What Are Some Nationally Ranked Schools for Architectural Design?

When choosing a university, architecture students need to consider many factors, such as the competitiveness of the degree and the prestige of the faculty. DesignIntelligence publishes an annual ranking for architecture programs that considers those factors. Learn about some of the top-ranked schools and what they offer in an architectural design program. Schools offering Building Information Modeling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Nationally Ranked Schools for Architectural Design

The following three schools made DesignIntelligence's 2019 list of nationally ranked schools for Architectural Design. The survey that results in these rankings queries architectural firms and companies about which school's students are best prepared for the workforce.

Important Facts About Architectural Design Schools

Prerequisites High school diploma, ACT or SAT scores, current laptop computer
Online Availability None (internship required for licensure)
Continuing Education Requirements vary by state
Possible Careers Architectural project manager, senior planner, specifications writer
Median Salary (2018)* $79,380 (architects)
Job Outlook (2016 - 2026)* 4% (architects)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Better known as Virginia Tech, this university held the 8th spot for undergraduate architecture programs on DesignIntelligence's 2019 list. This 5-year Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) program awards students a professional degree and fosters an active discourse among students to develop their comprehension and opinions of this field. Additionally, the theoretical components of this program take an approach that combines design philosophies with these concepts:

  • Building design in relation to human factors
  • Environmental forces
  • Technology in architecture

College of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo

DesignIntelligence places Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Bachelor of Architecture program 3rd on its 2019 list of undergraduate architecture programs. This 5-year program is ideal for those intending to enter the profession after completing the degree, and it holds National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) recognition. Upon beginning this program, students work through the challenges architects face in today's structural world, including those related to aesthetics and technology. The school also offers pre-professional bachelor's degrees, an M.Arch. professional program and a Master of Science degree focused on environmental planning and design. Highlights of the B.Arch. program include:

  • Seminars and lectures on architecture
  • Off-campus study during the fourth year
  • Studio projects

School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin

In 2019, DesignIntelligence ranked the University of Texas at Austin's undergraduate program 10th on that list. This school offers both pre-professional and professional degrees at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, the school offers two professional programs, as well as several master's programs concentrated on urban design, historic preservation and architectural history, among other options. The B.Arch. program features advanced courses that cover these concepts:

  • Architectural history
  • Construction
  • Advanced design

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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