Architecture Universities in the USA: Which One to Choose?

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Aug 24,2023 10:30 AM IST

Starting a degree in architecture in the USA takes only a few steps beyond planning. Read the blog to know about universities offering undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture and urban planning in the USA with eligibility, course requirements, and career opportunities after a degree and ways to select a university from a wide number of options.  

architecture-universities-in-the-usa.webpArchitecture is a field that merges art and science to design buildings, landscapes and other physical structures. USA is known for its buildings and structures as for its academic programs in architecture. If names like Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan (well-known American architects of their time) have ever inspired a student to take the path of being an architect, designer or planner or if the student has ever had an innate desire to expand their horizon on the subject, USA offers excellent academic options to study architecture programs as bachelors and masters to international students.  

Universities for Bachelor's Programs in the USA

A bachelor’s degree in architecture equips the students to become licensed architects with the knowledge and practice to integrate advanced digital technologies and sustainable design practices.    

Architectural programs in the USA are offered in multiple forms like Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Architecture, and Bachelor of Science degrees with varying program lengths specific to the program. Read to know the universities in the USA offering undergraduate programs in architecture. 

UniversitiesLocation (City, State)
The University of ArizonaTucson, Arizona
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona
Colorado State UniversityFort Collins, Colorado
University of ConnecticutStorrs, Connecticut
University of DelawareNewark, Delaware
University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago, Illinois
Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (main campus)
Kent State UniversityKent, Ohio
The University of UtahSalt Lake City, Utah
Washington State UniversityPullman, Washington
University of Wisconsin - MilwaukeeMilwaukee, Wisconsin

Universities for Master's Programs in the USA 

A postgraduate program in the USA is also offered as a Master in Architecture or Master in Science. It helps students to develop mastery in architecture with innovative design methods and technologies to construct sustainable environments and test and experiment with practices. The degrees help students develop a critical understanding of historical and contemporary practices and transitions in the industry, preparing students to become leaders with a strong vision and skills to solve critical problems.   

Universities offering master’s programs in architecture and related fields are as follows:

UniversitiesLocation (City, US State)
The University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona
University of HartfordWest Hartford, Connecticut
Suffolk UniversityBoston, Massachusetts
New York Institute of TechnologyOld Westbury, New York
University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago, Illinois
Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
Kent State UniversityKent, Ohio
Texas Tech UniversityLubbock, Texas
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Programs in Architecture in the USA

Architecture programs offered in the USA are of varied types. At the same time, some focus more on computational technologies, some on urban and regional design, some on environmental design, and others on the landscape. Still, all of them cover the basic theoretical and practical aspects of the field. Below are the programs in architecture in the USA. 

Undergraduate Programs in Architecture

Architecture ProgramsArchitecture Programs in Science Architecture Programs in Arts
Bachelor of ArchitectureBachelor of Science in Design (BSD) in Architectural DesignBachelor of Arts in Design Arts and Practices
Bachelor of Landscape ArchitectureBachelor of Science in Interior Architecture & DesignBachelor of Arts in Architecture
Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture Program (BSLA)BA in Urban Ecology
Bachelor of Science in Architecture
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies
Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design
BS in Urban Ecology

Bachelors programs in arts, science and arts in architecture teach varied aspects of the field and follow different coursework. The major and minor requirements for some programs in architecture are given below and may differ with the university offering them:

Bachelor of Science in Architecture Electives: Renaissance, Baroque, 20th Century Architecture, Skyscrapers, Architecture of World’s Fairs, Analytical Geometry, Calculus, Physics and more.
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture Electives: Mathematics, Natural Sciences. Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Ceramics, typography and more. 

Bachelor of Science in Architecture Electives: Critical Practices, the (Meta)Physics of Light, Material Matters and Urban Agency and more.

