The Top 100 Architectural School & Program Rankings

In this article, we take a look at the top 50 undergraduate architectural school rankings by licensure exam division pass rates, as well as the top 100 graduate architecture program rankings by the same metric.

Architectural School Rankings By Average Architecture Licensure Exam Division Pass Rates (Undergraduate Programs)

Composite average pass rates for schools offering an NAAB-accredited BArch degree.

Rank

School

Pass Rate

1

University of Notre Dame

77%

2

University of Oregon

72%

3

Virginia Tech

71%

4

Carnegie Mellon University

70%

5

Rice University

69%

6

Tulane University

69%

7

University of Texas at Austin

69%

8

Penn State

67%

9

University of Tennessee

66%

10

North Carolina State University

65%

11

Cornell University

64%

12

Ball State University

63%

13

Auburn University

62%

14

Mississippi State University

62%

15

Oklahoma State University

62%

16

Iowa State University

62%

17

Louisiana State University

62%

18

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

62%

19

Marywood University

61%

20

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

61%

21

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

61%

22

University of Arkansas

60%

23

Drexel University

59%

24

Drury University

58%

25

Syracuse University

58%

26

University of Maryland

58%

27

Rhode Island School of Design

57%

28

University of Arizona

57%

29

National Average

55%

30

University of Southern California

53%

31

Boston Architectural College

52%

32

Illinois Institute of Technology

52%

33

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

52%

34

University of Miami

50%

35

University of Oklahoma

50%

36

California College of the Arts

48%

37

New Jersey Institute of Technology

47%

38

Pratt Institute

47%

39

Kennesaw State University

46%

40

Cal State Pomona

45%

41

New School of Architecture and Design

45%

42

Southern California Institute of Architecture

43%

43

University of Houston

43%

44

Florida A&M

42%

45

The City College of New York

41%

46

Academy of Art University

39%

47

New York Institute of Technology

37%

48

Woodbury University

32%

49

Florida Atlantic University

31%

 

Architecture Program Rankings By Average Architecture Licensure Exam Division Pass Rates (Graduate School)

Composite average pass rates for schools offering a NAAB-accredited MArch degree.

Rank

School

Pass Rate

1

Princeton University

81%

2

University of Notre Dame

77%

3

University of Virginia

77%

4

Yale University

77%

5

MIT

73%

6

University of Washington

73%

7

University of Oregon

72%

8

Harvard University

72%

9

Virginia Tech

71%

10

Kent State University

71%

11

University Massachusetts Amherst

71%

12

Carnegie Mellon University

70%

13

Norwich University

70%

14

Portland State University

70%

15

University of Hartford

70%

16

University of Minnesota

70%

17

Rice University

69%

18

Tulane University

69%

19

University of Texas at Austin

69%

20

University of Cincinnati

69%

21

Judson University

68%

22

Montana State University

68%

23

Penn State

67%

24

Northeastern University

67%

25

University of Tennessee

66%

26

University of Colorado, Denver

66%

27

North Carolina State University

65%

28

Clemson University

65%

29

Ohio State University

65%

30

University of California, Berkeley

65%

31

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

65%

32

Cornell University

64%

33

Miami University

64%

34

Roger Williams University

64%

35

University of Colorado

64%

36

Washington State University

64%

37

Ball State University

63%

38

Texas A & M University

63%

39

University of Kansas

63%

40

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

63%

41

Iowa State University

62%

42

Louisiana State University

62%

43

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

62%

44

University at Buffalo, SUNY

62%

45

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

62%

46

University of Michigan

62%

47

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

61%

48

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

61%

49

Columbia University

61%

50

Kansas State University

61%

51

North Dakota State University

61%

52

University of Kentucky

61%

53

University of Idaho

60%

54

University of Utah

59%

55

Drury University

58%

56

Syracuse University

58%

57

University of Maryland

58%

58

Georgia Tech

58%

59

Washington University in St.Louis

58%

60

Rhode Island School of Design

57%

61

University of Arizona

57%

62

Lawrence Technological University

57%

63

University of California, Los Angeles

57%

64

University of Pennsylvania

57%

65

Catholic University

56%

66

University of Illinois at Chicago

56%

67

National Average

55%

68

University of Detroit - Mercy

55%

69

Wentworth Institute of Technology

55%

70

Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

54%

71

School of Art Institute of Chicago

54%

72

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

54%

73

Temple University

54%

74

University of Southern California

53%

75

University of New Mexico

53%

76

Boston Architectural College

52%

77

Illinois Institute of Technology

52%

78

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

52%

79

Philadelphia University

52%

80

Andrews University

51%

81

Morgan State University

51%

82

University of Florida

51%

83

University of Miami

50%

84

University of Oklahoma

50%

85

Louisiana Tech University

49%

86

Texas Tech University

49%

87

California College of the Arts

48%

88

Arizona State University

48%

89

University of Hawaii at Manoa

48%

90

New Jersey Institute of Technology

47%

91

Pratt Institute

47%

92

Savannah College of Art and Design

47%

93

Cal State Pomona

45%

94

New School of Architecture and Design

45%

95

Southern Polytechnic State University

45%

96

University of South Florida

45%

97

University of Texas at Arlington

45%

98

University of Texas at San Antonio

45%

99

Southern California Institute of Architecture

43%

100

University of Houston

43%

101

Florida A&M

42%

102

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

42%

103

The City College of New York

41%

104

Academy of Art University

39%

105

Woodbury University

32%

106

Howard University

32%

107

Florida International University

29%

 

Architectural School Rankings Methodology

All the data used was pulled from NCARB’s ARE 5.0 Pass Rates by School. No trained statisticians were used for this ranking, and we make no claims of scientific validity. We simply culled data from publicly available sources, averaged it, and rank-ordered it. 

School licensure pass rates were derived from the average pass rates for each of the six architecture licensure exams averaged over four years (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020), so 24 cells in total (six exams times four years). If a school had more alumni taking CE than PjM over those four years, or more taking exams in 2019 than 2020 (as most did because of COVID closures) our data would not have reflected that anomaly. We averaged the CE pass rates with the PjM pass rates (and all the others) and weighted each exam division and year as equal.

We used “missing teeth” in the data as a proxy for “a school is too small or too new to have useful data.” The vast majority of schools had data for each exam, each year. Those that didn’t were left off this survey.

While NCARB has found that candidates with graduate degrees, on average, pass exams at a +4% rate relative to candidates with only undergraduate architecture degrees, the school-level data that NCARB provides for programs that offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees does not differentiate between the pass rates of the school’s undergraduates and graduates. Therefore, if a university offers both degrees, the overall pass rates for all degrees were reported in each list. Only NAAB accredited programs were included in this ranking.

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