Affordable Architecture Schools In Europe

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by

It’s pretty much widely known that an architectural education abroad is superior to its domestic counterpart. The best architecture schools across the world vary depending on your personal preferences, but most will agree that a degree earned in Europe is often the most prestigious.

You can study at any university of your choice from anywhere and at your own convenient time. The same goes for international students who wish to enrol in universities abroad. You can study for a degree, diploma or certificate at an affordable price without having to visit the university’s campus. All you need is an internet connection and a confident mind that you can achieve whatever goals you set for yourself. This article will guide you on how to get started with online education and give reasons why it is better than the traditional education system. Collegelearners has the best information on the most affordable schools around the world. We are a team of experts with years of experience in education and we want to share our knowledge with you.

We know that it is difficult to find an affordable school in a foreign country, especially if it’s your first time abroad. That’s why we created this guide, so that you can make an informed decision when choosing what school fits your needs best.

The best thing about the article below is that it gives you top notch information on how to become an architect designer, architectural designer vs architect&architectural designer salary. All you have to do is read ont to find out more.

You will also discover related articles on best architecture universities in europe, architectural designer education requirements, architect salary& architectural designer jobs on collegelearners.

Affordable Architecture Schools In Europe

1. Technical University of Munich

  • Free to: All students

The Technical University of Munich or TUM is one of the free Architecture schools you can study at even if you’re from outside the EEA or EU. It was founded in 1868, providing education in Engineering, Technology, Applied Sciences, and Medicine. The university has around 48,300 students, around 38% of which are international students. Besides its campus in Munich, Germany, the university has 1 offshore campus in Singapore and 5 international offices in China, Brazil, Belgium, India, and the United States.

TUM offers the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture program through the School of Engineering and Design. It takes eight semesters of full-time studies to complete. This program is completely tuition-free for all students, including international students. However, interested applicants must meet the language requirements as this program is only taught in German. Plus, international students must cover other related costs during their stay at the university.

Besides the bachelor’s program, you can also study Architecture at the Master’s level at the Technological University of Munich. This program takes 4 semesters to complete and also requires German language competencies. Some of the areas you can focus on in this program are Integrated Building Technology, Cultural Heritage, History, and Criticism, and Urban Landscape and Transformation. Finally, the university offers doctorate programs that are also tuition-free so graduates can pursue research-driven careers.

2. University of Buenos Aires

  • Free to: All students

The University of Buenos Aires is a government-funded research university where you can study Architecture for free. Built in 1821, the university is among the most prestigious in the country and the Ibero-America. The university has currently 5 Nobel laureates and is one of the top research producers in the world. It’s also among the top 1% of the world universities, according to QS World University Rankings. Since 2011, the university has reached a staggering 300,000 student population across its 13 faculties. Through its Faculty of Architecture, local and international students can enjoy a free and high-quality education at the undergraduate level. To be admitted to the university, you only need to meet specific requirements, such as completing secondary-level studies. There is also no entrance examination unless the applicant is over 25 years old and has no certificate of secondary-level education.

After completing the admission process, you can start your five-year education at the University of Buenos Aires. Besides classroom instruction, the university also provides hands-on training to Architecture students through its curricular program, Assisted Professional Practices. Under this program, students have internship opportunities at architecture studios, municipalities, engineering studios, and civil society organizations.

3. University of Brasilia

  • Free to: All students

The University of Brasilia is among the institutions that offer free tertiary-level education to local and international students in Brazil. Built in 1962, the university has more than 20 colleges and institutes, and is home to more than 47,000 students. There is around 3,000 academic and non-academic staff at the university as well. The university has four campuses across the country. Among its more than 300 degree programs is the Bachelor’s in Architecture and Urban Planning.

Just like the University of Buenos Aires, the undergraduate program in Architecture at the University of Brasilia takes 5 years to complete. If you’re looking to work and study in Brazil, you can also choose to take a day or night-time schedule. This free architecture school’s program also consists of various courses, including those that are compulsory and elective. Finally, there are free module disciplines to help you widen your knowledge in other areas and complementary activities, such as internships and congress participation. This program is taught in mostly Portuguese so competency level in this language is a major requirement for admission.

As the university is completely free to all students regardless of nationality, you can both focus on your studies and afford to enjoy Brazil. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, over 2,000 of them, and a mega-diverse nature. As a popular destination for spring breaks and holidays, Brazil also offers unforgettable food and party culture.

4. Autonomous University of Chiriqui

  • Free to: All students enrolled in undergraduate programs

The Autonomous University of Chiriqui is among the places you can pursue Architecture education for free. It is located in Panama, between Central and South America, and was built in 1995. It has more than 14,000 students and offers more than 50 programs. There are 10 faculties in the university, with the undergraduate program in Architecture being offered at the Faculty of Architecture.

