Best Architecture Colleges in the World

9 minute read
Best Architecture Colleges

Combining both, creativity and mathematical precision and modern design and classical formulae, architecture courses offer students the opportunity to design a blueprint and work on the construction and maintenance of structures. This may include concrete buildings, residential complexes, resorts and even religious places, along with projects like that of the Burj Khalifa project. Furthermore, architects also work on technology, sustainability, safety and suitability of such buildings, etc, keeping in mind the urban standards. While this blog focuses mainly on the best architecture colleges worldwide, you can refer to our blog on best architecture colleges in India if you wish to pursue this stream in India.


Before we move on to the best architecture colleges, it is important to get an overview of the programs available. In general, degree programs in architecture are closely related to disciplines including but not limited to Engineering, Design, Systems, Art and Culture, and History. While the duration of a Bachelor of Architecture may vary between 3-5 years depending on the destination, the postgraduate course offerings have an average duration of 1-3 years. Moreover, students can choose between professionally-inclined, theory-intensive or research-based programs as per their interests and goals. One can also go for short term courses like Diploma in Architecture or related programs like Diploma in Interior Designing which gives skill-based training in a particular aspect of architecture. Growing fields like Naval Architecture also offer competent career-building opportunities.

Is it Hard to Study Architecture?

Earning a degree in architecture may be quite rewarding. But, with long hours, a hefty workload, and a concentration on details, it’s also one of the most difficult, so knowing what you’re getting into is crucial. The planning and design of infrastructure, such as houses, factories, offices, and other structures, is referred to as architecture as flow. Aside from that, the architect’s role entails determining the structure’s purpose and specifications, as well as establishing preliminary cost and construction time estimates. It’s a process that involves working with specifications like drawings and scaled papers, preparing contract paperwork for building contractors, and managing construction contracts by ensuring that architectural designs are implemented.

How Many Years Does it Take to Study Architecture?

A Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.) degree, which takes five years to finish, is available to high school graduates who aspire to become architects. Four years is required to complete pre-professional bachelor’s degree programmes in architectural studies or construction management.

Also Read: Masters in Architecture in Canada

Best Architecture Colleges in the World

With the increase in demand for Architecture professionals, universities across the world are offering an array of degrees or short-term programs in this field. Here are the QS Rankings for Top 10 Architecture Colleges in the World and their Rankings in 2022.

Top 10 Architecture Colleges in World

RankingUniversityLocationOverall Score
#1Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, United States96.1
#2University College LondonLondon, United Kingdom95.9
#3Delft University of TechnologyDelft, Netherlands93.2
#4ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZürich, Switzerland92.9
#5Harvard UniversityCambridge, United States89.2
#6National University of Singapore (NUS)Singapore, Singapore87.4
#7The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)Berkeley, United States87.1
#8Tsinghua UniversityBeijing, China (Mainland)85.3
#9University of CambridgeCambridge, United Kingdom84.8
#10Politecnico di MilanoMilan, Italy84.5

Best Architecture Colleges: In Detail

If you want to know why these universities are ranked at a high position, glance over the overview of some of them so as to understand why they are considered as the best architecture colleges: 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]

Established as part of the original four departments of MIT, the Department of Architecture marked the institute’s commitment to expanding into diverse spaces and sciences. It offers a host of coursework as well as research degrees touching fields of Building Technology, Computation, History, Architecture & Urbanism, History, Theory & Criticism of Architecture & Art and Art, Culture & Technology. Dual degrees in association with other departments are also offered.

University College London

When it comes to determining the largest education institution by the total number of students in the UK, the University College London turned out as the 3rd largest. UCL has formed 193 years ago. At that time, it was named London University. This university was first among those educational institutions, where students can peacefully study without facing any discrimination. The university has several campuses in East London and Bloomsbury. However, Bloomsbury is a more recognized campus because it’s the main one.

