The best architecture schools can help you build an amazing career designing stunning buildings in landscapes across the globe. Whether you prefer a more creative approach to design or a solution-oriented take to metropolitan growth, the options are diverse.
To help you find the most competitive programs in the United States, we’ll review 10 top-ranked institutions. Each of these schools meets the following criteria:
- An average annual cost of no more than $17,000
- A median starting salary no lower than $45,000
- Accredited programs by recognized bodies
10 Best Architecture Schools
1. University of Florida
4 Year; Gainesville, FL
Average Annual Cost: $5,135
When studying architecture at the University of Florida, you will be a part of the UF College of Design, Construction, and Planning. Their school of architecture is comprised of numerous programs, each desired to give students real-world and in-class instruction.
There are several undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs available. As an undergraduate student, you will work toward a Bachelor of Design in Architecture.
From there, you can choose to get a pre-professional undergraduate degree or move on to a two-year master’s degree program. With your Master of Architecture degree, you will find an impressive number of career opportunities available for you to explore.
As an architecture student, the University of Florida ensures all concepts of the career are covered. You will learn about material and structural limitations, exterior and interior interactions, historic architecture, and more.
Even if you think college education should be free, the quality education you will get from this program is worth every penny. Overall, it is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in learning how they can create innovative spaces to serve specific client specifications.
2. Purdue University-Main Campus
4 Year; West Lafayette, IN
Average Annual Cost: $13,377
If you want to study at Purdue University-Main Campus, you will be able to enroll in their architectural engineering program. It is a fantastic avenue that teaches you the fundamentals of building and engineering spaces to solve problems and increase use.
As an architectural engineer, you will emphasize the integration of sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings. Plus, there are numerous other concepts you’ll learn about during your studies, including mechanical systems, lighting systems, and electrical systems.
If you prefer not to take architectural engineering as your major, you can opt to take it as a minor instead. However, note that you’ll be attending the College of Engineering instead of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering.
The faculty members in this program are also remarkable, offering students plenty of hands-on and research opportunities.
You’ll work alongside industry leaders to design energy-efficient buildings, focusing on indoor air quality, visual comfort, daylighting, and more. You will also explore the fundamentals of solar energy, energy-efficient equipment, smart buildings, and energy modeling.
3. University of Utah
4 Year; Salt Lake City, UT
Average Annual Cost: $13,572
The College of Architecture and Planning is a fantastic school of thought available through the University of Utah. Students will unlock revolutionary curriculums customized to teach them about design, architecture, and planning while maintaining ethics and problem-solving skills.
Its website claims that approximately 97% of graduates find careers upon graduation. This number speaks to the quality of education you will receive to make you a competitive employee.
At this school, there are three primary avenues of study you can explore: architecture, planning, and design.
As an architecture student, you will explore the fundamentals of designing and constructing buildings. You’ll also consider the physical and emotional health of communities and individuals living in the dwellings.
During your coursework, you’ll find much of it is directed toward modernized, technical, and graphic design. You’ll also focus a lot on structural design, site design, and sustainability.
If there is one thing to be said about the University of Utah’s architecture program, it’s that it is entirely future-proofed.
4. University of Houston
4 Year; Houston, TX
Average Annual Cost: $13,721
The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture + Design is the school of thought available to University of Houston architecture students. Like many other programs on this list, this architecture program is designed to offer students a modern and adaptable career.
There are both undergraduate and graduate programs available, as well as research opportunities for students. As an undergraduate student, you can choose to take one of four majors:
- Bachelor of Architecture
- Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture
- Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design
- Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design
Graduate students can choose from the following programs:
- Master of Architecture
- Master of Arts in Architectural Studies
- Master of Science in Architecture
- Master of Science in Industrial Design
As you can tell, the University of Houston has some of the most diverse degree options available to prospective students.
Depending on the specialty you choose, you’ll need approximately 160 semester credit hours, which consist of general electives and core curriculum courses. Students can expect to study for at least five years to obtain their undergraduate Bachelor of Architecture.
What makes this program unique is the faculty members who teach the curriculum, many of whom have won awards for their accomplishments. You’ll also get plenty of real-world experience with “Jury Week.”
Jury Week occurs at the end of each semester. Architecture students present their portfolios to a panel of expert architects. Using the information from these panels, they can improve and refine their design skills, opening the door to many fantastic future opportunities.
5. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
4 Year; Denver, CO
Average Annual Cost: $14,470
The architecture program at the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus is remarkable.
Students will become a part of the College of Architecture and Planning, offering a variety of accredited degrees in landscape architecture, urban planning, and standard architecture.
You can also explore interdisciplinary doctorate and master’s degree programs with specializations in urban design and historic preservation.
During your studies, you will come across several additional certificate opportunities, including:
- Geographic Information Systems
- Design Build
- Classical Architecture
- Interior Design
- Integrated Construction Management and Leadership
As an undergraduate architecture student, you will be working towards a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. It features a unique curriculum that combines critical thinking with creative solutions, offering in-class and hands-on instruction.