Postgraduate Programs in Architecture

Architecture ProgramsArchitecture Programs in ScienceArchitecture Programs in Arts
Master of ArchitectureMaster of Science in Landscape ArchitectureMaster of Arts in Design Criticism
Master of City and Metropolitan PlanningMaster of Science in ArchitectureMaster of Arts in Interior Architecture
Master of Urban PlanningMaster of Science in Architecture and design research
Master of Urban DesignMaster of Science in interior Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture, Computational Technologies
Master of Science in Architecture, Health & Design
Master of Design in Architecture, Urban Design

Master’s programs in arts and science in architecture have different course requirements. The major and minor requirements for some of these programs are given below and may differ with the university offering them:


Eligibility Requirements for UG and PG Programs in the USA

The eligibility criteria for different programs and degrees vary with the university, however, general minimum requirements for bachelors programs in architecture in the USA are as follows:

1. Scores and transcripts of grade 12
2. English language proficiency test scores like IELTS or TOEFL 
3. SAT (Standardized Admission Test) or ACT scores
4. A portfolio of creative work (10-15 pages of visual work)

The eligibility criteria for master’s programs in architecture have the following general minimum requirements, which may vary for different programs offered at different universities.

1. Scores and transcripts of a bachelor’s degree in architecture or related fields 
2. English language proficiency test scores like IELTS or TOEFL 
3. A portfolio of visual creative work (minimum 10-15 pages)
4. Personal essay

Benefits of Studying Architecture in USA

A degree in architecture from the USA can be advantageous in ways more than fathomable, which includes extraordinary and unexpected opportunities to work and collaborate and being at the forefront of trends in the field of modern and sustainable architecture. Some benefits are delineated below.  

1. Exposure to wider perspectives – Studying in a vastly multicultural environment doesn’t only impact the thinking process but also reflects in professional abilities that allow the creator to cater to varieties of stakeholders. 
2. Improved prospects – The degree attained wouldn’t require an additional testimony of the student’s skills as the programs involve rigorous internships and hands-on experience.  
3. Intensive internships – Internships at organizations in the US offer extensive professional experience with a chance to work on many aspects, including design, code, planning, drafting and more.   
4. Global recognition - The degree is recognized worldwide and acceptable for higher education and professional stints in any region globally.   

Jobs after Studying Architecture in the USA

Students completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree from the USA gain skills in architectural engineering, design, technology, interior architecture, landscape, urban planning and more. Following are the professional hats that architecture graduates can do. 

Project CoordinatorArchitectural DesignStructural Engineer
Computer-aided design (CAD) detailerProject ManagerInterior Designer
Architectural drafterArchitectural TechnologistLandscape Architect
Building ArchitectIndustrial DesignUrban Planner
Junior ArchitectBuilding information modelling (BIM) coordinatorDesign Assistant
Building code specialistsustainability coordinator

How to Choose a University to Study Architecture in the USA

If the university information is overwhelming or inordinate, consider the following points to choose well. 
1. Budget – Degree programs in architecture range from $26,000 to $50,000. The student’s intent on the range of expenditure can help them decide which universities they want to apply to and get admission to. 
2. Coursework – Architectural programs in arts, science and those that are core architectural ones have varying coursework requirements. A walkthrough of the program can help students make better decisions based on choices and interests. 
3. Scholarships – If students are seeking financial aid, they can do so through internal and external scholarships. The availability of both can help narrow down choices to a minimum. 
4. Location – USA offers architectural institutes in most states; hence a preference for a location can make it easier to choose. 
5. Application Dates – If a student is late for applying, the application dates and the time for visa application processes can help students ascertain an institute.   


With a great number of program and institute options for studying architecture in the USA, students can feel the need for expert consultation in international education to make a decision for the future. Making an informed decision based on information on all facets is imperative. Students should have the foresight to analyze best to use their resources, qualifications and abilities for an academic qualification that evokes pride. A single right choice can lead students to places where half-right choices cannot. 

Also read: M.Arch in USA for indian students


The average cost of studying architecture in the USA is approximately $50,000. These include tuition costs and living expenses, but these can vary depending on the university and lifestyle of the student.
The future scope of studying architecture in the USA is quite high. Therefore, students move on to jobs after pursuing the courses there. 
You should consider the following factors while choosing the architectural school or university in the USA:

Accreditation: The course at the school or university must be duly recognized.
Degree Paths: You should consider the degree paths available to you
Location: The location or city where the school or university is located should be kept in mind
Academics: You should keep in mind the calibre of professors and their curriculum delivery as well as the mind
Scholarships: You should also consider the scholarships that are available for the course
Harvard & Cornell University offers extensive studies in architecture in the USA. 

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