ETH Zurich

Founded in the year 1854, the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich, Switzerland is one of the oldest and best architecture colleges across the globe. Its bachelor’s to continuing education course offerings are broadly divided into architecture, integrated building systems, and landscape architecture. It also has a dedicated Institute of Technology in Architecture, amongst others.

Also Read: Interior Design Colleges

Cornell University

Revered throughout the United States as one of the best architecture colleges, the Cornell AAP Architecture and Art & Planning have etched their name in the list of the top institutes offering courses in this field. The programs offered by the university emphasize development through small class sizes, community building, study abroad programs, etc. Further, its Professional Master of Architecture program is specially designed for attaining a fast-track route into the industry.

National University of Singapore[NUS]

Offering a variety of programs spanning architecture, sustainable design, urban planning, etc, NUS’s Architecture Department offers individuals a conducive environment to learn and experiment. It is well-known for its double-edged focus on technical expertise and intelligent thinking or creativity. Counted amongst the best architecture colleges in Asia, NUS also gives various awards & scholarships to encourage student participation from all corners of the world.

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University’s Department of Architecture was founded in October 1946 by famous architectural scholar Liang Sicheng and transferred to the School of Architecture in 1988, which presently includes the Department of Architecture and the Department of Urban Planning. The Departments of Building Science and Technology and Landscape Architecture were established independently in 2001 and 2003, and all of the departments above are made up of the four departments of the present School.

University of Cambridge

The Faculty of Architecture and History of Art at the University of Cambridge houses the Department of Architecture. Scroope Terrace on Trumpington Street houses both departments. Despite its small size in comparison to other institutions, the Department continues to develop, and the graduate admission has now surpassed the undergraduate intake for several years. The Department has roughly 300 students and around 30 faculty members, including full-time academic staff and part-time Design Fellows from highly successful London-based practises.

University of California Berkeley

The University of California’s College of Environmental Design (CED) is regarded as one of the best environmental design institutions in the country. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious labs for experimentation, research, and intellectual synergy in the world. CED pioneered an integrated approach to evaluating, comprehending, and creating our built environment as the first school to merge the disciplines of architecture, planning, and landscape architecture into a single college.

Harvard University 

The GSD boasts the oldest landscape architecture programme in the world (established in 1893), as well as the oldest urban planning programme in North America (founded in 1900). Harvard University was the first to offer architecture classes in 1874. In 1936, the Graduate School of Design was founded, bringing together the three areas of architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture under one roof. For the fiscal year 2016, the school’s endowment had a market value of around $428 million.

Delft University of Technology

TU Delft’s Faculty of Architectural and the Built Environment, which was founded in 1904, plays a prominent role in architecture instruction and research in the broadest sense. Approximately 3,000 students, as well as hundreds of researchers, lecturers, and professors follow or give education, conduct research, and support work in a dynamic, unique, and internationally oriented atmosphere. The Faculty’s goal is to prepare students to be exceptional architectural engineers, ranging from building technologists and urbanists to architects, landscape architects, real estate experts, and geodata specialists who operate on a national and worldwide scale. With over 30% of foreign Master’s students and faculty from 42 countries, it boasts a vibrant international community.

Best Colleges for Architecture in the US and Canada

Best Colleges for Architecture in Europe

  • Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne 
  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya 
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid 
  • Technische Universität Berlin 
  • Technische Universität München 
  • Politecnico di Milano 
  • Politecnico di Torino 
  • Delft University of Technology in the top 10 
  • Eindhoven University of Technology
  • KTH, Royal Institute of Technology 
  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology 
  • Oslo School of Architecture 
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • University of Lisbon and University of Porto 
  • Technische Universität Wien and Technische Universität Graz 
  • Vilnius Gediminas Technical University 
  • Lomonosov Moscow State University 

Best Colleges for Architecture in Australia and New Zealand

Check out this blog: Top Colleges in Australia 2022

Best Colleges for Architecture in Asia 

  • Tsinghua University
  • Tongji University 
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University 
  • National University of Singapore 
  • Technion – Israel Institute of Technology 
  • National Cheng Kung University 
  • University of Tokyo 
  • Kyoto University 
  • Seoul National University 
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University 
  • University of Hong Kong