Each student will be expected to apply their fundamental skills to designing cities, buildings, and neighborhoods. One of the more unique aspects of this program occurs right before your final two semesters.
At this point, you can choose to move to an Architectural Design learning pathway or remain on the Architectural Studies pathway. You can then decide to move on to obtain a Master of Architecture if you desire.
6. The University of Texas at Arlington
4 Year; Arlington, TX
Average Annual Cost: $15,509
The University of Texas at Arlington’s architecture program is a blend of architectural and human history, building, and community.
With this program, students can expect to find gainful employment in architectural and interior design companies upon graduation. You’ll also have a much deeper understanding of architecture and how it can affect the human condition.
This program has served over 130 architecture and interior design students, providing over 63 individual research and design rewards for more than 10 years. It’s an incredibly competitive program, making it one of the best options nationwide.
With enrollment, students can opt to receive one of the following undergraduate or graduate degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Architecture
- Bachelor of Science in Interior Design
- Master of Architecture
- Master of Science in Sustainable Building Technology
When pursuing your undergraduate architecture degree, you will attend classes for four years before moving on to a graduate program. Students will explore an assortment of lectures and design courses taken throughout their enrollment, giving them hands-on, real-world experience.
7. Iowa State University
4 Year; Ames, IA
Average Annual Cost: $16,002
Iowa State University has many options for students interested in pursuing a career in architecture. You can obtain different types of degrees, attend masterclasses to develop your existing professional skills, and participate in public programs.
Along with being able to study on-campus, the school has several study-abroad opportunities within the Department of Architecture. Currently, there are three degrees available to students:
- Bachelor of Architecture
- Master of Architecture
- Master of Science in Architecture
Students pursuing their undergraduate degrees will explore the fundamentals of building for public, private, and institutional purposes. The program is five years, allowing you to study creative and innovative solutions to dealing with spatial challenges.
After your undergraduate, you can choose to take a one-year research master’s program, obtain numerous internship hours, and explore an assortment of fantastic minors.
8. Texas Tech University
4 Year; Lubbock, TX
Average Annual Cost: $16,194
As one of the best colleges in Texas, the Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture is designed similarly to many other programs in the United States.
Students will find a collection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs revolving around architecture and public planning. You’ll also find a collection of certificates, ideal for furthering your professional skills and keeping your experience up to date.
There are two primary options for undergraduate Texas Tech University students. You can opt to earn a Bachelor of Science in Architecture or take a dual degree program that gives you a BS Arch/BBA or BS Arch/BA CE.
In these programs, you will be able to explore the fundamentals of architecture, the building industry, and several other related fields.
Alternatively, undergraduate certificate options are available to students working toward their Bachelor of Science in Architecture. You can take these certificate programs to explore specialties, allowing you to narrow your focus on a customized specialization.
It can be a fantastic opportunity if you know what type of employment you’ll be seeking after graduation.
9. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
4 Year; Raleigh, NC
Average Annual Cost: $16,411
North Carolina State University at Raleigh’s School of Architecture is open to undergraduate and graduate students. The curriculum is a fantastic blend of contemporary problem-solving while working towards building a better world.
Students in the architecture program participate in a rigorous education, preparing them for professional opportunities while mastering a self-directed approach to research.
They will find numerous paths to acquiring professional degrees, from certificates and concentrations to a Master of Advanced Architectural Studies.
Undergraduate students have two degree options. They can either pursue a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture or a one-year Bachelor of Architecture. However, the Bachelor of Architecture program is available to students who have already completed a four-year degree in architecture.
In this program, you’ll acquire education with an emphasis on theory, history, urbanism, environmental systems, and more. You’ll work alongside faculty members, developing a thesis project that addresses critical and current issues in architecture.
10. North Dakota State University-Main Campus
4 Year; Fargo, ND
Average Annual Cost: $16,998
The final top-ranked program architecture students must consider is the program at North Dakota State University-Main Campus. As a part of the School of Design, Architecture, and Art, architecture students will obtain a one-of-a-kind education to propel their future careers.
Students can choose between an architecture learning pathway or a landscape architecture program.
In standard architecture, you will explore ways to make a lasting contribution to human environments. You’ll learn in state-of-the-art facilities and design studios, helping you develop professional architectural inspiration.
Students will learn the fundamentals of architecture while exploring modeling technologies through hands-on projects. If you’re searching for a program to help you develop into a creative leader in architectural firms, this is one of the top programs to consider.
Sign Up for the Best Architecture Program Today!
If the best architecture schools are what you’re looking for, it’s best to start preparing your enrollment ASAP. Each of the 10 programs we reviewed in this guide is highly competitive, offering top-tier learning experiences to students.
If you want to learn alongside the nation’s best and from top faculty members, it’s time to get your name in the running today.