The California Architects Board recognizes more than a dozen architecture-related higher education programs ranging from architectural design to urban and regional design. Many schools offer architecture or architecture-related programs. However, only 10 California colleges and universities have programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. A degree from a NAAB-accredited program provides immediate eligibility to take the national licensing exams and facilitates reciprocal licensing with other states, according to the California board.
Academy of Art University
San Francisco’s Academy of Art University offers a Bachelor of Architecture program and two Master of Architecture programs. A Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture, also know as B. Arch. and M. Arch, are NAAB-accredited degrees. Undergraduate classes range from history and math to urban studies and physics.
California College of the Arts
The School of Architecture at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts offers accredited B. Arch and M. Arch programs that use the city as an urban laboratory for some classes, according to the school. The school also offers a Master of Arts or Master of Science in architecture-related studies.
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
The College of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, integrates the traditional study of architecture with environmental design, city and regional planning and landscape architecture. In addition to B. Arch and M. Arch programs, the university on California’s central coast offers Master of Science and Ph.D. programs in architecture.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
The Department of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, located in Los Angeles County, offers B. Arch and M. Arch programs. Because of high demand for the program, the department accepts only a small number of students who are not California residents for the undergraduate program, according to the school.
New School of Architecture and Design
Southern California’s New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego offers a B. Arch, an M. Arch and an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in architecture. The school’s Executive Master of Architecture program is designed for licensed mid-career architects. The Bachelor of Arts program is designed for students either preparing for an M. Arch program or another professional degree.
Southern California Institute of Architecture
The Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles offers B. Arch and M. Arch programs that incorporate studio projects focusing on urban topics, low-income assistance and international settings. Students can participate in exchange programs with architectural schools in Japan, India, France and other countries.
University of California, Berkeley
The Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in architecture, as well as architecture-related minors open to all majors. At the graduate level, the school near San Francisco offers an M. Arch., as well as Master of Arts and Master of Science architecture programs. You can also earn a Ph.D. in Architecture.
Architecture at UCLA
The Department of Architecture and Urban Design at University of California, Los Angeles, offers research-based programs that often incorporate off-campus projects in the state’s biggest city. UCLA offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in architectural studies and graduate M. Arch. I and M. Arch. II degrees. In addition to a doctoral degree program, UCLA offers a joint degree program combining an M. Arch. I with a Master of Arts in urban planning.
University of Southern California
The School of Architecture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles offers a Bachelor of Science in architectural studies. At the end of the second year of studies, students can switch to a B. Arch. program. At the graduate level, the school offers an M. Arch. and master’s degrees in advanced architectural studies, building science, heritage conservation and landscape architecture.
The School of Architecture at Woodbury University, which has campuses in San Diego and Burbank, offers B. Arch. and M. Arch. programs. The school integrates traditional architecture studies with social, economic and urban studies. For example, students can study at the school’s Architecture + Civic Engagement Center and Arid Lands Institute.
- California Architects Board: Architectural Degrees
- Academy of Art University: Architecture
- California College of the Arts: Architecture
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: About the Cal Poly Architecture Department
- New School of Architecture and Design: School of Architecture
- Southern California Institute of Architecture
- University of California, Berkeley: Architecture Programs
- UCLA: Architecture and Urban Design
- University of Southern California: School of Architecture
S.R. Haines is a veteran writer whose work has been published by newspapers, magazines, international news wire services and nonprofit publications on topics ranging from breaking news and politics to travel, parenting, education, business and technology. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.