Best Colleges for Architecture in Latin America  

  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Columbia’s Universidad Nacional de Colombia 
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) 
  • Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • Universidade de São Paulo (USP),

Best Colleges for Architecture in Africa and the Middle East

  • University of Cape Town
  • Cairo University 
  • American University in Cairo

Eligibility Criteria for Architecture

In order to study a full-time Bachelor in Architecture program, a student has to fulfil the below-given eligibility criteria: 

In order to study a Masters in Architecture program, a student has to fulfil the below-given eligibility criteria: 

  1. A 4-year bachelor’s degree in Architecture from a recognised institute
  2. It is advised that students must have at least a grade of B+ in the UG course
  3. Some universities in Canada may demand GRE scores from the students 
  4. It will be compulsory for students to submit their English language proficiency test scores such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc.

Best Architecture Colleges in India

Here is the top colleges by National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) for Architecture in India:

#1Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur  Kharagpur80.46
#2Indian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkee79.75
#3National Institute of Technology CalicutKozhikode69.24
#4Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology UniversityAhmedabad66.68
#5School of Planning and ArchitectureNew Delhi65.63
#6Indian Institute of Engineering Science and TechnologyShibpur65.05
#7School of Planning and ArchitectureBhopal63.87
#8National Institute of Technology TiruchirappalliTiruchirappalli60.29
#9School of Planning and ArchitectureVijayawada59.63
#10Jamia Millia IslamiaNew Delhi56.29

Best Architecture Masters Programs in the World

There are several Masters programs in the world and Best Architecture Masters ranks colleges for their Masters courses in Architecture. Here is the ranking of BAM 2022. 

#1Harvard UniversityMaster of Architecture II100,00
#2Columbia UniversityMaster of Science degree in Advanced
Architectural Design
#3Universidad Politécnica de Madrid / ETH Zurich Master of Advanced Studies in Collective
Housing (MCH)
#4Delft University of Technology The Berlage Post-master in Architecture
and Urban Design
#5Massachusetts Institute of Technology MITMaster of Science in Architecture Studies in Urbanism (SMArch Urbanism)90,27
#6University College of London (UCL)Architectural Design MArch (B-pro)88,50
#7Tsinghua UniversityEnglish Program for Master in Architecture87,61
#8Technische Universität München (TUM)Master of Arts MA in Architecture85,84
#8Cornell UniversityPost-Professional Master of Science,
Advanced Architectural Design
#10Princeton UniversityPost-professional Graduate
Program in Architecture

Career Prospects after Architecture

A plethora of jobs is available after graduation and masters with an Architecture degree. Here are the career options after graduation:

Here are the career options after Masters:

  • Building Surveyor 
  • Architect
  • Fire Risk Assessor 
  • Urban Designer 
  • Architectural Technologist 
  • Interior and Spatial Designer 
  • CAD Technician 
  • Estates Manager 
  • Construction Manager 
  • Landscape Architect 
  • Town Planner 
  • Higher Education Lecturer
  • Planning and Development Surveyor


Which institution has the greatest architecture program?

The Bartlett School of Architectural at UCL (Institution College London) has been declared the finest university for architecture studies, displacing MIT, which had led the rankings for the previous four years.

In the United Kingdom, how long does an architectural degree last?

Architects must study for seven years, however, students can complete a BA or BSc in architecture in three years. Three-year degrees in architecture and planning are also common.

Is Harvard a good place to study architecture?

Harvard University is one of the top four architectural schools in the world.

If you have found your dream institute in the above-mentioned list of best architecture colleges but can not seem to find the direction to gain entry into it, then consult the experts at Leverage Edu through a 30 minutes free career counselling session. From university admissions to the visa application process, the counsellors will provide assistance at every step. 

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