Best MArch (Masters in Architecture) Degree Programs Online & Graduate Rankings

The architecture field is highly competitive, and architecture firms look closely at the top ranked schools to find graduates that will best suit their needs. When compiling this list of the top architecture schools, US News and World Report was used as the primary resource for their trustworthy reputation. These are the top schools for those who want to become licensed, professional architects upon graduation.

  1. Harvard University offers a highly ranked M.Arch degree that is available for students who have already completed a Bachelor's degree in a related major, or a pre-professional undergraduate program. The terrain covered in this curriculum includes history, professional practice, design studio technology, architecture theory, and sustainable design. For full licensure, a student must also complete an internship in an architecture office, and pass an exam.
  2. Yale University is mindful of licensing requirements that are necessary to become a practicing architect, according to the guidelines of the National Architecture Accrediting Board, and their program is geared towards this. The Masters in Architecture program offers a full six-year plan including the pre-professional beginning requirement. Another option for students that already have an undergraduate degree is to attend a three year residential course, the M.Arch I program.
  3. Columbia University has a Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation that retains a heavy focus on the theory behind architectural design. The foundational coursework is supplemented with studio courses, a lecture series, and an exposure to the culturally complex field of contemporary architecture that is so abundant in New York City. The Master's program is a full-time, three year course, although there is a summer studio that also provides an introduction to the field as a whole and Columbia's unique approach.
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology prepares students for professional architect registration. A combination of studio design courses and visits to global architecture sites help address issues including conservation, preservation, and sustainable design. There is an emphasis on computer design capabilities and digital tools to help round out the three year M.Arch program.
  5. University of Texas Austin offers two master's programs in the architecture field. The Master of Architecture first professional degree program is what those who already have an undergraduate degree would take, with a concentration on the studio experience and digital design. This is meant to help prepare students for registration as a professional architect.
  6. University of Cincinnati distinguishes between those students who have an undergraduate degree specifically in architecture and those who hold their degree in an unrelated field. There is a research component to either program, to help prepare students to work in a professional setting on their own. A co-operative professional learning experience is another factor that helps set this school apart from rivals.
  7. Cornell University gives students a three and a half year long course that will lead to the professional Masters of Architecture designation. Some of the topics covered include the history and theory of architecture, technology, visual representation, and professional practice through the completion of design studios. At the end of the first three years of study, students then work on a semester-long design thesis project.
  8. Virginia Polytechnic and State University helps students reach their ultimate goal of becoming accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board by offering several different professional degrees. These allow flexibility while helping grow existing skills. The design laboratory is the main component of study, which helps improve aesthetic judgment ability along with technical abilities such as construction techniques and fabrications.
  9. University of Virginia features an accredited Master's in Architecture program which allows students to go down two paths to their eventual degree, depending on what type of undergraduate degree they currently possess. Those with no background in architecture can take the three year basic M.Arch program, which contains a curriculum rich in architectural history, theory, and other facets of the field which are necessary to get started.
  10. University of California Berkeley has an architecture program with a greater ecological slant than others may have. Sustainable design, digital tools, and a global perspective are all key components of this program. The Master of Architecture program lasts three years and includes design, theory, and construction techniques for a more sustainable outlook on the field.
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