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Architecture Schools on the East Coast

by Douglas Matus

As a synthesis of several different skill sets, a career in architecture requires a thorough education for long-term success. In addition to technical skills, architects must have highly developed communication abilities and the vision to bring original solutions to building scenarios. Many of the best architecture schools in the United States are located on the east coast. These schools each have stellar reputations, renowned faculty and the honor of recognition from independent agencies.

Harvard University

In 2013, both "Architecture Daily" and the "Architectural Record" ranked Harvard as the top school for architecture in the United States. This diverse and creative program benefits from internationally renowned faculty like Vincent Bandy and Martin Bechtold. Harvard offers an undergraduate focus in architecture and two master's programs for professional development. The MArch I degree focuses on architectural theory, with the goal to develop professional architects steeped in historical and contemporary design. The MArch II degree emphasizes design, and the skills necessary to implement cutting-edge architectural practice into the real world.

Columbia University

Coming in right behind Harvard, Columbia has established a strong tradition of architectural study on the east coast. Established in 1881, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia has built an identity of intellectual advancement. The GSAPP offers specialties in several areas, including urban planning, historic preservation, real estate development, and critical, curatorial and conceptual practices. Advanced studies are available as doctorates in architecture and urban planning. The special New York to Paris curriculum option is designed to expose students to an intensive one-year program that focuses on the architectural histories of two iconic cities.

Yale University

As the number three nationally ranked architecture school, Yale provides the special benefit of exposure to its own collection of architecturally significant buildings. Students at Yale not only receive world-class instruction in architecture, they study in the confines of a campus that features construction from some of the world’s best architects from the last three centuries. James Gamble Rogers, Frank Gehry and Philip Johnson have all designed buildings on the Yale campus, and the legacies of these great architects inform the structure of the academic program. Yale’s current offerings for architecture degrees include a bachelor’s, doctorate and three different master’s specializations.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT’s number four national ranking from "Architecture Daily" and the "Architectural Record" serves as a testament to this east coast institution’s dedication to excellence in the fields of science and technology. MIT Architecture emphasizes the importance of a well-rounded education, and students in this program benefit from MIT’s world-class instructors in a broad range of humanities subjects. Architecture was one of the four original departments upon the foundation of MIT. This historical commitment to the field is evidenced in the broad range of specializations that MIT offers, including architectural design, building technology and the history, theory and criticism of architecture and art.

About the Author

Douglas Matus is the travel writer for "West Fort Worth Lifestyle" magazine, and spent four years as the Director of Humanities for a college-prep school in Austin. Since 2005, he has published articles on education, travel and culture in such publications as "Nexus," "People's World" and "USA Today." Matus received an Education Pioneers fellowship in 2010 and an MFA from CalArts in 2011.

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