Study Architecture, Building and Planning in the United States

Courses regarding architecture are extremely rival, where practical training takes place a lot, preparing students to reach their fullest potential.

Ever admire the beauty of appointed buildings like KLCC or the wrought-iron lattice Eiffel Tower? It takes years of experience and books of knowledge to be able to design and build such magnificent architectures that are align with safety measures.

A career in the field of architecture, building and planning could be a long journey before gaining a reputation. However, the satisfaction of being part of remarkable architecture is definitely worth the hard work. If you are considering a degree in this field, read on to find what can this field offer you!

What is Architecture, Building and Planning all about?

Architecture, Building and Planning can be easily understood from its name itself. It is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures. 

What are the major fields in Architecture, Building and Planning?

The popular major everyone knows is architecture, the philosophy behind the aesthetics building development. There are multiple disciplines in this field that can teach you more than a construction blueprint. No matter which discipline you chose, you can definitely leverage the creativity you have! Here are some major fields you should know:


In Architecture, you will design buildings in the most sophisticated way you know, taking the lead in design. There are multiple certifications in this path if you wish to be a certified architect. Be sure to check out the necessary certifications before jumping right into architecture. 

Civil Engineering

Quite similar to architecture, civil engineering concerns about the design of building. However, civil engineering focuses on the reliability and safety of structure. You will learn about building material, modifications of design, integrity of structural element  and ultimately, the transformation of architect’s vision into reality.

Landscape Design and Architecture

Landscape Design and Architecture combines the element of nature and culture to bridge the gap between landscape architecture and garden design. In this major, you will learn about the artistic composition and artisanship to plan and design a garden. Besides that, you will get to know about urban planning of city and regional parks, and many more large scale projects. 

Quantity Surveying

In Quantity Surveying, you will be the expertise of construction costs and contracts. You will learn to deal with estimating and managing costs in a construction project while meeting the required building standards and quality at the same time. In short, with a degree majoring this field, you will be the cost and financial specialist in construction industry.

Interior Design

Interior design is the art and science of creating the interior of a building to achieve a aesthetically pleasing environment for anyone using the space. In this major, you will plan, research, coordinate and manage projects that requires to enhance the internal environment of a space. 

What are the entry requirement and qualifications?

Generally, enrolling into an institution in US can be difficult to Malaysian students because of the high competition of enrollment into top universities in US. However, the rankings of institutions prove the quality and competency are worth fighting for.

For Malaysian students, here are the minimum requirements for degree enrollment: 

Qualification Requirement
SPM/UEC Minimum 4 passes
STPM Minimum 2 passes
O-Level Minimum 3 passes
A-Level Minimum 2 passes

However, students should take note that the more elite a university is, the higher and better grades are required. You should check with the institution of your choice for the minimum requirements. 

Besides academic requirement, you should also take note of the language requirement as the popular MUET in Malaysia is not accepted in the Ireland. You have to sit for Cambridge English Language Assessments (CELA) or TOEFL  test to prove your English proficiency. Different institutions may require different tests or scores. 

What are the job opportunities?

If you come from a developing country, you can expect a huge number of opportunities in construction projects in this field. Even though some of them requires you to work outdoor for long hours, you still can find a few office work in this field.

Here are some of the options that you can explore:

  • Civil Engineer
  • Junior/Senior Architect
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Site Supervisor
  • Designer
  • Draftsman
  • Landscape Architect
  • Consultant/Advisor
  • Architectural Coordinator

Universities in United States that offer Architecture, Building and Planning programmes.

The Third Level Graduate Scheme allows you to stay an additional 6 to 24 months (depending on your qualifications) after graduation to secure employment in Ireland.

While US is  always ranked as the top country in the world, US universities are also constantly appearing in the top world rankings. Interesting fact, half of the top 10 universities in the world 2017/2018 comprised of US universities. No wonder it is so difficult to get enrolled!

Besides looking at the ranking of universities, you should also consider the programmes it offers, tuition fees, location and student life before choosing the right university that fits your expectation.

Interestingly, you will come across the word, Ivy League in US universities. Ivy League is an American athletic conference comprising sport teams from eight universities in US. Now you know the culture, here is a list of US universities you can take a look at:

Yale University 

Located in Connecticut, Yale University is a private Ivy League Research University with 20% of international students who come from 120 countries. Despite the admission application is quite hectic, where candidates have to submit essay, recommendation letter, proof of activities and attend interview, this is how Yale University is able to assemble a well-rounded and diverse student body. In the School of Architecture, it offers the degree of Liberal Art with major in Architecture that can definitely be your passport to this field.

Cornell University

Cornell University is another privately owned research university in US, located in New York. New York is often a popular choice for international students because of its unique culture and lifestyle admired by millenials. Cornell University is also a partner of the State University of New York. With a strong pool of 1600+ professors, Cornell University is able to produce competent and heuristic graduates. You should check out its College of Architecture, Art and Planning that offers plenty of related degrees programmes. The campus is also well equipped with study facilities that are useful for architecture students like studios, critique room and many many more.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

As a leader in technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology takes a special approach in educating the young generations. Students are able to work with faculties to tackle global challenges, pursue fundamental questions and translate ideas into action. In the School of Architecture and Planning, it offers bachelor programmes of architecture, urban studies and many other master programmes to cater the passion and demand of students. 

The University of Chicago

With 182,000 of alumni worldwide, the University of Chicago has been empowering students to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas since 1890. Its research has led to many notable breakthrough in human history, proving that it is committed to lead global change. It offers Architectural Studies that utilises the built environment within campus for education purpose. Being able to study in an environment designed by well-known architect is a great exposure before venturing into this field.

Princeton University

Princeton University is again another private Ivy League university in US that offers a well coverage of Architecture. It offers degree, master and phd of architecture that can truly turn you into an expert in this field. The School of Architecture’s undergraduate program is known for its rigorous and interdisciplinary approach to pre-professional education within the framework of a liberal arts curriculum. 

Columbia University

Right in the city of New York, Columbia University can offer students more than just a neon-lit city with skyscrapers. It offers an outstanding and comprehensive array of academic programs. These include three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, a world-renowned medical center, four affiliated colleges and seminaries, twenty-five libraries, and more than one hundred research centers and institutes.

In the school of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, it offers a wide range of comprehensive architecture related degree. Surely you can find one that fits your needs. 


Universities in United States with courses in Architecture, Building

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