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5 Year Architecture Programs

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Team College Learners

Our 5 year architecture programs are designed for people who want to start a career in architecture. Our students get an opportunity to explore multiple areas of building design, and they graduate with a broader understanding of the profession-and greater potential for career growth.

Obtaining a degree in architecture is a lengthy process that requires dedication and hard work. From earning an undergraduate degree to gaining practical work experience and finally obtaining an architecture license, the journey to becoming a licensed architect can take several years. It is important for aspiring architects to understand the timeline and requirements involved in order to plan their academic and professional goals effectively.

Admission requirements for undergraduate architecture programs typically include a high school diploma or equivalent, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a portfolio showcasing the applicant’s creativity and design skills. Some programs may also require standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT. Additionally, meeting a minimum GPA requirement and completing specific prerequisite courses in math, science, and art may be necessary for admission to some architecture programs.

When applying to a university for an undergraduate architecture program, prospective students should carefully review the institution’s specific admission requirements and deadlines. It is important to submit a complete application, including all required documents and materials, in a timely manner. Admissions decisions are typically based on the applicant’s academic background, artistic abilities, and potential for success in the field of architecture. By planning ahead and meeting all admission requirements, aspiring architects can increase their chances of being accepted into their desired program and starting their journey towards a career in architecture.

List of Top 5 Year Architecture Programs

Typically, an undergraduate architecture degree takes three to four years to complete. After graduating, you will be expected to do one year of practical work experience before studying architecture at postgraduate level. This will generally take two years to complete, followed by another year of work experience. In theory, an individual may earn a U.S. architecture license in under eight years, with a five year B. Arch and three years of AXP (an internship program which can begin during school), given a quick completion of exams (ARE). It can take a bit longer for architects who earn a M. Arch or D.



Top 10 5 Year Bachelor of Architecture Programs




RankUniversityLocationCurriculumPerks
1Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art and PlanningIthaca, NYYour first three years will follow a core curriculum to help you build a foundation in the history, technology, theory, and practice of architecture. Your final two years will be much more rigorous and focus on a specialized course of study.Students spend one semester of their third year in Rome and also have the opportunity to study at the Architecture, Art and Planning’s New York City Program.
2Rhode Island School of Design, Department of ArchitectureProvidence, RIThis is a five year program, starting with a foundational year, a summer internship program after the third, and culminating in an intensive investigation and analysis into building systems in their fifth and final year.You are part of a huge, creative community, surrounded by other passionate students in the fine arts and design.
3Rice University, School of ArchitectureHouston, TXTo achieve the B.Arch degree, students complete four years of undergraduate study and then an accompanying two years, including one of the renowned preceptorship they offer as a desired component of the program.Rice Architecture Paris is a coveted semester-long program for students to immerse themselves in French architecture with instruction from international experts.
4Cooper Union, The Irwin S. Chanin School of ArchitectureNew York, NYThe first four years build from foundational overview to the history of architecture, to studio and design and professional knowledge. The fifth year focuses on the individual thesis project.Your classrooms are in a National Historic Landmark, The Foundation Building, allowing students to study in a national historic landmark every day.
5Syracuse University, School of ArchitectureSyracuse, NYThe five year program is broken down by year with a focus on various design assignments. The last year consists of specialized design research projects.The stability and consistency of this program is one of the best in the country, with high quality resources in their buildings and labs.
6Virginia Tech, School of Architecture and DesignBlacksburg, VAYear 1 is the Foundation Program. Years 2 and 3 are Core Professional Programs which focus on fundamental building design principles. Year 4 and 5 are Advanced Professional Studies, with opportunities for study abroad and a required thesis in the final year.Several options for off-campus experiences including Study Abroad Programs, Internships, and Studio Programs.
7Pratt Institute, School of ArchitectureNew York, NYThe five-year program offers a thorough foundation in architecture integrating critical thinking, design, technology, building, sustainability, and social responsibility.With campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, students have access to top architecture and lecturers in the heart of New York City.
8California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, College of Architecture and Environmental DesignSan Luis Obispo, CAA lab-oriented program with an emphasis on design and technology. Students have the opportunity to study off-campus in the fourth year and complete a year-long project in the final year.A focus on hands-on and project-based learning with a co-op program and significant off-campus opportunities.
9University of Texas, Austin, School of ArchitectureAustin, TXA five-year professional degree featuring a design-oriented curriculum with a strong foundation in technology and architectural history.Study abroad opportunities ranging from short trips to semester-long stays in Europe.
10Southern California Institute of ArchitectureLos Angeles, CAA five-year program centered around the design studio with a focus on developing skills for future careers.One of the few independent architecture schools in the world providing a non-traditional approach to the field.

