was established in1870. The uniqueness of Syracuse University is on the affordability. It is a private institution without any ties with any religious body. Syracuse University is known for its Orange colour.

At Syracuse University, the ways of life remain active participation, innovativeness and creativity, partnership and transformation. The Architecture program at Syracuse University encompasses architectural design and modern architecture. These are the two most dominant courses that mould incoming students. The university also ensures that all students adapt to the program by putting into consideration the students’ desires and passion.

The undergraduate program takes five years and combines both theory and practical, not leaving out visuals, lightings and high concepts of design. In a fourth year, the students are exposed to professional horizons through studio enrolment. This is done to ensure that they are equipped with on the spot experience as required for best practices. Then the final year (fifth year) is usually dedicated to students’ thesis.

At Syracuse University, the students are also offered opportunities to carry on with their Masters (MA, MSc.) degree in Architecture.

Location:        Syracuse, New York
Official Website: Syracuse University –, Syracuse University Architectural Undergraduate Program
  1. Rhode Island School of Design

The Rhode Island School of Design was founded in 1877 and since then has been dedicated to designing and private art. It is known for excellence since its establishment and has gone on to maintain its standard. Rhode Island School of Design is a nonprofit institution that offers both bachelor’s and master’s programs in over 20 departments including Architecture.

It is equipped with world-class teaching facilities as well as renowned staff who work day-in-day-out to ensure that the school’s identity remains intact. The school is distinguished by the quality it offers in all its programs. It is focused on making impacts in the world by means of solving problems through design, functionality and use. Thereby ensuring that every part of the society benefits from its resources.

Just as other Top Schools of Architecture in the USA and Best Architectural Schools in the world, the RISD ensures that its students compete favourably on a global scale. This is achieved by means of the hands-on approach in the design studio. The students of Rhode Island School of Design become more tech-oriented by this means so as to compete favourably.

Both architectural skills and design are taught as well as technicalities involved in architecture. The syllable include spatial dynamics, wood structures as well as technology. All these are adopted into the 5year undergraduate program as well as the three year or two-year master. This also comes with a thesis and advanced studio experience.

Location: Providence, Rhode Island.
Official Website:
  1. University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame was established in 1842 by the Holy Cross Congregation of the Catholic church. It is independently owned and managed by the Catholic Church. This is the major reason it is known for the vision and of course Catholicism. It is one of the Best Architectural Schools in the World where students are equipped not only in learning but in character as well.

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture runs a five-year undergraduate program. This program is designed to prepare the students in all rounds. University of Notre Dame Students are then licensed after their study to practice architecture. This way, they become engaged with society and get committed to contributing their quota towards building a sustainable environment.

Hence, new students are encouraged to register for the five-year program in time. This will enable them to combat the challenging curriculum of the school of architecture earlier. In the five-year program, the first year is for introduction to architecture and moulding of drawing skills.

The students at the University of Notre Dame also learn survival techniques in order to face the challenges of life, not just academics. Students are also taught how to develop buildings with modern techniques such as 3D etc. This is to ensure that sustainable buildings are erected with technical trends.

Environmental sustainability, as well as economic sustainability, forms a major part of the school of architecture curriculum at the University of Notre Dame. The students also learn furniture design, architectural practice and are also taught how to preserve and restore the damaging furniture.

The undergraduate students also learn the principles of traditional and classical architecture and how this knowledge could be applied in the modern world. This is a way to learn more than expected because they learn more than the introduction to design and construction.

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
Official Website:
  1. California Polytechnic State University

The California Polytechnic State University was established in 1901 and is considered one of the Top Schools to Study Architecture in the USA. The school isn’t just for architecture, it is also considered as one of the best-ranked schools in the United States. In research, it is known to be one of the best.

It is known for the conducive environment which it offers the students. This environment enables the students to thrive effortlessly. The university’s curriculum covers design and visual communication as well as fundamentals of architectural technology. California Polytechnic State University’s students also get the opportunities to carry out their internships in the best places in different parts of the world.

The California Polytechnic State University is accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board. It offers a five-year program in which the students acquire B.Arch degree on the completion of their studies.

The architectural program gives the students an opportunity to blend both theoretical and practical knowledge. Students also get different specializations in landscape architecture, city and regional planning, architectural engineering.

Location: San Luis Obispo, California
Official Website:
  1. Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is also popularly known as Virginia Tech. It was established in 1872 and is one of the six institutions of senior military colleges in the US. It is a school that is known for research and has many researchers on research gate. Virginia Tech. is one of the Best Schools to Study Architecture in the USA because it is committed to research, learning and outreach.

Virginia Tech. is also one that gives everyone an opportunity to thrive. Hence, there is no room for racism and/or other human-related injustices. Even students of every race, age, skin colour, disability, gender or religion is allowed to express themselves freely.

There is a guarantee of high-quality education for every student who goes to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to study Architecture. With a vast opportunity awaiting students of architecture at Virginia Tech to explore the various aspects of architecture.

The bachelor of architecture at Virginia Tech is a five-year program that covers design theory and laboratory practices. In the fourth year of study, the students get the opportunity to travel to Europe for the residency program. While the fifth year is for advanced studies independently in which the student gets to explore different specialties in architecture.

The curriculum at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University covers the art of building, the history of architecture and the basics of structures. The master’s program is a two-year program or three-year program. It is regarded as one of the Best Schools to Study Architecture in the USA.

Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Official Website:
  1. Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art

This school is officially referred to as Cooper Union and was founded in 1859. Since then it has gone on to be among the Best Schools of Architecture in the USA. It is as well one of the oldest and most recognized Top Schools of Architecture in the USA. It has nearly two centuries of experience in dealing with challenges regarding architecture. The Cooper Union has also turned out the most number of professionals in the field of architecture.

The Cooper Union School of Architecture pays attention to architecture, arts and engineering at large. This way, the graduates from Cooper Union School of Architecture, can compete favourably with their colleagues from different parts of the world.

The exceptional attention paid to academics at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is what keeps it afloat over Top Universities to study Architecture. Students at Cooper Union are pre-equipped with best practices to tackle architectural challenges. By so doing, they add value to their communities as well as make visible positive changes.

The undergraduate architectural degree at the Cooper Union spans five years with a focus on Structure, history of architecture and Environmental technologies. This enables the students to apply the skills and design in the real world. At the end of the program, the students are meant to present their individual thesis.

There is also the availability of masters in architecture program for those who wish to continue. The masters are in selected areas such as theory, history and criticism of architecture, urban studies and technologies. Applicants have the opportunity to choose their areas of interest at the point of application.

Location:        Downtown Manhattan
Official Website:


It is no news that the field of architecture has evolved and so many changes are seen on daily basis. As these changes occur, most institutions also change their teaching approaches. This is to ensure they produce the best graduates and also rank among the best schools of architecture.

The above-named Schools (although in no specific order) have repeatedly proven to be among the best schools of architecture in the USA for so long. Although, there are other schools not listed here which also offer undergraduate and graduate studies in architecture.

So many architecture firms are posed with the challenge of selecting the best chunk of graduates from the best schools of architecture. The best being the abilities of these firms to harness the skills instilled already in these graduates. These new graduates bring new approaches to ensure that modern techniques are applied to give the best in architectural designs.

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