Oct 16, 2020 · 5 mins read

The Best Universities for Studying Architecture



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The Best Universities for Studying Architecture

Architecture is a promising career, but you have to get there first. The initial step in building your dream career is to get your architecture degree.

Where do you begin? What are the best universities for studying architecture? Let’s take a closer look.

Photo by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay

What are the general academic requirements for someone wanting to study architecture?

Each university has its own qualifications and requirements for incoming architecture students. They typically have a set number of spots available and they choose the top students among their applicants to fill them, so the necessities may vary from year to year. The top criteria are your high school grades and your test scores.

It also varies by country, as you’ll need certain credits and prerequisites to apply.

For example, in the UK, universities will require five GCSEs between A* to C, and those must include English, Math, and Science. You also need a set of at least three A-levels in any subject.

What aspects of an architecture program should be taken seriously when choosing a certain university?

As you shop around for architecture universities, there are certain top factors to consider. Each person has their own priorities, but keep these critical criteria in mind.

Type of Program

There are two key types of architecture programs: a BArch (a five-year bachelor degree) and a MArch (a master’s degree you receive after an undergraduate degree in another subject). A BArch is more efficient while a MArch is better if you don’t decide on architecture until you’ve started your degree.


Cost is always a critical factor in college. The top colleges cover a wide span of price ranges, so consider what you can afford and what you can finance with loans.

Class Sizes

In general, smaller class sizes will give you a better education. However, everyone has their own comfort level as well.

Which universities are the best for studying architecture?

There are many terrific universities around the world for studying architecture, though they all have their pros and cons. These are the top universities to consider.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Located in Boston, Massachusetts in the US, MIT is recognized as a top technology university around the globe. It is especially beloved by students because its top reputation attracts many of the best professors in the world, so students are truly learning from the masters.

The cost is high, however. MIT currently costs about $27,000 USD per year, adding up to $162,000 over a six-year Master’s degree.

The top advantage for MIT is that you graduate with a degree that has an unmatched reputation, allowing you to get a job just about anywhere. The disadvantage however, is the high cost. Boston has a high cost of living as well so you can count on an expensive degree.

2. Delft University of Technology

In Delft in the Netherlands, Delft University of Technology is a school known around the globe for its strong research opportunities. The cost is also surprisingly affordable, costing around 13,000 Euros for Dutch students and students in the EU or EFTA over the course of six years.

The top benefit of Delft University of Technology is its strong employer partnerships, offering you terrific job placement options after graduation. The major “con,” on the other hand, is its fairly high 48:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

3. The Bartlett School of Architecture

With over 175 years of architectural teaching experience, the Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the most well known and respected architecture schools in the world. Located in central London, in this university you can expect rigorous and critically informed instruction, collaborating across disciplines in a design-focused approach.

If you can’t decide which field in architecture to pursue, there are 17 different graduate programs to choose from, such as Bio-integrated design, Architectural Design, and Architectural Computation to name a few.

4. ETH Zürich

ETH Zürich is located in Zürich, Switzerland, and this two year master’s program in architecture is known for its individualized and independent approach to architectural design.

Interdisciplinary in process with large scale assignments, the program ends with a thesis project in your choice of the fields of constructive design, architectural design, or urban design. There is also a mandatory 6-month internship as part of the program.

The only thing special to note here is that the program language is in German!

5. Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

Known for its international perspectives and thorough curriculum in design and form investigations, a Master’s in Architecture from Harvard University is one of the most prestigious programs in the field today.

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US, the courses in these programs are design-focused on studio, theory, visual studies, history, technology, and professional practice. One of the most well-rounded study programs for a career working in the built environment.

Choosing Your University for Architecture

In selecting the best university for studying architecture, you can’t take your decision lightly. It will have a critical impact on your future, so the tips and options above are only a start.

For more tips on your future in architecture or technology, check out more articles on our blog.

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