5 year architecture programs

Bachelor degrees typically take between three to six years to complete. The coursework may sometimes be taken in conjunction with other degrees, enabling students to earn dual certifications in less time.

What is a Bachelor in Architecture Studies? Through intensive surveys of mathematics, physics, and architectural design, students in these degree programs learn how to craft, research, and modify different components of the architectural world. Technology is heavily emphasized and students may spend significant portions of their degree programs learning how to navigate and create representational models of their designs using industry-standard graphic software. In addition to contemporary architecture, students typically study historical practices and styles from different corners of the world while developing their own architectural techniques and vision.

Architectural studies can imbue learners with superior analytical abilities, structural knowledge as it relates to architecture, and software-specific training with computer-aided design programs. These skills put graduates at the front lines of career opportunities and may lead to faster professional advancement.

Various costs, such as that of tuition and laboratory fees, may change frequently and vary between institutions. Students are encouraged to contact their desired universities planning offices for budget information and guidance.

Potential jobs for students with a Bachelor in Architecture Studies are available in a wide swath of industries where construction and expansion are constant. With their technical training and intense studies, graduates of this degree can qualify for positions as internship-level architects, project managers, architectural designers, and CAD specialists. Students may work at engineering and architectural firms or as freelancers, or find opportunities within larger organizations seeking to expand their business to new territories.  Most regions require additional certifications to work directly as architects, but students with this degree can often complete those certifications with an additional one to two years of study.

Some online programs can enable students to complete all or significant portions of their Bachelor in Architecture Studies from the comforts of their own home. Search for your program below and contact directly the admission office of the school of your choice by filling in the lead form.

Master of Architecture (Track I: 5+ Year Program)

The Master of Architecture is an NAAB-accredited professional degree program and is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture. Graduates of this program who complete a recognized internship program (such as the Architectural Experience Program) and successfully complete the Architectural Registration Examination are able to become licensed architects.

Track I is designed for students entering from high school or transferring from another undergraduate program. The curriculum is designed so as to be completed within 5 calendar years, but to do so demands sustained concentration and focus. 

The 180 credit curriculum is divided into three segments: Foundations, Core and Professional Options.

The Foundations segment involves two foundation design studios and an introductory lecture courses examining the discipline of architecture. A unique aspect of our program is that immediately upon commencing their studies at KU, first year students enter into architecture-specific design studios and are immediately ensconced in the program’s culture.

The Core is a six-semester sequence that addresses the wide range of skills and understanding required for the practice of architecture, including history and theory, technology, professional practice, and integrating this knowledge within design projects of increasing scale and complexity. The core culminates in a comprehensive studio experience in which students demonstrate their readiness to enter the profession of architecture.

Professional Options. The architecture profession has become an extremely diverse field. Seeking to provide our students the greatest opportunity within that diversity, the final year of the curriculum allows a student to explore a more-focused professional option of their choosing. This experience allows students to craft an area of specialization or a domain of architecture that may otherwise be addressed superficially within a professional curriculum. Currently students are investigating design-build processes, researching sustainable design practices, pursuing healthcare and urban design as areas of specialization and engaging in service-learning opportunities around the globe.

Within the 180 credits required to graduate, students will also have a study abroad experience and complete coursework in a variety of other academic disciplines. Students will be exposed to the social sciences, the physical sciences, the humanities and the arts. Study abroad options currently include spending a semester in Denmark, Germany, England, or Australia, travel to Southeasat Asia or Europe, a technology or working in an international architecture office in Paris.

