Top 20 Architecture Schools in the World - archisoup | Architecture Guides & Resources (2023)

Top 20 Architecture Schools in the World

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings are carried out yearly to reveal the top universities in the world, based on global overall and subject standings. Here are the Top 20 Architecture Schools in the World from its recently published ranking in the field of Architecture and the Built Environment.


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School overview

PolyU is a top institution in the field of architecture and offers a one-of-a-kind experience for enrolled students. The school, though located in Asia, fuses Western knowledge in its approach to ensuring scholarly education is proffered. The school has been in existence since 1964 and has been ranked among the top universities in the world for years.


Often described as fun and challenging, PolyU’s approach to teaching and learning centres around welcoming diverse approaches and methodologies. The institution encourages constructive and artistic research in its doctorate programs as well as a vast series of elective learning choices for undergraduates.

Program features

PolyU has a series of learning opportunities ranging from Bachelors to Masters and Post Graduate programs. International exchange programs and study trips are also available to provide students with a chance to study abroad.

Further details about the institution can be found on their official site.


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School overview

In the year 1886, a survey of Western Arts Education was undertook by 3 individuals under the directive of the Japan Ministry of Education. This resulted in the inclusion of the Department of Architecture in their plans for a school of Fine Arts.

Since it was founded, it has remained the only educational institution in Japan that trains architects in an environment where course of study instructions are provided by a faculty of fine arts.


The school’s educational system is one that encourages students to showcase the uniqueness and originality.

The University of Tokyo has always aimed to hone sensibilities and nurture an extensive range of knowledge and skills. Individuals who are passionate about the field are specially trained on practical techniques in architecture and construction.

Program features

Teaching occurs in small groups as admission is limited to 16 or less students in both undergraduate and master’s degree programs. This is to ensure that there is proper guidance in the department, and in-depth interactions between instructors and students.

Though a few of the courses are taught in English, a lot of teaching is done in Japanese. More information about the university can be sourced on their webpage.


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School overview

Tongji University is one of the top schools in China and has a history of over 100 years. Established in 1927, the institution was formerly known as Tongji German Medical School. It has since become a topmost choice for those tailing a career in civil engineering and architecture.


Tongji University strives for quality and as such values the well-rounded development of education, research, outreach and innovation. It is targeted that their students have a strong professional footing, extensive knowledge and high comprehensive quality.

Program features

The architecture program is taught in English and a dual degree is awarded. Students spend some semesters in the Tongji University campus and others at the University of New South Wales. After being taught the principles of Architecture, they then get an opportunity to specialize in the field they are most interested in.

Further details can be found here.


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School overview

The University of Melbourne was established in the year 1853 and has regularly been placed among the prominent universities in the world. The architecture program in the institution has been recognized by the Australian Government as being above world standard and having exception research strength.


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‘Unimelb’ is an institute that makes distinguishing contributions to society in research, learning, teaching and engagement.

Graduate architects from the university, learn to combine creative visualization, innovation, technological understanding and architectural theory to shape how we live, work and play in our built environment.

Program features

Undergraduates of the department of Architecture also study subjects from other disciplines while pursing architecture. This allows them to have vast knowledge in different fields. Areas of emphasis are engineering, arts and the built environment.

All of these and more increase employability of students after graduation. Further details are provided on the website.


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School overview

The institution is commonly referred to as UCLA and has a number of Nobel laureates and MacArthur fellows to its name. Gaining admission into this institution requires not only a top-notch application but also a complementary one that highlights your interest in UCLA and the selected subject of study.


UCLA believes that a thriving creative community is the alchemy of ideas, values, talent, and technique. The brilliant faculty teaches students to engage the world around them. They are encouraged to see ideas as dynamic forms of response, and to use design and writing as expressions of new perspectives.

Program features

The architectural curriculum focuses on three main areas: critical studies, design and technology. The university also offers the M.S.AUD; a one-year post-professional degree program that leads to a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design degree.

Programs are run by experts in their various fields and students learn to query and contest the current conventions of the architectural practice.


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School overview

Potential students have a lot to gain from the University of Sydney as it is ranked as the best in Australia. The institution has been in existence for over 150 years and boast of successful alumni form politicians to pioneers.


University of Sydney aims to foster critical thinking across all fields and to develop students’ abilities to see the big picture while still paying attention to details. It is set to help students combine their creative flair and technical skills to shape the spaces we live in.

