50 Most Elegant Graduate School Buildings in the World

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50 Most Elegant Graduate School Buildings in the World

by Morris Micklewhaite

Universities across the globe are gaining attention not only through the quality of their academic programs or prestige of their alumni, but also thanks to the beautiful architecture they have on show. Many college graduate facilities, in particular, are housed in attractive buildings that impress and inspire with their design – which may help encourage prospective master's degree students to step through their doors.

These stunning structures can date back to centuries past or they may have been opened in just the past decade. They might contain business schools, faculties of architecture, dormitories, or just a place where postgraduates can work and socialize. Yet they all have one thing in common: they look exceptionally stylish. Here we present 50 of the most elegant graduate school buildings in the world.

50. Riga Graduate School of Law – Riga, Latvia

The Riga Graduate School of Law is arguably among the most elegant sights in the Latvian capital city. Since 1998, the year of its establishment, the law school has been in possession of the stunning Art Nouveau building, which it was responsible for renovating in full. The structure was designed by renowned architect Mikhail Eisenstein – father of Soviet filmmaker Sergei – and was erected between 1904 and 1905. This building has an intriguing history, too, as it is alleged that in the mid-20th century a Soviet activist was hurled from its fourth floor under the directive of the bourgeois Latvian government. Prior to 2004, the school was only open to students from the Baltic States; however, it now offers its programs – including courses on international and European law and legal linguistics – to graduates from around the world.

49. Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business – Mills College, Oakland, California

The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Oakland, California's Mills College was given both an attractive design and exceptional eco-friendly credentials by the San Francisco arm of architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. The school, which was completed in 2009, received LEED Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council for its many environmentally conscious features, including its extensive use of natural light, living roof and low-flow toilets. Measures such as the use of low-emissivity glass and sunshades result in year-on-year energy savings of almost a third compared to the baseline average, while stormwater harvesting slashes water use by 80 percent. Moreover, this approach seems to be carried over into school's tuition program, with Mills' website proclaiming that it both provides "business education that makes a difference" and "educates ethical and socially responsible organizational leaders." The institution offers full-time, part-time and accelerated MBA courses as well as an educational leadership MBA/M.A.

48. Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia

Virginia Tech's Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown was designed in the early 1930s by C.H. Cowgill, an architectural engineering professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, as it was formerly known. The original structure, which was completed in 1935, remains an eye-catching and impressive sight on campus – although it could at one stage have been even more splendid had it been built in line with Cowgill's early specifications. It was initially developed to contain accommodation for faculty and a communal dining room, then became the school's hotel and conference center following an extension. Finally, in 2006 it was turned into a graduate facility. At present it acts as what the university terms "a hub for graduate student life," providing the chance for meeting and collaboration as well as a space in which graduate students, alumni and staff can hold socials and events.

47. Gund Hall, Graduate School of Design – Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

World-famous Australian architect and Harvard University alumnus John Andrews designed the prestigious Ivy League institution's Gund Hall, which is situated on Harvard's campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Opened in 1972, the building houses the Graduate School of Design, which offers master's programs in subjects including architecture, urban design and urban planning, as well as a doctorate in design. In addition, it plays host to the Frances Loeb Library and the Piper Auditorium. A striking example of Brutalist architecture, the structure rests on columns and is crowned by a notable clear-span roof that slopes across and down the building, adding a touch of sharply executed style to its surroundings.

46. Chapman Graduate School of Business – Florida International University, Miami, Florida

International architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates designed Florida International University's Chapman Graduate School of Business as part of a two-phase project. Completed in its first phase in 2008, the attractive Miami facility has earned acclaim from those in the know: it was honored with a Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design American Architecture Award in 2008 and also triumphed at the Construction Association of South Florida Craftsmanship Awards that same year. The exterior boasts concrete sections sandblasted to achieve pattern and texture, while the colors of the courtyards' stucco elements pay tribute to pre-Columbian art and the Latin heritage of the student body. The Chapman Graduate School of Business offers MBAs and specialized master's degrees in taxation, accounting and international business among its programs. Meanwhile, the complex itself also features an auditorium, classrooms, and offices for admin.

