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The Best Architecture Colleges in the United States

Higher Education Articles November 2, 2012

We can define architecture as the process of designing structures and buildings functionally and economically to allow humans to attain optimal comfort and enjoyment from them. Colleges offer different levels of architecture degree courses, with post-professional programs offered along with Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture certification programs, these courses run for different lengths of time. In this article, I have listed some of United States’ best architecture colleges that enjoy accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), a prerequisite in most states for architects seeking professional status.

University of Texas in Austin, Texas

At the top of my list would be University of Texas in Austin that has been in business since 1883. The university has more than 51,000 enrolled students and a research-based curriculum. The U.S. News and World Report in its 2011 publication ranked this university 45th in the United States.

The University of Texas at Austin is particularly well-known for its architecture program that include amongst its undergraduate degree courses, a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) program that runs for five years. That apart, the university offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architectural Studies; the program offers a course on Architecture History for students to pursue. There are other degree programs offered at the university, including two types of Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) programs, a dual degree program encompassing B.Arch and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) that run for five years, and  six years dual professional program including B.S. in Architectural Studies and B Arch that runs for six years. The above courses are augmented by interdisciplinary graduate courses, and the related disciplines taught include historic preservation, urban design and sustainable design. The best course offered at the University of Texas is arguably its Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architectural History and Preservation.

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Yale University, in 2011, as number three among the best colleges of the country. Amongst architecture schools, it ranks second only to the University of Texas.

Accredited by the NAAB, Yale School of Architecture has three joint degree programs and several undergraduate and graduate architecture programs.

Like Texas, Yale enjoys accreditation by the NAAB and attracts architecture students with a plethora of graduate and undergraduate programs, including three dual degree programs.

Undergraduate programs include a B.A. in Architecture, graduate courses offered include a Master of Environmental Design, a professional M.Arch, a post-professional M.Arch., and a Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture. A student seeking a master degree program can choose to study architecture with business or environmental studies or environmental design.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The U.S. News & World Report accorded MIT seventh ranked amongst national universities in 2011 while defining it as the best amongst those offering undergraduate engineering courses.

Like Texas and Yale, MIT enjoys accreditation by the NAAB and offers many architecture degree programs – these include an undergraduate program as well as four graduate programs.

A M.S. in Art, Culture and Technology, a M.S. in Building Technology, five types of Master of Science (M.S) in Architecture Studies, and a M.Arch are the graduate programs offered. Students can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in three different fields: building technology, design and computation, and theory and criticism in architecture and art.

There are several prominent architecture colleges in the United States, such as, Cornell University, Princeton University and Columbia University, but the three listed above are arguably the best

Top Architecture Colleges

School Name Location
Columbia University New York, NY
Cornell University Ithaca, NY
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
Princeton University Princeton, NJ
Rice University Houston, TX
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO
Yale University New Haven, CT

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