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Highly Ranked Colleges for Architecture & Design

by Giselle Mazur, studioD

Architecture and design degrees lead students to careers that shape the buildings and environments we live, work and play in. Undergraduate coursework encompasses areas such as building architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and industrial design, and there are highly-ranked programs in each of these areas for prospective students to consider.

Cornell University

In 2013, “Design Intelligence” ranked Cornell University among the top ten universities for architecture and design in several categories, including undergraduate and graduate architecture, landscape architecture and interior design. The architecture program is more than 130 years old, and it offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree as well as a four-year Bachelor of Science program in history of architecture. Cornell also offers master’s programs designed to accommodate both students who already possess an architecture degree and those exploring the field for the first time. On top of traditional coursework, students can pursue opportunities to study in New York City and Rome through Cornell programs, as well as global study-abroad programs.

Pratt Institute

According to “Architectural Record,” Pratt Institute was ranked the 11th-best undergraduate architecture program in the U.S. in 2013, and GraduateArchitecture.com included Pratt in the top 10 universities for architecture. Pratt offers a five-year undergraduate program that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and graduate programs that include a three-year Master of Architecture, a three-semester Master of Science in Architecture, and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design. Pratt has campuses in Manhattan and Brooklyn and encourages a balance between technical ability and creative thought in the environment of an art institute.

Kansas State University

Kansas State’s graduate and undergraduate programs appear on the “Design Intelligence” list of “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” on several occasions. The university offers a 5-year Master of Architecture that combines both undergraduate and graduate study, as well as a Master of Science in Architecture program for students who already hold an architecture degree. Students can also pursue graduate studies in interior architecture and product design, landscape architecture and regional and community Planning. The school does not offer bachelor degrees in architecture and design, only five-year programs for high school graduates and graduate programs for students who already hold an undergraduate degree.

Rhode Island School of Design

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was founded in 1877 and is one of the top art and design schools in the country. The architecture and design undergraduate and graduate programs are ranked in the top ten by “Design Intelligence” and “Architectural Record." RISD offers both bachelor's and master's programs with an emphasis on artistic sensibility and creative thinking. RISD also offers undergraduate and graduate studies in industrial design and interior architecture, and a graduate program in landscape architecture. RISD students are encouraged to question how they approach their learning experience, while expanding their educational horizons.

About the Author

Giselle Mazur has been a writer and editor for 10 years. Her content focuses on careers, education, animals and home. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications in 2008. Her outside concentrations included educational counseling and popular music. She is earned a Master of Science from The New School's School of Media Studies in 2014.

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