Best Architecture Schools in Mississippi: A Comprehensive Guide for Future Architects

Looking for the best architecture schools in Mississippi? You’ve come to the right place. This guide will provide you with key information on the top architecture programs in the state, what they offer, and why they stand out. Read on to discover educational paths that might shape your future as an architect.

  • Mississippi State University School of Architecture offers a unique, accredited 5-year Bachelor of Architecture program, emphasizing project-based learning and extensive facilities support.
  • The University of Southern Mississippi provides an accredited Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology with a strong focus on practical skills and mandatory internships to prepare students for professional practice.
  • Mississippi’s educational institutions, including community colleges, offer affordable and accredited pathways in architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design, backed by substantial support from industry organizations like AIA and ACSA.

Venture into the world of architectural education in Mississippi, where hands-on, project-based learning forms the bedrock of teaching philosophy. Here, students shape not only their future careers in building construction but also contribute to the social, environmental, and cultural tapestry of the region and beyond.

Graduates from these institutions forge paths in diverse architectural landscapes, both nationally and globally, carrying with them a distinct blend of knowledge and creativity nurtured in Mississippi’s schools.

Mississippi State University School of Architecture

The Mississippi State University School of Architecture offers:

  • An immersive 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program
  • Distinguished by its focus on practical, project-based learning
  • Nestled within the College of Architecture, Art, and Design
  • A beacon of design education in the state
  • Crafting the next generation of architects poised to make significant contributions across various sectors of the industry.

Accredited Program by NAAB

MSU stands out for being the sole provider of accredited programs, such as a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited bachelor’s degree in architecture within Mississippi. This accreditation is more than just a seal of approval; it affirms the program’s dedication to upholding the highest educational and professional standards, guaranteeing that its graduates are ready to tackle future architectural challenges.

Facilities and Resources

MSU’s architecture students benefit from an impressive infrastructure. Giles Hall, the architectural hub, provides 24/7 access to studio spaces, specialty labs, and the Bob and Kathy Luke Library, with its treasure trove of materials.

The Jackson Center studios, where students spend their final year, further exemplify the program’s dedication to providing students with environments that foster creativity and technical proficiency.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

At MSU, students’ access to higher education is supported by merit scholarships and monetary awards, acknowledging the importance of financial considerations. These scholarships are designed to recognize not only the financial needs but also the academic achievements and design excellence of students, alleviating the financial burden and allowing them to focus on their architectural pursuits.

The University of Southern Mississippi

Adding to the state’s architectural education landscape, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) offers an accredited Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology. The program prepares students for the dual paths of professional practice in design and construction or for advanced study, providing a solid foundation in the skills necessary to excel in both arenas.

ARCH@USM Program

The ARCH@USM program at USM stands out for its broad curriculum, encompassing structural, electrical, and mechanical design, among other key subjects. Emphasizing practical skills and hands-on experience, the program equips students with a robust set of skills to address architectural engineering problems, preparing them for roles in planning, architectural design, and construction alongside architects and engineers.

Internship Requirements

The ARCH@USM program mandates all students to complete an internship before graduation, emphasizing the importance of real-world experience. They gain invaluable industry insights through opportunities with prestigious companies such as Woodward Design-Build and Yates Construction, bridging the gap between academic learning and professional practice.

Landscape Architecture at Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University also shines in the field of Landscape Architecture, offering an accredited program that has been nurturing design professionals since 1950. With degrees that emphasize ecological design and sustainability, students are prepared to make meaningful contributions to the shaping of our environment, from urban planning to landscape preservation.

Accredited Program by ASLA

MSU’s Landscape Architecture program is notable for its accreditation by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), an affiliate of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). This accreditation guarantees a level of educational excellence that aligns with the professional standards required to excel in the practice of landscape architecture.

Career Opportunities

MSU’s Landscape Architecture program graduates can explore a wide spectrum of career options, ranging from joining landscape design firms to working in federal agencies such as the National Park Service. Licensure, a key step for professional landscape architects, requires passing the Landscape Architect Registration Exam (LARE), a pathway well-paved by the program’s rigorous academic preparation.

Certified Interior Design in Mississippi

For those with a passion for interior spaces, Mississippi lays out the roadmap to becoming a certified interior designer. The journey includes:

  • Obtaining a degree from a program accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • Garnering evaluated experience
  • Conquering the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Exam, a challenging yet rewarding process that validates the expertise of design professionals.

Council for Interior Design Accreditation

Securing accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) is vital for educational programs to ensure they adhere to the highest standards. Colleges such as Mississippi College and the University of Southern Mississippi offer accredited degrees that lay a strong foundation for future certification and practice in the field of interior design.


The NCIDQ Exam, overseen by the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), is a benchmark for the industry, assessing a comprehensive understanding of design principles and practices. Its rigorous sections on codes, construction standards, and design application are the final hurdles for Mississippi’s interior designers seeking certification.

Community Colleges Offering Architecture-Related Programs

Programs in Drafting and Design Technology offered by Mississippi’s community colleges provide an accessible gateway to architectural studies. These programs, available at institutions like Itawamba Community College and East Mississippi Community College, provide the academic and technical skills necessary for a successful transition into the workforce or further study in architecture.

Itawamba Community College

For students seeking an Associate of Applied Science in Drafting and Design Technology, Itawamba Community College offers an affordable alternative. With an annual tuition cost of approximately $3,390, and a robust enrollment, Itawamba offers a stepping stone to those beginning their journey in the architectural field.

East Mississippi Community College

Similarly, East Mississippi Community College provides a Drafting and Design Technology program that equips students with essential architectural drafting skills. Its affordability, with an annual tuition of about $3,360, makes it a viable choice for students looking to enter the architectural drafting industry without incurring significant debt.

Educational Pathways and Career Prospects

For those aspiring to careers in architecture and its related fields, Mississippi’s educational landscape provides a wide array of pathways. From bachelor’s degrees to advanced studies, the state’s institutions provide the knowledge and skills necessary to embark on successful careers in various sectors, including architectural firms and construction companies.

Bachelor’s Degree Options

Universities such as Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi offer a variety of bachelor’s degree programs in architecture and related disciplines for prospective students to choose from. These programs not only prepare students for the architectural profession but also lay the groundwork for advanced studies and specialized career paths.

Career Paths for Graduates

Graduates from Mississippi’s architecture programs have the necessary skills to explore diverse career paths within the architecture, landscape architecture, and certified interior design fields. To practice in these disciplines, professionals must adhere to the licensure and certification requirements set forth by the Mississippi State Board of Architecture, ensuring a high standard of practice across the state.

Additional Resources for Architecture Students

In addition to formal educational programs, Mississippi architecture students can access a rich array of additional resources offered by organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). These institutions facilitate professional development, networking, and research opportunities, enriching the educational experience for students across the state.

American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Architecture students and other members can avail numerous benefits provided by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Some of these benefits include:

  • Enhancing professional credibility
  • Accessing a vast array of resources
  • Networking events
  • Continuing education opportunities

AIA membership is an invaluable asset for those committed to advancing their careers in the field of architecture.

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)

To cater to the educational needs of architecture students, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) offers a variety of tailored resources. Through conferences, research opportunities, and international collaborations, ACSA fosters a global exchange of knowledge, preparing students to meet the challenges of the architectural profession with confidence and skill.