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Best 20 Architecture Schools in California in 2021

March 11, 2021 | Staff Writers

Architecture Schools in California
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You can see that you’re surrounded by tall buildings and frameworks in varying shapes and angles if you take a good look at you. Throughout history, architecture has been a great representation of the current society reflecting its values, successes, and eventual downfall of human civilization over the times. As the roots of architecture help in creating physical structures for the environment, it goes beyond the built structures but shows the cultural representation of how we see the world and ourselves.

To anyone who attends architecture school gains many benefits even if they don’t pursue a career in the studied field. Attending and eventually graduating from an architecture program is one of the most beneficial experiences any student can have. There are several reasons why you can go to school and take an architecture course.

Top 5 Architecture Schools in California

RankSchoolLocation
1University of San FranciscoSan Francisco, California
2University of San DiegoSan Diego, California
3California College of ArtsOakland, California
4Woodbury UniversityBurbank, California
5Otis College of Art and DesignLos Angeles, California
  • You get to become a great problem solver- Architecture requires a great deal of understanding particular problems and ways of how to solve them. In this case, you’ll be able to design complex structures from nothing. Once you are able to understand the pile of data and information in school, you’ll be able to solve other problems differently in your current career pursuit.
  • You get to travel the world and learn more about other people’s culture and interact with the environments. This will not only increase your knowledge of design but also help you understand the various ways to approach life and boost your position while at work.
  • You will be able to think of the box- This will place you in a better place to co0me up with creative ideas for different structural designs. In addition, the architecture course will equip you with the necessary leadership skills that will not only enable you to manage projects but also attracts high-paying positions in the industry.

Best 20 Architecture Schools in California

1

University of San Francisco

  • San Francisco, California
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Points: 90

The University of San Francisco is a privately owned Jesuit institution with one of the best degree programs in architecture. The students are trained into becoming critical thinkers, impassioned readers, and great interpreters. They offer various programs like city planning, urban design, community design, and architecture. The school provides a conducive environment that allows students to not only learn but put into practice what they learn. This eventually allows easy integration into the job market.

School Overview

Tuition: $51,930 per year
Acceptance Rate: 65%
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2

University of San Diego

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Points: 86

The University of San Diego is a privately owned roman catholic university. The school is committed to shaping the next generation of great architecture. The courses offered at the school teach undergraduate students the skills of critical thinking and argumentative reasoning based on well-researched evidence. Most of the school’s alumni have prospered in their various fields.

School Overview

Tuition: $51,186 per year
Acceptance Rate: 53%
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3

California College of Arts

  • Oakland, California
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Points: 83

California College of Arts in Oakland, California, offers an environment that students can study with a focus on material experimentation, research, and alternative creative practice. The school has been accredited by the NAAB for the STEM-designated professional degree.

School Overview

Tuition: $51,092
Acceptance Rate: 88%
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4

Woodbury University

  • Burbank, California
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Points: 77

Woodbury University in Burbank is a private institution that offers personalized and great educational services for those undertaking the architecture program. They offer students the opportunity to acquire their skills required for architectural careers. In addition, they offer personalized attention to their students as the classes are small in number, and the lectures have profound knowledge of their students.

School Overview

Tuition: $49,280 per year
Acceptance Rate: 66%
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5

Otis College of Art and Design

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Points: 72

Otis college of art and design is a privately owned institution that offers accredited architecture programs. The college boasts 94% of its graduates getting jobs within a year of their graduation and number 4 by the money magazine among the 50 colleges that add value to their students. They offer support programs like interior, landscape, communication skills and media, and lastly, materials and methods of building.

School Overview

Tuition: $48,380 per year
Acceptance Rate: 94%
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6

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Points: 68

The University of Southern California is a large private research university in Los Angeles, California. The educational offerings include building science and heritage conservation, landscape architecture, and architecture. The school is highly invested in turning you into a professional architecture through supporting your interest, challenges, and with the help of the unbeatable combination of a world-class-trojan horse spirit that has an architectural culture.

School Overview

Tuition: $46,492 per year
Acceptance Rate: 13%
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7

ArtCenter College of Design

  • Pasadena, California
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Points: 63

ArtCenter College of Design is a private, nonprofit university that offers accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees across a wide array of art and design disciplines with a focus on creative career opportunities. The undergraduate and graduate Environmental Design program fuses elements of architecture, interior design and furniture design to focus on the total spatial experience.

School Overview

Tuition: $45,776 per year
Acceptance Rate: 68%
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8

Southern California Institute of Architecture

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 90%
  • Points: 59

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is a private institution that focuses on offering the best architectural classes. The school is NAAB accredited and termed as one of the best architecture schools in the state. SCI-Arc teaches its students how to engage, innovate, and speculate to take the lead in reimagining the limits of architecture. These students end up becoming among the best architecture scholars in the nation.