Professional Registration and Licensing

Although state laws vary, professional registration as an architect in Kansas involves completion of three aspects: receiving an accredited professional degree (such as the M.Arch.), completion of internship requirements (for information on the Architectural Experience Program, see www.ncarb.org) and successful completion of all sections of the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE). Upon successful completion of these three aspects, the applicant may use the title “architect” and may practice as an architect, either as an individual or as a licensed professional in an office performing professional services.

The Top 10 Bachelor of Architecture Programs in the US

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjt5p56Bcp4

The road to a career as a licensed architect begins with getting a degree. And most state licensing boards require you to get a degree from a school accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Determining the school where you mold the kind of professional you’ll be can be daunting. Luckily, DesignIntelligence ranks the top schools every year, and we’ve broken down the top 10 from 2019-2020 to help you map out your future. One of the most important qualifiers, as we mentioned, is that you ensure your school is NAAB accredited. Rest assured that all of these institutions check that box. We’ve outlined their B.Arch programs to ensure you know what lies ahead to get a professional degree, and can get one step closer to becoming an architect.

  1. Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art and Planning

Location: Ithaca, NY

Curriculum: Your first three years will follow a core curriculum to help you build a foundation in the history, technology, theory, and practice of architecture. Your final two years will be much more rigorous and focus on a specialized course of study.

Perks: Students spend one semester of their third year in Rome and also have the opportunity to study at the Architecture, Art and Planning’s New York City Program.

  1. Rhode Island School of Design, Department of Architecture

Location: Providence, RI

Curriculum: This is a five year program, starting with a foundational year, a summer internship program after the third, and culminating in an intensive investigation and analysis into building systems in their fifth and final year.

Perks: You are part of a huge, creative community, surrounded by other passionate students in the fine arts and design.

  1. Rice University, School of Architecture

Location: Houston, TX

Curriculum: To achieve the B.Arch degree, students complete four years of undergraduate study and then an accompanying two years, including one of the renowned preceptorship they offer as a desired component of the program.

Perks: Rice Architecture Paris is a coveted semester-long program for students to immerse themselves in French architecture with instruction from international experts.

  1. Cooper Union, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture

Location: New York, NY

Curriculum: The first four years build from foundational overview to the history of architecture, to studio and design and professional knowledge. The fifth year focuses on the individual thesis project.

Perks: Your classrooms are in a National Historic Landmark, The Foundation Building, so while many programs require their students to venture off campus to admire some of the nation’s best architecture, you can study in it every day.

  1. Syracuse University, School of Architecture

Location: Syracuse, NY

Curriculum: The five year program is broken down by year. The first year introduces students to new ways of seeing and responding to the built environment, and the second year moves into more developed representational techniques and design theory. The third year students are introduced to larger more complex design assignments that address a range of urban environments and related challenges. In the fourth year, students can enroll in advanced studio that feature prominent architects around the world, and it’s worth noting that in both the third and fourth years students can expand their education in off-campus programs. The fifth and last year students work with faculty on specialized design research projects.

Perks: Having been around for 150 years and making this top 10 list multiple times, the stability and consistency of this program is one of the best in the country. High quality resources in their buildings and labs make the design studio-focused school a preeminent place.

  1. Virginia Tech, School of Architecture and Design

Location: Blacksburg, VA

Curriculum: Year 1 is the Foundation Program. Years 2 and 3 are Core Professional Programs which focus on fundamental building design principles. Year 4 and 5 are Advanced Professional Studies, where students can study abroad in their fourth year, and are required to complete a thesis in their fifth.

Perks: There are several options for how to spend your fourth year off campus – Study Abroad Programs with traveling and residency paths, Internships, Studio Programs and the opportunity to study at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center with international staff and students.

  1. Pratt Institute, School of Architecture

Location: New York, NY

Curriculum: The five-year program offers a thorough foundation in architecture integrating critical thinking, design, technology, building, representation, sustainability, and social responsibility with the intent to make graduates the leading professional practitioners.

Perks: With campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, students have some of the best architecture and lecturers at their fingertips in the heart of New York City.

  1. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

Curriculum: This is a lab-oriented program with a good balance of design and technology. In your fourth year you have the opportunity to study off-campus. During your final year, each student focuses on a year-long project where you will showcase your research and design through a final exhibit at the culmination of the year and program.

