A group of architects sit around and discuss a project

Top 10 Schools for Architecture

Choosing a college will have a profound effect on the direction your life will travel, so it can be a little overwhelming. Where do you start? There are many “best of” lists out there, but they don’t always provide much helpful information. Often, it can help to narrow down schools based on your field of interest. Let’s compare the facts when it comes to architecture:

School: Cornell University
Location: Ithaca, NY
Type: Private
Undergraduates Enrolled: 14,453
Acceptance Rate: 14%
Tuition and Fees: $49, 116 (in-state and out-of-state)
Room & Board: $13, 678

Besides frequently being ranked first in the field by Greenway Group, Cornell offers an ivy league education with a wide variety of classes. Plus, Andy Bernard sure seemed to enjoy his time as part of the Big Red.

School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Type: Public
Undergraduates Enrolled: 19,246
Acceptance Rate: 31%
Tuition and Fees: $9,000 (in-state); $20,160 (out-of-state)
Room & Board: $12,009

Not only will architecture firms be impressed when they see this printed on your resume, you will also only be a short drive away from the beach. That sounds like a win-win, if you ask me. Go Mustangs!

School: Rice University
Location: Houston, TX
Type: Private
Undergraduates Enrolled: 3,926
Acceptance Rate: 15%
Tuition and Fees: $42,253 (in-state and out-of-state)
Room & Board: $13,650

Most universities aim the majority of their research opportunities toward graduate students, but Rice puts an equal amount of focus on undergrads. You will get an opportunity to get your hands dirty before you enter the workforce.

School: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Type: Public
Undergraduates Enrolled: 24,247
Acceptance Rate: 73%
Tuition and Fees: $12,485 (in-state); $28,525 (out-of-state)
Room & Board: $8,266

Virginia Tech has a proven history of getting students jobs after they graduate. In fact, according to a recent study, graduates of VT rank fifth in the nation for average starting salary. You’ll be able to pay off those loans in no time.

School: Syracuse University
Location: Syracuse, NY
Type: Private
Undergraduates Enrolled: 15,224
Acceptance Rate: 53%
Tuition and Fees: $43,318 (in-state and out-of-state)
Room & Board: $14,880

Your time at Syracuse will give you much more than a knowledge of architecture. Their course selections are seemingly limitless, even offering extensive classes in the art of wine tasting. Syracuse is sure to cater you at least a few of your interests.     

School: University of Texas at Austin
Location: Austin, TX
Type: Public
Undergraduates Enrolled: 39,523
Acceptance Rate: 40%
Tuition and Fees: $9,830 (in-state); $34,836 (out-of-state)
Room & Board: $11,456

Don’t let the size of the campus scare you off. Austin is a booming hub of art and culture, which any young adult can thrive in. This is everything a new architect needs to start generating ideas.

School: Rhode Island School of Design
Location: Providence, RI
Type: Private
Undergraduates Enrolled: 2,014
Acceptance Rate: 41%
Tuition and Fees: $45,840
Room & Board: $12,600

With one of the smallest populations on this list, RISD offers small, intimate classes that will help you work directly with your instructors and form a close bond with your classmates. Located in between downtown Providence and Brown University, it will give you an opportunity to see some wonderful colonial-style architecture.

School: Southern California Institute of Architecture
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Type: Private
Undergraduates Enrolled: 272
Acceptance Rate: 81%
Tuition and Fees: $42,220 (in-state and out-of-state)
Room & Board: $9,972

Just look at the name. This small and relatively new school is aimed at providing the architecture world with bright, talented individuals. Courses are designed to fit your needs and like minded people are around every corner.

School: Pratt Institute
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Type: Private
Undergraduates Enrolled: 3,145
Acceptance Rate: 63%
Tuition and Fees: $46,586 (in-state and out-of-state)
Room & Board: $11,496

Deep in the heart of one of the most gorgeous displays of architecture in the world, Pratt makes great use of its surroundings in New York, even offering students free admission to many of its museums.

School: University of Southern California
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Type: Private
Undergraduates Enrolled: 18,740
Acceptance Rate: 18%
Tuition and Fees: $50,277 (in-state and out-of-state)
Room & Board: $13,855

Speaking of cities with beautiful architecture, USC is also located in a prime area for young architects. Bask in the perfect weather and take advantage of all of the great events happening on campus.

Last Updated: June 13, 2017