Program features

The institution provides pathways into further studies once a student obtains a bachelor’s degree. They learn to design by taking on real-world projects in and around their environment. The University also offers opportunities for international exchange so students gain a broader view of architecture and its role in our daily lives.

See here for more details.


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School overview

Columbia University is a privately owned institution based in Upper Manhattan, New York City and is one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in the country. It was established in 1754 and is regarded as the third most selective university in the United States due to its 6.1% acceptance rate.


The University of Columbia’s approach to the architecture is considered to be more philosophical as students are encouraged to consider the subject in relation to society, politics and culture. The school encourages the understanding of experimentation in the field of architecture and reinvention.

Program features

The Master of Architecture Program is offered over a period of three years. It focuses on increasing capacities in design, building practices and individual potentials. The program’s diversity is where it finds its strength. Ph.D. programs are also available where emphasis is placed on expanding the knowledge of prospective scholars in the field of architectural theory and history.

Further details about the programs are on the official page.


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School overview

The University of Hong Kong is the oldest tertiary education institution in Hong Kong and was officially opened on March 11, 1912. Today, HKU has amassed international credit for its endeavours as a research-led comprehensive university.

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The school enlightens students in the values of service, scholarship and invention. Approach to design emphasizes technology, history and culture of students. The University of Hong Kong aims to provide comprehensive education comparable to the highest international standards which fully developing the intellectual capacity of its students.

Program features

Students in the Department of Architecture are taught in small groups by capable tutors on research and design over the length of a term. Undergraduate students are thoroughly trained in traditional drawings, model-making methods and architecture design software.

The institution also offers research programs at graduate and postgraduate levels.


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School overview

EPFL as it is commonly called, is one of the foremost STEM schools in Europe and is renowned for its excellence in teaching practices and innovative research. It was established in 1853 and at its inception it had only 11 students.


The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level. Collaborations exist with a plethora of partners that include other schools and industries.

Program features

Classes involve teachings on subjects like history, building techniques and physical and digital modelling. State-of-the-art facilities and travel opportunities are made available for students to help with their studies and expand their knowledge. At the completion of the bachelor’s degree, students have the option of pursuing a master’s degree at the institution as well.

The official page has more information on the subject.


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School overview

The institution is located in Milan and was founded in the year 1863. It is regarded as one of Europe’s most celebrated design and engineering universities, with numerous Pritzker and Nobel Prize winners among its former students.


The personal attitudes of the students are central to the various school programs. Novel educational pathways are structured to advance individual skills and to learn new ones. The institute aims to build the foundations of future professional careers that are notable on the job market.

Program features

The architectural program is taught across three campuses, and takes in numerous conferences, exhibitions and study trips. It also promises an external internship in the final year of school.

There are then four master’s options (all taught in English) for those looking to specialise. The faculty takes in students from over 30 countries and takes on design challenges from all around the world.

Further details can be found on their official site.


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School overview

Regarded as one of the most respected higher learning institutions in China, Tsinghua University was founded in 1911. The institution is committed towards research and innovation, and is a member of the Chinese C9 League universities.


Tsinghua University relies greatly on a convergence between its traditional cultures and Western practices. Its current disposition towards learning includes creating ground-breaking solutions that benefits the world.

Program features

Tsinghua University has both the Bachelor of Engineering in architecture, and the Bachelor in Architecture, which takes four and five years respectively. It also presents the Master in Architecture; the first to offer placement for foreign students. Detailed explanation of guidelines to get admitted can be found here.


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School overview

Manchester School of Architecture came about as a result of two schools merging together – the Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester. The institution has over 700 students from around 50 countries.

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It prides itself with three key elements – “renown”, “innovation” and” engagement.” It is recognised as one of the top UK schools and reflects architectural landscape history and emerging urban development. It relies on variety, innovation and quality of work from its staff and students.

Program features

The BA Architecture course is appraised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA). Completing this course begins your architectural journey. You also get to be part of UK’s largest Architecture student society. The Master of Architecture (MArch), is well recognised and validated by professional bodies. Get more information when you visit their website.


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School overview

National University of Singapore was founded in 1905. It aims to be an important aspect of innovation and enterprise for all stakeholders – students, researchers, staff and alumni.


The institution dignifies itself as a forefront in their educational structure and how it advances learning to the benefit of its students. With the world evolving, its resolve is being transformative and creating an array of research opportunities to produce global leaders.