Perks: The program is centered around the intersection of art and science and this has been their approach for 45 years. There is a big emphasis on learning by doing with many hands-on and project-based learning opportunities. They also have a co-op program starting in your second year, as well as the aforementioned off-campus learning opportunity in your fourth year.

  1. University of Texas, Austin, School of Architecture

Location: Austin, TX

Curriculum: A five-year professional degree, the Bachelor of Architecture features a rigorous design-oriented curriculum with a solid foundation in technology and the history of architecture.

Perks: More study abroad opportunities here, with programs ranging from nine day intensive trips in Mexico to semester-long stays in Europe.

  1. Southern California Institute of Architecture

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Curriculum: A five year program, the curriculum is centered around the design studio, where students learn a multitude of relevant skills to utilize in their careers.

Perks: Founded in 1972, SCI-Arc remains one of the few independent architecture schools in the world. If you’re looking for a non-traditional approach to the field, this school is for you.

20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Architecture

Human beings have always needed shelter –thus was born the architect! Architects design structures and buildings where the rest of us live our daily lives, care for our families, ply our trades, and enjoy the fruits of our culture. They are essential! A bachelor’s degree in architecture can open up several related careers to individuals that are not only rewarding but also lucrative. Most states require a graduate degree to become a licensed architect, but a Bachelor of Architecture, which is a professional degree, can prepare individuals for entry-level jobs in most firms.

Other degrees in the field, like a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Architecture or Architectural Studies, can also open up possibilities for careers in interior design, furniture making, building surveyor, preservation and conservation, or landscape architecture. The good news is that occupations in architecture or closely-related engineering positions are expected to grow by about the average of all occupations. However, these jobs often pay twice as much as the average. According to the Department of Labor, the average median pay for an architect in 2018 was $79,380, which is significantly higher than the average for all occupations. So if you have always liked to build and design, and you want to work with the latest technologies, then consider a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. We can help you decide where to fulfill your educational dreams!

Methodology
Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the [title of article], from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:

25% Student Satisfaction
30% Earning Potential
15% Retention Data
20% Affordability
10% Acceptance Rates
For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.

best 5 year architecture programs

Here’s our list of the 11 best architecture schools in the US for undergrads. Exact ranking is always a bit subjective, so look at this list as more of a trend from the very best colleges with architecture majors to those that are still really good, rather than trying to figure out why #2 is ranked higher than #3.

All of these programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

1: Cornell University — Ithaca, NY

Cornell’s architecture program is one of the oldest in the United States, which means it has a large network of alumni and research that students can make use of. Well-known architects who graduated from Cornell include Richard Meier, who designed the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and Peter Eisenman, who founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City.

Academically, Cornell’s architecture students follow the same core architecture curriculum for the first three years, which gives students the comprehensive knowledge they need while still allowing them to take elective courses from across the university.

In their final two years, students concentrate on one of five areas of study: Architecture, Culture, and Society; Architectural Science and Technology; History of Architecture; Architectural Analysis; and Visual Representation in Architecture.

The architecture program at Cornell gives students the chance to work and/or study in the program’s NYC and Rome locations in addition to the school’s main campus in Ithaca, New York. Because of the architecture program’s reputation as a top school, students graduating from the program are often in high demand, especially for jobs in New York City, where the school has numerous connections.

2: Rice University — Houston, TX

Rice is well-known for its top-notch architecture programs, and with a student-to-faculty ratio of 5:1, you’re guaranteed personal attention during your studies.

Architecture undergrads at Rice enroll in a six-year program. The first four years are spent getting a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree. This is a liberal arts degree, and it gives you the opportunity to take classes in a variety of subjects during your first four years. This is great if you want to combine your architecture study with another area, and Rice encourages this with a lot of interdisciplinary study. The architecture school works closely with many other schools and departments at Rice, including business, engineering, and environmental science.

After four years, you’ll spend another two years studying architecture exclusively, at the end of which you’ll receive a second degree, a Bachelor of Architecture, which allows you to work as an architect. Students spend one year of this program as paid employees at architecture firms around the world, which is a fantastic way to get experience and make professional connections.