45. Sage Hall, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management – Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management resides in Cornell University's grand and imposing Sage Hall, which dates back to the 19th century. Initially to serve as a women's dormitory, the hall was constructed in 1875, following a design by Cornell's first professor of architecture and American Institute of Architects (AIA) original member Charles Babcock. However, in the late 1990s it was given an extensive renovation to prepare it for accommodating the management school, with the work including a reconstruction of the famous spire's top section. The interior courtyard also received a glass ceiling, a move that took its cues from the main exhibition hall of one of Babcock's inspirations, the Oxford University Museum. Located on the Ivy League institution's campus in Ithaca, New York, the school offers full-time one- and two-year MBA courses, executive MBAs, and dual-degree options.

44. Hadyn Ellis Building, University Graduate College – Cardiff University, Cardiff, U.K.

Cardiff University's new Hadyn Ellis Building provides a colorful home for the Wales, U.K.-based institution's University Graduate College. British architects IBI Nightingale designed it as part of the initial stage of the school's Science and Innovation Campus, and the actual building was opened in late 2013. The transparent exterior was conceived to attract people's attention to activity inside, with the building itself described by its designers as the "front door" of the university grounds. Sustainable measures have also seen it earn an "Excellent" rating on the international Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology rating scale. The University Graduate College offers training and skills progression for the school's postgraduate researchers. Furthermore, the Hadyn Ellis Building houses research institutes specializing in cancer cells, neuroscience and psychological health.

43. McNair Hall, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business – Rice University, Houston, Texas

Although it was only completed relatively recently in 2002, McNair Hall – home to the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Houston's Rice University – has a distinctly traditional look. This was a conscious decision, however, as Yale School of Architecture dean Robert A.M. Stern came up with a design to openly fit in with neighboring buildings and acknowledge the past, explaining that "architecture is a conversation across time." In particular, details on the building echo those of Rice's Lovett Hall, while the use of St. Joe's brick creates uniformity with materials used on the rest of the campus. The construction hosts a plethora of facilities for its graduate and executive business students, including a library, classrooms, a sizable dining room, and a trading room for training purposes.

42. Teachers College – Columbia University, New York City, New York

Columbia University's Teachers College owes its existence at least in part to noted industrialist George Vanderbilt, who bestowed the site in New York City on which it sits. As for the structure's attractive Beaux-Arts-style design, it came courtesy of architects McKim, Mead & White. The college itself was established in 1887 as an independent institution providing education for teachers of destitute children in the city, although in 1898 it was connected to Columbia as the university's graduate school of education. Notwithstanding its origins, it's said that today, at any given moment, fewer than a third of the college's students are training to go into teaching, with the school now offering over 60 programs in areas including psychology, leadership and administration and the arts, as well as special education and teacher education and certification courses.

41. School of Business – University at Albany-SUNY, Albany, New York

The University at Albany-SUNY received a sleek new addition in 2013 with the completion of its modernist-style School of Business building. The facility is the brainchild of worldwide architects Perkins+Will, which says that it "will enhance the student experience by offering settings for unique collaborations with the business community and beyond." An upper atrium provides a space in which students can get together informally or work cooperatively, while entrepreneurial hubs and a trading room with Bloomberg terminals are there to develop business know-how. Classrooms and a café also feature inside. And what is more, sustainable elements such as maximal use of natural light and custom-made self-cleaning precast paneling make it kind on the environment as well.

40. Gallagher Hall, UC Davis Graduate School of Management – University of California, Davis, Davis, California

In 2011 the University of California, Davis' Gallagher Hall – site of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management – received the honor of being the first business school in the state to be certified LEED Platinum. Sasaki Associates' San Francisco branch was responsible for the design, making the school – which offers MBA and master of professional accountancy programs – as environmentally friendly as it is stylish looking. A water loop below ground is used to heat and cool the facility, a measure that has brought about substantial energy savings; meanwhile, a solar array that sits on the roof is projected to supply up to 20 percent of the building's power. Eco-conscious elements like these also helped the facility win the Merit Award for Energy + Sustainability at the AIA San Francisco Design Awards in 2010, the year after it opened.

