4 best architecture schools in Washington and steps to License approval

Architects create the spaces we work, live and play. Going to the architecture schools in Washington trains you to be an experienced architect.

We are literally surrounded by architecture and most times it is a profoundly important reflection of culture.

Also. without the thoughts architects put in place, we’d all live and work in boxes with 4 walls and a roof with some windows punched out.

That’s not to mention the environmental implications of unsustainable buildings.

A building which isn’t designed well will have poor air circulation, poor light utilisation, would take forever to heat up and cool down, will use a tremendous amount of electricity and gas to heat and cool and I haven’t even begun to describe how choosing the right materials or even something as simple as the type of glass you use impact greater CO2 and we all know where that leads….global warming.

Having known why architects are so important, read on to see the list of the best architecture schools in Washington.

What major is architecture?

An architecture major learns the history and theory of the discipline, while also getting studio experience, creating and planing their architecture.

Students who are interested in pursuing an architecture major have the chance to choose from two types of programs:

(1) A five-year National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree that equips graduates to enter the workforce.

(2) Or a four-year bachelor’s degree in architecture or architectural studies.

In the second option, students have to earn a NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture degree in order to obtain a license and work as an architect.

A student who is going for the five-year professional B.Arch. degree can expect to get a strong foundation in design, theory and technology while learning the history of architecture.

If you chose to study in any of the architecture schools in Washington, you will find out that a lot of programs require students to receive some courses in the design studio.

Learning in this design studio as a student gives you the opportunity to get hands-on experience as they can represent their ideas through drawings and structural models in the process.

How do I become an architect in Washington state?

The pathways to becoming a licensed architect in Washington state are multiple. If you applying for the first time, here are the pathways you can take:

  • Direct Registration with NCARB
  • By Exam
  • By Reciprocity

By Direct Registration with NCARB

To use the Direct Registration with NCARB method, it should be that you have an accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture from a university recognized by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

By Exam

You use this option( By Exam ) if you don’t have an accredited degree or are applying with work experience only.

By Reciprocity

You use this option( By Reciprocity ) if you’re licensed in another state, province, or NCARB-recognized jurisdiction.

How do I renew my architecture license?

You can:

  • Renew Online
  • Renew by mail

Renew online

Use the password listed on the renewal notice. Pay with a MasterCard, Visa, or American Express credit or debit card (gift cards not accepted).

Renew by mail

Send all of the following to the address listed on the notice:

  • Your renewal notice.
  • A check or money order (payable to the Department of Licensing) for the $75 renewal fee.

Note: If you moved or didn’t receive a renewal notice, please contact the Department of Licensing.

Continuing education requirements

You must complete 24 professional development hours (PDH) within your 2-year license period in order to renew your license.

For details, see Continuing education.

Professional development audits

As of July 1, 2013, you may be audited by the board to confirm the professional development hours you’ve completed.

To learn more, see Being audited. Read on to see the list of the top architecture schools in Washington.

List of architecture schools in Washington

Below are our four best General architecture schools in Washington.

  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  • Washington State University
  • Olympic College
  • Green River College

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195-4550

The University of Washington-Seattle Campus is one of the architecture schools in Washington that offers 12 General Architecture degree programs.

It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a large city.

In 2019, 182 General Architecture students graduated with students earning 110 Bachelor’s degrees, and 72 Master’s degrees.

The University of Washington has a student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1 which translates to large lecture-hall class formats, and smaller, condensed graduate programs. 

Washington State University

French Administration Building
Pullman, WA 99164-5910

Washington State University offers 6 General Architecture degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a faraway town.

In 2019, 71 General Architecture students graduated with students earning 46 Bachelor’s degrees, and 25 Master’s degrees.

Olympic College

1600 Chester Ave
Bremerton, WA 98337-1699

Olympic College offers 3 General Architecture degree programs. It’s a medium-sized, public, four-year university in a small city.

In 2019, 4 General Architecture students graduated with students earning 4 Certificates.

Green River College

12401 SE 320th St
Auburn, WA 98092-3622

Green River College offers 2 General Architecture degree programs. It’s a medium-sized, public, four-year university in a small city.

In 2019, 14 General Architecture students graduated with students earning 14 Certificates.

Do architects make good money?

You might be wondering if you’re going to make good money once you graduate from any of the architecture schools in Washington.

According to Forbes, the average annual wage for architects in the United States currently is $89,560.

Year after year, the average salary for architects has steadily increased on the national level.

For architects, their mean annual salaries for 2017, 2018 and 2019 are listed below:

  • 2017-$87,500
  • 2018-$88,860
  • 2019-$89,560 

Year after year the salaries of architects has increased, though this might not be the case at the state level.

What are the states where architects earn the most money?

  1. New York average architect salary: $106,910
  2. Georgia average architect salary: $104,470
  3. Massachusetts average architect salary: $102,320
  4. Minnesota average architect salary: $99,870
  5. California average architect salary: $98,050
  6. Texas average architect salary: $94,030
  7. Alaska average architect salary: $92,420
  8. Maryland average architect salary: $92,190
  9. Nebraska average architect salary: $88,970
  10. Alabama average architect salary: $88,560

Source: Forbes

Does University of Washington have architecture?

Yes, the University of Washington offers architecture.

The Department of Architecture offers two different options for undergraduate students interested in the field of architecture.

The University of Washington also offers the Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree program which is a degree fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Their programs are highly integrated, providing students with disciplinary as well as collaborative skills that are needed to succeed in the profession. 

Architecture students have many opportunities for off-campus experiences via study tours and foreign studies programs at the University of Washington.

Who are interior architects?

Interior architects prepare drawings of interior spaces and sometimes they design the furniture that will be used.

They can work for architectural companies or other companies that are into the design of hospitals, offices, homes, or schools.

Most times they decide to run their business themselves.


Please let us know what you think about these architecture schools in Washington.

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