Best Architecture Schools in the US are the schools that provide exceptional quality education for intending architects to gain experience and knowledge in architecture
Creating extraordinarily amazing designs is something every good and professional architect must exhibit, visualizing the structure and relating it to its purpose,
Specialty and professionalism are qualities that single out the best from the crowd in Architecture
Therefore, building expertise in this field of architecture requires running the program in the best-accredited institution.
What Is Architecture?
Architecture is the art and science of planning and designing buildings and other physical structures. The term “Architecture” is also used for the profession of providing architectural services.
The profession of designing buildings, open areas, communities, and other artificial constructions and environments, usually with some regard to aesthetic effect.
Also, it includes the design or selection of furnishings and decorations, supervision of construction work, and the examination, restoration, or remodeling of existing buildings.
Why Study Architecture In the Us
Americans and international students alike can benefit from studying in America. The country offers countless opportunities for learning, from the classroom to the excursions that one can take. From architecture conventions to notable sites of architecture, America offers it all on top of having some of the top institutions in architecture.
Expertise And Professionalism:
Studying architecture in the US will prepare you for a career that applies your expertise to construct, design, and implement plans that will impact the environment of those individuals who come into contact with your work.
Top-notch Quality Education:
Architecture schools in the US provide quality education to students immersing them in theoretical and most importantly, practical knowledge
You will have a long-lasting experience in the US because of the god-awful structures and designs you will be exposed to. You will be able to think outside the box and come up with sophisticated designs that will wow everyone that comes across your work
How to Become an Architect
There are generally three main steps to becoming a licensed architect:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture
- Gain relevant experience through a paid internship and,
- Pass the Architect Registration Examination
Architects typically need a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Most architects earn their degree through a 5-year Architecture degree program. Many earn a master’s degree in architecture, which can take 1 to 5 additional years. The time expected relies on the extent of the student’s prior education and training in architecture.
A typical bachelor’s degree program includes courses in architectural history and theory, building design with a priority on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), structures, construction methods, professional practices, math, physical sciences, and liberal arts.
All state architectural registration boards require architecture graduates to complete a lengthy paid internship—generally lasting 3 years—before they may sit for the Architect Registration Examination.
However, most new graduates complete their training period by working at architectural firms through the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), a program run by NCARB that guides students through the internship process.
Interns may also research building codes and write specifications for building materials, installation criteria, the quality of finishes, and other related details.
Licensed architects take the documents that interns produce, make edits to them, finalize plans, and then sign and seal the documents.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
All states and the District of Columbia require architects to be authorized. Licensing requirements typically include completing a degree program in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.
Most states also require some form of continuing education to keep a license. Continuing education requirements vary by state but usually involve additional education through workshops, university classes, conferences, self-study courses, or other sources.
After gaining so much architectural experience, some architects advance to become architectural and engineering managers. These managers typically coordinate the activities of employees and may work on larger construction projects.
Architecture Job Description
An architect, or architectural designer, is responsible for designing buildings to creating outstanding and well-organized structures.
Their roles include meeting with clients to discuss their vision, drawing up building plans, and modifying their designs throughout the building process to maximize structural integrity.
The following duties and responsibilities are common for architects:
- Making bids on potential building projects
- Working with clients to determine requirements for building projects
- Developing initial estimates on structure costs, building time, and special requirements
- Preparing detailed drawings showing both the appearance and interior structure of a building project
- Directing staff in the development of project drawings, studies, and budgets
- Preparing work contracts for building subcontractors
- Visiting building worksites to ensure work is being done according to architectural plans
- Developing and giving presentations to inform the public about upcoming public building projects
Qualities of an Architecture
- Analytical skills: Architects must understand the content of designs and the context in which they were created.
- Communication skills: Architects share their ideas, both in oral presentations and in writing, with clients, other architects, and workers who help prepare drawings. Many also give presentations to explain their ideas and designs.
