Best Architecture Schools in The US

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Entering the creative world of architecture and design is thrilling, especially for international students who aspire to attend one of the best institutions in the United States. But how can you decide which architectural school is ideal for you? What are the prerequisites for international students who want to study at one of the best architectural schools in the world? In this post, we will answer all these questions and still go on to highlight some of the best architecture schools in specific states in America.

General Requirements for all Top Architecture Schools

As an international student, you will be required to perform some additional work for the application process. To assist you, most schools offer the following general standards to guarantee that applicants are prepared and have what it takes to be a successful architecture student:

1. Evidence of creative ability

The best architecture schools want to see evidence of your shown interest in the discipline. If you completed projects in high school or have previously had an internship in architecture, these architecture schools will be interested in seeing what you have done and what you are capable of achieving in the future.

2. Portfolio

If you are just starting your undergraduate degree, having instructors or other experts speak directly to your abilities might be beneficial. However, if you are a transfer student, most top architectural schools would request a portfolio of your existing achievements.

3. Outstanding academic performance

It is critical for both foreign and domestic students to have a good GPA of at least 3.0. (Or the equivalent in your home country). This will have a very favorable impact on your application.

4. Interview

The best architecture schools will want to learn about you and maybe see you in person to determine whether you are the right student for their program. Exceptions can be made in specific situations if you are not yet in the United States. Cornell University is one example of this. If a prospective student is unable to travel to campus prior to admission, this university will accept a written interview in lieu of a personal interview.

Best Architecture Schools in the US

Below are some of the best architecture schools in the US. these schools highlighted below are also international student-friendly.

1. Cornell University

Cornell University easily ranks first on our list of best architecture schools in the US.  Cornell’s architecture department is one of the oldest in the country, which means that students have access to a broad network of alumni and research. R

Academically, architecture students at Cornell follow the same core architecture curriculum for the first three years, which provides them with the comprehensive information they require while also allowing them to select elective courses from around the institution.

Cornell’s architecture program allows students to work and/or study at the program’s New York City and Rome sites, in addition to the school’s main campus in Ithaca, New York. Students graduating from the architecture program are frequently in great demand due to the program’s reputation as a top institution, particularly for positions in New York City, where the school has extensive ties.

2. Rice University

Rice University is well-known for its excellent architectural programs, and with a student-to-faculty ratio of 5:1, you can expect personalized attention during your studies.

Rice University’s architecture degree is a six-year curriculum. The first four years are dedicated to earning a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. This is a liberal arts degree that allows you to attend classes in a range of disciplines over your first four years. This is ideal if you wish to combine your architectural studies with another field, and Rice supports this through extensive interdisciplinary research. Many other schools and departments at Rice, including business, engineering, and environmental science, collaborate closely with the architectural school.

After four years, you’ll spend another two years focusing only on architecture, at the conclusion of which you’ll obtain a second degree, a Bachelor of Architecture, allowing you to work as an architect. Students in this program spend one year as paid workers in architecture companies throughout the world, which is an excellent opportunity to gain experience and develop career contacts.

3. Syracuse University

Syracuse was the first institution in the country to provide a Bachelor of Architectural degree, and it has been a leading architecture school ever since. Syracuse’s School of Architecture is able to attract many well-known architects to deliver lectures at the school due to its reputation, and it is famous for its exceptional faculty.

Despite being in upstate New York, the School of Architecture maintains various working and teaching locations in New York Metropolis where students may study the architecture of America’s largest city. There is also a robust study abroad program, with most students spending at least a semester at Syracuse’s centers in Florence or London.

4. Cal Poly

Cal Poly’s Architectural Department offers a variety of architecture degrees, allowing you to specialize in an area of interest to you. Its architectural department is one of the largest in the country, and around one in every twenty architects in the United States (and one in every five in California) graduated from Cal Poly, so there are plenty of alumni connections to be made.

This is especially helpful because Cal Poly provides a cooperative learning option for sophomore, junior, and senior students, allowing them to earn course credit while performing paid employment in an architecture-related industry. Furthermore, Cal Poly allows students to spend a portion of a year studying abroad in Europe, Asia, or other places in the United States.

