Architecture is a multifaceted subject that necessitates a firm understanding of design, engineering, and technology. As a result, prospective architects must get a high-quality education that provides them with the skills and information needed to create projects that are safe, useful, and aesthetically beautiful. With so many architectural schools throughout the world, it can be difficult to find the best one. Hence, if you’re thinking about pursuing a career in architecture and seeking the best architecture schools, you’ve come to the right place.
This post discusses the benefits of becoming an architect, the best architecture schools, and how to become a qualified architect. Surprisingly, some of these universities offer scholarships that allow both local and international students to pursue the degrees of their dreams.
Who Is An Architect?
An architect is a professional who designs and plans buildings, structures, and other physical environments. They apply their engineering, aesthetics, and functioning knowledge to create structures and places that suit the needs of their customers and users while also taking safety, sustainability, and the surrounding environment into account. Architects also work on a wide range of projects, from local residential constructions to big commercial complexes, and may be involved in the rehabilitation, restoration, or preservation of existing structures.
What Are the Benefits Of Pursuing A Career In Architecture?
Becoming an architect can provide a variety of personal and professional benefits. Below we dive more into some of the key benefits of pursuing a career in Architecture:
#1. Job Security And High Earning Potential
The demand for architects is expected to rise in the coming years, particularly in developing countries. This means that architects can have a steady and secure profession while earning a decent salary, especially as they gain expertise and develop a successful career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for architects in May 2020 was $82,320.
#2. Diverse Career Paths
Architects can operate in a variety of settings, such as government agencies, commercial firms, or independent contractors. They can also specialize in residential, commercial, or industrial architecture. Hence, if you enjoy adventure, a career in architecture might be for you!
#3. Creative Expression
Architecture is an art form, and as an architect, you may express your creativity by constructing beautiful and practical structures that can last for generations. The capacity to express oneself creatively while creating work that will last for decades may be incredibly pleasant and fulfilling.
#4. Opportunity to Travel Around the world
Architects frequently travel and this allows architects to travel and learn from others, broaden their knowledge, and form long-lasting relationships. Whether you are in a supervising or consulting position, you will be able to travel around the world, explore, broaden your horizons, and experiment.
Top 15 Best Schools For Architecture
Below are our top picks of best schools for architecture:
#1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States
MIT is the first on the list of best schools for architecture. MIT is home to cutting-edge research and study in the fields of art, design, architecture history, building technology, and architectural computation. Hence, students who want to acquire the best education and hands-on experience in the field of architecture can apply to MIT. Furthermore, studying at MIT will allow you to design modern and postmodern buildings as well as participate in a variety of internship opportunities.
#2. The Delft University of Technology Delft, Netherlands
The Delft University of Technology, located in the Netherlands, has one of the largest campuses in the world. It has restaurants, parks, cycle routes, a botanical garden, a modern media center, a flight simulator, and an aerodynamics and propulsion lab. This university aims to train students to be experts in real estate, landscape design, urban planning, building technology, and architecture. As a result, students gain analytical abilities and learn how to tackle challenges related to urbanization, climate change, and the evolution of existing buildings.
#3. University College London, United Kingdom
University College London, which operates as UCL, is a public research university in London, United Kingdom. It is a member institution of the federal University of London and is the second-largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment and the largest by postgraduate enrolment. This university is well-known for providing world-class education from experts in architecture and design. Similarly, students have access to cutting-edge facilities and tools to help them develop their creative abilities. Thankfully, through job placements, the institution permits students to conduct research projects and create professional networks.
#4. ETH Zurich: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland
One of the major reasons ETH Zurich ranks among the best schools for architecture is that it’s one of the world’s premier architectural colleges. This university provides students with project-based and creative architecture education. Hence, students investigate the architectural program’s design, construction, and historical and social components. All students have access to architectural technologies, laboratories, studios, and research institutes.
Furthermore, education at ETH Zurich blends solid theory with practical application, and most degree programs are built on solid mathematical foundations. The major teaching language for undergraduates is German, whereas most master’s and doctorate programs are in English.