- Creativity: Architects design the overall look of houses, buildings, and other structures. They must ensure that the final product is both attractive and functional.
- Organizational skills: Architects often manage contracts. Therefore, they must keep records related to the details of a project, including total cost, materials used, and progress.
- Technical skills: Architects need to use CADD technology to create plans as part of building information modeling (BIM).
- Visualization skills: Architects must be able to envision how the parts of a structure relate to each other. They also must be able to visualize how the overall building will look once completed.
List of Best Architecture Schools In The Us
In the United States, several architecture schools have shown excellence over the years. We have curated a list of the Top 15 Architecture Schools in the US that you should consider if you would like to study in the field of architecture.
- Cornell University
- Rhode Island School Of Design
- Rice University
- Syracuse University
- University Of Notre Dame
- California Polytechnic State University
- University Of Texas At Austin
- Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art
- University Of Virginia
- University Of Southern California
- Washington University In St Louis
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Georgia Institute Of Technology
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University
- University Of California – Berkeley
#1. Cornell University
Cornell University is one of the best architecture schools in the united states, located in Ithaca, New York.
At Cornell, students learn among many other things, Architecture, Culture, and Society, with Visual Representation in Architecture, and Architectural Science and Technology. The unique nature of this program offers a focused and exclusive deep dive into every discipline as though it was the only one available in the institution. It immerses students in design culture.
#2. Rhode Island School Of Design
The Rhode Island School of Design is located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a school dedicated to design and private art.
The importance of this degree is focused on its hands-on approach in the design studio, which helps students become more tech-savvy in today’s competitive art world. Skill and design in architecture are concentrated on while exploring the technical aspects of architectural development. Coursework includes but is not limited to Spatial Dynamics, Wood Structures, and The Making of Design Principles.
#3. Rice University
William Marsh Rice University otherwise known as “Rice University”, is another top architecture school in the united states and also a leading institution in the world.
The school curriculum solves architectural problems through research and collaborations with departments like environmental studies, business, and engineering. It is interdisciplinary and allows internships from the very best firms to help give a head start for a career that blossoms. The program ensures students get unmatched assistance and responsiveness.
#4. Syracuse University
Ranked as one of the top higher institutions of learning, Syracuse University is one of the best architecture schools in the US. The university majors in Architectural Design and Modern Architecture.
The International Style to Present is two of the most dominant courses that shape the future of aspiring students at this institution. Rich in its design history, the program is very adaptable to different scenarios according to everyone’s desire and passion.
#5. University Of Notre Dame
Founded in 1842 by Rev. Edward F. Sorin, the University of Notre Dame is self-characterized as a place where vision is born and defined by its Catholic character.
The focus is on student’s ability to develop new buildings that are sustainable, especially with new technical trends at the forefront of various discourses. Courses focus on environment and economic sustainability in the template of furniture design, architectural practice, and enterprise as well as preservation and restoration.
#6. California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo
Founded in the city of San Luis Obispo, California Polytechnic State University is a public higher institution considered one of the US’s top-ranked schools.
With offerings such as Design and Visual Communication, Architectural Technology Fundamentals, and Issues in Contemporary Professional Practice, the program offers top destinations for internships in different parts of the world. Students acquire an experience that helps develop their foundational skills.
#7. University Of Texas At Austin
The University of Texas—Austin is one of the best architecture colleges in the US. The school was founded in 1883.
UT- Austin offers a five-year professional Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Courses in this discipline include Architecture and Society, World Architecture: Origins to 1750, and Principles of Physical Planning.
Students understand the elements of architecture from the basic to the technological standpoint. It is also ranked as one of the best platforms for architectural education.
#8. Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art
Simply referred to as Cooper Union, it was established in 1859. Located in downtown Manhattan.
Being a 5-year program, it focuses on courses such as Structures, History of Architecture, and Environmental Technologies. Accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), students are presented with cultural and technical approaches to enhance research and skill.
