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Best universities for architecture

We list the 10 best universities for architecture in the world to help you make a decision about your next steps.

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Are you constantly sketching and admiring the design of buildings? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. If you are both artistic and scientific, with a passion for the design and construction of buildings, a degree in architecture might just be the right course for you. This subject will equip you with a wide range of skills and knowledge, leading to a rewarding and constantly evolving career. But which universities are best for architecture? We explore the top institutions for architecture in this article. You may even discover a university that you’d like to apply to!


To compile this list, we referred to the QS World University Rankings 2021, looking specifically at the subject category of architecture and the built environment


1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (USA)

2. UCL (UK)

3. Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)

4. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)

5. Harvard University (USA)

6. National University of Singapore (NUS) (Singapore)

7. University of California, Berkeley (USA)

8. Tsinghua University (China)

9. University of Cambridge

10. Politecnico di Milano (Italy)


Now that we know which institutions rank within the top 10 for architecture, let’s take a closer look at some of these leading institutions.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Ranking first for architecture in the world, MIT has a global reputation for excellence across many of its programmes. The Department of Architecture and Planning at MIT consists of five divisions including architecture and urbanism; building technology; history, theory and criticism of architecture and art; computation; and the Aga Khan Programme for Islamic Architecture. The architecture department has a 50/50 split of U.S. and international students. This reflects the mission of the university to create a diverse and inclusive student community.


Applicants can choose from two undergraduate majors at MIT: Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Art and Design. Both programmes are taught through a mixture of lectures, workshops, studios, and seminars to encourage creativity and discussion.


At the postgraduate level, the department enrols approximately 230 postgraduate students each year. Many of these graduate programmes are officially considered STEM subjects which means students can extend their Optional Practical Training by two years.


Other universities offering architecture in the USA:





London-based and world-renowned, UCL is a top choice for many international students around the world. The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL ranks 2nd in the world with four degrees on offer:


  • Architecture BSc
  • Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies BSc
  • Architecture MSc
  • Architectural Design MEng


UCL has been teaching architecture for more than 175 years with internationally acclaimed lecturers who are experts in the field. The department has won more RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) medals than any other school.


Want to find out more about studying in London as an international student?


If you’re looking for a postgraduate course in architecture, UCL offers 17 programmes at this level. Examples include:


  • Landscape architecture 
  • Architecture and historic urban environments
  • Architectural design
  • Urban design


For some programmes at this level, students are asked to supply a portfolio as part of their application. You could also be asked to complete an assessment task that has a different set of instructions each year. If you’re looking to further develop your love of architecture following a master's degree, the school also offers four highly acclaimed PhD architecture degrees. 

See more UK universities offering architecture courses:



Delft University of Technology (DUT)


The school of Architecture and the Built Environment at DUT welcomes international students, with 30 per cent of master’s students and staff representing 42 countries. The school consists of four departments including Architecture; Architectural Engineering and Technology; Management in the Built Environment; and Urbanism. Students at DUT have access to studio and exhibition space to create projects and scale models, hold meetings and work collaboratively. 


While the bachelor’s degree in architecture is only taught in Dutch, all master’s programmes are conducted in English. There are five specialisations to choose from at this level including:


  • Architecture
  • Landscape architecture
  • Building technology
  • Urbanism
  • Management in the built environment


The master’s degree in Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences takes 24 months to complete on a full-time basis. This programme explores sustainable development in addition to technology, engineering, design, and social science.


For entry onto this master’s degree, you need a CGPA (cumulative grade points average) of at least 75 per cent and your bachelor’s degree needs to be in a subject closely related to the master's programme. Additionally, international students need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 for each section. 


So, think you’ve got what it takes to study an architecture degree at one of these world-leading universities? There’s no need to wait, you can apply today! Use our course matcher tool to find universities and courses.


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