To complicate the matter, many of these universities of Bachelors in Architecture require the submission of a portfolio for prospective undergraduate students. Admission to these universities is often extraordinarily difficult, but for the students that get in, it could give them a leg up in their career. So, without further delay, I present to you, the top 10 universities in the world for studying architecture 

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

It’s that time of year again. The worldwide frenzy that is college applications has renewed itself for another cycle which means that hundreds of thousands of potential architecture students around the globe have or will have started looking at universities to apply for. In the mess of personal essays, grades, activities, and others, there lies the question of which universities are the best for study architecture. Countless universities offer programs in architecture but only a select few can truly be called the best of the best. To complicate the matter, many of these universities require the submission of a portfolio for prospective undergraduate students. Admission to these universities is often extraordinarily difficult, but for the students that get in, it could give them a leg up in their career. So, without further delay, I present to you, the top 10 universities in the world for studying architecture (in no specific order).

1. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge, one of the top institutions in the United Kingdom.

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Cambridge ©cam.ac.uk

The University of Cambridge is an extremely prestigious university in the United Kingdom and world-renowned for its architecture program. The Guardian listed the University of Cambridge as the top university to study architecture in the UK. It’s ARB and RIBA certified which allows students to skip part one of the architectural examination process. Admission to the architecture course is extremely difficult and requires a portfolio and an interview where students demonstrate recent works.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

MIT, world-renowned for science, math, technology, and engineering.

This world-renowned institution for math and sciences is also home to one of the best architecture programs out there. It’s known for its masters of architecture program, but the 4-year Bachelor in architecture program is equally comprehensive. Admitted students will enjoy a year of educational exploration before they decide their major in their sophomore year. However, it should be noted that its architecture program is not NCAAB-accredited, so graduates looking to become an architect certified in the US must apply for an M. Arch program to continue their education.

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3.  Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

The top university in the Netherlands.

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Delft ©flickr.com

One of the highest quality universities in all of Europe, Delft University of Technology is highly acclaimed for its architecture program. The total time it takes to finish the degree is approximately 3 years, after which most students enroll in a master’s program for further specialization. However, it should be noted that the program is taught in Dutch, so proficiency in the Dutch language must be acquired for international students looking to study at TU Delft.

4. University of California, Berkeley, United States

One of the most famous public universities in the US.

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Berkeley ©berkeleyside.com

UC Berkeley is frequently listed as the topic of a public university in the United States. It features an outstanding architecture program with several programs of appeal such as the 4-year bachelors of art in architecture and the 3 year M. Arch degree which is highly acclaimed and thorough in providing quality education. Students in the bachelor of art program must continue their education through an M. Arch degree to be considered a certified architect in the US. The tuition for this university is considerably cheaper than most US universities because it is publicly funded which allows students to save money for graduate school.

5. Cornell University, United States

It is a member of the Ivy League and the only Ivy League with an accredited B. Arch.

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Cornell ©flickriver.com

The B. Arch offered by Cornell is named as the top bachelor of architecture program in the United States. Successful graduates of this NCAAB-certified program will not have to go to graduate school to become an architect. However, because this degree of architecture is certified, the rigor of the program requires a portfolio during the application process and will take 5 years of study to complete. Students who are accepted into this top-quality program will be welcomed with the best resources and faculty available to undergraduate students.

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6. Politecnico di Milano, Italy

The Politecnico di Milano is one of the best Italian universities for architecture.

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Milano ©wikimedia.org

The Politecnico di Milano is the alma mater of Renzo Piano and is home to one of the greatest bachelors of architecture programs in the world. Taught in both Italian and English, this 3-year program will prepare students for entry into a master of architecture program and promises to provide a strong foundation.

7. Manchester School of Architecture, United Kingdom

It is a jointly managed school and boasts a high-quality program.

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Manchester ©aasarchitecture.com

The Manchester School of Architecture is a joint program set up by the Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester. Like the UCL degree, this RIBA and ARB certified program allow successful graduates to skip part 1 of the examination process. Application to this program of study requires the submission of a portfolio of works to demonstrate creative aptitude.

8. Tsinghua University, China

Tsinghua University is the flagship of Chinese universities.

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Tsinghua ©thebeijinger.com

Tsinghua University is frequently praised as the best university on the Asian continent hosting several awards winning faculty members in fields such as chemistry, physics, and computer science. The architecture program at Tsinghua is no different. The program is taught in both Chinese and English and will take 5 years to complete. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in both languages. The comprehensive architecture program will cover several topics including design theory, history, and studio classes. 

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9.  National University Singapore, Singapore

The leading school of architecture in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

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Hailed as one of the best architecture programs in all of Asia, NUS provides a thorough education for all architecture students. Students in their final year can opt to follow a track that allows them to concurrently enroll in a master’s program which greatly reduces the stress of having to reapply to the university. Admission to the university is extremely competitive and requires an interview in the final stage for all applicants.

10.  University College London, United Kingdom

A leading institution in the United Kingdom.

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University College London (1827-9), by William Wilkins and J Gandy Deering

For students looking to become a certified architect in the UK, there is no better place to study Architecture than at University College London. Offered under the Bartlett School of Architecture, this 3-year degree program allows graduates to skip part one of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) examination. The rigorous application process includes an assessment task and an interview where students present their portfolios.

Admission to these universities is extremely competitive (and extremely expensive) so it’s worth mentioning that attending one of these universities is not a must for becoming a great architect. Doing so requires more than a shiny degree from a prestigious university. It requires creativity, wit, ingenuity, resourcefulness, grit, and above all, dedication. With all of those character traits, you will be well equipped to become an architect anywhere you study. 

Author

Eric Pham is a high school senior in the US with a fascination for the built environment. He believes that with more sustainable designs, architects and planners can change the world and create more eco-friendly urban areas.

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