39. Peter B. Lewis Building, Weatherhead School of Management – Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

The intriguing Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management is the work of celebrated Canadian-American designer Frank Gehry. In 2010 Vanity Fair described Gehry as "the most important architect of our age." According to the institution, the building's radical, seemingly deconstructed appearance "reflects the spirit of Weatherhead's innovative approach" and "redefines the way a business school should look, just as Weatherhead redefines the way management education should be taught." Metallic, rustproof sections undulate around one another to create an iconic piece of architecture and an arresting sight on Case Western Reserve University's Cleveland campus. Inside, light plays off the surfaces, changing as the hours pass. Completed in 2002, the building acts as the centerpiece for Weatherhead – which offers full- and part-time MBAs, doctoral programs, and master's degrees in subjects like accountancy and finance among its educational options.

38. Princeton University Graduate College – Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University Graduate College dates back to 1913 and lies less than a mile from the school's main campus in Princeton, New Jersey. The college's eye-catching 173-foot-tall Cleveland Tower – home to one of the country's most sizable carillons – has been likened to Magdalen Tower at England's University of Oxford. American architect Ralph Adams Cram was responsible for the grand design of the college along with that of Princeton University Chapel and the school's Campbell and McCormick halls. Their Gothic style reflects Cram's opposition to modernist architectural principles and his idea that more traditional institutions such as universities and colleges should have appropriately archaic forms. Inside the Graduate College, stained glass windows and hammerhead struts welcome the college's students, around 430 of whom live there.

37. Health Education Center – Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California

The gleaming, elegant Health Education Center (HEC) at Western University of Health Sciences opened its doors in early 2010 with a design courtesy of the Los Angeles office of global architects Perkins+Will. The four-story building is home to the university's administration and faculty for its colleges in podiatric medicine, dental medicine, optometry and osteopathic medicine. Behind its doors, a host of facilities are available to graduate students, including teaching and research laboratories, classrooms, and a pair of lecture theaters. It also houses commons spaces and conference halls. Dr. Philip Pumerantz, the school's president, has admitted that he finds the architecture of the center "impressive," although he goes on to note that "the true value of HEC is in the learning and inspiration that takes place inside."

36. Edward P. Evans Hall, Yale School of Management – Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

The Yale School of Management's Edward P. Evans Hall was designed by London-based international firm Foster + Partners, whose chairman and founder Norman Foster is an alumnus of the university. One focus of the elegant, steel-and-glass-formed structure is communality. Social spaces lie on the ground floor, while window bays bordering its internal blue classroom "drums" provide further areas where students can park up and pool resources – all while working towards the MBA and master of advanced management qualifications offered by the graduate business school. Completed in 2014, this highly attractive building also does its bit for the environment thanks to green features such as solar-responsive shading and chilled beams. And despite being brand new, the Edward P. Evans Hall has already picked up at least one accolade, receiving the Structural Engineers Association of New York's "Best New Building Over $100 Million" award in 2013.

35. Converse Hall, The Graduate School – Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia

Elegant Converse Hall, the home of Valdosta State University's Graduate School, has played an important role in the college's history. Finished in 1913, it was the first building erected on the university's Valdosta, Georgia campus; and until the completion of West Hall five years later, it contained all of Valdosta State's facilities. Unfortunately, the original structure – designed by prominent Atlanta architect William Augustus Edwards in the Spanish Colonial Revival style – succumbed to fire in 1978. In 1981 a new building was developed boasting a four-floor annex in the form of a south-side wing. As a nod to its predecessor, elements of the old structure's stone and brickwork were incorporated into the current hall's materials. Today, the school offers more than 58 different master's and other graduate programs.

