Best Architecture Schools in the World: Top 10 Universities and Places to Become an Architect


Whether they’re still finishing high school or they’re older people considering a career change, it’s only natural that those considering a life in architecture will want to know which university they should be aiming for. And it is natural that most seek to go to the best.

How can they do this? How can aspiring architects find out which are the best universities for architecture in their city or country of origin. And how can they find out which are the best architecture schools in the world? As with most things in the digital age, they can check on the internet.

Each year, QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a provider of services, analysis and information to the global higher education industry, publishes QS World University Rankings by Subject, a list that includes top architecture universities.

QS World University Rankings by Subject uses four key metrics to rank top architecture universities: employer reputation, academic reputation, research citations per article, and a final metric known as the H index, which measures productivity. and the published work of academics from that particular institution.

The most recent list of the discipline of architecture, published in 2020, includes 201 institutions from around the world, including Australia.

Where are the best universities for architecture located?

North America

According to the report, the United States is home to 38 of the best architectural schools in the world, including Yale and Columbia. On top of that, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been judged as the best architectural school in the world. Meanwhile, Canada has three of the best universities for architecture.


As might be expected, given its strong history of academic excellence, Europe is also home to many top architectural universities. The UK alone has 19 of the best architecture schools in the world, while Spain has five, Germany has seven on the list, Italy has eight, the Netherlands has five and Belgium has four of the best universities for architecture.


China is the best performing Asian country, which is understandable given its size and continued growth. It has 12 of the 201 best architectural universities in the world, with three in the top 50. Japan is another strong performer with nine universities, as is South Korea with eight. Other contributors from Asia include Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.

Latin America

Overall, 11 of the best architecture universities on the list are located in Latin America. Brazil, the largest country in the region, has four of the world’s 201 best architecture universities, Mexico has two, Argentina has one, Chile has two, Colombia has two, and Mexico. has two.


The South African University of Cape Town is on the top 201 list with 51, while Egypt has two universities on the list: the prestigious Cairo University and the American University (also in Cairo).
Australia and New Zealand

Our region is also performing well. Australian universities alone make four appearances and New Zealand has two universities in the Top 201.

The 10 Best Architecture Schools in the World

Here are the top ten, according to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020:

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

Where: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Overall rating: 97.8

With a population of 261 students, MIT’s prestigious program is divided into five disciplines: architecture and urban planning; History, theory and criticism of architecture and art; Building technology; Calculation; and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.

MIT School of Architecture

2. Delft University of Technology

Where: Delft, The Netherlands

Overall rating: 96.5

Guided by a philosophy of bridging research and teaching, Delft University of Technology offers one bachelor’s degree program, two master’s degree programs and also a range of postgraduate study options.

delft university of technology

3. The Bartlett School of Architecture | UCL (University College London), United Kingdom

Where: London, UK.

Overall rating: 96

This school of architecture is guided by the vision of producing graduating professionals capable of enhancing the human experience, leaving a legacy for future generations and making a difference in terms of environmental sustainability.

bartlett school of architecture

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

Where: Zurich, Switzerland.

Overall rating: 95.5

ETH Zurich’s architecture program adheres to the two-tier Bologna process, whereby students consecutively complete the undergraduate and master’s degrees. The undergraduate program is divided into three sections: design and construction, engineering disciplines, and historical and social disciplines.

ETH zurich

5. Harvard University, United States

Where: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Overall rating: 91.4

With many famous alumni, the program at this prestigious Ivy League university has a long history of excellence. Students are exposed to a range of design surveys, deepen their knowledge and confront the challenges of the contemporary built environment, and are invited to draw inspiration from a vast body of knowledge.


6. University of California, Berkeley (Berkely University), USA

Where: Berkeley, California, United States

Overall rating: 90.1

This Ivy League school’s USB Architecture program combines research in built and speculative environments, architectural technologies, and architectural humanities with highly regarded undergraduate degree programs.

University of California, Berkeley

7. Politecnico di Milano

Where: Milan, Italy

Overall rating: 87.7

The program of this prestigious university covers architectural design and develops theoretical, humanistic, artistic and design skills based on the Italian tradition and more.

Politecnico di Milano

8. Manchester School of Architecture

Where: Manchester, UK

Overall rating: 87.5

The Manchester School of Architecture is not aligned with a single university. Unlike most of the other top architectural universities in the world, it is administered by the University of Manchester as well as Manchester Metropolitan University. Its program covers town planning, urban development, ecological and landscaping, conservation and management of historic environments, etc.

Manchester School of Architecture

9. Cambridge University

Where: Cambridge, UK

Overall rating: 87.4

This prestigious program covers design as well as the history and philosophy of architecture, contemporary culture and urban planning, as well as construction, structural design, environmental design, etc.

Cambridge University

10. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Where: Lausanne, Switzerland

Overall rating: 86.2

EPFL aims to provide students with a polytechnic education. It addresses contemporary issues related to architecture as well as its ancient roots. Architecture is considered an art and a craft.

Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

Australian United on the list

17. The University of Melbourne

Where: Melbourne, VIC

Overall rating: 80.9

The University of Melbourne aims to teach students to apply conceptual thinking, develop creative solutions and imagine future environments in which to live, work and play. Both undergraduate and master’s degree programs integrate digital capabilities to solve problems in an era of environmental change, rapid urbanization, and global flows of people, materials and assets.

melbourne university

18. The University of Sydney

Where: Sydney, NSW

Overall rating: 80.8

With over a hundred years of history behind it, the University of Sydney is famous for its collaborative academic approach to its architecture program and a wide range of voices from designers, architects, planners, industrialists, artists, engineers, philosophers, government and scientists.

sydney university

25. RMIT University

Where: Melbourne, VIC

Overall rating: 78.6

The RMIT Architecture Program is design-driven. Students can explore innovative practices in an environment that fosters project-based research, critical debate, and rigorous inquiry.

rmit melbourne university

27. University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)

Where: Sydney, NSW

Overall rating: 78.1

UNSW Architecture focuses on four key areas: high performance technology, housing, urban conditions and social agency. In addition to this, students benefit from advanced knowledge and techniques in architectural design and related technical and academic knowledge.


Although it does not appear on the list, the University of Queensland also has a reputable school of architecture.

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