Top Architecture Schools in 2017 | Top Universities

Top Architecture Schools in 2017

By Sabrina Collier

Updated March 26, 2020 Updated March 26, 2020

Discover the top architecture schools based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

If you’re thinking of studying architecture and unsure of which university is for you, the QS World University Rankings by Subject can help. Our ranking of the world’s top architecture schools has been extended this year to now feature 200 institutions around the world, so read on for an overview of the top universities for architecture in each global region.

Alternatively, you can view the full interactive ranking table here.

Top 10 Architecture Schools in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


Name of Institution



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States


UCL (University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture)

United Kingdom


Delft University of Technology

The Netherlands


University of California, Berkeley (UCB)



ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology



Manchester School of Architecture



Harvard University



University of Cambridge



National University of Singapore (NUS)



University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Hong Kong

See the full architecture ranking >


Top architecture schools in the US & Canada

The US is home to over 20% of the institutions featured in this year’s architecture ranking: 41 in total. As well as the three in the top 10 (above) 11 more US universities are ranked in the top 50, including Columbia University (12th), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (13th), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) (18th) and Cornell University (21st).

Heading north, and Canada is home to seven more of the world’s top architecture schools, four of which are in the top 100. These are the University of British Columbia (27th), the University of Toronto (=39th), McGill University (51-100) and the University of Waterloo (51-100).

Top architecture schools in Europe

Across the pond, a total of 71 European institutions are featured among the world’s top 200 for architecture, with 21 of these found in the United Kingdom. As well as three entries in the top 10, other strong-ranking UK architecture schools include the University of Sheffield (31st), the University of Salford (36th), Cardiff University (=39th) and, new this year, Loughborough University (=47th).

Eight more top architecture schools are found in Germany, led by Technische Universität München, which climbs 11 places this year to rank joint 29th for architecture, while Technische Universität Berlin is also ranked highly at 42nd.

Italy claims eight of the world’s top universities for architecture, including six new entries this year. The best of the bunch is Politecnico di Milano in 14th place.

The Netherlands is home to six of the world’s top architecture schools, again with a number of new entries. Delft University of Technology enjoy national bragging rights thanks to their third place finish and they’re joined by the Eindhoven University of Technology in the top 50. 

Heading to Scandinavia, and Sweden is the leading Nordic country in which to study architecture, with five entrants in this year’s ranking. KTH, Royal Institute of Technology come top in Sweden with a global ranking of joint 23rd.  Each of the other Nordic countries (Norway, Denmark and Finland) has one institution featured in the top 100 for architecture, while Denmark has two more in the top 200.

Spain is home to four of the world’s top universities for architecture, with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya the highest ranked at 26th, while Belgium and Portugal have three top architecture schools each (with Belgium’s KU Leuven in the top 50). Switzerland is represented twice in this year’s rankings, including ETH Zurich which is featured in the top 10 above.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Greece and Lithuania are each home to one top architecture school ranked among the world’s top 200.

Top architecture schools in Asia

As well as the two Asian universities featured in the global top 10 for architecture (the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong), 36 other Asian universities are featured this year.

Of these, a significant number (12) are found in China, with Tsinghua University just missing out on a place in this year’s top 10, with their 11th place finish. Also featured in the top 50 is Tongji University at 20th. China also boasts three more entries in the top 100 for architecture.

Another strong contender in the region is South Korea, which is home to nine of the world’s top universities for architecture, five of which are new entries – Seoul National University (SNU) is the country’s leading university for architecture and is ranked 34th globally. Meanwhile, Japan has eight representatives in the architecture ranking, including six new entries and two institutions in the top 50: University of Tokyo (17th) and Kyoto University (=37th).

Malaysia claims six of the world’s top architecture schools, all but two of which are in the top 100, while Taiwan has three representatives. Thailand enters this year’s architecture ranking with two entrants, including the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand at 101-150.

Top architecture schools in Latin America

Over in Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico each feature some of the world’s top architecture schools, with Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo (USP) is the highest ranked in the region at 35th. Three more Brazilian entries feature in the list.  

Also featured in the top 50 of the architecture ranking is Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (=37th), while Mexico’s sole entrant, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) is ranked 51-100.

Top architecture schools in Australia & New Zealand

Australia boasts 15 representatives in the architecture ranking this year, led by the University of Sydney in joint 15th place. Five more institutions are in the top 50: the University of Melbourne (19th), the University of New South Wales (22nd),  RMIT University (28th) the University of Newcastle (45th) and the University of Queensland (49th).

In neighboring New Zealand, two more top architecture schools are found: the University of Auckland (51-100) and new entrant Victoria University of Wellington (151-200).

Top architecture schools in Africa & the Middle East

South Africa’s University of Cape Town is the highest-ranked African institution for architecture at 51-100. Egypt is newly represented in this year’s ranking, thanks to the debut of Cairo University (151-200).

Over in the Middle East, Turkey is another new entrant in this year’s ranking, with two universities ranked among the best for architecture – Istanbul Technical University and Middle East Technical University (both ranked 101-150).

Lastly, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel each make their first appearances in the architecture ranking with one entrant each, with Israel’s Technion - Israel Institute of Technology the highest ranked of those at 101-150.

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This article was originally published in March 2017 . It was last updated in March 2020

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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