Program features

The B.A. (Arch) is a four-year Honours programme, while the Master’s Program is a duration of two years. They are planned on the premise to draw the interest of budding architects to learn in a fast paced environment. Find out more here.


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School overview

With over 30 Colleges being governed by their own rules and regulations, University of Cambridge is a coalition of these faculties and departments. Early records show educational operations started in 1209, and over 18,000 students are enrolled with the help of 11,000 members of staff.


The institutions core value is entrenched in freedom of thought, expression and from discrimination. Its major aim is to ensure that it contributes immensely towards society.

Program features

Being a very competitive institution, it limits the number of students that gain admission to the various department including the Department of Architecture. It is over 100 years old and every student’s development is guided by prominent scholars.

Visit their website for more information.


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School overview

Unlike many prominent universities, University of California, Berkeley does not require you to submit a portfolio to be admitted. The school founded in 1868 is famous and respected; offering around 1,000 spots for graduate and undergraduate students.


The general objective of the institution is to make sure it establishes a convincing groundwork for a range of careers so as to provide flexibility to suit diverse, but distinctive opportunities. It relies on its conviction to offering a sound and well-rounded education, uniting its community.

Program features

It offers the BA degree and allows entry into its Master of Architecture program. The course entails environmental design and architecture which guarantees diverse opportunities for graduates. Courses vary from tech, design, humanities and history. More information is on the school’s website.


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School overview

Being the oldest higher educational institution in the US, Harvard University was established in 1636. The institution is widely known for its intense competition in offering admission placement for students across the world. The schools has over 100 individuals that have been heads of states, Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.


Harvard pride itself in its acumen of global leadership in education, and world-class scholars. There is a diverse wealth of knowledge spanning across over 200 countries. Its library is the largest in the world. Harvard’s museums houses around 28 million works of art.

Program features

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Harvard’s Department of Architecture is a diverse convergence of various individual who bring uniquely inspiring scholarly design that is technologically inclined. The Master in Architecture I & II offers inspired design approaches that aligns with creativity and dexterity. Visit the website for more.


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School overview

ETH Zurich is one of the best STEM institutes in the world and boasts of Albert Einstein as an alumni. Established in 1855, the university is located in Zurich, Switzerland. It offers several undergraduate courses which require you to speak German. The postgraduate courses however are taught in English or French.


The school places emphasis on worldwide connections, which serves as reliable source for business partnerships, politics and society. Students discover an idyllic atmosphere for liberated thinking and a climate which motivates top performance.

Program features

The department of architecture has a structure of flexible design studios that work hand-in-hand with the institute. This is experienced throughout all stages of Bachelor and Master Studies at the D-ARCH as an all-inclusive and open programme.

Research focus is particularly on the topics of future cities, energy, climate change and sustainability.

The official website provides more information about the department.


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School overview

TU Delft is located in the Netherlands, with 8 faculties that offer 16 bachelor’s programs and more than 30 master’s programs. With over 25,000 students and 6,000 employees who share a fascination for science, design and technology, the school is one of the top-rated ones in the field.


The common mission of the institute is – impact for a better society. This explains why top education and research are at the heart of the establishment. The university aims at transferring knowledge to society and promoting social responsibility.

Program features

The bachelor’s degree programme delves into urbanism and building science as well as orthodox architecture studies. The program covers disciplines like architectural design, urban planning, building technology, social sciences, geo-information science and process management.

Find out more on the official TU Delft page.


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School overview

MIT is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Incorporated in 1861, it comprises a number of major off-campus facilities as well. As of October 2019, 96 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been associated with MIT as alumni, members of faculty, or researchers.


The MIT community is motivated by a shared drive: to make a better world through education, research, and innovation. Through all of these MIT’s exceptional community trails its duty of service to the nation and the world.

Program features

The faculty showcases the importance of interdisciplinary partnership, especially where environmental solutions are discussed. A major factor in the institutes ranking is their focus on sustainable architecture and research on the topic.

More details here.


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School overview

It is no mean feat that University College London has been voted as the best university for architecture since 2001. The public research institution is credited for its academic excellence and global impact for its teaching and research standard. Founded in 1826 as London University, it started being popularly called UCL since 2005.


With over 13,000 members of staff and 42,000 students from 150 countries, UCL is considered as UK’s leading multicultural and disciplinary university. Focus is placed on world-class academics, students, and alumni. Its researchers explore new possibilities in various fields.

