Although it is not necessary to go to the best schools to be a good architect, the architectural education in these schools can make you start a few steps ahead at your professional life. Despite the best architecture schools in the world are subjective rankings, some organizations have accepted scoring systems for ranking schools globally. The most well-known of these is the QS World University Rankings system.
The list below is based on QS’s list of the best schools for architecture in the world for 2023. QS scores these universities based on various academic criteria. Among these criteria, there are issues such as the scientific studies of academicians, the success of students in their professional careers and the percentage of graduates finding a job. Accordingly, we have searched and briefly compiled the world’s top architecture universities for you.
List of Best Schools for Architecture in the World
1. MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT was established in 1861 to meet the research needs of different industries in the rapidly industrializing America. According to the QS score, it is the best architecture school in the world in 2023. MIT offers a very high quality education with its location, graduates and low quota architecture classes. The university has an annual budget of 18 billion dollars and spends a significant part of it to improve the quality of education.
2. UCL – College of London University
There are three year or five year architecture programs at UCL. Approximately 70% of the education time is used in design studios and workshops. Design practise in studios is usually carried out in small groups or sometimes one-to-one. For information about the scope and curriculum of the Bartlett School of Architecture, click here.
3. TU DELFT – Delft University of Technology
TU Delft, or Delft University of Technology, is always ranked among the top 10 architecture schools. Indispensable on the list, the school is the oldest technology university in the country. Those who study at this school mention that education here is quite difficult. Though, who said studying architecture was easy?
4. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Founded in 1854, ETH Zurich is an investigative and rational institution thanks to the city where it is located. It has many alumnis who have shaped architecture, such as Santiago Calatrava, Aldo van Eyck, Aldo Rossi, Bernard Tschumi and Herzog & de Meuron. According to the data on the university’s website, there are currently 948 undergraduate, 665 graduate and 133 doctoral students in the faculty of architecture.
5. Harvard Graduate School of Design
Although Harvard is seen as the top architecture school by some researchers, it ranks 5th on our list this year as the scores change every year according to certain criteria. The university, which has a very beautiful architecture faculty building, always makes its graduates shine out with its academic background and prestige. Such that, we see that most of the people who have made a name for themselves in the world and accomplished important works in almost many fields are Harvard graduates. This is not a coincidence.
It should also be noted that the school is funded by large companies and has a huge budget. According to the news of The Harvard Crimson website, the university has a total capital of 53 billion dollars as of 2021.
6. NUS – National University of Singapore
Established in 1969, the National University of Singapore’s architecture faculty provides education in different fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, and sustainable architecture. Although the university is very young, it has developed very quickly and has the experience that will make a name for itself in a short time, just like Singapore. The university’s acceptance rate is in the range of 5-7%.
7. UCB – University of California, Berkeley
The University of California is a research university founded in 1868. UCB, which hosts more than 30 thousand students, provides a highly inspirational environment for art centers, museums, historical buildings and architecture students.
8. Tsinghua University
Founded in 1911, Tsinghua University is a member of the C9 league, which consists of 9 universities selected by the Chinese government. Schools that are members of this association have a significant portion of the education funds in the country. The architecture school of the university started education in 1946.
According to the information on the faculty website, in 2009 it had a total of 977 students, including 432 undergraduate, 382 graduate and 187 doctoral students. 47 of these students were international students.
The faculty of architecture, which has a total of more than 5 thousand graduates since its establishment, has an average annual income of 75 million Yuan. This income is spent on research expenses and improving the quality of education.
9. University of Cambridge
The university is one of the oldest educational institutions in the world. Cambridge, which was founded in 1231, is among the most prestigious schools like Harvard University. The historical buildings of the school, especially the faculty of architecture, offer architects an incredibly inspiring educational atmosphere.
10. Politecnico di Milano
The Polytechnic University of Milan, which has been teaching since 1863, is the largest university in Italy. At the same time, it continues to maintain its place in the first place among the best architecture faculties of the country. It currently hosts around 42 thousand students in total.
Italy is one of the favorite countries of architecture students. Polimi (Politecnico di Milano) is generally the first choice of architecture students who want to study in Italy.
11. Manchester School of Architecture
It is an architecture school collectively established in 1996 by the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. Students of the faculty can benefit from all the resources of the two founding universities at the same time. Housing needs of first-year students enrolled to the school are provided by the University of Manchester.
12. EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
EPFL is located in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. The school accepts international students from around 120 countries. Founded in 1969, EPFL is a young but renowned institute of technology. The university has launched more than 200 start-ups since 2000. Its annual budget is close to 1 billion Swiss Francs. Actively, the university has 17 thousand students.
13. Tongji University
Tongji University, which was established in Shanghai in 1907 with the contribution of German physicists, provides education to 36 thousand students. Thanks to its bilateral partnerships with UNSW Sydney University, it allows international students to obtain the title of dual-degree architect. So students can graduate as a global architect educated in both Australian and Chinese architectural traditions.