Besides the free tuition, there are also no admission fees to join the undergraduate Architecture program at the Autonomous University of Chiriqui. You only have to pay minimal fees for the Vocational Psychological test and the English seminar. Note that classes at the university are mostly taught in Spanish so you’ll also need to meet some level of competency there.

5. Technical University of Crete

  • Free to: All students

The Technical University of Crete is one of the free architecture schools with no tuition. This Greek state university was built in 1977 and started accepting students in 1984. Since then, it has built over 70 facilities and laboratories and become one of the most extinguished institutions in the country. By 2019, the university has reported having more than 6,400 students, more than half of which are at the undergraduate level.

The university offers a five-year undergraduate Architecture program through its School of Architecture. Here, students learn through lectures, tutorials, laboratory exercises, workshops, and seminars. Students are also required to complete a thesis. The languages of instruction in the undergraduate program are English and Greek.

best architecture universities in europe

  1. The Architectural Association, AA

Founded in 1847, AA is considered to be one of the leading architecture schools worldwide. Located in the UK and receiving an average of 81 students per year, the school encourages students to use their imagination to create innovative work that would “explore the possibility of a future career in architecture or the arts” (Domus 67). Experimentation is used within the different research focuses they offer that become their core curriculum of how students mature within the architecture program. The school provides a wide range of places to go for their exchange program, which gives students an opportunity to study abroad in a different place. AA also has networks of architecture firms that can help students earn experience for internships or jobs after finishing school. Prospective students who wish to apply to this school must select a specific course to see the entry requirements necessary, which can be found on their website.

architecture schools

The architectural Association – Photo by Valerie Bennett

  1. Roma Tre University

Located in the city of Rome, Roma Tre University is an architecture school that focuses on harmonizing the history of the city with current architecture. Since 1992, this young school has gained “an international reputation as being one of the finest in architecture studies” (Domus 101), focusing on three areas: architectural design, urbanism, and restoration. Averaging 230 students per year, admissions requirements are pretty simple to obtain in providing a High School Diploma or an equivalent along with Italian language proficiency. Being a young school, the faculty here at Roma Tre has a huge network of people to contact for exchange programs and providing jobs or internships for students upon graduation.

School of Engineering on the Via Vito Volterra

  1. Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Technion started in 1912 and it is Israel’s oldest architecture school. Located in the city of Haifa*, students are able to study engaging “with the urban structure of the site and the broader context of the city (Domus 59). With a range of programs within the school, the focus is extensive on physically engaging architecture and the city. Admissions for getting into the school is tough, requiring a High School Diploma, being proficient in the Hebrew language, and taking the entrance exams provided by the school. If accepted, averaging an enrollment of 95 per year, students in the architecture program become engaged in an environment that is considered a good place to study and focus. Students also become assistive to one another and this helps bring a positive atmosphere into the program. They also keep “good personal and professional relationships with teachers” (Domus 59), leading towards networks from Israel or abroad to provide opportunities forg future employment. Technion provides a variety of program focuses that allow students to choose what best suits them for their future careers.

Israel Institute of Technology – School of Architecture and Urban Planning

  1. Universidade do Porto

Located in the city of Porto, Portugal, the atmosphere of the city is a great opportunity for students to study architecture in U Porto. Founded in 1979, the school provides a wide variety of programs that use a pedagogy of traditional methods and hand drawing, then moving into a software program, which students begin to use during the third year. Requirements to be admitted are mild, requiring a High School Diploma or an equivalent as well as being proficient in the Portuguese language. On average, U Porto accepts 150 students into the architecture program per year. Within the school, the focus is not “on a particular aspect of architecture, but a little bit of everything” (Domus 97). Upon engaging with the city, students are able to have a better understanding of architecture that will give them a potential opportunity in the future to work at architecture firms that their teachers network and collaborate with.

Photo: Filipa Brito / CMPorto

  1. Technical University Delft

Founded in 1904, TU Delft is considered one of the top architecture schools in Europe due to its Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. Located in the Netherlands, the architecture school receives 450 students in both undergrad and grad levels on average per year. The programs within the school vary from urbanism to building sciences, allowing students to narrow their focuses on particular studies. To be admitted as an undergrad, prospective students must turn in a High School Diploma or an equivalent and be proficient in Dutch and English. There are several exchange programs that students can experience, but the architecture school is best known for studying urbanism. With the prestigious urban condition the Netherlands has for extreme density, the country is “very experimental” (Domus 47) in the focus of urban planning and “heavily engaging in the country” (Domus 47). Professors within the school provide strong networks for students to create personal and professional connections that would potentially commute future jobs.

