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Where to study architecture: The 10 top universities

A list (in no particular order) of the best universities in the world to study architecture.

Many universities and colleges around the world offer high quality architecture programs. This leaves students interested in architecture with seemingly endless options to choose from. In order to narrow the search down just a bit, we compiled a list of what we believe are the top 10 universities and colleges in the world to study architecture. 

What are the best universities to study architecture?

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States

MIT consistently ranks at the top of the world’s best universities to study architecture. The MIT School of Architecture was the first of its kind in the United States. The architecture program was established in 1865, just 4 years after the founding of the institution. The program is widely known for introducing modernism to the United States and for commissioning progressive buildings. With only 25 students in the classroom, MIT is known for providing its students with an excellent education. Small class sizes ensure enriching discussion between students and faculty.

2. The Bartlett School of Architecture, United Kingdom

The Bartlett School of Architecture in the UK is second only to MIT. Built in 1947, it is the first architecture school founded in the UK. With faculties known for experimental research, it is not surprising that the Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the best universities in the world to study architecture.

3. Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

This university, based in the Netherlands, is on the podium of the best universities to study architecture. The Delft School of Architecture has about 3,000 students. With its proudly multinational image and its demanding teachers who draw on the Dutch tradition of multidisciplinary practice, i.e. students work in groups to produce comprehensive solutions, it serves as an excellent option for students looking to study architecture. 

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

The ETH Zurich in Switzerland is recognized as one of the most esteemed universities to study architecture. The Department of Architecture was founded in 1854 and has about 2000 students.  The program prioritizes social and sustainable topics surrounding landscape architecture and urban planning. The success and good name of ETH Switzerland is largely due to its brilliant teaching and research results.

5. University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA

The University of California, Berkeley is known for its research and study of design. Students in this program are encouraged to embrace collaboration, rather than competition. Creativity and sustainability are prioritized in this program’s studio culture. Additionally, with award-winning faculty and professors who are innovative thinkers and designers, it’s understandable why UCB is one of the top universities in the world. 

6. Harvard University, United States

Many famous and influential architects, landscape architects, and urban planners have graduated from Harvard’s School of Design. Architecture courses began at Harvard in 1864. Today the department has a wide range of educational offerings that make it a unique community in which to study architecture.

7. Manchester School of Architecture, United Kingdom

Manchester School of Architecture is an innovative collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester. This inter-university collaboration has brought together two schools of architecture with over 100 years of educational experience to create one of the largest schools of architecture in the UK.

8. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

With the academic popularity of Cambridge University and the medieval city setting, studying architecture here is a unique experience. Similarly to some of the schools listed above, the University of Cambridge ensures small class sizes so as to provide students with a strong support system and personalized guidance. Students partake in rigorous academic research so as to master the technical subject topics as well as the historical and theoretical topics. After studying in this program, students leave as a master in the field and with a strong awareness of how their work will have a significant impact on the social, ecological, and cultural world around them. 

9. Politecnico di Milano, Italy

With almost 42,000 students, Politecnico di Milano is the largest technical university in Italy. This program is a leader in architecture urban planning and construction engineering. Additionally, many famous architects have studied and taught at Politecnico di Milano, which makes it an exciting option for students who are interested in the field.

10. National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore

The NUS Department of Architecture at the School of Design and Environment was founded in 1969 and offers a wide range of programs to study architecture. Landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, and integrated sustainable design are the sectors where the National University of Singapore is gaining more and more international success.

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