Schools with Planning and Architecture Programs: How to Choose

Oct 20, 2021

Architects are responsible for the appearance and overall functionality of structures, while planners are involved with the use of land and the revitalization of communities. Architecture and planning programs can be found within the architecture departments of colleges and universities.

Ten Schools with Bachelor's in Architecture Programs

The following schools offer bachelor's programs in architecture. Undergraduate tuition for each of these schools is based on the 2018-2019 academic year.

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition and Fees*
Barnard College New York, NY 4-year, Private $55,032
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private $55,465
Morgan State University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Public $7,900 in-state, $18,167 out-of-state
University of Texas, Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public $10,610 in-state, $37,580 out-of-state
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public $13,226 in-state, $42,218 out-of-state
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Carbondale, IL 4-year, Public $14,704 in-state, $29,160 out-of-state
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Public $16,970 in-state, $29,066 out-of-state
Northeastern University Boston, MA 4-year, Private $51,522
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 4-year, Private $50,340
Pratt Institute Brooklyn, NY 4-year, Private $51,870

*Source: NCES, School websites

Top Master's in City Management and Urban Policy Programs

According to the U.S. News website, the following schools were rated the top 10 in city management and urban policy in 2016. Graduate tuition rates are based on the 2018-2019 academic year, and do not include any extra program fees:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition*
University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 4-year, Public $9,989 in-state, $23,366 out-of-state
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private $42,888
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private $44,712
Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ 4-year, Public $11,406 in-state, $25,160 out-of-state
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public $10,243 in-state, $27,454 out-of-state
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL 4-year, Public $11,904
Cleveland State University Cleveland, OH 4-year, Public $9,818 in-state, $16,781 out-of-state
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 4-year, Public $9,684 in-state, $24,116 out-of-state
Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 4-year, Public $7,020 in-state, $22,518 out-of-state
University of Illinois, Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Public $13,612 in-state, $23,299 out-of-state

*Source: NCES

School Selection Criteria

Students should consider the following when selecting an architecture program:

  • Aspiring architects should search for programs that have been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which will help them become licensed.
  • Students interested in planning should seek a program that has been accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.
  • Architecture programs often incorporate computer-assisted design (CAD) software as a learning tool; students should consider For master's degree programs, a minimum of 30 credit hours is required by the NAAB. Professional architects who want to advance to leadership and management positions should consider obtaining a graduate degree. The program typically culminates with the completion of a master's project or thesis.

Bachelor's Degree in Planning

Individuals in these programs learn how to analyze site problems and develop solutions. Subjects covered include urban and neighborhood development, environmental and political considerations and urban geography. Many programs require the completion of an internship.

Master's Degree in Planning

Some schools offer combined master's programs with the business or architecture schools. Master's degree programs in planning focus on areas such as urban development, environmental planning, and communication skills.

In summary, architecture and urban planning are typically two different academic tracks. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available in both, and the best programs offer hands-on learning opportunities, internships, and licensure exam preparation.

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