34. Knight Management Center, Stanford Graduate School of Business – Stanford University, Stanford, California

The Knight Management Center has housed Stanford's Graduate School of Business on the prestigious college's Silicon Valley campus since 2011. It is an eight-building complex designed by Portland, Oregon's Boora Architects – a firm with a solid track record of developing eco-friendly building systems. The LEED Platinum-certified complex contains state-of-the-art sustainable technology – including photovoltaic installations on top of climate-control and other systems that save 42 percent more energy than present energy-efficiency benchmarks. The center combines classic Stanford building characteristics like recessed windows and roofs with red tiling and stands among native trees that help show off the area's more natural beauty. The facility features an MBA, a master's in management and a doctoral program among its educational options.

33. Avery Hall, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation – Columbia University, New York City, New York

Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is housed in a suitably impressive structure. Avery Hall, one of the buildings where the school is situated, was the brainchild of noted Beaux-Arts partnership McKim, Mead & White. It is one among a number of the firm's beautiful pieces of work on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus in New York City, a site that dates back to the late 1890s and was modeled on the Italian Renaissance style. The school itself also occupies neighboring Fayerweather and Buell halls as well as an annex to the Avery building. It offers specialized master's degrees in urban design, real-estate development and historic preservation, amongst others, as well as doctoral programs in architecture and urban planning.

32. Drucker School of Management – Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California

With its design for the Drucker School of Management, Los Angeles firm CO Architects created a building that not only looks elegant, but is also sympathetic to its environs and helps to underpin the institution's culture of close community. The handsome structure was completed in 1998 and is part of the California-based Claremont Graduate University. Inside it contains admin and faculty offices, teaching spaces, breakout rooms, and the dean's suite, while a pavilion space acts as a facility for social get-togethers as well as a study area. Courses on offer at the school include a doctoral program, MBAs, and master's degrees in financial engineering and advanced management. The building itself was honored with a Merit Award from the AIA and California Council in 2000.

31. William F. Starr Hall, UConn School of Law – University of Connecticut, Hartford, Connecticut

The University of Connecticut School of Law has such a spectacular campus that it features on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the crowning glories of its Hartford, Connecticut-based grounds is the stunning, Collegiate Gothic-style William F. Starr Hall. Originally named Avery Hall, the building was developed in the early 1920s to a design by Boston architects Allen and Collens. Until 1981 the building – constructed out of Connecticut Buckingham granite – served as a location for the Hartford Seminary. Nowadays, though, it forms part of the sole public law school in the state. The school offers doctor of laws and juris doctor programs as well as LL.M. degrees in insurance law and U.S. legal studies.

30. Longfellow Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Education – Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University's Graduate School of Education holds the honor of being the first institution to offer the Ed.D. degree. Today, it teaches a range of master's courses as well as running two doctoral programs in the field. In 1963 the school moved into the magnificent Longfellow Hall, which was completed in 1929 to a design by Boston-based firm Perry, Shaw & Hepburn (now Perry Dean Rogers). The building is a red brick neo-Georgian take on the all-white granite Harvard University Hall. In 1934 Longfellow Hall was honored by the Boston Society of Architects, which awarded it the prestigious Harleston Parker Medal for being the most beautiful example of architecture in the Greater Boston area that year. It now houses various of the Graduate School of Education's administrative offices as well as the dean's office.

29. Hall of Graduate Studies, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences – Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

The Hall of Graduate Studies at Yale University's Graduate School of Arts & Sciences was completed in the early 1930s. Replete with embellished ceilings, emblematic detailing and stained glass windows, the splendid Collegiate Gothic-style structure stands tall on the Ivy League institution's New Haven campus. The building – which was designed by Kentucky-born Yale alumnus James Gamble Rogers – can also boast being part of the oldest graduate school across the whole of North America. Students live in the iconic central tower and may furthermore use the hall as a space in which to eat, socialize, and study for master's and doctorate degrees. The facility in addition features the McDougal Graduate Student Center, which includes a library, common room and career services.

