Architecture school in the United States

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Architecture school in the United States refers to university schools and colleges with the purpose of educating students in the field of architecture.

Professional degrees[edit]

There are three types of professional degrees in architecture in the United States:

Non-professional degrees include (require a Master of Architecture for licensure):

  • Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BS)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture (BFA Arch)
  • Bachelor of Environmental Design (B.Envd or B.E.D.)

A non-professional degree typically takes four years to complete (as opposed to five years for a Bachelor of Architecture) and may be part of the later completion of professional degree (A "4+2" plan comprises a 4-year BA and a 2-year Master of Architecture). The 5-year BArch and 6-year MArch are regarded as virtual equals in the registration and accreditation processes. There are also M.Arch programs for those with undergraduate degrees in areas outside architecture; these program typically take six or seven semester (3 or 3.5 years) to complete.

Other programs (such as those offered at Drexel University, Boston Architectural College and NewSchool of Architecture and Design) combine the required educational courses with the work component necessary to sit for the professional licensing exams. Programs such as this often afford students the ability to immediately test for licensure upon graduation, as opposed to having to put in several years working in the field after graduation before being able to get licensed, as is common in more traditional programs.

Some architecture schools, such as Florida International University, offer the Master of Architecture degree in an accelerated five-year or six-year format without the need of a bachelor's degree. There is currently an ongoing debate to upgrade the 3.5 year M.Arch title to D.Arch both for current students and retroactively for 3.5 year M.Arch graduates.


Each year, the journal DesignIntelligence ranks both undergraduate and graduate architecture programs that are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. These rankings, collectively called "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools" are obtained by surveying hundreds of practicing architecture leaders with direct and recent experience hiring and supervising architects. They are asked what programs they consider to be best preparing students for professional success overall. They are also asked to cite the programs they consider to be the best in educating and training for specific skills. These skills rankings are also published in "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools."

Founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) represents all accredited programs and their faculty across the United States and Canada, as well as nonaccredited and international affiliate members around the world. The ACSA collects detailed information from these schools for its "Guide to Architecture Schools," which exists both as a book and as a free online searchable database at These publications are the only complete directories of all accredited professional architecture programs in North America and are used as a reference for prospective students, graduate students, educators, administrators, counselors, and practitioners. The ACSA Guide to Architecture Schools features detailed program descriptions, an index of specialized and related degree programs, an overview of the profession of architecture and the education process, advice on how to select the right school, and scholarship and financial aid information.[1]

In addition, "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools" each year presents Architect Registration Examination pass rates by school, a historical review of top architecture schools, how current architecture students rank their schools, and a directory of accredited programs.

The following schools have consistently been ranked within the top 15 of all undergraduate architecture schools in the nation. In alphabetical order, the top 15 schools are: Auburn University, Boston Architectural College, California Polytechnic State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Iowa State University, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Rice University, Southern California Institute of Architecture, Syracuse University, University of Notre Dame, University of Oregon, University of Texas at Austin, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.[2]

The following schools are top 10 graduate schools, in order, according to "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools 2014": Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University tied with Rice University, University of Michigan, Kansas State University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin.[3]

List of architecture schools in the United States[edit]

