Choosing the right architecture school is important for aspiring architects, because it sets the foundation for their future careers. When it comes to finding the best architecture schools in the world, several factors come into consideration, including reputation, faculty expertise, facilities, and international recognition.
In this article, we will highlight 30 best architecture schools for aspiring architects.
Let’s get started.
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Why Study Architecture?
Below are reasons why you should study Architecture:
- To travel and explore human-made wonders from all around the world.
- To become a brilliant problem solver and acquire technical skills to design buildings.
- To learn how to plan buildings that line up with pre-existing structures and provide effective services.
- To experience diversity of study and contact time with tutors and peers.
- To make a difference in the environment and society by applying green architecture principles.
Important Things to Consider When Choosing an Architecture School
Consider your ideal learning environment when choosing an architectural school. A large college may offer a wide range of programs and studios, while a small institution may focus on sustainability or community design.
Faculty can also be a significant factor in a college’s reputation. It is important to know who teaches at a specific institution and their work.
Elite institutions attract working people from various fields, while smaller towns may have a greater number of new teachers with their own design or research interests.
Financial investments are essential in choosing an architecture school. Some universities are designed to be cost-effective, while others may have higher living costs.
Research the types of assistantships, scholarships, loans, and grants available, and check beyond tuition to see other costs involved.
List of the 150 Best Architecture Schools in the world
20 Best Architecture Schools in the World
- Founded: 1826
- Tuition fee: £9,250 for UK students and £28,500 for overseas students.
University College London, UCL offers three or five-year architecture programs, with 70% of education time spent in design studios and workshops.
The architecture students learn to practice architecture and use their skills imaginatively in various contexts. The program is taught by leading practitioners, specialists, and academics in small groups or one-to-one tutorials, with frequent review sessions.
The program introduces students to societal forces affecting architecture and architectural production, and also emphasizing on the indivisibility of architectural, cultural, professional, and technological realms.
The BSc in Architecture is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
- Founded: 10 April 1861
- Tuition fee: 57,590 USD/year
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with five schools and one college.
MIT was stablished in 1861, and it has a strong emphasis on scientific and technological research. It has an undergraduate enrollment of 4,638 in fall 2021.
The university’s School of Architecture is ranked as the best in the world, and it offers high-quality education with low quota architecture classes. MIT focuses on improving the quality of education and has an annual budget of 18 billion dollars.
- Founded: 1842
- Tuition fee: 2,739 USD for domestic students and 10,955 USD per year for international students
TU Delft is the oldest technology university in the Netherlands and is a top architecture school that focuses on adapting buildings, neighborhoods, and cities to new insights and needs.
Bachelor students of Architecture, Urbanism, and Building Sciences, begin designing the world around them from the first day of their studies.
Students also engage with engineering, theory, and design in an interdisciplinary manner, developing analytical and creativity skills and spatial aptitude.
They work on design projects individually and in groups, learning about the interaction between technology, design, and society.
- Founded: 16 October 1855
- Tuition fee: CHF 730 per Semester
ETH Zurich, founded in 1854, is an influential institution with a rich history of architecture.
The university offers a bachelor’s degree program in Architecture, divided into three areas: architectural design, construction, and art and creativity.
The first year focuses on developing perceptive and creative faculties, imparting the methodology of architectural design, and providing a foundation in natural sciences, technology, humanities and social sciences. The second and third years expand on this knowledge.
Six months of work experience in the field is required for a bachelor’s degree.
The master’s degree program aims to expand the knowledge acquired in the bachelor’s degree program, foster an independent approach, develop integrative thought and creative faculties, and handle larger-scale architectural assignments. To obtain a master’s degree, proof of external work experience lasting at least six months must be provided.
- Founded: 1996
- Tuition fee: £21,500 per year
Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) is a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester, it has over 100 years of experience, 100 experts, and over 1000 students from 80 countries.
MSA produces creative, challenging, and academically rigorous work in Manchester.
MSA is recognized by professional bodies like the Architects’ Registration Board, Royal Institute for British Architects, and The Landscape Institute, and it offers degree courses for students to become qualified architects and landscape architects in the UK.
Many graduates have successful careers in practice and individual projects, including the Reichstag Dome in Berlin, the Olympic Park master plans in London and Rio de Janeiro, and the Highline in New York.