Technical University Delft

  1. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Within the city of Madrid, Spain, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid is known to be a prestigious school, where “many of Spain’s finest architects have studied and taught at ETSAM” (Domus 76). Founded in 1848, the architecture schools enroll an average of 3,900 out of 5,000 students per year. Being a big school, students say that it takes time to utilize tools that can help with projects, and for this reason, it is highly competitive. But this helps students to prepare for the real world afterward. Most of the faculty are well-known architects, so students have a bit of a struggle to make relationships with their professors. There are several exchange programs that students can participate in to gain experience, though the curriculum structure of the school has such high expectations from students, they feel better prepared during their classes. “The school does not actively promote professional network[ing]” (Domus 77), so students must take the initiative to create relationships to ensure future jobs.

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

  1. Politecnico di Torino

At Politecnico di Torino, about 630 students are enrolled within the school of architecture every year. Founded in 1925, the school provides a major focus on the “relation between architecture and context” (Domus 109**), encouraging students to make choices that would create a course of studies that will specialize on topics of their interests while still focusing on the overall view of architecture. Requirements to enroll are having a High School Diploma or an equivalent and taking the admissions test necessary for the program. As undergrads, students are limited to employment opportunities, until entering the master’s degree program, at the diverse architecture firms the school offers. Students, however, have a great opportunity to try the exchange programs offered to experience and promote student interactions amongst each other.

  1. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, DARCH

One of the leading architecture schools in the world, the school prepares students in “technology and building construction techniques” (Domus 121) as well as being one of the best in “high-profile history and theory” (Domus 121). Enrolling about 1,060 students a year, some students feel that the school does not create personal experiences due to the large student body. But the undergrad program follows a curriculum structure that allows students to acquire experiences of practice within architecture firms and exchange programs. The master programs available are rigorous but are considered “some of the most well respected in the world” (Domus 121). Admission requirements for undergrad studies are to have a High School Diploma or an equivalent, take the entrance examination, and have high-level German language proficiency.

  1. Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

The School of Architecture became part of The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, which has helped students to have more diversity within the courses they take. Founded in 1754, the school has a wide selection of programs to choose from, though the requirements to apply are a bit demanding regarding having proficiency in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish language as well as a high school degree or an equivalent. With the school of architecture combined into one school with all the other arts, students who are enrolled in the program average about 1,050 out of 1,700 students per year. In addition, the school has a broad range of areas for students to choose from as part of their studies, including sustainability, urban planning, advanced digital design, and construction. Students also benefit from the diverse exchange programs and architecture firms the school is in contact with.

10. The Bartlett School of Architecture

Located in Central London and founded in 1841, the School of Architecture has “historically been one of the most prominent architecture schools in Europe” (Domus 69). About 200 students enroll in the architecture program, becoming educated in an atmosphere full of experimental and theoretical research. With its use of the unit system, students are able to specialize and study particular areas of interest within all the interdisciplinary studies the school has available. Bartlett School of Architecture also allows great collaboration and networking with architecture firms within the city. To be admitted into the school a prospective student must have a high school diploma or an equivalent and English language proficiency.

About Architectural Designer Salary

An architectural designer is an artist who works with the client to design both the exterior and interior of buildings. Architectural designers design commercial and industrial buildings, as well as buildings intended for private use. Among the things an architectural designer does are:

Consult with the client to discuss and finalize the plan.
Assist the client in finding the best contractor.
Direct the preparation of blueprints, drawings and specifications.
Determine and document design, materials, colors, equipment and cost estimates.
Monitor the construction work to ensure compliance with the original plan [source: NYCareerzone].
Here’s how to become an architectural designer:

Earn a bachelor’s of arts degree.
Apply to architectural schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
Earn a master’s degree in architecture.
Learn and become proficient in Computer Aided Design (CAD).
Find out if you require any additional training in the field.
Apply for an internship after graduating. Every state requires an internship of at least three years.
Get licensed. This will entail taking the necessary licensing exams after completing your internship.
Apply for a job with a firm or private practice.
Make and keep a portfolio of your designs.


Consider opening your own firm when you have enough experience.
Take continuing education courses. This is required in order to remain a licensed architectural designer

“I wanted to become an architect but…
…(insert reason) so I decided not to pursue architecture.”

As an architect I can’t tell you how many people have had that conversation with me. I hear it almost weekly.