3: Syracuse University — Syracuse, NY

Syracuse was the first school in the country to offer a Bachelor of Architecture degree, and since then it has established itself as a top architecture school. Due to its reputation, Syracuse’s School of Architecture is able to get many well-known architects to give lectures at the school and is renowned for its exemplary faculty.

Although located in upstate New York, the School of Architecture has several working and teaching spaces in New York City for students to study the architecture of America’s largest city. There’s also a strong study abroad program, and most students spend at least a semester studying at Syracuse’s centers in Florence or London.

4: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo — San Luis Obispo, CA

Cal Poly’s Architecture Department has multiple programs in architecture, so you can focus on a specific area of interest to you. Its architecture department is one of the biggest in the country, and about one in 20 architects in the US (and one in five in California) graduated from Cal Poly, which means there are tons of alumni connections to be had.

That’s especially useful because Cal Poly offers a co-operative learning option for sophomore, junior, and senior students that allows them to earn course credit while working a paid job in an architecture-related field. Additionally, Cal Poly offers students the option to spend part of a year studying in Europe, Asia, or other cities in the United States.

5: University of Notre Dame — Notre Dame, IN

Notre Dame’s School of Architecture emphasizes both classical architecture and urbanism. All architecture students are required to participate in the school’s Rome Studies Program in Rome where undergrads spend a year learning about classical architecture. In fact, Notre Dame is the only school in the United States to require architecture students to spend part of the program abroad, which ensures all students have a more global understanding of architecture.

Notre Dame’s architecture programs are also known for their commitment to fundamentals, so much so that computer-based modeling isn’t introduced until students’ fourth year of study. That’s not to say that the program is stuck in the past: Notre Dame’s architecture school also emphasizes designing new buildings that are sustainable and long-lasting, and will contribute to the livability of an area.

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6: Virginia Tech — Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest architecture schools in the United States. The architecture and urban studies program has more than 2,000 students and offers four bachelor’s degrees, including a BArch. The school’s main campus is in Blacksburg, Virginia, and it also has additional campuses in Alexandria, Virginia, and Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.

In their fourth year, BArch students have opportunities for off-campus study (which can include classes, internships, or a combination of the two). The fifth year is spent doing an independent design investigation, which serves as the basis of the undergrad thesis.

7: Rhode Island School of Design — Providence, RI

RISD is widely considered one of the top design schools in the world, and its architecture program is similarly well regarded. The school approaches architecture from a unique perspective, too.

Because RISD is an internationally renowned fine arts and design school, the architecture department combines a visual and humanities-based education with its professional curriculum. This allows students to approach complex architectural problems with a fresh perspective, and graduates from RISD are well known for their creative problem-solving approaches.

8: Pratt Institute — Brooklyn, NY

The Pratt Institute School of Architecture puts a unique stamp on the Bachelor of Architecture degree through its commitment to exploring technological frontiers. Additionally, Pratt offers a variety of courses for concentrated study.

Its most unique offering is its Morphology concentration, which involves the study of form through a combination of mathematics, computation, fabrication, construction, and emerging technologies (how cool is that?). The Pratt Institute prides itself on combining imagination with an ethical approach to architecture in order to create a new generation of culturally aware, socially responsible architects.

9: University of Texas at Austin — Austin, TX

The School of Architecture at UT Austin has a large number of resources available for students, including the Center for Sustainable Development, which studies the environment, economics, and social issues to better design buildings that are aesthetically pleasing and will have a positive impact on the environment and social equality. There are also libraries, archives, conservation labs, and research spaces on campus for architecture students to use.

UT’s School of Architecture encourages international experiences, and they offer scholarships for some of the many study abroad programs architecture students can participate in. These range from studying historical buildings in Mexico to touring modern infrastructure in Europe. Students must also complete a six-month professional residency to gain work experience before they graduate.

10: University of Southern California ⁠— Los Angeles, CA

Students at USC’s School of Architecture have access to an entire 50,000 square feet of work space, including classrooms, research spaces, galleries, labs, workshops, and design studios. Every architecture student at USC also has 24/7 access to their own personal workstation where they can work on their projects whenever they want.

