Best Schools for Studying Architecture

There is something exciting about getting involved in design and architecture since this area is very creative. It is an especially exciting adventure for overseas students who want to study at one of the USA’s top architecture schools. However, this raises the question of how one goes about choosing the best school to start their studies. What is required of overseas students seeking admission to one of America’s best architecture schools?

General Criteria for Gaining Admission to the Best Architecture Schools

If you are coming from overseas, you will need to complete some additional paperwork as part of the admissions process. The following are some of the requirements of the majority of schools as a way of ensuring you are well prepared and have the makings of a successful architect.

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Show Evidence of Your Creative Abilities

The top architecture schools will want you to demonstrate your interest in architecture. If there are any projects you completed while you were a high school student or if you have completed any internships related to architecture, the schools you are applying to will look at these and assess your future capabilities.

Your Portfolio

It helps those who are just starting their degree program as an undergraduate to have their teachers or other professional acquaintances make a direct statement about their abilities. If, however, you are transferring your studies, the majority of architecture schools will want to see a portfolio showing what you have accomplished so far.

Credentials: Evidence of Academic Achievements

A quite important requirement for both domestic and overseas students is to be able to show a strong GPA (3.0 at least or the GPA equivalent in your country of origin). This will positively impact your admissions application.

Preparing for Interview

Most architecture schools will be keen to know more about you and perhaps want to meet with you on a personal level. The aim of the interview will be to determine your suitability for a particular school and/or program. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have to determine whether this school really is the best one for you. Exceptions may be made in respect of interviews if you have not arrived in the USA yet. Cornell University, for example, will conduct interviews in written form where a prospective student cannot get to their university before they are admitted.

Now, having covered the general criteria, the following is a descriptive list of some of the best schools in the USA to study architecture and design.

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Best Schools for Studying Architecture

The following schools have been deemed the best for studying architecture by ArchDaily.com and by Design Intelligence.

  1. Cornell University has long been known as one of the top architecture colleges. With its campus in the New York district of Ithaca, this college offers three separate baccalaureate-level degrees. These are Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) Professional Degree, Bachelor of Science (BSc) in History of Architecture and Bachelor (BA) in Architecture Curriculum. Students will find these programs put emphasis on education and history, and on design, even though they also cover theory, technology, and structure to a considerable extent.
  2. The next top architecture school is Southern California’s Institute of Architecture (SCIA). This school is located in Los Angeles and offers one degree course for undergraduates with a focus on reflection and personal interaction. The course deals with sustainability and the use of “intelligent” materials in architecture.
  3. Rice University is rated the third top architecture school. Located in Houston in the state of Texas, the university offers two degree programs for undergraduates. One is a Bachelor of Architecture and the other is a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies. Students at Rice are also offered a “preceptorship,” a type of internship that gives them a year of work experience with some of the world’s leading architectural companies. The education here is well-rounded with a global focus.

Aside from these schools, there are several other options for overseas students. It is essential to give some thought to which area of architecture you would like to purse when you graduate. A lot of schools educate students for careers in different areas such as urban design, interior design, exhibition design, landscape and environmental architecture, and more. What area do you want to focus on? What are you interested in? Where do you want to study? What do you want to do with your degree once you obtain it?

How Does One Decide?

Careful thought is needed when selecting the right option from the three schools described above. Learn as much as you can about the schools that interest you and contact them for accurate information.

Related:

Careers in Architecture Study Architecture and Design in the US