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Top Universities in USA for Architecture- A Guide

Updated on 11 October, 2023

Gauri Agrawal

Gauri Agrawal

Sr. Content Writer

Architecture is the field of art and science wherein you design impressive buildings and other physical structures. The course gives you the freedom to showcase your creativity within the fascinating realm of the science of shapes and dimensions. Pursuing an architecture course will give you many opportunities to showcase your brilliance and creativity. You might be wondering where you can pursue the course from? Choosing to study at the best architecture universities in the USA is an excellent idea for any international student who has been mesmerized by the beauty, creativity, and even the legacy of buildings and various structures. There are a variety of innovative and successful schools within the US that will help develop the ideas and hopes of young architects worldwide.


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Eligibility Criteria for Studying Architecture in the USA

Students who wish to study architecture at a US college or university must fulfill the particular university’s requirements. Students must note that the requirements vary from university to university. Here are the eligibility criteria for studying at universities in the USA for architecture:

  • Undergraduate degree in architecture or any related field. 
  • GMAT/GRE scores. 
  • Scores in English language proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL
  • CV/Resume.
  • SOP (Statement of Purpose). 
  • LOR (Letter of Recommendation). 

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Universities offering architecture courses in the USA

Here are the top-ranked universities for doing your masters in architecture in the USA (QS World University Rankings for 2022): 

2022 QS Global RankName of the InstitutionM. Arch Course Tenure
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)3.5 years
5Harvard University2.5 years
32The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)2 to 3 years
19Columbia University3 years
40The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)3 years
21Cornell University3.5 years
88Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)2 to 3.5 years
23University of Michigan, Ann Arbor3 years
38The University of Texas at Austin (UTA)2 years
13University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)3 years

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Benefits of studying architecture in the USA

There are many benefits of studying architecture in the USA: 

  • The USA has some of the world’s best universities and educational institutions for masters programs in architecture. 
  • Five-year B. Arch and M. Arch are the sole two programs with recognition from the NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) in the USA with regard to granting licenses to architects. 
  • Average annual salaries are projected to increase substantially for skilled architects in the USA over the next few years. 
  • Job opportunities should grow by near-double digits in this period as well.

Career Options After Studying Architecture in the USA

Students pursuing a degree in architecture have a lot of career options to consider. With an architecture degree, students generally develop beneficial skills such as

Many students with a background in architecture can find full-time or part-time positions in an architectural firm that employs professional architects to accomplish their projects. Below is a list of various jobs that graduates can land with a degree in architecture.

Job Roles          Average Annual Salary
Project coordinator$45,996
Structural engineer$88,305
Computer-aided design (CAD) detailer$82,282 
Project manager$81,818 
Interior designer$50,088
Architectural drafter$55,582
Architectural technologist$61,791
Landscape architect$68,769 
Building architect$78,219
Industrial designer$67,585
Architectural drafter$55,582 
Urban planner$68,869
Structural engineer$88,305

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Studying Architecture in the US at UG & PG Levels

The UG degree for Architecture in the US includes the Bachelor of Architecture, also known as BArch, which is a professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Other Undergraduate courses for Architecture include Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, which are typically three to four-year programs. 

Master in Architecture, popularly known as M. Arch, is a two to three-year-long degree spanning around four to six semesters. This program is compulsory to get an architect license in the USA if you do not pursue a five-year BArch degree at the undergraduate level. Those with architecture undergraduate degrees or degrees in related fields may apply with their GMAT/GRE scores. Tuition costs usually vary between $16,500 and $ 55,600, while average salaries are $110,000 per year for skilled graduates. 

Universities offering architecture courses in the USA

Given below is the list of top universities in the USA that offers various courses in architecture:

QS WUR by Subject 2022University Courses Offered 
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)(BSAD), (M.Arch), (SMArchS),(SMBT),
5Harvard UniversityMasters in Architecture
8University of California, Berkeley (UCB)M.Arch, B.Arch
16Columbia UniversityBA in Architecture
18University of CaliforniaDoctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture
23Cornell UniversityB.Arch
26Georgia Institute of Technology

B.S. Architecture


Ph.D. Architecture

M.S. Architecture

32University of Michigan-Ann ArborM.Arch
34Stanford UniversityBachelor of Engineering in Architecture
42University of Texas at AustinBArch, M.Arch


How much does it cost to study architecture in the USA?

The average one-year cost to study Architecture Engineering in the USA is $48,000. 

 This includes the tuition fee of approx $34,000 and the living expense of $12,000. However these costs may vary depending upon the university fees and the lifestyle of the student.

Which are the best universities for masters in architecture in the USA?

According to the QS World University Rankings, following are the top universities for masters in architecture in the USA:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Harvard University
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  • Columbia University
  • University of California

Gauri Agrawal

Sr. Content Writer

Gauri Agrawal is a passionate, professional and proactive content marketer who wants to grow in the field of content creation. She carries a rich experience of working in the Digital News sector with renowned names like Times Now Digital, and News X as a Copy Editor.

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