Many famous architects have graduated from USC, including Frank O. Gehry (whose work included the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao), Boris Dramov (who designed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial), and Paul Revere Williams (who designed the homes of numerous Hollywood celebrities).

11: Cooper Union — New York, NY

Cooper Union has been training the nation’s top architects for more than 150 years, so students can rest assured that they’ll be getting a great education here. Cooper Union does this through specializing in art, architecture, and engineering (like how the Rhode Island School of Design specializes in … well, design).

Because they focus on a narrow set of interrelated disciplines, Cooper Union offers its students a rigorous, in-depth course of study that teaches architecture as a combination of technical skill, cultural awareness, artistry, and technological advancement.

20 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 84.35
Washington University in St. Louis is a private mid-sized research university known for its high-quality faculty and students. The College of Architecture at WUSL offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. The program at WUSL has a long history, going back over 100 years. The BAB degree is designed to be flexible so that students can pursue graduate-level work in the field.

Classes in the program include Designing Creativity: Innovation Across Disciplines, Design as Export, and Visualizing Segregation: A History of St. Louis, Chicago, and New Orleans. Advisor’s work with students to craft an individualized curriculum that will best fit the students’ interests and professional goals.

Net Price: $27,777

19 UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 84.69
The University of Notre Dame is a well-known mid-sized private Roman Catholic research institution of higher education. UND offers a Bachelor of Architecture through the School of Architecture. The program is five years long, and each year is specifically designed to incrementally develop skills and increase student knowledge base.

The program at UND includes three different concentrations which students can choose from Preservation and Restoration, Furniture Design, and Architectural Practice and Enterprise. The School of Architecture has several research areas that faculty and students engage, including Architectural History and Theory, Health and the Built Environment, and Urbanism and Housing.

Net Price: $27,453

18 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 84.71
With one campus that straddles the Mississippi River in Minneapolis and another located in a rustic area of St. Paul, the University of Minnesota is a large public research university. The School of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Science in Architecture for interested individuals. The degree is designed as a pre-professional program which exposes students to both theory and practice.

The program emphasizes design thinking and trains students in design processes and the latest technology used in the industry. Students can take classes like Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context, Design and Representation, and Architecture and Ecology, among many others. Students are also encouraged to get involved in field experiences locally or through travel courses to places like Spain, Italy, Japan, and China.

Net Price: $16,808

Architecture Degrees | Top Universities

17 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 85.98
Located in Boston, MA, Northeastern University has attained the highest classification for research output. Individuals can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the College of Arts, Media, and Design at NU. The program seeks to combine a necessary pre-professional focus, with the more profound skills of creative and critical thinking, to produce graduates who are ready to engage a complex world.

Students are required to participate in two six-month co-ops, where they gain valuable experience working on real-world projects. Studio courses include significant feedback from faculty, other students, and visiting critics. NU also offers a one-year Master of Architecture degree which can be paired with the BSA.

Net Price: $30,784

16 ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 86.10
A small private research university, the Illinois Institute of Technology is located in Chicago, IL, and traces its history back into the 19th century. The College of Architecture at IIT offers a Bachelor of Architecture. The degree requires five years to complete and includes both studio design classes, as well as a rigorous curriculum of theory and history.

Classes in the program include Site Design, Planning, and Ecology, Digital Form Generation, and Digital Fabrication. During the fifth year, students also participate in an Interprofessional Project, which is generally comprised of a team of 10-12 students who work collaboratively on a project. The Architecture program at IIT is at the heart of the institution, so there are numerous co-curricular events, organizations, and other opportunities to enhance the educational experience and prepare graduates to work in the field of architecture.

Net Price: $26,324

15 TULANE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 86.83
Tulane University is a mid-sized private research university located in the beautiful city of New Orleans, LA. The Tulane School of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree. In keeping with industry standards, the degree takes five years to complete. The curriculum is designed to incrementally increase student knowledge and know-how as individuals progress.