#5. Harvard University, United States
Established in 1636, Harvard is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the United States and is widely regarded in terms of its influence, reputation, and academic pedigree as a leading university in the world. Also, Harvard University School of Design is noted for its design-focused and diverse curriculum, which includes topics such as inner-city restructuring, historical contexts, city transformation and development, and studio geographies study.
Surprisingly, Harvard University provides a large number of scholarships to its architecture students. Every year, students have access to internship options such as Takenaka Summer Internships and others through the Harvard GSD Career & Internship Fair.
#6. National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
The National University of Singapore is also rated as one of the best architectural institutions in the world. NUS is a major global university based in Asia that provides a global approach to teaching and research with an emphasis on Asian perspectives and expertise. The University is well-known for its outstanding research-based architecture program, which provides students with practical design skills as well as creative thinking abilities.
Additionally, NUS also includes 17 faculties and schools spread across three campuses. Its transformative education consists of a broad-based curriculum complemented by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Similarly, over 38,000 students from 100 nations contribute to the community’s diversity of social and cultural ideas.
#7. Manchester School of Architecture, United Kingdom
The University of Manchester encourages architectural design, research, and cooperation excellence. It provides a 2-year master’s program in architecture and a 5-year doctoral program in architecture. In addition, specialists in the field of architecture teach students how to solve problems practically.
Similarly, students engage with their colleagues and specialists at Manchester Metropolitan University to learn about high-quality design and be inspired by Manchester University alumni’s architectural achievements. Field tours and internship placements are available to provide students with hands-on experience in the field of architecture. All these add to make Manchester School of Architecture rank among the best architecture schools in the country.
#8. University of California, Berkeley, United States
Established in 1868, the University of California, Berkeley is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. This prominent university provides students with architectural research and design expertise. Its fourteen colleges and institutions offer over 350-degree programs and have over 32,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students enrolled.
The department provides a professionally recognized Master of Architecture, a post-professional Master of Advanced Architectural Design, a Master of Science (MS), and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Similarly, the University provides a four-year undergraduate architecture program, a two-year master’s degree, and a three-year Ph.D. program that are all certified by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
#9. Tsinghua University Beijing, China
Tsinghua University, also known as “the Harvard of China,” provides students with an innovative method of learning architectural design. As a result, students at the undergraduate level have the opportunity to construct projects and excel in design problems. Similarly, students receive a blend of Chinese and European architecture that is taught in English.
Likewise, master’s and doctoral students are offered by renowned professors. Finally, international students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as welcome parties, New Year’s Eve parties, graduation parties, and excursions to cultural and historical places.
#10. Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Italy is home to a wide range of architectural designs and structures. Thus, the world’s best architectural designs can be found in Italian museums, palaces, churches, villas, and other locations. It is no surprise that the Polytechnic University of Milan is famous for its educational quality and architectural excellence.
Generally, Politecnico di Milano is one of the best architecture schools in the world since architecture is one of its many English-taught degrees. Moreover, the university provides various merit-based scholarships for international students. Also, architectural graduates from this university have a high employability rate in Italy and the rest of the world.
#11. Tongji University Shanghai, China
Tongji University is one of China’s oldest and most famous institutions of higher learning. Today, it is now a comprehensive university with seven departments: engineering, science, medicine, management, arts, law, and economics. Also, Tongji University has become the top choice for individuals pursuing a career in architecture and civil engineering, in particular. Consequently, the institution has established close ties with industry, allowing its students to get firsthand knowledge through engagement with society. Thankfully, Tongji University graduates are highly sought after by various companies around the country.
#12. The University of Hong Kong
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is Hong Kong’s oldest tertiary institution, dating back over a century. The University is ranked 26th among the world’s most prestigious comprehensive research-led universities. Its outstanding academic standards and cutting-edge research attract numerous top-tier scholars from Hong Kong, Mainland China, and throughout the world.
Furthermore, as an HKU student, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the world’s finest researchers. Also, you will meet students from 96 countries and learn from some of the world’s greatest teachers, 60% of whom are from outside of Hong Kong.
#13. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
PolyU university has an 85-year distinguished legacy and is ranked among the top 100 institutions in the world. It answers to the difficulties and opportunities posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is defined by emerging technologies such as AI, data science, robotics, novel materials, additive manufacturing, and biotechnology.