State (city) University School Control Year Founded Website
Alabama Auburn University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture Public
Alabama (Tuskegee) Tuskegee University Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science Private 1881
California (Riverside) California Baptist University Department of Architecture Private
California (San Diego) NewSchool of Architecture and Design Private
California (San Luis Obispo) California Polytechnic State University School of Architecture Public
California (Pomona) California State Polytechnic University, Pomona College of Environmental Design Public 1938
California (Los Angeles) University of Southern California School of Architecture Private
California (Berkeley) University of California, Berkeley Department of Architecture Public
California (Los Angeles) University of California, Los Angeles School of the Arts and Architecture Public
California (Los Angeles) Southern California Institute of Architecture Private 1972
California (Los Angeles / San Diego) Woodbury University Woodbury University School of Architecture Private
Colorado (Boulder/Denver) University of Colorado College of Architecture & Planning Public
Connecticut (New Haven) Yale University School of Architecture Private 1916
Florida (Miami) Florida International University School of Architecture Public 1980
Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Florida Atlantic University College for Design and Social Inquiry Public
Florida (Miami) Miami Dade College School of Architecture and Interior Design Public
Florida (Miami) University of Miami School of Architecture Private 1981
Florida (Tampa) University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design Public 1985
Florida (Tallahassee) Florida A&M University School of Architecture Public
Florida (Gainesville) University of Florida School of Architecture Public 1925
Georgia (Atlanta) Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture Public 1908
Idaho (Moscow) University of Idaho College of Art & Architecture Public
Illinois (Chicago) Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture Private
Illinois (Chicago) The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects Private 1866
Indiana (Muncie) Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning Public
Indiana (Notre Dame) University of Notre Dame School of Architecture (for traditional architecture and urbanism) Private
Kansas (Lawrence) The University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design, and Planning Public 1912
Kansas (Manhattan) Kansas State University College of Architecture, Planning & Design Public
Kentucky (Lexington) University of Kentucky School of Architecture Public
Louisiana (Lafayette) University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture Public 1942
Louisiana (New Orleans) Tulane University School of Architecture Private 1894
Maryland (College Park) University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Public
Maryland (Baltimore) Morgan State University School of Architecture and Planning Public
Massachusetts (Amherst) University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Architecture + Design Public
Massachusetts (Boston) Boston Architectural College Private 1889
Massachusetts (Boston) Northeastern University School of Architecture Private 1898
Massachusetts (Boston) Wentworth Institute of Technology College of Architecture, Design & Construction Management Private 1904
Massachusetts (Cambridge) Harvard University Graduate School of Design Private 1936
Massachusetts (Cambridge) Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture Private 1865
Michigan (Ann Arbor) University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Public
Michigan (Detroit) University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture Private 1877
Michigan (Southfield) Lawrence Technological University College of Architecture and Design Public
Minnesota (Minneapolis) University of Minnesota College of Design, School of Architecture Public
Mississippi (Starkville) Mississippi State University School of Architecture Public
Missouri (St. Louis) Washington University in St. Louis Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts - College of Architecture Private 1910;
Missouri (Springfield) Drury University Hammons School of Architecture Private 1984
Montana (Bozeman) Montana State University – Bozeman School of Architecture Public
Nebraska (Lincoln) University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Architecture Public
New Jersey (Princeton) Princeton University School of Architecture Private
New Mexico (Albuquerque) University of New Mexico - Albuquerque School of Architecture and Planning Public
New York (Buffalo) University at Buffalo, The State University of New York University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning Public 1968
New York (New York City) Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Private 1881
New York (New York City) Cooper Union The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Private
New York (New York City) City University of New York/The City College The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture Public
New York (Ithaca) Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Private
New York (New York City) Pratt Institute School of Architecture Private
New York (Troy) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture Private
North Dakota (Fargo) North Dakota State University Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Public
New York (Syracuse) Syracuse University School of Architecture Private
Ohio (Cincinnati) University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design Public
Ohio (Columbus) Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture Public
Ohio (Kent) Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design Public
Ohio (Oxford) Miami University College of Creative Arts Public 1929
Oklahoma (Norman) University of Oklahoma College of Architecture Public 1926
Oklahoma (Stillwater) Oklahoma State University School of Architecture Public 1909
Oregon (Eugene) University of Oregon Department of Architecture Public
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture Private
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) Philadelphia University College of Architecture and the Built Environment Private
Pennsylvania (State College) Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture Public 1910
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) University of Pennsylvania Penn Design Private 1868
Tennessee (Knoxville) University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design Public 1965
Texas (Austin) University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture Public 1948
Texas (College Station) Texas A&M University Texas A&M College of Architecture Public 1905
Texas (Houston) Rice University School of Architecture Private
Texas (Houston) University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture Private
Utah (Salt Lake City) University of Utah College of Architecture and Planning Public
Virginia (Charlottesville) University of Virginia School of Architecture Public
Virginia (Blacksburg) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University College of Architecture and Urban Studies Public

See also[edit]