Editor’s note: This listing was updated on November 2, 2022.
As one of America’s highest-ranking architecture and design schools, Virginia Tech takes a hand-on, transdisciplinary approach allowing students to define their own practice through diagramming and digital and computer-generative methods. Providing students with a unique opportunity to learn beyond the classroom, Virginia Tech has a multitude of study abroad programs available to undergraduate students in their fourth year. Beyond the main Blacksburg campus, the architecture school partners with the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center and the Steger Center for International Scholarship on Lake Lugano in Switzerland.
With studios in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston, students are exposed to professional design work in an urban context. They are encouraged to apply critical thinking skills to push beyond traditional methods or purpose of design. Case in point: gender-inclusive student housing, senior-friendly micro communities and 3D-printing as a construction method to address housing crises were just a few of the topics explored in students’ 2022 thesis topics.
The BArch is a five-year course; fourth-year undergrads can earn academic credit through work in an architectural practice. The MArch offers two-year and three- and-a-half-year career-change options or a post-professional option with 36 credit hours required. The PhD is awarded in Architecture and Design Research. All students have access to state-of-the-art fabrication tools like CNC machines, laser cutters, 3D printers and robotics.
Michael Paladino (Richard Meier & Partners), Helene Combs Dreiling, John Carnochan (former DreamWorks editor), Lee Polisano (PLP Architecture), Allan Kehrt (KSS Architects), Kirsten R. Murray (Olson Kundig Architects)
Nathan King (former director of MASS Design Group)