Clemson University
College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities School of Architecture
Clemson, S.C.


The idea that defines and guides Clemson’s School of Architecture is “Fluid Campus,” which might be described as study abroad on steroids. Fluid Campus elevates what were once satellite study centers—in Barcelona; Genoa, Italy; and the less distant Charleston, S.C.—to full-fledged campuses on par (or nearly) with the home base of Clemson. Currently, 70 percent of architecture students spend at least one semester somewhere besides Clemson, and the school is striving for 100-percent participation. The school also boasts one of the country’s few programs dedicated to the critical (but overlooked) specialty of healthcare architecture—even in this economy, graduates are sure to be in demand.

Undergraduate Admissions: Avg. SAT: 1304; Avg. ACT: 29; Avg. GPA: 4.4 Applied: 455; Accepted: 209; Enrolled: 66
Undergraduate Demographics: Minority: 32%; Female: 47%; International: 0%; Financial aid: 78%
Graduate Admissions: Avg. GRE: 1250; Avg. GPA: 3.7; Applied: 213; Accepted: 115; Enrolled: 45
Student/Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Tuition: Undergraduate, $11,078 (resident), $25,388 (nonresident); Graduate, $8,074 (resident); $16,066 (nonresident)

University of Southern California
School of Architecture
Los Angeles

B.ARCH, B.S. Arch. Studies, M.ARCH, M.ARCH/MASTER OF PLANNING, Master of Building Science, Master of Historic Preservation, Master of Landscape Architecture, various certificate programs

Already known for the quality of its undergraduate program and a couple of, ahem, successful alums (Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne), USC refuses to rest on its laurels. Since Dean Qingyun Ma’s appointment in 2007, the school has been expanding and deepening its graduate-level offerings and, increasingly, looking East as well as West for global engagement. Students can study abroad in Malaysia, China, Korea, or Japan; the new USC American Academy in China is envisioned as the premier destination for U.S. students to study architecture, urbanism, and the arts and humanities in China. “A program that was long referred to as a sleeping giant, has at last awoken,” commented one faculty member.

Undergraduate Admissions: SAT (middle 50%): 1930 to 2150 (out of 2400 points); ACT (middle 50%): 29 to 32; Avg. GPA: 3.7; Applied: 958; Accepted: 286; Enrolled: 141
Undergraduate Demographics: Minority: 54%; Female: 46%; International: 8%; Financial aid: 60%
Graduate Admissions: GRE (middle 50%): 1090 to 1300; Avg. GPA: 3.4; Applied: 424; Accepted: 243; Enrolled: 101
Student/Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Tuition: Undergraduate, $38,570

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
College of Architecture and Urban Studies
School of Architecture + Design
Blacksburg, Va.

B.ARCH, M.ARCH, M.S. Arch., B.S. Interior Design, B.S. Industrial Design, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, Ph.D.

Blacksburg—a town in rural southwestern Virginia—is an unlikely home for a globally directed architecture school. Nevertheless, students at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design have multiple options if they want to experience other cultures or meet people from outside the United States. Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture, housed in a villa in Switzerland, hosts 15 architecture students each semester. For the passport-less, there’s the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center, which operates not only as an urban extension of the school, but also as a consortium of more than a dozen design schools from around the world. And the school’s award-winning Chicago Studio has students master-plan a site inside the Loop, in consultation with Chi-town professionals.

Undergraduate Admissions: Avg. SAT: 1308 / Min.: 1260; Avg. ACT : 29 / Min.: 27; Avg. GPA: 4.27 / Min.: 3.98; Applied: 1087; Accepted: 182; Enrolled: 81
Undergraduate Demographics: Minority: 27%; Female 49%; International 8%; Financial aid: N/A
Graduate Admissions: Avg. GRE: 1110 / Min.: 1000; Avg. GPA: 3.44 / Min.: 3.0; Applied: 444; Accepted: 99; Enrolled: 58
Student/Faculty Ratio: N/A
Tuition: Undergraduate, $8,605 (resident) + $650 architecture course fee; $21,878 (nonresident) + course fee; Graduate, $10,228 (resident) + course fee, $17,928 (nonresident) + course fee