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Top Architecture Schools by Region 2019

architecture degree

The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 is out now, and includes a ranking of the world’s top 200 universities for architecture. Though the majority of these are based in North America, Europe and Asia, the ranking also includes a total of 10 in the Latin American region, and six in Africa and the Middle East.

Each of these universities are assessed based on a methodology which uses four indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper, and H-index (which assesses the impact of a scholars’ or scientists’ published papers).

US & Canada

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

architecture schools

Also known as MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a world-leading university, particularly in the fields of science, technology, and business.

MIT currently claims second place globally in this year’s rankings and first place in its region, achieving outstanding scores for all four categories, including a near-perfect score for academic reputation.

With programs such as Architecture + Urbanism, MIT aims to teach and help implement architecture and design based on modern issues such as global warming, globalization, technology and urbanization.

Harvard University

architecture degree

Established in the mid-17th century, Harvard University is the oldest higher-education institution in the US, and consistently ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious universities of all time – currently claiming third place in the QS World University Rankings 2019.  

It’s also one of the highest-ranked universities for its architecture courses, having gone up one place to rank fifth this year. It scores excellently across all four indicators, boasting a perfect score for its employer reputation in the field.

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

architecture ranking

Having dropped only one place from last year to rank sixth for architecture, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) has consistently ranked among the top five universities in the world for its selection of architecture and environmental design programs. 

UCB currently boasts excellent scores across all four indicators, and performs particularly well for the indicators measuring research impact and H-index – which is no surprise, given UCB’s standing as the leading institution among 10 research universities affiliated with the University of California system. 

Top architecture schools in Canada

In addition to US universities, eight Canadian universities are ranked in this region this year, three of which are in the global top 50: McGill University (45th), the University of Toronto (=39th), and the University of British Columbia, which is the highest ranked of the three, at 27th.  

Europe

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

top architecture schools

Image credit: Steve Cadman (Flickr)

The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, is globally recognized for its award-winning pioneering research and world-renowned teaching quality. It provides a wide range of interesting architecture courses at undergraduate, postgraduate, and postgraduate taught levels.

As well as being the leading European institution in the architecture ranking, the Barlett School has gone up a place this year to claim first place in the world for the subject, scoring exceptionally well for all four indicators, with a perfect score for its academic reputation.

Delft University of Technology

architecture ranking

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), situated in the Netherlands, was founded in 1904, and is known for having one of the largest campuses in the world, featuring restaurants, parks, a botanical garden, a new media center, cycle paths, and even a flight simulator and an aerodynamics and propulsion lab.

Excelling in a number of STEM subjects, TU Delft also places third in the world for its architecture courses, and its Faculty of Architecture is currently the largest in the university with approximately 2,900 students enrolled.    

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

top architecture schools

Based in Switzerland and renowned for its front-line research, ETH Zurich (also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), is one of the world’s leading universities for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

ETH also ranks fourth in the world for architecture degrees, and has achieved very high scores across all four indicators. Its Department of Architecture (D-ARCH) is one of the world’s most respected faculties, combining world-class theoretical and practical education.

Asia

National University of Singapore (NUS)

architecture schools

Formerly known as the King Edward VII College of Medicine when it was founded in 1905, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is the country’s oldest higher-education institution, and consistently ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Having moved up two places to now rank eighth in the global architecture ranking, NUS is also the number-one architecture school in the region, offering outstanding architecture degrees based on the liberal arts system. It achieves impressive scores across all four indicators, scoring its highest for the research impact and H-index categories.

Tsinghua University

architecture degree

Tsinghua University is a leading research institution in Beijing, China, and a member of the elite C9 League of prestigious Chinese universities. It was established in 1911, and has since become one of the world’s best higher-education institutions for engineering and computer science programs.

Tsinghua currently ranks 10th in the architecture ranking, making it one of the top architecture schools in the world. It achieves excellent scores for all four indicators, mainly those used to measure research impact and H-index.

