Choosing the right architecture school can be a daunting task. Deciding which institution to attend requires research, contemplation and understanding of various programs and costs. With the increased availability of information available on the internet, it has become possible to source a comprehensive range of data on various architecture schools worldwide. One of the most important questions that student might have is which is the best architecture school in the world. While this is a difficult question to answer, in this article, we shall explore the possible criteria for selection and try to narrow down the list of top architecture educational institutions.
What should be looked for in a great Architecture School?
It is essential to assess the quality of an architecture school. There are certain criteria that one should consider before making a decision, such as the quality of the faculty and staff, the reputation of the school in terms of its academics, research opportunities, access to scholarships and funding, and more. Furthermore, the curriculum offered by the architecture school should be adequately broad to encompass a range of perspectives, including global issues and the various sub-disciplines of architecture.
Moreover, the quality of facilities as well as the presence of dedicated architecture and design studios should be taken into consideration. Additionally, the extracurricular activities of the school should be looked into. Organizations and clubs like the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) or the Design Innovation Research Centre (DIRC) are excellent opportunities to network and develop professional contacts.
What Are the Most Respected Architecture Schools?
Some of the most respected architecture schools worldwide are Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) in the United States, Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in the United Kingdom, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB) in Spain, and University of Tokyo in Japan.
Similarly, other reputable schools in the United States include the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), the University of Southern California (USC), the Princeton University School of Architecture, and the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). In Europe, the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Paris (ENSAP) and Technical University of Munich (TUM) are renowned for their excellence in academia and research.
The Architecture School Ranking System
One way to compare the various architecture schools is through the architecture school ranking system. Rankings attempt to rate schools according to various criteria, such as faculty ability, student satisfaction, research activities, finances, and alumni feedback. As with other university rankings, architecture school rankings provide an objective measure to choose the most suitable program.
For instance, the United States and British universities dominate the list of the top 20 architecture schools in the world according to the QS World University Rankings. According to such rankings, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard GSD, and AA are ranked amongst one of the best architecture schools. Similarly, the School of Architecture of the Princeton University and the IIT rank among the top ten architecture schools.
Assessing Cost, Accreditation, and Scholarships
The cost of attending an architecture school varies significantly. Some schools offer tuition assistance programs or may even offer full scholarships. It is important to look into the details of any such financial aid packages and eligibility criteria before applying. Furthermore, it is also important to consider accreditation. Most schools are accredited by regional or national accreditation bodies, while some maintain additional accreditation through professional organizations, such as the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
Ultimately, selecting the right architecture school requires a lot of research and consideration. The above criteria should help aspiring architecture students to determine which school is most suitable for their requirements. Furthermore, comparing various schools through the architecture school ranking system can be helpful in narrowing down the list of best institutions. Additionally, it is important to look into the cost of attending the school, accreditation and available scholarships before making a final decision.