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Top Architecture Colleges in USA

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

Over 200 architecture colleges in USA offer various programs at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. Architecture study in the USA will help you prepare for a career that applies creativity to construct, design, and implement plans. The USA is also one of the top study abroad destinations attracting international students from all around the world.

According to the QS News World University Ranking 2020 for architecture which included 201 universities, 38 of the top universities of the USA made it to the list. Among them, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is ranked 1st in the world. Harvard University and University of California (Berkeley) were ranked at 5th and 6th respectively.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for architects in the USA is expected to increase by 8% from 133,900 in 2018 to 145,100 in 2028. California has the highest number of employment for architects in the USA in the year 2018.

Employment for Architecture in USA (2018)

Top Ranking Architecture Colleges in USA

Aspirants must take care of the university rankings in order to get the best outcomes during & after the completion of the course. Following are the top QS ranking Architecture Universities in the USA:

UniversityQS Architecture Ranking 2020Architecture Programs Offered
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)11 Bachelors; 8 Masters; 3 Doctorates; 
Harvard University52 Bachelors; 2 Masters; 2 Doctorate
University of California, Berkeley61 Bachelors; 3 Masters; 1 Doctorate
Columbia University131 Bachelors; 3 Masters; 1 Doctorate
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)155 Bachelors; 7 Masters; 1 Doctorate

Specialization and Degrees at Architecture Colleges in USA

Architecture courses in the USA offer various specializations depending upon the type of the course. There are separate specializations for bachelors and masters.

Here are the specializations offered in the architecture universities in USA:

SpecializationTop Universities
Architectural technologyMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Harvard University; Columbia University
Architectural engineeringHarvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Architectural designMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Harvard University, Columbia University
Architectural HistoryHarvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Interior ArchitectureMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Harvard University
Landscape ArchitectureHarvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Urban PlanningMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Harvard University, Columbia University
Architectural EngineeringUniversity of California Los Angeles; University of Cambridge; Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Urban designUniversity of California Los Angeles; Harvard University,

Bachelors from Architecture Colleges in USA

BArch, BA, and BS are some of the degrees available in architecture universities in USA. Some popular programs along with their duration and annual fees are listed below:

ProgramUniversityDurationAnnual Fees (in USD)
B.A (Landscape Architecture)University of California, Berkeley4 Year$42,900
B.A Arch.Columbia University4 Year$58,920
B.SC Arch.MIT, Cambridge4 Year$51,520
B.A Arch.Princeton University4 Year$46,563
B.A ArchYale University4 Year$55,500

Admission Eligibility for Bachelors from Architecture Colleges in USA

Students who want to apply for a bachelor's degree from the USA must ensure to have these basic qualifications. Eligibility criteria may vary depending upon the university you are applying:

  • A strong academic record.
  • Letter of recommendation.
  • SAT Score: Average 400 for overall test
  • ACT Score: Average score between 25 - 36

Admission Requirements for Bachelors from Architecture Colleges in USA

  • Academic records, 10th & 12th grade qualifying certificate.
  • Proof of proficiency in English (e.g. TOEFL/IELTS). Minimum score for TOEFL is 46 to 59 and IELTS is 6.5 or more.
  • A Statement of purpose.

Cost of Pursuing Bachelors from Architecture Colleges in USA

In the USA, the average tuition fees for undergraduate architecture programs range between 42,000 USD to 59,000 USD per annum. It may vary depending on the type of university (public or private). However, scholarships for international students in the USA are plenty to support funding for their education.

Other Regular Expenses

Following are the other regular expenditures in daily life. The average expense range is mentioned along with the estimated percentage contribution of each item in a month:

Item Percentage of ContributionApproximate Expense Range (Monthly)
Rent of Apartment35.6%1,000 USD to 2,000 USD
Meals22.58%30 USD to 40 USD ( one meal)
Transportation7.45%100 USD to 300 USD
Personal Expenses15.99%300 USD to 600 USD
Health Insurance18.33450 USD to 700 USD

Masters at Architecture Colleges in USA

Students who completed their undergraduate degree under any specialization of architecture can apply for masters in architecture in USA can check out the below-mentioned master programs offered by the mentioned universities of USA, along with the fee structure & duration:

CourseUniversityDurationAnnual Fees (in USD)
Master of ArchitectureHarvard University2 Years (Full time)$51,620
M.SC ArchitectureMIT Cambridge2 Years (Full time)$51,520
M. Arch.University of California, Berkeley2 Years (Full time)$11,442
M. Arch.Columbia University3 Years (Full time)$58,980
Master of ArchitecturePrinceton University2 Years ( Full time)$54,070

Eligibility for Masters in Architecture in USA Admission

  • All the applicants shall be accepted on the basis of regulations set by the specific universities/graduate schools.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Architecture of any field related to designing.
  • English Proficiency test: IELTS, TOFEL, PTE
  • Average GPA of 3.5 and above
  • Standard scores of GRE accepted are between 310 to 315. GMAT: 650 to 690 is good, score of 700 or higher is great.
  • CV/Resume
  • 2 to 3 Letter of Recommendation.

