Top architecture schools in 2020 | Top Universities

Top architecture schools in 2020

By Chloe Lane

Updated June 2, 2023 Updated June 2, 2023

The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 features 201 of the top higher education institutions to study architecture.

The QS University Rankings by Subject are based on four indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper and the H-index (a way of measuring the productivity and published work of a scientist or scholar). You can find more details about the methodology behind the subject rankings here.

Read on to learn more about the best architecture schools each region. Alternatively, if you would like to explore the top architecture schools further, click here to view the full table.

Top 10 Universities for Architecture in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


Name of Institution



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States


Delft University of Technology



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

United Kingdom


ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)



Harvard University

United States


University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

United States


Politecnico di Milano



Manchester School of Architecture

United Kingdom


University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)


See the full ranking for architecture schools >

Top universities for architecture in the US and Canada

Of the 201 schools featured in the architecture subject rankings, 38 of these universities are found in the US, including 12 featuring in the top 50 worldwide – the largest amount in any one country. Aside from those in the top 10 (shown above), other high ranking universities in the US include Columbia University (13th place), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, 15th place) and Cornell University (28th place).

Heading north to Canada, there are eight universities featured in the subject rankings for architecture. Although none of these are featured in the top ten, the University of British Columbia ranks well in the research citations per paper and H index indicators, placing 32nd overall. Other Canadian universities in the top 50 include University of Toronto (joint 38th place) and McGill University (up four places to joint 41st place).

Top universities for architecture in Europe

The UK is home to 19 of the best architecture schools in the world, with three of these schools featuring in the top 10 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject for architecture. Outside of the top ten, we have the University of Sheffield (23rd place) and Cardiff University (joint 38th place). Ireland’s University College Dublin scores particularly well in the research citations per paper indicator, ranking 101-150 this year.

In France we have one entrant this year – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, which ranks 151-200. Spain has five ranked universities this year, with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid ranking within the top 40, in 21st and 35th place respectively.

Germany also scores well this year, with seven universities featuring in the QS World University Ranking by Subject for architecture this year, including Technische Universität Berlin (up eight places this year to 24th) and Technische Universität München (in 26th place).

Italy also performs well in the architecture subject rankings in 2020, with eight ranked universities, two of which are in the top 50; Politecnico di Milano (7th) and Politecnico di Torino (33rd). Switzerland’s two entrants are both within the top 10 in the world.

Over to the Netherlands now, where there are five entrants in the architecture subject ranking, with Delft University of Technology in the top 10 and Eindhoven University of Technology in 46th place. Four of the world’s best architecture schools can be found in Sweden, including KTH, Royal Institute of Technology (in 20th place) and Chalmers University of Technology (37th place). Norway is home to two of the world’s top universities for architecture: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (51-100) and Oslo School of Architecture (151-200).

Belgium has four entrants this year, with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven ranking in 45th place and Portugal has three top universities for architecture; including University of Lisbon and University of Porto both at 51-100. Austria’s two entries, Technische Universität Wien and Technische Universität Graz both rank in the top 150 worldwide. Lithuania’s single entrant, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University places 101-150 in the ranking this year.

Top universities for architecture in Australia and New Zealand

Of Australia’s 15 entrants in the subject rankings for architecture this year, four universities rank in the top 50 worldwide for architecture, the University of Melbourne (17th place), the University of Sydney (joint 18th), RMIT University (25th) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW, 27th).

New Zealand has two entrants in the rankings this year; the University of Auckland (51-100) and Victoria University of Wellington which rises in the rankings this year from 151-200. to 101-150.

Top universities for architecture in Asia  

Mainland China contains the most ranked universities in Asia this year, with twelve universities in the architecture rankings. Of these, three are featured in the top 50; Tsinghua University (11th), Tongji University (joint 18th) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (47th).

Singapore’s sole entrant, the National University of Singapore (NUS) falls four places this year to rank in 12th place. Also with a single entry is Israel, whose Technion - Israel Institute of Technology once again ranks 101-150 this year, and Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University remains at 101-150.

Japan has an impressive nine universities featuring in the subject rankings, including the University of Tokyo in 16th place and Kyoto University in 48th place. South Korea also performs well, with eight entrants this year; the highest ranked being Seoul National University (SNU) in 31st place.

With two entrants in the architecture subject rankings this year are Turkey, Thailand and Indonesia. India contains three top universities for architecture and Malaysia has five, including three in the top 100.

Hong Kong SAR contains four top universities, including the University of Hong Kong (HKU, 14th place) and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (22nd).

Top universities for architecture in Latin America  

Latin America is represented by 11 institutions in the architecture school rankings.

Chile and Colombia each have two universities featured in the architecture subject rankings this year, with Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile ranking in 36th place and Colombia’s Universidad Nacional de Colombia coming in at 51-100.

Of Mexico’s two entrants, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) comes in in top place, scoring well in the employer reputation indicator and placing 49th in the world. Argentina has only a single entry in the architecture schools ranking this year, Universidad de Buenos Aires which ranks 51-100.

Brazil has four entrants in the rankings this year, including Universidade de São Paulo (USP), which climbed one spot this year to rank in 43rd place worldwide.

Top universities for architecture in Africa and the Middle East

The University of Cape Town is South Africa’s sole entrant in the subject rankings this year for architecture, ranking 51-100.

Egypt has two universities featured in the rankings this year; Cairo University and the American University in Cairo, both ranking 151-200 in the world.

This article was originally published in March 2020 . It was last updated in June 2023

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