- Founded: 8 September 1636
- Tuition fee: 53,513 USD per year
Harvard, a top architecture school is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The university’s beautiful faculty building and academic background make its graduates stand out.
As of 2021, the total capital of the university is 53 billion dollars. The Master of Architecture (MArch) program is an accredited professional degree for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a different design field or a pre-professional undergraduate major.
The architectural program is rigorous, and comprehensive, and prepares graduates for various professional activities in architecture. It emphasizes mastery of design through intensive design studio courses and a design thesis.
- Founded: 1905
- Tuition fee: $9,600 per annum for Singapore citizens, $13,650 per annum for Singapore permanent residents, and $24,500 per annum for international students.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a young, rapidly developing university that offers education in various fields, including architecture, landscape architecture, and sustainable architecture. The university has a 5-7% acceptance rate and is known for its innovative approach and strong curriculum.
The B.A. (Arch) is a four-year Honours degree program that serves as the foundation for concurrent Master’s programs. The program emphasizes design excellence through studio research and exploration.
Students learn fundamental skills in drawing, model-making, and representation. In the final year, students can choose their individual specialization, leading to concurrent Master’s programs, promoting independent and advanced thinking for Master level architectural research.
- Founded: 1911
- Tuition fee: 30,000 CNY per year
Tsinghua University, founded in 1911, is a member of the C9 league, a group of nine Chinese universities that receive significant education funds.
The university’s architecture school began in 1946 and has 977 students, including 432 undergraduate 382 graduate, and 187 doctoral students.
The faculty has an average annual income of 75 million Yuan, which is used for research expenses and improving education quality. The Department of Architecture is responsible for architectural courses and bachelor, master, and Ph.D. programs.
As of 2012, the department has 44 full-time teachers with five research orientations: Architectural Design and Theory, Architectural Design and Technology, Architectural Design and Society, Culture, Art, Urban Design and Theory, and Architectural History and Theory.
- Founded: 1868
- Tuition fee: $11,500 – $16,500
The University of California, Berkeley, is a research university founded in 1868 that offers a diverse undergraduate program in architecture.
The program combines environmental design and architecture courses with individual programs, providing a broad introduction to the field. Students can prepare for specializations in architectural design, representation, technologies, or building performance.
Some graduates obtain professional degrees in architecture or other related fields, while others work in architectural practice, construction, government, or industry.
The undergraduate program aims to establish a strong foundation for diverse architecture careers and provide mobility and flexibility to suit changing individual opportunities.
- Founded: 1863
- Tuition fee: $2700 /year
The Polytechnic University of Milan is the largest university in Italy. It offers an advanced program in Architecture and Urban Design. The program develops theoretical, humanistic, artistic, and design competences in architectural design.
It addresses housing cultures, contemporary cities, urban settlements in developing countries, building techniques innovation, and environmental sustainability.
The program caters to the growing need for architects to tackle complex problems and new professional responsibilities in Europe and worldwide.
- Founded: $83088 /year
- Tuition fee: 1209
Cambridge University, founded in 1231, is a prestigious educational institution with a rich history and a strong architectural faculty.
The University offers an Architecture program, which focuses on architectural qualification, and Design, which combines architecture, engineering, and materials science. The Architecture course emphasizes creativity, curiosity, and intellectual grounding.
The Design program offers a balanced curriculum in architecture, contemporary culture, urbanism, construction, structural design, and environmental design.
The program also provides a small, friendly department that has a good staff-to-student ratio and a supportive community atmosphere, allowing students to push the boundaries and develop their skills in exciting new directions.
- Founded: 1907
- Tuition fee: $2,998 / year
Tongji University, founded in 1907, offers education to 36,000 students through bilateral partnerships with UNSW Sydney University. This program enables international students to obtain dual-degree architects, allowing them to graduate as global architects with a global understanding of Australian and Chinese architectural traditions.
The College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University and the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales are working together to establish a 2+2 dual bachelor’s degree program in Architecture.
The teaching team, led by Prof. Glenn Murcutt from the University of New South Wales and Prof. Zhang Yonghe from Tongji University, will provide students with a strong professional foundation, comprehensive knowledge, and a strong international perspective.
The program aims to prepare students for state building, internationalized education, and social development, ensuring they possess a strong professional foundation, hands-on abilities, and international perspectives.
