Updated on Monday 11 March 2013
One of the most important decisions to be made is where to study architecture. With a variety of architecture schools in the US, a multitude of instructional methods and the large amount of opportunities for internships, this step in the search for the top architecture school for an international student is a big one. This step is also the most exciting and an international student will soon find a successful path by evaluating the location, entrance requirements, tuition, and detailed curriculum.
The United States offers so many different architecture programs for international students. It can be hard to decide where to attend, which will offer the best education or where the most convenient location is. Every international student’s needs and desires are different regarding their education and it is very helpful to think about those needs specifically and wisely. As desirable as it is to attend the top architecture college in the US, it is not always possible due to other restrictions. How does one choose where to study architecture?
If international students want to narrow their search, here is a quick breakdown of the top architecture colleges based on their location in the US. Looking for the sunny beaches and warm weather of the west coast? The top architecture college on the West Coast is the Southern California Institute of Architecture. This is rated among the top three architecture colleges in the US. With the best weather and great quality of architecture, if sunshine is a must, this is the best choice!
Want to experience the snow, hustle and bustle of the city, and the general welcoming nature of the eastern US? Then Philadelphia University might just be the place for you to study architecture! This college offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture. International students will experience friendly Americans, many snowy streets and strong historical flavor in this impressive city.
Studying architecture in the southern United States will not disappoint. The weather is warm, the people are relaxed and the focus on sustainable design makes the University of Houston an excellent choice of where to study architecture! There is a huge international student population. The diversity coupled with the slow and relaxing pace of life makes the south a great place to study architecture!
Perhaps you struggled with your studies in high school or maybe you are transferring from a different university and you have excellent grades. Whatever the case, take your Grade Point Average, also known as GPA, into consideration when researching where to study architecture; this is an important step in your search.
If you have a GPA of 2.5 or less (or the equivalent thereof) you may have difficulty finding yourself in a top architecture college, however that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost! Andrews University (Michigan), University of California - Berkeley and the previously mentioned University of Houston (Texas) are good programs that consider other factors – and not just your GPA. The top architecture colleges will require a GPA that is higher than 3.0 so it is very important that you work hard to get good grades.
The top architecture colleges in the US will require international students to have TOEFL scores in almost every case. These schools expect portfolios, essays and interviews in many cases. International students researching where to study architecture will need to understand clearly what the school requires of its international students. Including letters of recommendation from teachers, authorities, or advisors will also be helpful. Cornell (New York), Harvard (Massachusetts), and Rice (Texas) Universities are top architecture colleges and their respective requirements are worth inspecting before applying to their architecture programs.
Of course, there is always the financial aspect in the decision making process of where to study architecture. International students looking for scholarships and grants will find a variety of options depending on the school. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the only top architecture college that offers 25-50% scholarships for its program. It is possible to find some alternative scholarships, and the majority of architecture schools offer scholarships up to 25%. When choosing where to study architecture it is also important to look at the overall tuition price of the architecture college. International students cannot expect to spend less than $25,000 each year on their architecture programs, no matter where architecture is studied.
The factors provided in this article are just a portion of the determining factors used in making a decision on where to study architecture. Careful research, communication, and planning are necessary in all decisions. International students have great options in the US and choosing where to study architecture among the top architecture colleges is no easy choice. But with focus and wisdom a great education in architecture is just around the corner.