5. Notre Dame University

The School of Architecture at Notre Dame stresses both classical architecture and urbanization. All architecture students must enroll in the school’s Rome Studies Program, where they spend a year learning about classical architecture. In fact, Notre Dame is the only university in the United States that requires architecture students to spend a portion of their curriculum overseas, ensuring that all students have a more global knowledge of architecture.

Notre Dame’s architecture schools are likewise noted for their emphasis on basics, with computer-based modeling not being taught until the fourth year of study. That’s not to suggest the curriculum is trapped in the past: Notre Dame’s architecture school also prioritizes developing new structures that are sustainable and long-lasting, as well as contributing to an area’s livability.

6. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s College of Architectural and Urban Studies is one of the country’s best architecture schools. More than 2,000 students are enrolled in architecture and urban studies program, which offers four bachelor’s degrees, including a BArch. The primary campus of the institution is in Blacksburg, Virginia, and it also maintains campuses in Alexandria, Virginia, and Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.

Students in this college have the opportunity to study off-campus in their fourth year (which can include classes, internships, or a combination of the two). The fifth-year is spent doing an independent design inquiry that will serve as the foundation for the undergraduate thesis.

7. Rhode Island School of Design

RISD is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest design institutions, and its architecture degree is equally acclaimed. The school also takes a distinctive approach to architecture.

Because RISD is a world-renowned fine arts and design school, the architecture department incorporates a visual and humanities-based education into its professional curriculum. This allows students to tackle complicated architectural issues from a new angle, and RISD alumni are highly renowned for their innovative problem-solving methodologies.

8. Pratt Institute

The Pratt Institute School of Architecture distinguishes the Bachelor of Architecture degree by its dedication to pushing technical boundaries. Pratt also provides a range of courses for intense study.

Its most distinguishing feature is its Morphology emphasis, which incorporates the study of form through a combination of mathematics, computer, production, building, and future technologies (how great is that?). The Pratt Institute takes pride in fusing inventiveness and an ethical approach to building in order to produce a new generation of culturally aware, socially conscious architects.

9. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture has a wealth of resources available to students, including the Center for Sustainable Development, which studies the environment, economics, and social issues in order to better design buildings that are aesthetically pleasing while also having a positive impact on the environment and social equality. On-campus, architectural students can also utilize libraries, archives, conservation labs, and research spaces.

The University of Texas School of Architecture supports overseas experiences and provides grants for some of the various study abroad programs in which architecture students can participate. These include everything from researching historical structures in Mexico to viewing current infrastructure in Europe. Before graduating, students must additionally undergo a six-month professional residency to get job experience.

10, University of Southern California

Students at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture have access to 50,000 square feet of workspace, which includes classrooms, research spaces, galleries, labs, workshops, and design studios. Every architecture student at USC also gets access to their own personal workstation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, where they may work on their projects anytime, they wish.

Best Architecture Schools In The World

best architecture schools in the world

Now, let’s delve into some of the best architecture schools in the world. Admittedly, while the US has some really good architectural schools, if you are not so keen on studying in the US, you can also check out other universities worldwide.

1. University College London

University College London (UCL) is now ranked as the greatest university in the world for architecture studies. As a public research university, the University is based in London, England.

Prospective architecture students are urged to discover more about the University by visiting the official school website.

2. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is a private research institution in the United States that was founded in 1861 amid the industrial revolution in the United States. During the age of increasing industrialization in the United States, the University was formed to address the demand for professionals.

The University is notable for modeling its academic structure after the European Polytechnic University. Its School of Architecture is now ranked second in the world.

3. Delft University of Technology

Often known as Tu Delft, is the oldest school of technology in the Netherlands and is today ranked among the greatest engineering and technology institutions in the world. The University is ranked among the top ten architectural schools in the world.

4. ETH Zurich

The ETH Zurich is a well-known university with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In the aforementioned topics, the University is now regarded as one of the best in Switzerland.

5. Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the United States Ivy League research universities. The University has a strong tradition of academic brilliance and is consistently ranked among the top five finest universities in the world. The University is a top option for academics all around the world, making admission to the University exceedingly hard.

Best Architecture Schools in Texas

What are some of the best architecture schools in Texas? The University of Texas at Austin should top our list in this regard. This is a public research university located in Austin, Texas with a sizable student body. UT Austin is a strong university in general, with a Best Schools ranking of #52 out of 2,576 universities nationally.

