The life of an architect aims to walk on the fine line between creating and reorganizing the built environment. And, one can only attempt to learn this act of balancing between both worlds in life. The profession of an architect does not just require architectural skills but demands a person to be wide awake with a steady mind of changeable notions. 

The real education of architecture starts when one comprehends that the mind palace is the prime construction site with the potential of renovation and creation, and the rest is all secondary. Stuck in this state of dualism forever, one can only attempt to master the art and practice of architecture.

Architecture schools equip pupils with multiple skillsets with their dynamic educational systems. The proto design practice in architecture schools exposes students to the reality of the profession and prepares them to embrace new tasks and competencies. Therefore the undergraduate course of architecture acts as an eye-opener towards architectural practices. But, the master’s courses enable architects to explore beyond multiple horizons and collaborate and simultaneously build a network of like-minded professionals. 

Here is a list of 10 colleges (in no particular order of rank) that are the holy grail for masters in architecture.

1. The Architectural Association School of Architecture, London

Commonly referred to as the AA, the Architectural Association School of Architecture is the most prestigious college and a pilgrimage centre of architecture students. The school, regarded as the most influential one in the world, includes alumni like Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Tschumi, etc. The school persistently works to set the bar higher than its preceding one. 

Here, students explore the multifaceted nature of architecture through a multitudinous approach: design studios, public galleries, lectures, exhibitions, research, and publications. And, the association with the AA capacitates students to work the most renowned practices worldwide as the school with its dynamic education modules devises students to generate practical and highly remarkable strategic solutions.

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AA School of Architecture_©www.dezeen.com/

2. The Bartlett, UCL

Commonly referred to as the Bartlett, the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment is a part of the University College of London. This academic unit has twelve departments under the faculty of the built environment. The education modules enable students to excel in one domain while simultaneously responding to all others. Bartlett believes that the study of architecture should go beyond just the buildings. 

Therefore, the research undertaken by the university while addressing architecture extends its expertise to a broad spectrum of comprehensive disciplines that includes physical sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. This university offers various specializations for pupils who believe in carrying out research that drives the ideas and inspiration to practice architecture.

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The Bartlett_©www.ucl.ac.uk/

3. Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona

The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, also known as IAAC, is a research institute in Barcelona, Spain. As the name suggests, IAAC’s prime motive is to address the issues of the present for a better future using the latest cutting-edge technology and innovative practices. Always striving to bring the later to come architecture to the present, the institution produces change-makers of the discipline. 

The institute is an experiment laboratory wherein students learn through conducting experiments and researching to obtain real-time radical solutions. Though the scale of the experiments varies from micro to macro, materials to cities, the test-based methodology approach remains the same. Persistently keeping up with the global trends, the institute bridges the gap between architecture and technology.

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IAAC_©iaac.net/

4. TU Delft, Netherlands

The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft holds a leading position among all the schools internationally.  Due to its global reach, the students develop skills to look at the design challenges in an all-encompassing manner. The faculty offers five master’s specialization tracks: architecture, building technology, landscape architecture, management in the built environment, and urbanism. Students select one of the five master tracks for the entire duration of their study. 

The education here is more interactive than unilateral. Pupils learn through individual projects after exploring different domains and through collaborating with people of different specializations. The education modules aim to teach architecture by unifying it with engineering, management, and avant-garde technology.

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TU Delft_©scholarship-positions.com/

5. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is a public research university in Switzerland. The aim of the master’s program here is to dive deeper into the knowledge acquired in the bachelor’s degree and bring out the pupil’s individuality. The institute upskills the pupils to be more than a mere representative of any organization and trains students to create their brand. 

The institute stimulates students to develop an individualistic and independent approach towards handling or working at an architectural practice.

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ETH Zurich_©ethz.ch/

6. Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology considered being one of the global academic leaders, its school of architecture and planning has consistently ranked among top architecture schools. Having a reputation of being shaped by rational and revolutionary ideas, the architecture department beautifully intertwines irrational creativity and perceived notions of art and architecture with logical frameworks. 

The multiple faculty groups of art, architecture, computational design, urbanism, building technology, history and theory, and design and engineering aim to reflect reality through their work. Work that not only suffices the spatial demands but also responds to the socio-economic and political realities.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology_©en.wikipedia.org/

7. Harvard University Graduate School Of Design

A private Ivy-league University in Massachusetts is one of the oldest and prestigious universities for higher learning worldwide. The department of architecture at the graduate school of design has one of the most diverse communities of architects. Here, students explore the most peculiar methodology and design approach while being guided by the global stalwarts of the industry. 

The education model encourages pupils to expand knowledge by indulging themselves in design investigations to tackle the contemporary challenges that contemporary practices posit. The curriculum includes design studios, history and theory, visual studies, computational tools and technology, and professional training, all with architectural design at the core.

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Harvard University_©www.forbes.com/

8. Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Commonly referred to as the GSAPP, “Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation” at the Columbia University in New York is one of the most prestigious architecture schools. The institute prepares students for diverse forms of architectural practices across different scales of projects. The educational modules of the institute are very dynamic and are constantly adapting and responding to the current research. 

The core remains the same, but the theme corresponds to the ongoing research and design investigations done during a specific study duration. The research undertakings interconnected by climate study, design and documentation, and modern technology lead to the real-time application of the solution.

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Columbia GSAPP_©www.arch.columbia.edu/

9. Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is a research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom, that strives to contribute to society through education and research carried out at an international level. The institute provides opportunities for students to practice and research architecture with respect to environment, socio-political influences, history and theory, and economic aspects of architecture, of all scales that are relevant globally.

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University of Cambridge_©sen.wikipedia.org

10. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Commonly referred to as KTH, The KTH Royal Institute of Technology is a public research university in Stockholm, Sweden. KTH leads to education by research that combines architecture with engineering. The aim is to train students for the profession that awaits them after the master’s degree completion. Therefore, students are encouraged to collaborate with students of other domains in group projects that are design-led and driven by technological innovations leading to practical solutions. 

Students also engage with practicing professionals during the coursework, because of which they build meaningful professional connections.

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KTH Royal Institute of Technology_©www.kth.se/
Author

Archana is a lover of architecture, a dreamer of Pritzker, an admirer of nature, a painter with words, a photographer of aesthetics, a thinker of design concepts, a writer of thoughts, an executioner of challenges, a follower of Harvey Specter, a collector of memories, and an appreciator of life...

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