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8 Best US Universities for Architects & Designers

Are you considering a career in design? Perhaps you are dreaming about joining the world-famous architects and constructing memorable structures. 

You want the best possible education for your career, which is why it is imperative to pick the right college. We selected the list of top eight universities for architects and designers throughout the United States. Check out our list. 

1. California Polytechnic State University

Cal Poly has its campus in San Luis, Obispo. Although it is a single university, you will find six colleges with more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs.

A College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) is a part of this institution. You can pick between Architecture or Architecture Engineering as your major, and other options include Construction Management, City and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture.  

CAED offers financial aid and tuition options, and the staff is polite in communicating with both parents and future students. According to the US News, the college ranks third among the regional universities, and it offers an 81% six-year graduation rate.

8 Best US Universities for Architects & Designers

2. California – Berkeley

There is no special need to present Berkeley as it is a prestigious facility. The University of California is proud of this institution, and even Nobel Prize winners attended its colleges. 

UC Berkeley – College of Environmental Design offers the following programs:

  • Architecture
  • Real Estate Development and Design
  • Environmental Planning and Landscape Architecture
  • City and Regional Planning

Students from all over the world are welcome to CED. The Berkeley campus gathers more than 35,000 students, and their organizations vary from sports and public service to performing arts.

3. Cornell University

Multiple lists ranking schools for designers and architects will mention Cornell University as one of the top potential destinations. The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning might be among the most prestigious universities in the world in its category.

It takes five years to get your B.Arch. Degree at this institution. Students have the option to focus on architecture history, visual representation, analysis, and other programs to pursue. The information indicates that the facility has around 14,000 students at their undergraduate programs.

8 Best US Universities for Architects & Designers

4. Institute of Architecture, Southern California

California seems like the perfect state for designers and architects. As for IAE, it is worth mentioning that this is a small university with only 500 students. That can be convenient because you can expect great attention to each individual attending the college.

IAE proves its worth by ranking as top options in the country for years. Apart from architecture theory and history, you can also expect visual study courses and design studios on the premises. Students will appreciate the rich campus life where it is easier to make friends since there are not as many people as in other colleges.

5. Rhode Island School of Design

The name might indicate that this college focuses on design, but it also offers impressive architecture programs. This institution allows students to work on their skills in artistic and technical design or study technical aspects in architecture.

Rhode Island School of Design accepts about 2,000 students. Thanks to the fact that 15-20 students are a part of a single group, everyone can expect full dedication from their tutors and other staff. After completing these programs, you will receive a real all-around education.

6. University of Texas

The School of Architecture in Austin offers tempting programs that secure B.Arch. and other Bachelor degrees that require 4-6 years of attending the college. The great thing about this facility is that it inspires working on your skills outside class. You will feel motivated by the innovative programs offered by the institution.

Thanks to the connections of the University of Texas, you can look forward to abroad study options, as well as a residency program that gathers architectural firms from 20+ countries.

8 Best US Universities for Architects & Designers

7. Syracuse University

This is another institution with a dedicated School of Architecture. Plenty of exercises focused on multimedia and drawing allow you to nourish your design skills. 

Apart from the hands-on approach, the university offers top-quality professors and staff. The institution is connected to studios in NYC, but also London and Florence. 

8. Rice University

Here is a university that excels at offering attractive programs to both undergraduate and graduate students. The innovative courses will round up architecture practice and theory. Studio work is mandatory every semester, which is a real hands-on approach to education.

Rice University is a small institution, and it only accepts 125 students. It will take for years to get the B.Arch. Degree. The good news is that you will receive work experience as a part of attending the college. 


Are you close to that time of year when you need to decide on a suitable college? Architects and designers have a long list of options, which gives you the privilege of choosing based on your preferences. While the location and budget are essential, your top priority should be the quality of education. As long as you stick to that during the selection process, you will ensure that the chosen university exceeds all your expectations!

About the Author

Eve Maygar is a blogger and a vital member of the PapersOwl team. She specializes in education and has multiple publications in relevant niche journals. Eve is proud that her writing focuses on helping those looking for the best educational solutions and resources.