Top Architecture Schools in 2018 by Region | Top Universities

Top Architecture Schools in 2018 by Region

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Sabrina Collier

Updated Mar 06, 2021



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This year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject ranks the world’s 200 top architecture schools. No matter where in the world you’re hoping to study, this vast number of featured universities will leave you spoilt for choice.

To help make your decision of where to study a little easier, here are the top architecture schools in each region of the world. Alternatively, you could view the full interactive architecture ranking table here or find out more about studying architecture degrees here.

US & Canada

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Consistently ranked first among the world’s top architecture schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) boasts a perfect score of 100 for academic reputation in this year’s subject rankings.

MIT’s architecture school was the first of its kind in the US, having been founded in 1865, four years after the institute itself. It’s known for being a leader in introducing modernism to the US and commissioning progressive buildings.

MIT’s MArch program has small class sizes of only 25 students, giving students an excellent atmosphere for enriching debate and feedback.  

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

University of California, Berkeley

Ranked fifth for architecture and second in the US, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) earns the highest score in the architecture ranking for citations per paper, a measure of research impact.

UC Berkeley has a strong background in encouraging independent design, with its architecture degrees focusing on the technical, aesthetic and cultural components of design, delivered by an award-winning faculty of some of the world’s most innovative thinkers and designers.

Harvard University


Ranked sixth in the world for architecture this year, Harvard University’s Harvard Graduate School of Design has graduated many famous and influential architects, urban planners and landscape architects. Architecture courses were first taught at Harvard in 1864, and today the architecture department offers you a unique community, rich in diversity and collaboration, in which to explore new ways of thinking.

Top architecture schools in Canada

Also ranked from this region are nine Canadian universities, including two in the global top 50: University of British Columbia the highest ranked at 32nd, followed by the University of Toronto at joint 43rd.


The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (University College London)

Ranked second behind MIT in the architecture ranking this year is the UK’s Bartlett School of Architecture, one of the 11 constituent faculties of UCL (University College London). Established in 1841, Bartlett claims to be the first architecture school founded in the UK, and today is frequently found at the top of the league tables for architecture. Bartlett’s faculty are active in experimental, original research, and are known for developing the space syntax theory.

Delft University of Technology

Based in the Netherlands, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) retains its position of third in this year’s architecture ranking, earning its strongest score for employer reputation. TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture is the largest in the university with around 3,000 students.

It’s proudly multinational and offers a range of challenging master’s and post-master’s programs, which draw on the Dutch tradition of multidisciplinary practice, meaning students work in groups to create integrated solutions.

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

ETH Zurich

Up one place to rank fourth in the world for architecture this year, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Department of Architecture was founded in 1854 and has around 2,000 students. Recognized as one of the most highly regarded faculties of architecture in the world, ETH Zurich owes its success to its outstanding teaching and research results, which focus on broadly defined built environment issues, achieved throughout its history.

More top architecture schools in Europe

Europe is home to many more top architecture schools, with two more UK institutions in the top 10: Manchester School of Architecture (seventh) and the University of Cambridge (eighth). On the mainland, Italy’s Politecnico di Milano climbed from 14th to ninth for architecture this year, while Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) climbed to 17th and Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya is up four places to rank 22nd in the world for architecture.


National University of Singapore (NUS)


Singapore’s National University of Singapore (NUS) is ranked 10th in the world for architecture this year, achieving a very strong score for the number of citations per paper. Founded in 1969, NUS’s Department of Architecture of the School of Design and Environment offers a wide range of programs including landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning and integrated sustainable design, and offers you opportunities to choose from creative paths which fit your design talent and research interests.

Tsinghua University

China’s Tsinghua University retains its position of 11th in the world for architecture this year, earning its best score for employer reputation. Tsinghua is known for having one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, with elegant traditional Chinese architecture mixed with Western styles.

Its School of Architecture was established in 1946 and has placed importance on the combination of research and practice since its foundation, having conducted research into concerning key issues of China’s urban and rural construction.

University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Ranked 12th in the world for architecture this year, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) calls itself “Asia’s Global University” and its architecture department provides students with the chance to experience international study and travel, with study tours to sites of East Asian architecture and urbanism.

The department also offers programs in its Shanghai Study Centre, which provides a unique space for students to spend a semester studying special learning modules on local cultures.

Australia & New Zealand

The University of Sydney

University of Sydney

The highest-ranked university in Oceania for architecture is the University of Sydney in 16th place. Founded in 1920, the university’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning has around 1,300 undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. It offers three highly competitive undergraduate programs, and at postgraduate level has the widest range of programs of any similar faculty in Australia.

The University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne

Ranked 21st in the world for architecture this year and achieving a high score for its research impact, the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne School of Design (MSD) established one of the first bachelor’s degrees in architecture in 1927 and now offers a diversity of choice in its programs, reflecting the multidisciplinary aspects of architecture, as well as having a diverse faculty/student body of people from over 50 countries.

The University of New South Wales (UNSW)

University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales is ranked 23rd for architecture this year, achieving the second highest score in Australia for academic reputation (after Melbourne). Among the architecture degrees available at UNSW is a unique dual degree offered in partnership with Tongji University in Shanghai, offering you an architectural education with an international focus, and preparing you for practice in both China and Australia.

Top architecture schools in New Zealand

Also included in the architecture ranking are three New Zealand universities, led by the University of Auckland at 51-100, followed by Victoria University of Wellington (101-150) and new entrant Massey University (151-200).

Latin America

Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

Up seven places to rank 28th in the world for architecture in 2018, the Universidade de São Paulo (USP)’s Architecture and Urbanism College was founded in 1948 and offers courses at the university’s São Paulo and São Carlos campuses. Its main building was designed by prominent modernist architect Vilanova Artigas, and is considered one of the most significant representations of architectural modernism in Brazil.

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC)

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC), located mainly in Santiago, Chile, is up four places to rank 33rd in the world for architecture, gaining its strongest score for employer reputation. Its Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urban Studies has about 1,500 students and has educated a number of notable alumni, including Alejandro Aravena, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2016, and celebrated landscape architect Juan Grimm.

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Mexico’s sole entrant in the architecture ranking, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) is ranked 49th in the world for architecture this year and has the highest score in Latin America for employer reputation. If you study architecture at UNAM, you’re sure to find the main campus itself quite inspiring as it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, designed by prominent architects Mario Pani and Enrique del Moral, and boasts beautiful murals.

Africa & the Middle East

University of Cape Town

South Africa’s University of Cape Town is the highest-ranked university for architecture in Africa and the Middle East at 51-100. The university’s architecture programs share a strong contextual approach, with its School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics aimed at nurturing critical thinkers and challengers of the status quo, as it engages with the transformation of South Africa.  

Other top architecture schools in Africa and the Middle East include two Turkish universities: Istanbul Technical University and Middle East Technical University, both ranked 101-150, as well as Egypt’s Cairo University and Israel’s Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, both also ranked 101-150.

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