Select Page

Each year, architecture schools across the country are surveyed and ranked. The process includes interviewing firms that have hired recent graduates, as well as students actively studying or who have recently graduated and entered the workforce in their field.

The curriculum, programs, school culture, and workplace preparedness are all taken into consideration for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Hiring professionals are often asked to put aside personal school preferences and to review their return on investment.

The industry-standard trade journal, Architectural Record, publishes the results of an annual study. The following schools are among the top.

Cornell University

Cornell University is an Ivy League school located in Ithaca, New York. The Department of Architecture was established in 1871. It was the first department of its kind in the United States. The School of Architecture was officially formed in 1896.

Esteemed Alumni of the School of Architecture include Peter Eisenman, Arthur Gensler, and Doug Hocking.

The undergraduate program is a five-year degree process, resulting in a Bachelor of Architecture. The Master of Architecture degree program was added in 2004. The school currently enrolls 275 undergraduates and 125 graduate candidates. Cornell ranks at the top of the list in undergraduate studies and fifth in graduate studies.

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a small gem in historic Providence, Rhode Island. As the name implies, RISD is a college dedicated to education in the fine arts and design. Students enrolled in the various disciplines of architectural studies are required to also take fine arts classes, to participate in several hours per week of studio design classes, and to complete a number of liberal arts credits.

RISD shares campus proximity with Brown University. The two institutions encourage and allow for enrolling in matriculating classes in either school.

The undergraduate degree program in architecture is five years. Graduate programs are 2 to 3 years, depending on the discipline. Rhode Island School of Design ranks second in undergraduate studies and eight in graduate disciplines.

Rice University

Rice University situated in Houston, Texas. It claims to be the smallest professional degree program situated within a top research university. Students receive plenty of individual attention. The student to teacher ratio is 5 to 1.

Rice offers a Preceptorship program that prepares graduating students for a professional work environment where collaboration is required. Impressively, Rice University School of Architecture places third for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Cooper Union

Cooper Union is a college dedicated to education in the arts and sciences. It is located in Manhattan’s eclectic East Village. The institution opened its doors in 1859. The founder of the school, Peter Cooper, offered free education to the working class who could not otherwise afford a college education.

Cooper has the advantage of being nestled in a cultural Mecca for architectural experiences. New York City has much to offer the students in the way of unlimited access to architectural history, museums, and the arts.

The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture. It comes in at number four for undergraduate architectural education.