Which Architecture Schools Are in the San Francisco, CA Area?

Learn about architecture programs in the San Francisco, CA, area. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Public and private institutions near San Francisco, CA, have architecture degree programs for interested students. Learn about these undergraduate and graduate level programs and the schools that offer them.

What You Need to Know

At the undergraduate level, you could study architecture in pre-professional bachelor's programs, which typically take about four years to complete. Or, you could enroll in a 5-year B.Arch. program, which will prepare you to earn your license as an architect.

Master's programs are also available and include both M.Arch. programs and Master of Science offerings. The former prepare you for licensure, while the latter offers specialized training in design, building science or related fields to mid-career architects. If you're interested in teaching the next generation of architects, you could also earn a doctoral degree in the field.

Bachelor's Degrees in Architecture in the San Francisco, CA, Area

California College of the Arts

As an undergraduate in the architecture program at the California College of the Arts, you'll have access to research and design labs and the opportunity to learn from industry professionals through the school's architecture lecture series. Required courses in the National Architecture Accreditation Board-accredited five-year program include study of materials and methods in architecture, architectural history and multiple design studios where you'll gain hands-on experience creating new projects. Also, you'll complete a required internship that provides hands on experience in a professional architectural office.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)
  • Program Length: 5 years (full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $43,708 per year (as of 2015-2016)
  • Requirements: High school diploma or its equivalent, personal essay, SAT or ACT test scores, undergraduate portfolio, interview
  • School Type: 4-year, private, not-for-profit; 1,998 students (1,542 undergraduates)

The University of California - Berkeley

As an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley, you can obtain a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Architecture. This program can prepare you for employment in a variety of areas, such as construction or architectural practice or to pursue a professional degree in architecture or a related area. You'll take courses that explore how people interact with their environments, as well as drawing and visual representation, architectural design and the history of architecture. You can also choose to specialize in architectural history; architectural design and representation; society and culture or architectural technologies and building performance.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts
  • Field of Study Options: Architectural design and representation; architectural history; architectural technologies and building performance; society and culture
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,431 per year for in-state students, $38,139 per year for out-of-state students (as of 2015-2016)
  • Requirements: High school diploma or its equivalent, completion of 15 college preparatory courses with a 'C' or higher, SAT or ACT test scores
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 37,565 students (27,126 undergraduates)

University of San Francisco

The Department of Art and Architecture at the University of San Francisco (USF) offers a B.A. in Architecture and Community Design that combines landscape design, social sciences, humanities, city planning, architecture and urban design into a single program. This pre-professional degree program can prepare you to enter a graduate professional program in architecture. You'll complete courses in architecture history and theory, historic preservation, landscape architecture, sacred spaces and campus design, among others. You'll also complete an architecture practicum or internship during the final semester of your senior year.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts
  • Field of Study Options: Architecture and community design, architectural engineering
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $42,634 per year (as of 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or is equivalent, completion of required high school coursework, including 4 years of English, 3 years of math, 3 years of social science, 2 years of lab science and 2 years of foreign language
  • School Type: 4-year, private, not-for-profit; 10,689 students (6,845 undergraduates)

Master's Degrees in Architecture in the San Francisco, CA, Area

California College of the Arts

At the graduate level, you can pursue a professional degree, the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), or a 1-year post-professional degree, the Master of Advanced Architecture Design (MAAD). In the 3-year M.Arch. program, you'll have the option to take studio courses during the summers, beginning with a course that covers fundamental architectural drawing skills. Throughout the program, you'll enroll in design studios, study architectural theory and history and take classes that cover building materials and technology.

The MAAD program is designed for both professional, mid-career architects and advanced students. In the 1-year program, you can choose from three concentrations, including design theory and critical practices; urbanism, landscape and ecology; or digital design technologies. Your required courses will vary based on your chosen concentration.

  • Program Name: Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD)
  • Program Length: 3 years (full-time) for the M.Arch. program, 1 year (full-time) for the MAAD program
  • Tuition and Fees: $45,970 per year (as of 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in any field for the M.Arch. program, professional architecture degree (B.Arch. or M.Arch.) for the MAAD program
  • Requirements: Portfolio, essay, professional resume, two letters of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private, not-for-profit; 1,998 students (1,542 undergraduates)

The University of California - Berkeley

At the graduate level, you can pursue a nonprofessional degree, the M.S. in Architecture, or a professional degree, the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.). While enrolled in the M.S. degree program, you'll have the opportunity to complete coursework and research in a selected area of study, such as design theories, methods and practices; building science and sustainability or social and cultural processes in architecture and urbanism, among others. After completion of required coursework, you'll research and write a master's thesis in your chosen area.

The M.Arch. degree will take 1-3 years to complete, depending on your undergraduate field of study. If you hold a Bachelor of Architecture, it will take one year, while if you hold a B.A. in Architecture, it will take two years. If you hold an undergraduate degree in an area other than architecture, the M.Arch. takes three years to complete. Regardless of the timeframe, you can expect to complete courses in architectural design and sciences; the history of architecture and urbanism and social and cultural processes in architecture and urbanism.

  • Program Name: Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
  • Field of Study Options: Building science and sustainability; design theories, methods and practices; social and cultural processes in architecture and urbanism; history of architecture and urbanism; environmental design and urbanism in developing countries
  • Program Length: 1.5-2 years (full time) for the M.S. program, 1-3 years (full-time) for the M.Arch. program, depending on your undergraduate degree
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,431 per year for in-state students, $28,533 per year for out-of-state students (as of 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, M.Arch. program also asks for coursework in analytical geometry, beginning calculus, physics and mechanics
  • Requirements: GRE or TOEFL test scores, three letters of recommendation, personal history statement, statement of purpose, digital design portfolio (for M.Arch. applicants), research proposal (for M.S. applicants)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 37,565 students (27,126 undergraduates)

Doctoral Degree in Architecture in the San Francisco, CA Area

The University of California - Berkeley

As a doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley, you'll have the option to choose from several concentrations including environmental design and urbanism in developing countries and social and cultural processes in architecture and urbanism. You'll have to complete course work in your major and two minor fields of study before you can take the qualifying examination to advance to candidacy. Prior to candidacy, you'll also have to complete foreign language requirements. As a Ph.D. candidate, you'll conduct original research related to your field of study and then defend your dissertation.

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture
  • Field of Study Options: Building science and sustainability; design theories, method and practices; environmental design and urbanism in developing countries; history of architecture and urbanism; social and cultural processes in architecture and urbanism
  • Program Length: 6-8 years, depending on degree held
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,431 per year for in-state students, $28,533 per year for out-of-state students (as of 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, students without a degree in architecture must take a course in architectural design, statement of purpose, personal history statement, three letters of recommendation, digital-formatted official transcripts, resume and writing samples, TOEFL (required for all international applicants); GRE (optional)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 37,565 students (27,126 undergraduates)

The San Francisco, CA, area offers architecture students several schools where they can earn a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture.

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:

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