14. University of Columbia
|Location:||New York, USA|
Founded in 1754, Columbia University is among the best universities in many fields. Like most top schools in the US, it has a large budget. Colombia’s total income from areas such as rental income, consultancy and training fees etc. is close to 12 billion dollars annually.
15. HKU – University of Hong Kong
Founded in 1950, Hong Kong University Faculty of Architecture provides a multidisciplinary education and encourages students to produce projects with both traditional methods and technological tools.
16. University of Tokyo
The school, which has 3 campuses and has approximately 28700 students, is also known as UTokyo. The architecture department in the engineering faculty includes 4 main fields. These; Architectural structure, architectural environment, architectural planning and architecture. Additionally, some world-famous architects such as Arata Isozaki, Fumihiko Maki, Kenzo Tange and Toyo Ito have graduated from this school.
17. UCLA – University of California, Los Angeles
|Location:||Los Angeles, USA|
UCLA, which is among the best architecture schools in the world, provides architecture students an education equipped with technology and sociability. The faculty has 2 research centers and a satellite campus called IDEAS. The IDEAS campus has a robotics lab, AR-VR labs and a manufacturing place. Various exhibitions and technological researches are held here, also the opportunity to use tools that will contribute to architectural practice is offered.
18. PolyU – Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong Polytechnic University PolyU, ranked 25th in the overall category among Asian universities, has one of the best architecture schools in the world. Although it was founded in 1937, it took its current name in 1994.
Located in Kowloon, the main campus consists of buildings that covered with red bricks. Comprising of more than 20 nested buildings, the campus is one of the largest in the world and one of the busiest in terms of building density.
19. KTH – Royal Institute of Technology
KTH, Sweden’s largest technical university, was founded in 1827 under the name of Teknologiska Institutet. Offering more than 60 programs at undergraduate, associate program, postgraduate and doctoral levels, KTH includes 5 faculties. Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment is one of them. There are 6 departments in this faculty: Architecture, civil and architectural engineering, philosophy and history, real estate and site management, environmental engineering (SEED) and urban planning.
It has a highly qualified academic staff with over 70 professors and 30 doctors. The faculty currently has 3 thousand undergraduate and graduate students actively studying, as well as 300 doctoral students.
20. UPC – Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Located in Barcelona, UPC is a school that provides education in many fields, especially engineering and architecture. Whose most of students are international students, BarcelonaTech is the largest technical university in Catalonia. Since it is located in Barcelona, the city of Antoni Gaudi, it provides an excellent development environment for architecture students.
The university has approximately 30 thousand students and 3 thousand academicians. More than 10% of students are international students. UPC, which has a total of 25 schools in 8 different cities of Catalonia, offers 63 undergraduate, 73 master’s and 49 doctoral programs.
21. University of Sydney
The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, was founded in 1850. It is the second most crowded university in the country with a student population exceeding 50 thousand. It is one of the most funded universities by government in Australia. Moreover, has the most extensive library and research laboratories.
The institution, which attaches great importance and cherish international students, not only welcomes students from Sydney Airport, but also has various orientation programs so that they can socialize with local students.
22. Technical University of Berlin
TU Berlin, one of Germany’s well-established universities, has departments providing education in English and German. It is among the top technical universities in Germany and Europe. Also is one of the richest schools in the country in terms of the opportunities it provides.
After the introductory studio in the first semester of the master’s degree, it gives students the opportunity to choose one of the different design studios for the other semesters. These include elective studio courses such as Eco Houses and Local Building Types.
23. Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology has around 21,500 students, 1100 of whom are in the faculty of architecture. Since the faculty is located in a technology institute, it provides an architectural education intertwined with technology. The university offers various technological opportunities to architecture students such as cnc, 3D printer, fabrication and robotics laboratories, wood and metal cutting workshops.
24. Technical University of Munich
The Architecture Department of the Technical University of Munich, which gives education to 1500 students, is located in the engineering and design faculty of the university. The program is among the best schools for architecture in the world and one of the top 5 architecture schools in Germany. One of the biggest advantages of studying in a cosmopolitan city like Munich is the close connections that can be established with international companies and architectural offices.
While there are 2 fields in undergraduate education as architecture and building technology; Master’s education has 4 different programs as architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism as well as energy efficient and sustainable building.
25. University of Melbourne
Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne provides education to more than 50 thousand students, of which approximately 22 thousand are international students. Located in one of the most beautiful and livable cities in Australia, the University also offers language education, accommodation and part-time work opportunities to students. Moreover, thanks to the double major program, students can study architecture + construction or architecture + landscape architecture at the same time.
In this article, we have reviewed the 25 most successful schools based on the list of QS Best Architecture Schools in the World. As a result, the quality of architecture faculties is not only affected by academic success. The various opportunities provided by the school to students, social opportunities, well-designed working environments and economic facilities are among the factors that affect the quality of the school at least as much as academic success.