Second, on our list of best architecture schools in Texas is the popular Texas A&M University. The university is located in the midsize city of College Station, is a public institution with a substantial student body.

The third on our list of best architecture schools in Texas is Houston University. This university is ranked 17th out of 136 universities in Texas for overall quality with also a top-notch architectural department.

Best Architecture Schools in California

For those interested in a degree in general architecture, the University of California – Berkeley is an excellent alternative. The Institution of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is a big public university in the midsize city of Berkeley. General Architecture degree holders at the University of California – Berkeley earn around $2,531 more than the average earnings of general architecture majors.

Second, on our list of best architecture schools in California is the University of Southern California. The University of Southern California is one of the best colleges in the country for pursuing a general architecture degree.

Best Architecture Schools in Florida

Any student interested in general architecture should look at the University of Florida. UF, located in the midsize city of Gainesville, is a public institution with a sizable student body. UF is a strong institution in general, with a Best Schools ranking of #94 out of 2,576 schools nationally.

The University of Central Florida is also a good option for students looking to major in architecture. UCF is a big public university located in the Orlando suburbs

Best Architecture Schools In New York

This section is for you if you are a New York state resident who wishes to study architecture or if you are just interested in studying architecture at a university in New York state.

The first on our list of best architecture schools in New York is Columbia University. Columbia University’s Department of Architecture is one of the most creative programs in the country. You may be confident that you will be prepared to enter the competitive world of architecture with an emphasis on Climate, Equity, Data, and Design. Columbia University provides both a Master’s and a Doctorate in Architecture. Columbia offers an excellent curriculum.

Second, on our list is the Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Design. The school has a very distinctive program that continues to teach inventive and high-performing alumni who go on to distinguish themselves in the world of architecture. There are both undergraduate and graduate degrees offered. As an undergraduate student at Cooper Union, you have the opportunity to study some really intriguing courses.

Third on our list is the City College of New York. The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at City College of New York (CCNY) is a diversified curriculum with eight distinct majors. Needless to say, if you are interested in architecture, CCNY is a great place to be. Your education at CCNY will take place both inside and outside of the classroom since it is located in a global metropolis with some of the most renowned architectural designs in the world. There are both undergraduate and graduate degrees offered. To graduate with the Bachelor of Architecture degree, students must complete 160 credit hours. Students also have access to a world-class architectural studio 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program is demanding and puts a lot of pressure on the students. Grants, scholarships, and financial help are available to qualified students. Study abroad opportunities are accessible and encouraged, allowing your study to take on a worldwide perspective.

Best Architecture Schools In North Carolina

North Carolina State University is an excellent choice for those interested in getting a degree in general architecture.  Secondly is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This is a Chenin public research university in Charlotte, North Carolina. Generally, if you want to study general architecture, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is hard to beat.

Best Architecture Schools in Michigan

Architecture degree programs are available at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. It’s a huge public four-year institution in a medium-sized city. In 2019, 69 Architecture students graduated, with 62 receiving Bachelor’s degrees and 7 receiving Doctoral degrees.

Next is the University of Detroit Mercy. This institution offers two Architecture programs. It is a medium-sized, private, non-profit four-year institution located in a metropolitan metropolis. In 2019, 62 Architecture students graduated, with 38 receiving Bachelor’s degrees and 24 receiving Master’s degrees.

Best Architecture Schools in Georgia

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Any student interested in getting a degree in general architecture should check into Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus. Georgia Tech is a significant public university in Atlanta, Georgia. Graduates of the architecture program earn roughly $51,700 in their first couple of years of employment.

Kennesaw State University is equally a solid option for those interested in a general architecture degree. Kennesaw State Institution (KSU Georgia) is a big public university located in the huge suburb of Kennesaw.

Best Architecture Schools in Illinois

The University of Illinois at Chicago is an excellent choice for those interested in earning a degree in general architecture. The Institution of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a big public university located in the city of Chicago. UIC is a strong university in general, with a Best Schools ranking of #355 out of 2,576 universities nationally.

The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is equally a good option for students who wish to study architecture in Illinois.


In this post, we have highlighted some of the best architecture schools. As mentioned above, most of these schools are international students friendly. All you need to do is equip yourself with the admission procedure of these schools for international students, and you are good to go! Best wishes!

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