The more people I talk to about being an architect, the more I realize most people have no clue what an architect really does. Sometimes I think the public really thinks that architects walk around wearing a hat that says either “commercial” or “residential” and then decides if today they are going to design in a gothic, classical or modern style, while consulting a silly cookbook of architectural ornamentation details.

It’s not really like that.

The typical day of a practicing architect is more about: slaving away on construction drawings, going to meetings, checking their staff’s work, invoicing clients, reviewing the work of contractors so they can get paid, and handling their clients and employees and managing all types of problems related to their projects and business. Sure there’s designing and drawing pretty pictures, but that’s really just a very small piece of the project.

I recently completed a project that was designed by 3 people sitting around conference table for 2 hours. The design was good, simple and effective. After we solved the design problem, the next 11 months were spent: fine tuning that design, creating construction drawings, specifications, details, getting cost estimates, solving code issues, obtaining building permits, supporting the contractor with information during construction, responding to unforseeable conditions, working with and coordinating furniture, IT, and moving consultants. A 2 hour design meeting translated into 11 months of execution and the design didnt really change much in the process. Designing is often a small moment in time, executing the design is really the bulk of the work.

Sometimes Architecture Sucks.
It’s not an easy profession. Architecture is a lot of work.

The people who have successful careers as architects have all made incredible sacrifices and worked extremely hard to get there. Historically it does not pay very well, the education is long and there is an incredible amount of legal responsibility involved with becoming an architect. There is certainly is no shortage of articles on the web listing the many great reasons NOT to become an architect.

Architecture is AMAZING.
If you get past the long hours, lousy pay and complicated licensing and educational requirements. Architecture, is in my (biased) opinion one of the greatest educations person could get and industry to work.

Architecture school teaches you solve problems like no other education. By intensely focusing on design, construction and history, thenlooking at the world through that lens, it also forces everyone to reconsider how we think, live and interact with our environments. Architecture school is often about examining information what we already know and using that information to creatively solve new problems. Architecture school rewires your brain and most students graduate being a very different person from when they started.

The Profession (architects like to call the business side of architecture “the profession”) is drastically different, almost the opposite of the architecture school experience. Every working architect is challenged with solving the problem with an achitectural solution that fits within the framework of budgets, schedules, building codes and Client expectations. Unlike school, time and money sometimes dictate the design of the project. However talented architects spend their entire careers understanding how to balance time and money with architectural design.

Architectural Designer Jobs

The architecture industry is constantly growing. The computer and access to information has significantly changed the way architecture has been practiced for the past 100 years. 15 years ago there was no such thing as an architecture blog!? Now theres hundreds of architecture blogs.

The word architecture is as general as the word music. We call it music, but there are sub categories within music. Types of music could be classical, country or even something specific like east coast straight edge hardcore from the 80’s.

Just like music here are a million little niches or subcultures within architecture. Those could be sustainability, hospital design, CAD/Rendering, architects who specialize in some kind of engineering speciality, interiors, tiny houses, waterproofing, building envelope fanatics, masonry experts and the list can go on forever.

What I love most about the architecture industry is that it is soo vast, there is plenty of work for everyone to thrive using whatever skills, talents and interests they may have, as long as they are willing to work hard.

A highly regulated profession.
Did you know, it is technically illegal to call yourself an architect in the US, if you do not have an active license with the National Council Architecture Registration Board and with whatever state architectural you happen to be in.

Unlike a US drivers license, it doesnt work everywhere. A licensed architect in New York, is not licensed architect in California unless they have a California architecture license.

Architects carry a tremendous amount of responsibility protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public and if an individual has not fulfilled the requirements, they should not be calling themselves an architect. Many people have a hard time understanding this, but this is due to the lengthy education, experience and licensing requirements. Unlicensed individuals may call themselves, designers, project managers, job captains or anything else really works, but “Architect” is off limits. State architectural licensing boards regularly take action against unlicensed individuals calling themselves Architects or practicing without a license.

Having an architecture license is not a prerequisite to having a successful career in architecture. Many people graduate architecture school and have very successful careers without obtaining their license to practice. The architectural training is an extremely valuable education and can be effectively be used in and outside of the profession.

What are the steps to become a licensed architect?
It’s a 3 part process which consist of:

Education – Earning an accredited architecture degree. (5-7 years)
Experience – Documenting on the job experience, under the supervision of a licensed architect. (5,600 Hours)
Exam – Passing a 7 part licensing exam, each test completed on various aspects of the profession.
This process is lengthy and is no easy feat. However, it is not impossible and the rewards you can reap by becoming a licensed architect are numerous.

The Educational Requirements
For licensure in most states a candidate must hold a professional degree in architecture from an institution accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). There are currently over 100 architecture schools to choose from.

There are currently three different professional architecture degrees available.

The Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) requires a minimum of 150 credit hours in professional studies and electives.
The Master of Architecture (MArch) degree requires a minimum of 168 credit hours, 30 of which must be graduate level.
The Doctor of Architecture (DArch) requires a baccalaureate degree or 120 undergraduate credit hours in addition to a minimum of 90 graduate credit hours.
Experience Requirements
The Intern Development Program (IDP) represents a program designed to aid architecture students in learning and developing within the work force. Most states require that a student complete this type of internship before they can become licensed in that state.

The IDP is a thorough and comprehensive program that requires experience in several different settings. Its purpose is to ensure that architecture graduates gain the professional experience, knowledge and skills to practice effectively as independent architects. The intern architect student is closely supervised by a licensed architect or professional in another discipline.

Interns most commonly work within architecture firms where they begin to become familiar with the application of their education. They may assist in design projects, prepare documents as well as research specific building codes and many other projects.

The IDP requires the completion of 5,600 field experience hours within 17 different categories. The experience hours are documented by the intern and the discussed with and signed off by the supervisor. This information is submitted to NCARB on a regular basis.

The Architect Registration Exam
The Architect Registration Exam (ARE) is required in all 54 jurisdictions within the United States. The exam is broken down into seven different sections;

Construction Documents and Services (CDS)
Programming, Planning and Practice (PPP)
Site Planning and Design (SPD
Schematic Design (SD)
Structural Systems (SS)
Building Systems (BS)
Building Design and Construction Systems (BDCS)
Each exam is formatted differently but multiple choice and graphical vignettes are distributed throughout.

Architectural Designer vs Architect

The completing Architecture Registration Exam is a very unique experience. The process is a self guided experience where ARE Candidates (what you call people taking the exam) study and take the exams on their own schedule. Some people do them all under a year however most people take atleast 2 1/2 years to complete the process.

Taking the ARE is drastically different then attending architecture school, due to the massive amounts of information that is being tested through the seven exams. Learning how to handle such a challenging exam is often the hardest part.

Recently YoungArchitect.com published a book called How To Pass The Architecture Registration Exam to help ARE Candidates wrap their head around the entire ARE process and set themselves up for success in moving through this crazy multi year, self guided, test taking journey towards becoming a Licensed Architect

Becoming Licensed
After the ARE additional interviews or exams may be required. Registration requirements vary between each state, so it is recommended that individuals contact their specific registration board for the requirements in that jurisdiction.

Continuing education is then required by all architects to keep their licenses active.

The dynamic industry
Becoming a licensed architect is a lengthy process and definitely not for everyone. However, it is an incredible industry that is constantly changing. The internet and modern technology have impacted how this industry conducts business, further expanding the world of opportunities available. Versatile and innovative, the field of architecture can offer vast possibilities and endless options for anyone willing to work hard and contribute to the progress of the profession.

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a design architect. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, and California. Design architects make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $86,479. Whereas in Maryland and Arizona, they would average $77,841 and $76,403, respectively.

While design architects would only make an average of $76,032 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we’ve found all of the skills you’ll need so even if you don’t have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.0% of design architects listed revit on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what’s a career path you ask? Well, it’s practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of project architect you might progress to a role such as construction manager eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title senior project manager construction.

Architects are some of the most respected professionals in building and construction. In collaboration with engineers, they are responsible for creating remarkable structures like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. A design architect’s job is to create blueprints for a building project. But their job may often extend beyond that to managing teams of employees and communicating with clients. Occassionally, design architects may also oversee projects.
Architects often function as project managers to discuss client needs, ensure that the project is completed within time and budget, meet state codes, and many other concerns. A renowned architect has even been quoted saying that designing buildings is only 15% of his job.
As you can tell, design architects require a wide range of skills, including creativity, communication, teamwork, and of course, design. To become an architect, you’ll need a bachelor of architecture degree as well as state licensing.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a design architect. For example, did you know that they make an average of $31.66 an hour? That’s $65,857 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 11,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Design Architect Do

There are certain skills that many design architects have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and creativity.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a design architect, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.0% of design architects included revit, while 8.8% of resumes included construction documents, and 5.5% of resumes included architecture. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Design Architect

If you’re interested in becoming a design architect, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We’ve determined that 50.0% of design architects have a bachelor’s degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 34.4% of design architects have master’s degrees. Even though most design architects have a college degree, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a design architect. When we researched the most common majors for a design architect, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor’s degree degrees or master’s degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on design architect resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a design architect. In fact, many design architect jobs require experience in a role such as architect. Meanwhile, many design architects also have previous career experience in roles such as project architect or architectural internship.

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