Admission Requirements for Masters in Architecture in USA

  • Transcripts: In a sealed envelope, stamped and signed by the respective HOD/Principal.
  • Mark sheets: Mark sheets of previously attended institutions, attested by the HOD/Principal.
  • CV: An updated CV must be submitted and according to the correct format. It must include the level of research undertaken and/or work experience.
  • Statement of Purpose: SOP must be drafted well in time, should be submitted along with the application. It must include details of the applicants, his/her goals and expectations from the course.
  • Letters of Recommendation: At least 2 to 3 LORs must be submitted. They can be submitted online or offline depending upon the mode of application submission.
  • Financial Statement: Bank statement not more than 3 months old, showing sufficient funds for at least one year of study must be submitted.
  • Health Insurance: This is required if an applicant is applying for admissions in US universities.
  • Identity Proof: Passport for visa process.

Doctorate from Architecture Colleges in USA

The PhD in Architecture is a research degree offering the opportunity for independent research under the supervision of a departmental member of staff. Applicants who meet the course requirements and whose research interests match those of an available member of the academic staff are accepted for the program.

Here are the top universities offering a PhD Degree in Architecture in the USA:

Harvard University5 Years$24,004
University of California: Berkeley4Years$32,374
Columbia University5 Years$47,600
University of California: Los Angeles4 Years$31, 949

Eligibility for PhD from Architecture Colleges in USA Admission

  • Applicants must have appropriate academic credentials (a master’s degree or equivalent in architecture, engineering, environmental design, or, exceptionally, in a related field).
  • GRE score
  • Official Transcripts issued by a previous school or college.

Admission Requirements for PhD from Architecture Colleges in USA

  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation from teachers or professors.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Proof of funds availability for 1 year of the tuition fee.
  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor's degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses, a scan of your passport.
  • CV, Testing scores, Evidence of scholarship or funding.

Scholarships Available in Architecture Colleges in USA 

Studying abroad can seem a little difficult because of the finances required. However, there are various scholarships provided in the USA for international students to help them.

The scholarships available for Indian students in USA who wish to pursue a course from architecture colleges in USA are:

Tata Scholarship for Cornell University

The Tata Education and Development Trust established a 25 million USD endowment with Cornell University to fund meritorious Indian students pursuing undergraduate studies. It supports around 20 scholars each year by offering the Tata-Cornell Scholarship.

  • Application: Applications open around October & November. Awards are offered by December.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Must be an Indian resident.
    • Must have completed secondary school in India
    • Must have been accepted in one of the Cornell University’s UG Program.
    • Should be eligible for a need-based scholarship.

Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarships

The largest privately funded international scholarship program, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships sponsors several types of scholarships for UG and PG students. The three types of scholarships are as follows:

Academic Year Ambassadorial ScholarshipAwards of 25,000 USD
Multi-Year Ambassadorial ScholarshipAwards of 12,000 USD
Cultural Ambassadorial ScholarshipAwards of 12,000 to 19,000 USD


  • Citizen of a country in which rotary clubs are present.
  • Completed two years of college-level course-work or its equivalent.
  • Initial application must be made through rotary clubs.

Other Scholarships available to undergraduate applicants are:

ScholarshipAward Offered Number of Scholars 
SelfScore International Student Scholarship5000 USD6
Chevron Scholarship2000 USD2
Westerns Union Foundations Global Scholarship Program2500 USD100
Global Students Scholarship 1000 USD1
Asian women in Business25000 USDNot fixed
Ivy Parker Memorial Scholarship 2000 USDNot fixed
RD Sethna Loan Scholarship130 USDNot fixed

Scholarships for Postgraduate Indian Students in the US

As per its operation in more than 155 countries, the Fulbright Scholarships Program supports cultural and academic exchange among foreign participants and the US. The list of awards for Indian nationals are as follows:

  • Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program
  • Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship
  • Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program
  • Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers
  • Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program

Eligibility for the Scholarship:

  • Indian Resident
  • Outstanding academic or professional history
  • English language proficiency
  • Availability at USIEF office, Delhi for interview.
  • Applicants for Fulbright are not allowed to apply for the green card.

Scopes of Architecture in USA: Jobs & Salaries

An architect has very wide options for career growth in the private sector and as well in the government sector. After completing this course, you can join government organizations like:

Public Works DepartmentNation Building OrganizationNational Institute of Urban AffairsHindustan Prefab Limited
Archaeological DepartmentHindustan Aeronautics Limited Public Service Commission Urban Development Cooperation
Ministry of Defense City Development CorporationDepartment of RailwaysHousing Boards

Other jobs in the USA are available in Public Sector Banks, Civil Service, State Public work departments, Municipalities, Defense and others. Most of the students get hired in private organizations such as:

Arcop Associates HBA InternationalSkets StudioSleek International 
Greenply IndustriesHafele IndiaC.P Kukreja Associates L&T
DLFJindalsIMAXESomaya & Kalappa Consultants.

Mostly, architecture graduates mainly opt for Architect jobs, where job roles include the responsibilities such as design of construction, coordinating with construction processions, town planning, finalizing projects, construction of residential as well as a commercial building, etc.

Apart from this, he or she can work as Civil Engineer, Land Developer and Structural Engineer also.

Here’s the list of top job scopes available in the USA and their salary structures:

Job Roles Avg. Annual Salary (in USD)
Architectural Engineer$47,635 to $130, 167
Architectural Historian$43,105 to $86, 828
Art Director$52,160 to $165,033
Interior Designer$43,500 to $122,000
Landscape Architect$40,710 to $114,354

Now that you know about Architecture in the USA and what the career & job scopes are, now you can constructively make up your mind for studying Architecture in the USA based upon the information provided above.

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