- Founded: 1853
- Tuition fee: About USD 844 per semester
EPFL, a renowned technology institute in Switzerland is a public research university in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is established in 1969, and it offers theoretical, scientific, and applied training at the bachelor’s level, followed by master’s studies on environmental preservation, sustainable development, energy optimization, materials, production costs, and socio-economic planning.
Architecture students at EPFL enjoy exceptional logistical and tutoring conditions, including individual workspaces, IT infrastructure, a modeling workshop, a library, and support and advisory staff.
- Founded: 1887
- Tuition fee: HK$ 164000 per year
Hong Kong University Faculty of Architecture offers a multidisciplinary education in architecture, combining traditional methods and technological tools. The university focuses on the Pearl River Delta, a significant city-building experiment.
The faculty offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in architecture, architectural conservation, landscape, surveying, and urban studies. The university also offers merit-scholarship to deserving students.
- Founded: 1754
- Tuition fee: $30,540 per semester
Columbia University is a top US university with a large budget. The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) provides students with expertise in architecture and the ability to redefine it.
The curriculum emphasizes analyzing and challenging design professions, preparing students for careers in architecture, urban design, historic preservation, urban planning, or real estate development.
Students participate in shaping knowledge about the built environment and see architecture as a form of cultural production.
- Founded: 1937
- Tuition fee: HK$42,100 (for local students) while the fee for non-local students is HK$145,000 per academic year
Hong Kong Polytechnic University PolyU is a top Asian university with a top architecture school. It is located in Kowloon, the campus consists of over 20 nested buildings and is one of the largest and busiest in the world.
The university combines art and science, offering high-quality design education and impactful research and consultancy work.
- Founded: 1877
- Tuition fee: $3.76k per year
The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) is a public research university in Tokyo, Japan. The university focuses on the architecture department in engineering.
The department focuses on four main fields: architectural structure, architectural environment, architectural planning, and architecture.
The school emphasizes the acquisition of architectural design skills and a wide range of scientific knowledge. The curriculum includes specialized areas of practical technique and subjects, advancing in a phased manner based on design challenges each academic year.
The curriculum also conforms to architecture-related subjects for certified architects.
- Founded: 13 October 1885
- Tuition fee: 20,715 USD per year for masters
Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. It offers an architectural education intertwined with technology.
The undergraduate program in architecture at Georgia Tech is a unique blend of design, technology, and science, preparing students for graduate-level study, professional licensure, and entrepreneurial opportunities in design, planning, construction, and business. Georgia Institute of Technology has various scholarships for undergraduates.
- Founded: 1879
- Tuition fee: €600 per Semester
TU Berlin is a renowned German technical university with English and German departments.
The bachelor’s program in Architecture focuses on project-based teaching and studies, students develop specific concepts through creative processes and architectural renderings.
After completing their first year, they expand their perspective on urban construction design and urban surroundings, providing a foundation for more in-depth work in the fourth and fifth semesters.
The degree equips students with knowledge of construction plans, architecture, and urban construction, preparing them for careers in architecture and administration.
- Founded: 1881
- Tuition fee: $16,325.37 for California residents and $28,570.37 for international students.
UCLA is a public research university in Los Angeles, California. Its architecture school offers students a comprehensive education with technology and sociability.
The faculty has two research centers and a satellite campus called IDEAS, which houses a robotics lab, AR-VR labs, and a manufacturing facility.
The Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies curriculum focuses on the fundamental ordering systems of architecture, and its relationships to political, social, and cultural constructs.
The major includes coursework in critical studies, technology, and design, fostering critical thinking and engagement with historical and contemporary disciplinary contexts.
FAQs on Best Architecture Schools in the World
Can I apply to these architecture schools if I am an international student?
Yes, many of the top-ranked architecture schools welcome international students. They often have specific admission requirements and support services for international applicants.
Do all the listed architecture schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs?
Yes, most of the listed architecture schools offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture or related fields.
Are there any scholarships or financial aid available for students attending these schools?
Many architecture schools provide scholarships, grants, or financial aid opportunities to qualified students.
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Selecting the best architecture school is crucial for an individual’s future career and success. However, the ideal school may vary based on personal goals, interests, and preferences.
Prospective students should conduct research, visit schools, and confirm that they meet the degree requirements.Share and Help us Reach out to Other Students