Choosing the best architecture school for your undergraduate studies can be a daunting task. With so many great schools to choose from, how do you decide which one is right for you?
We have compiled a list of the best architecture schools undergrad in the USA, based on factors such as tuition costs, program offerings, and student satisfaction.
Whether you are looking for a large public university or a smaller private school, we have something for everyone!
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Table of Contents
Cornell University — Ithaca, NY
Cornell University is one of the largest and most famous universities in the United States for, part of the Ivy League.
The campus of this university is located in Ithaca, New York (USA). The university was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell, a businessman and one of the founders of the telegraph industry, and Andrew White, a famous scientist, and politician.
The university is private but also sponsored by the state of New York. The university consists of seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate schools (medical, veterinary, graduate engineering, etc.) located on its main campus.
Each college has its own requirements for applicants and independent study programs. Additionally, the university has two medical campuses, one of them in New York, and the other in Qatar, in Education City.
Official Website: http://www.cornell.edu/
Rice University — Houston, TX
William Marsh Rice University, Rice University for short, is a private university in Houston, Texas.
In university rankings, it regularly ranks among the top 20 universities in the country.
The university is a member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious association of top research-intensive North American universities that dates back more than a century.
Cotton merchant William Marsh Rice founded the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art in 1891 to show his appreciation to the city of Houston for making his fortune here.
In 1963 the first institute for space physics in the United States was founded there. The university also donated to NASA a large part of the site where the Johnson Space Center now stands, from which all US space flights are coordinated.
The professors there, Richard E. Smalley and Robert F. Curl, together with the British chemist Harold W. Kroto, received the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of fullerenes.
Official Website: https://www.rice.edu/
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a prestigious private research university located in Greater St. Louis, Missouri.
Founded in 1853 and named after George Washington, the college has students and faculty from all 50 US states and over 125 nations.
24 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done most of their pioneering work at the university.
Official Website: https://wustl.edu/
Syracuse University — Syracuse, NY
Syracuse University is a US private research university located in Syracuse, New York. Its history begins with Genesee College, founded by the Methodist Church, which was moved from Lima, New York, to Syracuse in 1866, and Syracuse University was founded here on March 24, 1870.
The university is divided according to the model of Oxford and Cambridge universities. It includes 13 schools and colleges with national programs in information technology, library science, architecture, telecommunications, business administration, public administration, and engineering programs.
In 2015, Syracuse University was ranked 58th in the U.S. National Universities rankings. News & World Report, as well as a position in the range from 301 to 400 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Official Website: https://www.syracuse.edu/
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo — San Luis Obispo, CA
California Polytechnic State University, colloquially abbreviated as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is a public university in California located near San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly is one of California State University’s 23 campuses and is the state’s largest university by surface area.
The university allows you to follow a large number of courses thanks to its 7 specialties, but it is best known for its courses in engineering, agriculture, architecture, economics, and graphic arts.
There are currently 117,000 Cal Poly alumni, and enrollment for the 2006-2007 year was 17,777 students.
Official Website: https://www.calpoly.edu/
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California, also known by its acronym, USC, is a private university located in Los Angeles, California. Founded in the late 19th century, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in California.
It is considered a prestigious university, well ranked in national and international rankings, and consistently ranked among the top twenty-five universities in the United States.
Admission to the university is very competitive, with an acceptance rate of 12% in 2020.
It has earned 10 Nobel Prizes, 12 Rhodes Scholars, 6 MacArthur Scholarships, 12 Marshall Scholars, 181 Fulbright Scholars, 78 Oscars, 119 Emmy Award winners, 3 National Medal of Arts winners, 3 National Medal of Science, 3 National Medal of Technology, and Innovation winners, and one National Humanities Medal winner.
Official Website: https://www.usc.edu/
University of Notre Dame — Notre Dame, IN
The University of Notre Dame is a private, Catholic university, affiliated with the Congregation of the Holy Cross, located in Notre Dame, Indiana, United States.
It was founded in 1842 by Edward Sorin, CSC. The main campus covers 5.10 square km in a suburban setting; It contains a number of recognizable landmarks, including the Golden Dome, The Word of Life mural (commonly known as Touchdown Jesus), Notre Dame Stadium, and the Basilica.
It is one of the most prestigious and highest-ranked universities in the United States and in the rankings Notre Dame competes with other elite universities such as Stanford, Yale, and Duke.
Colleges and Schools:
- College of Arts and Letters
- College of Engineering
- College of Science
- Keough School of Global Affairs
- Law School
- Mendoza College of Business
- School of Architecture
- The Graduate School
Official Website: https://www.nd.edu/
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is an American private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Among the world’s top universities, it is distinguished by its prestigious reputation.
The university was established in 1861 as a result of the growing industrialization response in the United States.
The institute has traditionally been known for research and teaching in physics and engineering, as well as in recent times biology, economics, linguistics, and management.