University of Hong Kong (HKU)

architecture ranking

Founded in 1911, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is a public research university, and traces its roots back to the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (founded in 1887). Today, the university is globally renowned for its academic prestige, leading research programs, international connections and social impact.

HKU ranks 13th for architecture this year, with its faculty of architecture aiming to provide students with a thorough knowledge of architecture that combines both local and global influences.

Australia & New Zealand

The University of Sydney

architecture ranking

The University of Sydney was founded in 1850 and was Australia’s first university, making it one of Australia’s sandstone universities. It’s one of the world’s top public research universities and offers a selection of over 400 disciplines.

Now placing 15th in the global architecture ranking, the University of Sydney scores particularly well for the indicators used to measure citations per paper and H-index. Its architecture students gain valuable theoretical and practical skills, and are highly sought after by employers.   

The University of Melbourne

architecture schools

As Australia’s second-oldest university, the University of Melbourne was first established in 1853, and is one of the world’s leading public research universities. It has educated an array of notable alumni, including four Australian prime ministers and five governors-general.

The University of Melbourne moved up four places in the architecture ranking from last year, claiming 17th place. It receives good scores across the four indicators, and is particularly noted for its research impact.

RMIT University

architecture degree

Also based in Melbourne, Victoria, RMIT University was founded by Australian MP and philanthropist, Francis Ormond, back in 1887 when it was just a night school offering art, science, and technology classes. Today, it’s Australia’s largest tertiary institution and gains international recognition for its technology and design courses.

RMIT also moved up four places this year to rank 22nd for its design-focused architecture programs, which encourage critical thinking in students and provides them with the ability to explore, challenge and utilize their artistic creativity.  

Top architecture schools in New Zealand

Other ranked universities for architecture in this region include three in New Zealand – their highest-ranked being the University of Auckland, which ranks in the 51-100 range, followed by Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, both in the 151-200 range.

Latin America

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC)

architecture ranking

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is one of the six Catholic Universities within the Chilean university system, and one of two Pontifical Universities in the country. It was established in 1888 by Monsignor Mariano Casanova, Archbishop of Santiago, who’s aim was to combine academic excellence and training based on the Christian doctrine.

The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile ranks 34th for architecture this year, and achieves its highest score in the employer reputation category, having educated an array of notable Latin American alumni.

Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

top architecture schools

Based in Brazil, Universidade de São Paulo (USP) is the country’s largest public university and most prestigious educational institution in Latin America. It has campuses located across eight cities, with 42 schools, six specialized institutes, and four noteworthy museums.

Despite its drop by a substantial 16 places in the architecture rankings this year to 44th place, USP retains its place as one of the top architecture schools in Latin America, having moved from first place to second.

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

architecture schools

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) was founded in 1551 in Mexico, making it the oldest university in Latin America. It’s also the largest in the region, with almost 270,000 students enrolled. UNAM’s campus was designed by some of Mexico’s most renowned architects of the 20th century, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

According to this year’s QS architecture rankings, UNAM retains its position as 49th in the world for the subject, and achieves an exceptional score – and the highest in the region – for its employer reputation.

Africa & the Middle East

University of Cape Town

architecture degree

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research-intensive university and was founded in 1829 as the South African College – making it the oldest institution for higher education in South Africa.

UCT ranks in the 51-100 range and is the number-one school for architecture in its region, achieving its highest and the second-best score in the region for the research impact indicator.

Other top architecture schools in Africa and the Middle East include Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (101-150), followed by Alexandra University, the American University in Cairo, Cairo University, and University of the Witwatersrand – all in the 151-200 range.

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Written by Belkis Megraoui
A former content writer for TopUniversities.com, Belkis published a range of articles for students and graduates across the globe. She has a zeal for history and a natural flair for the arts and sports. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Communication with Journalism from the University of Hertfordshire and is a native speaker of the Arabic language.

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