Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Department of Architecture

B.F.A., M.Arch (M.Arch has NAAB candidacy status)

Housed in the only publicly funded independent art school in the country, the architecture department at MassArt seeks to mold “socially aware artisan-architects.” Students will learn about the building traditions of different cultures, and the departmental focus on sustainability is consistent but broad, encompassing strategies from high-tech building envelopes to the adaptive reuse of New England’s wood-frame buildings. Hands-on and design/build are essential components of the curriculum. “Our program includes a strong model-building component combined with an intense sequence of technical, CAD, and free hand-drawing courses,” commented one faculty member.

Undergraduate Admissions: Avg. SAT: 1654 (out of 2400 points); Avg. ACT: 23; Avg. GPA: 3.3
Applied (to whole school, not just arch.): 1660; Accepted: 836; Enrolled: 314 (Numbers do not include transfer students)
Undergraduate Demographics: Minority: 19%; Female: 66%; International: 3%; Financial aid: 70%
Graduate Admissions: GRE: not required; Avg. GPA: 3.42 / Min.: 2.9; Applied: 42; Accepted: 33; Enrolled: 24
Student/Faculty ratio: N/A
Tuition: Undergraduate, $8,400 (Massachusetts resident), $14,900 (New England resident); $24,400 (nonresident); Graduate, $615 per credit

Pratt Institute of Technology
School of Architecture
New York (Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses)

Studio-based programs (Brooklyn): B.ARCH., M.ARCH., M.S.Arch., M.S. in Architecture and Urban Design, M.S. in City and Regional Planning, M.S. in Urban Environmental Systems Management. Programs in construction and facilities management and historic preservation (Manhattan): For more information, see school website

Pratt’s architecture school is not just in, but very much of, New York City. From its Brooklyn base of operations (which has a new addition designed by Steven Holl), the school draws its large and diverse faculty from the city’s deep well of creative talent. Many instructors maintain award-winning practices and a few would qualify as design rock stars (e.g., Vito Acconci and Lebbeus Woods). Those we surveyed praised the advanced digital curriculum, emphasis on sustainable design, and research culture. “Highly interdisciplinary, great diversity of processes and languages, no single method or language as a basis of measure,” noted one professor.

Undergraduate Admissions: Avg. SAT: 1196; Avg. GPA: 3.6; Applied: 950; Accepted: 521; Enrolled: 163
Undergraduate Demographics: Minority: 17%; Female: 47%; International: 18%; Financial aid: 70%
Graduate Admissions: GRE: required for 2010 admission; Avg. GPA: 3.5; Applied: 886; Accepted: 376; Enrolled: 89
Student/Faculty ratio:N/A
Tuition: Undergraduate, $33,500; Graduate, $1,195 per credit

Rhode Island School of Design
Department of Architecture
Providence, R.I.


Incoming RISD students are nothing if not highly visual; the architecture department cultivates this talent into advanced eye-mind-hand coordination, and encourages a mode of thought that’s both analytical and material. “Physical things are treated with the same respect as intellectual constructs” in the close-knit program (240 students in total), according to one faculty member. Interest in design/build has led to several student projects in the developing world, while an increasingly close relationship with nearby Brown University is leading to joint research and study opportunities in materials science, engineering, urban studies, and other fields. The department has international exchange programs in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Undergraduate Demographics: Minority: 15%; Female 50%; International 20%; Financial aid: 17%
Graduate Admissions: GRE: not required; Avg. GPA: 3.0 or higher; Applied: 350; Accepted: 110; Enrolled: 48
Student/Faculty ratio: N/A
Tuition: $36,364