Moreover, over the past few years, MIT’s School of Engineering has topped the list of various international and national universities.
Official Website: https://www.mit.edu/
Virginia Tech — Blacksburg, VA
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University known as Virginia Tech (VT or VPI), is a public university located in Blacksburg, United States.
It has educational facilities in six regions throughout the state and a study abroad site located in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.
Through the Corps of Cadets program, Virginia Tech is also designated as one of six senior military colleges in the United States.
Virginia Tech offers 280 undergraduate and graduate programs to about 34,400 students and maintains a research portfolio of $522 million.
It is forty-sixth among universities in the United States for research spending and the only university located in Virginia in the top 50.
Official Website: https://vt.edu/
Yale University is a private university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States.
Founded in 1701 and a member of the elite Ivy League, Yale is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of nine Colonial Colleges recognized with a Royal Charter from the British monarch prior to the Revolution of the Thirteen Colonies.
Yale is very selective in its admissions. Fewer than 6% of the nearly 30,000 annual applicants to undergraduate programs are admitted.
Yale Law School is the most selective in the country, accepting only 6% of applicants.
School & Colleges: School of Architecture, School of Art, Divinity School, School of Drama, School of Engineering & Applied Science, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale Law School, School of Management, Yale School of Medicine, School of Music, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, Institute of Sacred Music.
Official Website: https://www.yale.edu/
Rhode Island School of Design — Providence, RI
The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is one of the leading art institutions in the United States. Known as the “Ivy League” of art schools, it was founded in 1877 in Providence, Rhode Island, in the College Hill neighborhood, near Brown University, with which it shares some of its academic, social, and community resources
RISD is considered one of the best arts schools in the United States.
Over the years, US News has chosen its MFA programs as the best in the country; which ratifies its quality together with its admissions rate (33% in 2007), the lowest in the United States if we exclude that of the free Cooper Union University in New York.
RISD offers 4-year Bachelor of Arts degrees in Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Audiovisual Communication, Photography, Graphic Design, Glass Arts, Furniture Design, Illustration, Print Arts, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Fashion Design , Ceramic Arts, Jewelry and Metal Works and Textile Arts.
Its postgraduate programs include degrees in History of Art, Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Graphic Design, Pedagogy of Art and Design, Ceramic Arts, Digital Media, Furniture Design, Glass Arts, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Jewelry and Metal Works, Printed Arts, Landscaping and Textile Arts.
Official Website: https://www.risd.edu/
University of California – Berkeley
The University of California at Berkeley (also known as Berkeley or Cal) is an American public university based in Berkeley, California, United States.
It is the flagship institution of the University of California system and is ranked as one of the most prestigious universities in the world and the number 1 public university in the United States.
It was founded in 1868 by joining the College of California (private institution) and the College of Agriculture, Mines, and Mechanics in Oakland (public institution).
Berkeley is a large, primarily research university with a larger enrollment in its undergraduate programs, and includes an extensive Ph.D. program.
The university has had an academic endorsement by the Commission on Universities and Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1949.
The university is one of two campuses that operate under a semester calendar (the other being UC Merced). Berkeley has an academic offering of 106 bachelor’s degrees, 88 master’s degrees, 97 research-focused doctoral programs, and 31 graduate degrees with a professional focus.
Official Website: https://www.berkeley.edu/
Pratt Institute — Brooklyn, NY
The Pratt Institute is a private university with its main campus located in Brooklyn, New York.
It has a satellite campus in Manhattan and an extension in Utica, New York
The school originated in 1887 with programs primarily in engineering, architecture, and fine arts. It comprises a total of six schools.
The Institute is primarily known for the high standard of its architecture, interior design, and industrial design programs, offering both undergraduate and master’s curricula in a wide variety of fields, with a strong focus on research.
Official Website: https://www.pratt.edu/academics/architecture/
Southern California Institute of Architecture
SCI-Arc, an independent, not-for-profit school in Los Angeles, California, offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture.
Its design is community and outreach programs, and free public access to frequent exhibitions and lectures by leading architectural thinkers.
Founded in 1972, SCI-Arc is widely regarded as one of America’s most cutting-edge schools of architecture, with a reputation for pushing the boundaries of academic study.
SCI-Arc is approximately 500 students and 80 faculty. Most of them are practicing architects – working together to explore and test the limits of architecture.
Official Website: https://www.sciarc.edu/
University of Texas at Austin — Austin, TX
The University of Texas at Austin often referred to as “UT” or simply “Texas”, is the flagship institution of the public university system in the state of Texas (University of Texas).
It is nationally recognized for the quality of its research production. It is located in the city of Austin, the capital of Texas.
The main campus is located less than a mile from the Texas State Capitol in Austin (just head south on Congress St.).
Founded in 1883, the university is considered a “Public Ivy” (group of the best public universities in the United States) and has had one of the largest enrollments in the country, with 50,000 students and 20,000 workers.
Official Website: https://www.utexas.edu/