School Overview

Tuition: $43,760 per year
Acceptance Rate: 73%
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9

Newschool of Architecture and Design

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Points: 54

Newschool of architecture and design is an accredited public university that offers opportunities to the real world, having 92% of getting jobs within the first six months of placement. The students are able to fulfill their dreams in the field of architecture, construction management, and design. The institution is approved by the National Architectural Accrediting Board( NAAB), WASC senior college, and the University commission (WSCUC).

School Overview

Tuition: $28,386 per year
Acceptance Rate: 100%
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10

Academy of Art University

  • San Francisco, California
  • Graduation Rate: 4%
  • Points: 50

Academy of Art university offers architectural services to both instate and out of state residents. The architectural students who have graduated are problem solvers and critical thinkers who have developed a diverse range of qualities and skills during their studies. They offer various courses like liberal arts, projective drawing, and perspectives.

School Overview

Tuition: $23,112
Acceptance Rate: 100%
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11

University of California

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Points: 45

University of California Los Angeles school of arts and architecture is a public university where students pursue their passion and master their art in architecture. The atmosphere within the school celebrates success and the creative process that students undergo. In addition, the school’s curriculum is dedicated to supporting and embracing the dreams which are fully nurtured. The undergraduate program features coursework that focuses on three main areas; critical studies, design, and technology.

School Overview

Tuition: $11,220 per year
Acceptance Rate: 13%
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12

California Polytechnic State University

  • San Luis Obispo, California
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Points: 41

California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo has been ranked among the 35 top schools by DesignIntelligence. They offer undergraduate programs like landscape architecture, architectural engineering, city and regional planning, construction management, and architecture. The school’s alumni have been a positive influence on construction, planning, and designing worlds.

School Overview

Tuition: $9,943 per year
Acceptance Rate: 30%
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13

California State Polytechnic University

  • Pomona, California
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
  • Points: 36

California state polytechnic university is a diverse public university offering architectural degrees. There are 150-semester units in their program for courses like Environmental control systems, architectural design, and design development. They provide the students with opportunities where they can apply their knowledge in hands-on projects, research collaborations, and theory classes into practicals.

School Overview

Tuition: $7,396 per year
Acceptance Rate: 55%
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14

University of California – Berkeley

  • Berkeley, California
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Points: 32

The University of California is a large public university that offers degree programs in architecture. They offer both undergraduate and graduate programs that strive to produce the best with their great tradition of fostering research and design. They carry out leading research on architectural humanities, architectural technologies, constructed and speculative environments.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,721 per year
Acceptance Rate: 15%
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15

Mt. San Antonio College

  • Walnut, California
  • Graduation Rate: 24%
  • Points: 27

Mt.San Antonio College is a public community college that offers architecture degree programs for both instate and out of state students. They offer different degree programs that help its students transition into their careers and jobs.

School Overview

Tuition: $2,760
Acceptance Rate: 100%
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16

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Points: 23

As an emerging accredited architecture program in southern California, the CBU Architecture program offers students talent development opportunities across the spectrum of liberal arts education and professional preparation. Graduates are working in world class offices and are highly sought after in the Inland Empire and greater southwestern US region.

 

School Overview

Tuition: $33,930 per year
Acceptance Rate: 80%
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17

El Camino College

  • California, Los Angeles
  • Graduation Rate: 20%
  • Points: 18

El Camino College is a public institution where the students get to gain proficiency in various learning tracks that include graphic communication, architectural history and theory, construction documentation and the design process. There are 26 required core units to be completed at the El Camino College.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,196 ($46 per unit) per year
Acceptance Rate: 100%
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18

Southwestern College

  • Chula Vista, California
  • Graduation Rate: 18%
  • Points: 14

Southwestern College is a public college in California that offers designed programs to provide its students with great problem-solving skills and critical thinking processes necessary to conquer the business world. There are 40 units in total for an associate degree program.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,196 ($46 per unit) per year
Acceptance Rate: 56%
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19

Miracosta College

  • Oceanside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Points: 9

Miracosta College is a public community college that offers architecture programs. They offer courses in drafting, engineering, and architecture in the field of mechanical design, engineering design, computer-aided design, and architectural design.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,152 per year
Acceptance Rate: 100%
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20

East Los Angeles College

  • Monterey Park, California
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Points: 5

East Los Angeles College is a large public community college that has excellent architectural degree programs. They have extensive courses like Building information modeling, computer-aided design, technical documentation, building code, and construction documents.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,220 per year
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Ranking Methodology

This ranking was based on the analysis of the best software from the U.S Department of Education’s college scorecard and the respective universities’ website. The schools were ranked based on tuition amount and the rate of graduation. The school with the most points was ranked first in the list as it progressed down accordingly.

We ensure that the information our readers get is up to date and accurate. If you’re associated with any of the schools mentioned above and realize an error, please feel free to contact us for the necessary corrections.

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