#9. University Of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a well-known college that offers one of the best architecture programs. It was founded as an educational institution in 1819 and is located in Charlottesville, VA.
Students here can go after several concentrations in their studies. Pre-professional programs and the Design Thinking/ Design Practices concentration are available to them. The degree helps with the integration of methodologies and understanding of courses including; 20th Century History of Ideas, Lessons of the Lawn, and World Contemporary Architecture.
#10. University Of Southern California
Based in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is a private institution founded in 1880.
Among what makes the program unique are the courses available, including the Fundamentals of Design Communication, Architecture concerning Culture and Community, and World History of Architecture. Students are exposed to a plethora of architectural forms while discovering where they fit. Students can get licensed, among other benefits as well
#11. Washington University In St Louis
Washington University in St. Louis describes itself as a place where people matter and serious work is done.
The Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts has a merger of courses that make it stand out. Some of these are Building Systems, Architectural Design, and Environmental Systems. With the details on how to register contained on their website, the program is taught by well-known academia, which is well versed in research. Its approach is proactive and made for those whose desire is to improve people’s living conditions.
#12. Carnegie Mellon University
Known for its popularity as a global research institution, Carnegie Mellon University is recognized as a top-notch interdisciplinary school. Carnegie Mellon University’s mission is simple to provide an engagement that runs deep in all its architectural disciplines. Its base stems from innovation and creative inquiry; that which guides the principle of inquisitiveness.
#13. Georgia Institute Of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly known as Georgia Tech, is an institution of choice for many students hoping to study Architecture in the United States. Founded in 1885 and situated in Atlanta.
In 2021, QS World Rankings ranked Georgia Tech #6 in the U.S. for architecture and #23 in the world. The school ranks in the top 10 across nine Design Intelligence focus areas.
#14. Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, simply referred to as Virginia Tech is located in Virginia.
Also, Virginia Tech is known as one of six senior military colleges in the United States. Its loyalty to research, learning, and outreach is what makes it one of the top institutions in the United States.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have so much to offer students who are seeking high-quality education.
#15. University Of California – Berkeley
Established in 1868, the University of California located in Berkeley is a public research institute and is highly admired among schools in the US.
Some of the courses that make the institution unique and attractive are Social and Cultural Processes in Architecture and Urbanism, Design Theories, Methods, and Practice as well as Structures and Construction. They emphasize its prestigious nature and affordability.
Best Architecture Schools In Texas
It’s a great time to get into Architecture and find the best school for your undergraduate Architecture degree on our list of the Best Architecture Colleges and Universities in Texas.
a. Kilgore College
At Kilgore College, students can train to work as civil engineers, project engineers, project managers, and more after completing the architectural and engineering managers program. Additional program options include marine architecture, architecture, and industrial engineering.
b. Lee College, Baytown, Texas
Lee College is one of the few that offers an AA in architecture. This concentration is perfect for students who would later like to transfer to another university that offers a bachelor’s degree in architecture or interior design.
c. Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University offers a BS in Architecture as well as a master of architecture. The school offers specializations in community development, digital media arts, and architecture in the school of architecture.
d. San Antonio College, San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio College offers an AA in architecture that requires 61 credits for completion. The AA program has a concentration in architecture that may be used to pursue a BA in Architecture.
e. El Pamso Community College, El Paso, Texas
El Paso Community College offers an Associate of Science in Architecture that may be used as the basis to move on to a BS in Architecture or Masters of Architecture in the future. Students often transfer from this program to Texas Tech University.
f. Rice University, Houston, Texas
Rice University’s Rice Architecture School offers a small student-to-faculty ratio of six to one, open communal spaces, a studio-based education, a preceptorship, and more. Graduate and undergraduate programs are available.
g. University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
The University of Texas at San Antonio has a department of architecture with two undergraduate programs in architecture and interior design as well as several masters and doctoral programs in civil engineering, urban and regional planning, and other specialties.
h. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Texas Tech University offers a bachelor of science in architecture that consists of 124 credit hours of undergraduate courses. Students who complete the program may not take the ARE exam unless they continue through the M. Arch program to get a professional degree. Students are expected to intern during the summer.
i. University of Houston, Houston, Texas
The University of Houston offers an architecture program through its Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design. Both undergraduate and graduate studies are available.
j. University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington offers an undergraduate degree in architecture or a master of architecture. Students looking to work on interiors may appreciate the undergraduate in an interior design program that is offered as well.
k. Texas A&M University at College Station
Texas A&M University at College Station provides an architecture program that takes four years to complete as an undergraduate. Graduates can go on to get a master’s degree in architecture or a Ph.D. at the school.
l. University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin offers architecture programs that push students to learn about the cultural relevance of architectural production. Students are taught through critical practice and through study abroad programs and professional residencies.
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Best Architecture Schools In Florida
Below is the list of the best architecture schools in Florida
- University Of Florida
- University Of South Florida
- Florida Agricultural And Mechanical University
- University Of Central Florida
- Florida International University
- Florida Atlantic University
Best Architecture Schools In California
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of southern California
- California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
- University of San Francisco
- California State Polytechnic University – Pomona. Pomona, CA
- University of California, Los Angeles
- California College of the Arts
- Woodbury university
Top Undergraduate Architecture Schools
- California polytechnic state university
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York
- Cornell University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- Illinois Institute of Technology, Illinois, Chicago
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
- Pratt Institute
Undergraduate Architecture Programs In Us
- Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Civil Engineering
- Architectural Practice and Enterprise
- Architecture Transfer Program
- Bachelor of Science in Architecture
- Bachelor of Arts in Architecture
- ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY( Bsc.)
- Bachelor in Architectural Design & Building
- Bachelor of Science in Design Architecture
Best Graduate Architecture Schools In US
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School CAMBRIDGE, MA
- Yale School of Architecture
- Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
- Miami University
- Princeton University
- Harvard graduate school of design
- Sam Fox school of design and visual art
- School of Architecture- university of Notre Dam
- USC school of architecture
- A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
Architecture Salary In Us
Architects made a median salary of $82,320 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $106,680 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $63,420.
The metropolitan areas that pay the highest salary in the architect profession are Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Eau Claire, and San Luis Obispo.
- Sacramento, California $114,930
- San Jose, California $113,510
- Santa Rosa, California $112,110
- Eau Claire, Wisconsin $111,320
- San Luis Obispo, California $108,730
Architecture Job Prospects In Us
An architecture degree gives you visual, planning and technical skills meaning you’ll be set up for a creative, design-based career
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Architectural technologist
- Building control surveyor
- CAD technician
- Fire risk assessor
- Interior and spatial designer
- Town planner
- Urban designer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Building surveyor
- Commercial/residential surveyor
- Construction manager
- Estates manager
- Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
- Landscape architect
- Planning and development surveyor
- Production designer, theatre/television/film
- Structural engineer
- VFX artist
International students interested in studying in US should check our article on how to apply for US student VISA
Architecture is a profession that requires intensive and rigorous experience, especially in terms of practicality and how well you can apply theoretical concepts., pursuing your career in Architecture in the US gives you an edge in your profession because of the numerous advantages attached.
FAQs on the Best Architecture Schools in the US
What is the number 1 architecture school in us?
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
How can I become an architecture?
- completing a bachelor’s degree in architecture,
- gaining relevant experience through a paid internship and,
- passing the Architect Registration Examination.
What are the best architecture programs?
- Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Civil Engineering
- Architecture Transfer Program
- Bachelor of Architecture
- Bachelor of Arts in Architecture
- BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE (PROFESSIONAL)Bachelor of Science in architecture
- Bachelor of Science – ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
- Bachelor in – Architectural Design & Building
- Bachelor of Science in Design: Architecture
- Architectural Practice and Enterprise