20 Cheapest Bachelor’s Degrees in Architecture

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Architecture is a multifaceted and complex discipline. Therefore it is expected that prospective students are ambitious and dedicated. Students who elect to study in one of the 20 Cheapest Bachelor’s Degrees in Architecture are opening themselves up to the potential engagement with a variety of discourses, as courses of study often pull from other disciplines to prepare students for many types of careers. Additional disciplines may include design, urban planning, roles in sustainability, but also law, business, and academia.

Students in Architect programs should expect to graduate with advanced knowledge and necessary skills that make them competitive candidates for different types of employment. Graduates train in communication, analysis, design, and the implementation of creative ideas. For those looking towards more academic-focused careers, many programs offer potential focuses on research within the field.

When selecting an undergraduate program in Architecture, it’s essential to recognize the difference in degrees and program layouts. Some of the universities in this ranking offer Bachelor of Architecture degrees, which are considered professional degrees that typically five-years and include a thesis or research project. Other Architecture degrees offer a traditional four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and with a major in Architecture. Either type of degree provides adequate training in Architecture, with coursework focused on foundational aspects of the field accompanied by hands-on experience in studios. Choosing which degree to pursue in Architecture is more a matter of long-term goals, and what field one might want to work in, what higher degrees they may wish to earn, etc. 

Related Programs That May Interest You

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Here are the 20 cheapest bachelor’s degrees in architecture.
Rank School Location
1 University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
2 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA
3 California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA
4 University of California Berkeley, CA
5 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
6 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
7 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
8 University of Washington Seattle, WA
9 University of California Los Angeles, CA
10 University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
  1. University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin is a 161-credit professional program that prepares students with a solid foundation in the technology, history, and theory of architecture. The core curriculum covers general aspects, such as design, visual communication, professional practice, and construction. The remaining coursework is fulfilled by electives that allow students to take a more specialized approach to the discipline. These may include special topics in the History of Architecture, courses in Architectural Research, or advanced levels of design study. There are minors available in Architectural History, Architectural Studies, Interior Design, and The Landscape.

    $14,356 Score:100
  2. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Location

    Blacksburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a five-year professional degree, made up of foundational and core courses, advanced studies, and a thesis. The first year focuses on basic elements of design and how they are addressed visually, conceptually, and haptically. The core of the professional program, which takes place the second and third year, draws from theory and processes to train students in engaging with Architecture and design as a discipline. The fourth year is for studio work, which may include study abroad options in Europe or Chicago. The fifth year is spent working on a thesis formulated around an independent and intense project.

  3. California Polytechnic State University
    Location

    San Luis Obispo, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    California Polytechnic State University's Bachelor of Architecture equips students with both the breadth of knowledge and variety of skills necessary to engage in lifelong learning as a professional in the field. It is a highly-structured degree that rather than draws from exterior departments and disciplines, prepares students with thorough and in-depth knowledge of the field. This includes coursework dedicated to the technical, historical, and theoretical aspects of architecture, as well as those focused on the research methods, communication styles, and design decisions. The professional program takes about five years to complete, with major courses in physics, professional practice, architectural criticism, and world architecture. There are no credits left for electives within the major requirements.

  4. University of California
    Location

    Berkeley, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California - Berkeley prepares students for both professional programs, entry-level careers, or further studies in a related discipline. Students train in the groundworks of the field, including foundations like environmental design, before being allowed to individualize their course of study. Core courses focus on broad introductory fields of architecture. Once completed, students can specialize in Architectural Design and Representation; Technologies and Building Performance; Architectural History; and Society and Culture. There are also two different tracks within the major: Design Research Track and Studio Track. The former is focused on research in topics of the field, changing each year and designed by faculty. The latter accompanies the core curriculum with studio-intensive work.

    $18,178
  5. University of Virginia
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia gives students the benefit of an innovative curriculum, dedicated to addressing the variety of ways that design influences the world. Graduates equip themselves with an understanding of the methodologies, research methods, and modes of critical inquiry necessary to pursue successful careers or graduate study. The program offers two concentration areas: Pre-Professional and Design Thinking/Practices. Regardless of the selected area, students spend their first year of study dedicated to Urban and Environmental Planning as well as Architectural History. The remaining time in the program is designed around the concentration with Pre-Professional courses to prepare students for practice as an architect.

  6. Cornell University
    Location

    Ithaca, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Cornell University's Bachelor of Architecture is a five-year professional program that consistently ranks as one of the top in the country. Students benefit from not only the expectedly intense professional education but allocated time and space to utilize the resources of a world-class university. Coursework covers design, theory, history, technology, representation, and structures. The first three years are dedicated to this core curriculum, while the last two years are spent focusing on disciplines to fulfill a specialized course of study. Concentration areas are offered in Architecture, Culture, and Society; Architectural Science and Technology; History of Architecture; Architectural Analysis; and Visual Representation in Architecture.

  7. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology equips students with a rigorous education in all aspects of the field, including design, history, theory, and communication. The portion of the curriculum dedicated to design studio is flexible, allowing students the opportunity to work interdisciplinarily with other schools at Georgia Tech. The flexibility of the program ensures that students can focus on areas of Architecture that best-suit their interests, which may be broad-based and take them to careers in related fields. There's also an available International Plan within the program, which is intensive but provides students the space to become proficient in a foreign language, take globally focused courses, and study abroad.

  8. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of Washington's Bachelor of Arts in Architecture prepares students with a liberal arts foundation that allows them to examine and study the discipline of architecture in a variety of different ways. The initial preparation allows for a later curriculum covering spatial reasoning, aesthetics, political and economic structures, socio-cultural influences, urbanism, ecology, and even more. The program is not a studio-based architectural studies program, but instead encourages students to engage with the field as a complex and multifaceted discipline that engages with other discourses. Admission is granted to students who have completed general requirements at UW as well as Architecture prerequisites.

  9. University of California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of California - Los Angeles offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies. The program is a two-year major that begins the junior year of a student's undergraduate career. Coursework focuses on three areas: Critical Studies, Design, and Technology. Students take courses that prepare them with a foundation in critical thinking, useful in further engagement with historical and contemporary disciplinary contexts, and research. The curriculum views the discipline as a humanist one, meaning that students will engage with cultural and social studies alongside their Architect education. Observing a humanist perspective prepares students for not only graduate-level education and careers in architecture, but also in history, the fine arts, urban studies, and more.

  10. University of Minnesota
    Location

    Minneapolis, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota is a pre-professional undergraduate degree, training students through a studio-based design education that covers history, theory, and building technology. Coursework also provides a platform for students to understand other influences of the field, including the socio-cultural, material, environmental, and historical factors. Coursework utilizes analog and digital drawing, research, and theoretical text analysis and inquiry. Electives cover topics such as Architecture in Watercolor, Territorial City, Design Introduction to Heritage Preservation. Graduates prepare for higher education at UM, including an opportunity to earn a Master of Architecture in just an additional year.

Selection Criteria

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one’s higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%) 
  • Academic Success (15%) 

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself! 

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