Additionally, PolyU develops future global leaders by establishing a broad-based curriculum for holistic academic growth in a variety of courses, including architecture. PolyU conducts its programs in a variety of formats, including videos, quizzes, presentations, case studies, discussion forums, live events, knowledge checks, and exams, as part of its mission to provide lifelong learning opportunities worldwide.
#14. University of Cambridge, Cambridge United Kingdom
The University of Cambridge is a public college research university in Cambridge, England. It is one of the world’s oldest universities, having been founded in 1209. In addition, Cambridge is usually regarded as a vibrant environment to study. Similarly, the university is home to over 100 libraries, which collectively house over 15 million books.
There are also nine world-renowned artistic, scientific, and cultural museums, including Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum, which are open to the public all year, as well as a botanical park. Extracurricular activities allow you to participate in anything from the university’s renowned student drama societies to music, politics, and hundreds of other clubs and societies.
#15. EPFL, Lausanne Switzerland
EPFL is the last on the list of best schools for architecture. It is one of Europe’s most inventive and prolific academic institutions, with over 350 research groups on campus. EPFL is also Europe’s most international technical university, offering studies in a variety of subjects including architecture. As a result, it accepts students, instructors, and collaborators from over 120 different countries.
Similarly, EPFL engages with a large network of partners, including other universities and colleges, secondary schools, industry, the economy, political circles, and the general public. The arts are another priority on campus, with the university hosting many yearly music festivals each year. Hence, studying at EPFL will be both impactful and enjoyable!
How Can I Become An Architect?
If you want to start a career in architecture, below are the steps to follow to become an architect:
#1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Typically, aspiring architects take a specialized undergraduate degree in architecture at university. The requirements vary by state, however, most jurisdictions require aspiring architects to complete a five-year Bachelor of Architecture program approved by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Project management, building systems, environmental planning, and impact analysis are typical subjects in an authorized architect’s bachelor’s degree.
#2. Complete an Internship Program
Following earning your undergraduate degree in architecture, you can begin an internship program. Since every state needs prospective architects to complete an internship program before they can be licensed. Most internship programs run for three years and provide vital experience to those preparing for a career as an architect.
#3. Complete an Examination
After completing your internship, you may sit for an exam administered by your provincial architectural association to get certified as an architect. This exam assesses your understanding of several parts of architecture practice, such as site study, schematic design, development, construction, and code research.
#4. Obtain an Architectural License
To practice architecture in your state, you must first receive licensing by passing the Architect Registration Examination. To be eligible to take the exam, most states need a bachelor’s degree and the completion of an internship. This is a seven-part pass-or-fail test provided by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
#5. Find a Position
When you have your full architect license, you can apply for open positions with architecture companies or larger organizations. You can find openings by using job search websites or by visiting the website of your province’s architecture association. Similarly, during your university education and internship period, you can build essential professional relationships that can help you get a job. Alternatively, you may decide to create your own firm after obtaining more expertise and finding clientele.
#6. Consider a Master’s Degree
Some architects seek to advance their careers by acquiring a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to architecture. Hence, you can decide to enroll for a master’s degree in architecture. There is also various NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture programs available.
FAQs About the Best Schools For Architecture
Do architects earn good money?
Although an architect’s income varies depending on the area, years of experience, amount of education, and the size of the firm for which you work. Nonetheless, the average annual wage for architects in the United States is $85,500 as of March 2021. Hence, architects earn a reasonable amount of money.
What university has the best architecture program?
The following college has the best architectural courses:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, United States
- Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
- UCL, London, United Kingdom
- ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland
- Harvard University, Cambridge, United States
- National University of Singapore (NUS)
- Manchester School of Architecture, United Kingdom
- The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, United States
- Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
- Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Which country is best for studying architecture?
Below are some of the top countries for architecture education:
- The Netherlands
- United Arab Emirates
In conclusion, with so many architectural schools available, selecting the best college might be a difficult option. Because the quality of your education can have a great impact on your future possibilities, it is critical to select a school that matches your goals and desires. This is why we investigated some of the best architecture schools in the globe, each with its own set of advantages and prospects.
All of these schools, however, are dedicated to providing you with a thorough education that will enable you to flourish in the profession of architecture. You can also conduct your own research and choose which option is best for you.