Classes in the program include Building, Climate and Comfort, History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism, and Inverting the Iceberg: Ethics, Efficacy, and Architecture in the Globalized Economy. During the fifth year of the program, students develop a thesis through research and studio work. Students can also apply for the Rome Study Abroad Program, which is offered during the spring semester and takes students to one of the most architecturally rich cities in the world.

Net Price: $33,886

14 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES

Website
Score: 86.85
An extensive research institution of higher learning, the University of California-Los Angeles offers over 300 degree programs. Among those offered is a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies which is overseen by the School of Architecture & Urban Design. The program is a two-years in duration and generally begins during the Junior year.

The curriculum has courses in three primary areas: Technology, Design, and Critical Studies. Classes including Modernism and Metropolis, Introduction to Sustainable Architecture and Community Planning, and Domestic Architecture: Critical History. UCLA offers outstanding facilities, including the Arts Library and a state of the art Fabrication Shop.

Net Price: $14,760

13 COOPER UNION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE AND ART

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 87.74
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art was founded to provide the best education in art, engineering, and architecture to qualified students for free. Though they currently charge tuition (tuition-free undergraduate programs are supposed to be reinstated in 2028), they continue to offer a cutting edge Bachelor of Architecture.

The five-year degree program includes classes like The Modern Context: Figures and Topics, Introduction to Urban History and Theories, and Texts and Contexts: Old Worlds and New, as well as numerous studio and fabrication classes. CU offers several scholarships and fellowship opportunities for qualified students. Admission is competitive, and students also have a Studio Test as part of the application process.

Net Price: $28,494

12 GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 88.54
Located near Midtown Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a large public research university. The GIT School of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. The program brings together coursework and studio education in design, history, theory, fabrication, and technology. The SA program features Incubator Workshops for students at every stage, which allows students to think creatively about design problems.

Classes in the program include Architecture, Space and Culture: Architecture and Language; Syntaxes of Inhabited Space, Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Communities, Computational Making: Inquiry, Theory and Applications. A significant number of GIT students take courses abroad. The SA offers programs in Greece-Italy, and South Africa-Ghana where students not only study architecture but also get to tackle real-world problems in the field.

Net Price: $15,873

11 RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 89.02
One of the most highly ranked schools for art and design, the Rhode Island School of Design is a small private art and design college located in Providence, RI. RISD offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture. This is a professional degree and prepares individuals to enter the industry and to pursue the additional graduate coursework needed to become a licensed architect.

The curriculum is progressive, with courses building on each other. Classes included in the program include Theory and History of Art and Design, The Making of Design Principles, and Integrated Building Systems. During the final year of the program, students work on a unique project which offers a capstone experience, preparing students for the profession. Applicants must submit a portfolio as well as complete an assignment developed by the program directors.

Net Price: $39,777

10 RICE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 90.75
Rice University is a small private research university located close to the Houston Museum District. The RU School of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree. The degree is six years and includes two degrees in one, both a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, as well as the BA degree.

The last two years in the program consists of participation in the Preceptorship program where students are placed in critical architectural offices or firms around the world, gaining invaluable experience in the field. Students have been placed with leading firms in New York, London, San Francisco, Genoa, and Boston, among many other places.

Net Price: $24,131

9 CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 91.14
Initially founded in 1900 by industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University is a mid-sized private research university located in Pittsburgh, PA. CMU offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree which is designed as a first professional degree. The program takes five years to complete and prepares students to pursue graduate-level work, which is required for licensure.

The first three years of the program is mapped out by the School of Architecture, while the final two years are highly flexible so that students can forge their pathways into the field. This works through the Advanced Synthesis Option Studio, where students can explore unique areas in architecture like robotics, sustainability, urban design, and computation.

Net Price: $29,817

8 SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

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Score: 92.63
Located in Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University is a mid-sized private research university which was initially founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church. The SU School of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree. The five-year program immerses students in theory, history, technology, design, and the technical skills needed to excel in the industry.

One of the great strengths of the program is the ability to study abroad in different settings. The SA has full-time faculty located in Florence, New York, and London where students can study for up to two semesters if they choose. Shorter-term possibilities also exist in places like Japan, China, Turkey, and India. World-renowned architects are also regularly brought to campus in Syracuse to give lectures, giving students unparalleled access to leading practitioners.