Program features

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UCL has a wide-ranging programmes in architecture available at the Bartlett School of Architecture. With four undergraduate degrees and seventeen graduate programmes, the department offers unique, design-led interdisciplinary teaching. Find out more here.


Which is the best architect school in the world? ›

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, United States. ...
  • Delft University of Technology. Delft, Netherlands. ...
  • UCL. London, United Kingdom. ...
  • ETH Zurich. Zürich, Switzerland. ...
  • Harvard University. ...
  • National University of Singapore (NUS) ...
  • Manchester School of Architecture. ...
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Which country has best architecture schools? ›

6 Best Places to Study Abroad for Architecture Buffs
  1. China. When you study abroad in China, you'll experience ancient Chinese architecture, which has developed over many centuries and can be seen throughout East Asia. ...
  2. England. ...
  3. France. ...
  4. Germany. ...
  5. Spain. ...
  6. The Netherlands.

Which is the best country in the world to study architecture? ›

World's Top 10 Universities for Architecture
InstituteCountryQS World Rankings 2022
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States of America1
Harvard UniversityUnited States of America3
ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologySwitzerland6
University of CambridgeUnited Kingdom7
6 more rows

What school has the best architectural program? ›

1. Best architecture schools in the US – QS Rankings 2021
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Harvard University.
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  • Columbia University.
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
  • Cornell University.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
13 Jan 2022

Do architects make good money? ›

Avg Salary

Architects earn an average yearly salary of $98,610. Wages typically start from $60,950 and go up to $150,700.

What is the best university to go to for architecture? ›

What are the top 10 schools for architecture?
  1. Rice University. ...
  2. Cornell University. ...
  3. Washington University in St. ...
  4. University of Southern California. ...
  5. Yale University. ...
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ...
  7. University of California – Berkeley. ...
  8. Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Which country pays architects most? ›

Switzerland is a country with generally high wages for an architect. The average salary for an Architect is INR ₹51,20,346 in Switzerland.

Which is the cheapest country to study architecture? ›

Answer – The cheapest country to study architecture in is Norway. Although all of the Nordic countries are reasonably inexpensive study locations, Norway is our top selection since, except for a few specialized programs, public universities in Norway remain free to all students from inside and outside the EU.

Which culture has the best architecture? ›

Italy, Spain, UK, France, Gemany, Russia, the list goes on... ALL the European countries have superb, historical architecture second to none. The greatest period. 3 China China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia.

What do you call a person who does architecture? ›

Word forms: architects

An architect is a person who designs buildings.

Is a degree in architecture worth it? ›

Architecture Careers generally do not pay very well

After college, entry-level salaries have always been very meager, and long hours are required. Many architects don't start seeing good money until after they become somewhat experienced, licensed, and accomplished. This generally takes 5-10 years out of college.

Is architecture the hardest degree? ›

Architecture tops the list of hardest working college majors, with students averaging 22.2 hours of study time each week. This figure inevitably takes a toll.

What state is best for architects? ›

Our research found that Virginia is the best state for architects, while Alaska and Virginia are ranked highest in terms of median salary.
1. Virginia.
Total Architect Jobs:2,117
Average Annual Salary:$101,062
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$66,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$154,000
1 more row
6 Apr 2021

Are architects in high demand? ›

In the United States, it is estimated that the availability of architecture jobs will grow by 3% between now and 2030. This works out to approximately 9,400 job openings each year. While that may be small in comparison to engineering jobs, it's continued growth and demand for these AEC professionals.

Is it hard to study architecture? ›

Architecture is perceived as being hard because of how time intensive it is – this heavy requirement of a student's time and lack of experience managing their own time creates sleepless nights, long days in the studio and a horrific amount of homework.

Does Harvard have architecture? ›

For students of Harvard College, Architecture Studies is a track within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, History of Art and Architecture concentration, jointly administered by the History of Art and Architecture and the Graduate School of Design. The track has its own requirements.

How many architecture schools are there in the world? ›

The most recent list for the architecture discipline, which was released in 2020 includes 201 institutions, from around the world including Australia.

Is architecture a good career? ›

Architecture will always be a great career choice and one that is highly sought-after. There are many colleges in the country that provide a good course structure for Architecture. Architecture is a 5 year course and you can apply for a college by taking the B.


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