General Question

will3192's avatar

Where is the best university to study architecture?

Asked by will3192 (42points) May 17th, 2008

Just because it’s the most expensive or the biggest school/uni, doesn’t mean it’s the best.

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10 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Notre Dame has an excellent architecture program, in part because it is still classically focused and requires students to learn to draw (i.e. not rely on CAD). They also offer a study abroad year in Rome. It’s a five year program.

Notre Dame, by the way, isn’t for everybody, so feel out the culture if you decide to take a serious look. There’s even a book or two on regular student life. One’s called “Domers” (I think) by Kevin somebody.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Check out Cooper Union

anonyjelly16's avatar

I believe Illinois Institute of Technology ( is well known for its Architecture program. A couple of additional benefits (that architectural types tell me that I am simply incapable of appreciating) of studying at IIT are: 1) The campus has Mies van der Rohe buildings and 2) its in Chicago (which is well known for its architecture).

Hope this helps with your decision.

BronxLens's avatar

Check the schools in N.Y.City… Why? Location, location, location! You’ll have the best of many worlds at your fingertips.

Walking distance/subway ride away you’ll have many of the great architectural styles for you to study in context: see samples of brownstone apartment buildings, bars from the 1700’s, sky scrapers old & new! From Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building, Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building, William Van Alen’s Chrysler Building, to the old icons as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, not to mention the nearly finished Cook+Fox’s Bank of America and the beginning David Childs’ Freedom Tower. If your cup of tea is more towards the residential you’ll have plenty of inspiration (and firms to apply for internship). You can find many here –

Another great plus to studying in NY is that we are at the hub of many other design & architecturely rich locations… 2 hrs by train from Pennsylvania, a few more to downtown Boston. For $25 roundtrip fare you can take a bus to Washington DC, and on your return you can reward yourself with great Mediterranean cuisine in Little Italy or gastronomically rich Asian dishes in Chinatown (the buses depart from here).

We have amazing bookstores to complement your future studies. My favorite is th bookstore of the Municipal Art Society, which in the words of a review site “is stuffed with architecture and design books by Frank Lloyd Wright, Rem Koolhaas, and others, as well as illustrated retrospectives and monographs on major world architects. New York architecture is a specialty.”

And what do you do when you are not studying? There is too much to list, from museums, art galleries district, bar-scene to performing venues galore (Broadway shows, Madison Square Garden & Lincoln Center come to mind.

Many of the schools have also exchange programs so a trip to Europe or other faraway destination is possible.

Regardless if you choose this amazing city of ours or not, best of luck in your studies!

zarnold's avatar

The University of Southern California is supposed to have a really good program, although I can’t say from experience.

I agree wholeheartedly with MrKnowItAll though; you should check out Cooper Union not only because of the really good architecture program, but because it’s free.

steelmarket's avatar

Purdue used to have a great program, don’t know about now. MIT and Texas usually rank high, have technically-oriented programs. Rice University has a good overall program.

will3192's avatar

wow thanks for the detailed responses guys. much appreciated

indicatebound's avatar

MrKnowItAll knows it all. Cooper Union. And as to the first response, I do law at Notre Dame. It definitely isn’t for everyone. Or me. I.e., it’s bizarre.

steelmarket's avatar

From my experience in Arch school, once you get past the intro classes and into design studios, you will not have any spare time to see Broadway shows….you will be focused on getting enough sleep.

zeldaah's avatar

Notre Dame is kind of an outlier in terms of its program. I vote for Cal. Go Bears!

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