Net Price: $35,306

7 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ARCHITECTURE

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Score: 92.72
Conceived, designed, and founded by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia is a mid-sized public research university. UV offers a Bachelor of Science in Architecture through the School of Architecture. This is a four-year pre-professional degree program and introduces students to design thinking, critical theory, and the design process.

The program includes two concentrations: Pre-Professional and Architectural Design Thinking. The Pre-Professional track requires more studio courses. In both cases, during their second year, students begin taking studio courses, which culminates in the final year in the Independent Design Research Studio, where they work on an original project for a full semester.

Net Price: $16,594

6 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

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Score: 93
The University of Southern California is a well-known and highly respected sizeable private research university located in Los Angeles, CA. The USC School of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree. The program at USC is designed as a professional degree and is five years in duration.

The first three years are dedicated to grounding students in the broader theory and practice of the discipline. During this time, students take classes like World History of Architecture and Building Structures and Seismic Design. During the last two years, students explore their areas of interest, which culminates in a final project.

Net Price: $32,892

5 VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

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Score: 95.76
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech, is a large public research university located in Blacksburg, VA. The School of Architecture & Design at VT offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree. During the first-year students in the program progress through a common foundations program with students in other majors like Industrial Design, and Landscape Architecture.

After the first year, students take the Summer Qualifying Design Laboratory, which enables them to transfer into the program. Students take classes like History of Architecture, The Art of Building, and Basic Principles of Structures. In the fourth year, students can take advantage of one of many off-campus study options in places like Chicago or Switzerland, or pursue a professional internship. The fifth-year rounds out the degree and is dedicated primarily to the research thesis project.

Net Price: $18,700

4 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ARCHITECTURE

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Score: 96.04
With over 300 graduate and undergraduate areas of study, the University of California-Berkeley is one of the largest public research universities in the state. UCB offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture through the College of Environmental Design. The program is a four-year pre-professional degree qualifying individuals for entry-level positions in the field.

Students take classes like An Historical Survey of Architecture and Urbanism, Fundamentals of Architectural Design, and Energy and Environment. During their Junior year enrolled students choose between the Design Research Track or the Studio Track, which they will follow during their senior year. The DRT offers the opportunity for students to engage a specific theme in the discipline, while the ST is studio intensive, focusing on design and fabrication.

Net Price: $18,178

3 CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY-SAN LUIS OBISPO

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

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Score: 96.14
One of two polytechnical schools in the state university system, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is a mid-sized public university. CPSU offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree through the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. The program is recognized by the National Architecture Accrediting Board and is a five-year first professional degree.

CPSU emphasizes the motto “learn by doing,” the BA program embodies this philosophy with rigorous training in the classroom, studio, and field. In addition to various unique and innovative classes, students can also pursue off-campus study during their fourth year in places like Florence, Italy, Copenhagen, Denmark, and San Francisco.

Net Price: $19,002

2 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 98.38
The University of Texas at Austin is considered a Public Ivy because of the high level of research output from faculty and students. UT offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree through the School of Architecture. The degree is a five-year first professional degree which emphasizes design-thinking, and grounds students in the history, theory, and technology of architectural practice.

Classes in the program include Urban Design History, Theory, and Criticism, American Dream: Status Quo and Alternatives, and Energy Modeling and The Design Process. The SA is widely respected as a major center of intellectual thought, and critical practice. It regularly invites leading voices and practitioners to campus to speak on issues in the discipline through the Lectures and Exhibitions Series.

Net Price: $14,356

1 CORNELL UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

Website
Score: 100
A mid-sized Ivy League research university, Cornell University is located in Ithaca, NY. The Department of Architecture at CU offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree. The program is a five-year professional first degree and qualifies as a STEM program which brings benefits for international students who come to study on an F-1 visa.

The program is built around design-thinking and includes extensive exposure to the history, theory, and technologies used in the field. Students are trained to communicate visually through drawings and models and can choose from five different concentrations, including Visual Representation in Architecture, History of Architecture, and Architecture, Culture, and Society, among others.

Net Price: $31,449

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