28. Skolkovo Moscow School of Management – Skolkovo, Moscow Oblast, Russia

The multi-hued Skolkovo Moscow School of Management building is a striking and unique sight in the Russian village that gives it its name. Its design, the work of worldwide architects Adjaye Associates, was even showcased at the eleventh Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2008. Adajaye Associates' principal architect David Adjaye took his cues from pioneering Russian painter Kazimir Malevich when coming up with the concept, and the structure was completed in 2010. The building's disc-like form was partly intended to lessen development on the site. Its center, which houses a restaurant, is linked to the periphery by a set of wedge-shaped areas. These "wedges" allow light to infuse the interior and at the same time serve as casual places in which to congregate. Also within the graduate school are a conference center and chief teaching departments, where students can get to grips with MBA, executive MBA and executive education courses.

27. A. Gary Anderson Hall, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCR School of Business Administration – University of California, Riverside, Riverside, California

Part of the University of California system, the University of California, Riverside was established in 1907 as a research center to help maximize the yield of California's citrus crops. The Anderson Graduate School of Management – set up in 1970 as the Graduate School of Administration – is now hosted by the campus' lovely UC Citrus Experiment Station, which was completed in 1917. The UC Citrus Experiment Station's design was conceived by native Californian Lester H. Hibbard in tandem with H.B. Cody, and together they developed the project after the Mission Revival Style of architecture, evoking the Spanish colonial ties of the region. Following a $5 million contribution to the school from the A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation in 1994, the modified building was rechristened A. Gary Anderson Hall. The school now offers master's degrees in business administration and professional accountancy as well as doctoral programs among its options.

26. HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management – Leipzig, Germany

Set up in 1898, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is among the oldest business schools anywhere in the world. Adding to this, HHL Leipzig's current programs are acclaimed, with the Financial Times naming it the ninth best master's in management school globally for 2013. The school – which today boasts around 480 postgraduate students – became incorporated into Leipzig University in 1946; however, once the Iron Curtain came down, in 1992 it was re-established as a private institution. Filled with large windows that look out onto pleasantly leafy grounds, HHL Leipzig's long, pale yellow-colored building is as impressive as the institution's academic credentials. The school offers three types of MBAs and a doctoral program in addition to its highly-respected master's in management option.

25. Oslo School of Architecture and Design – Oslo, Norway

Local firm Jarmund/Vigsnæs AS Arkitekter MNAL was given the honor of converting a building completed in 1938 into a sleek and modern facility for the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. The original structure's facade holds conservation status, but the architects were able to innovatively add not only exterior walls glazed in a trio of colors, but also an access court that helps infuse the ground-level foyer with natural light. Inside, the workshop quality of the primary building was preserved thanks to exposed and untreated areas together with the use of polished concrete and linoleum-covered flooring. At the school, students can work towards master's degrees in architecture, landscape architecture and industrial design, or a doctorate of philosophy.

24. Crummer Hall, Crummer Graduate School of Business – Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida

Attractive Crummer Hall is one of the main buildings of the Crummer Graduate School of Business, which was set up in 1957 and is located at Rollins College's Winter Park, Florida campus. The building was formally opened in 1966 following a large financial contribution from philanthropist Roy E. Crummer and was designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II of Orlando-based firm Rogers, Lovelock & Fritz. Crummer Hall's ornate Spanish Mediterranean Revival style gives it elegance, while inside, the school's MBA and executive doctoral program students can take advantage of its auditorium and modern classrooms. Faculty offices are also housed within.

23. Graduate School – Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka, Japan

Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan received an attractive new addition in 2005 following the completion of its Graduate School building. Made up of concrete, glass and rustic-looking brick, its sparse composition was chosen to enable it to blend in well with the institution's other facilities. The architects – Japanese-headquartered international firm Nikken Sekkai Ltd. – also aimed to encourage an interactive collegiate atmosphere and a sense of openness through the building's floor plan and use of maximum-height glass panes. The facility contains a selection of labs, classrooms, and areas where graduate students can sit and study for their courses in subjects including law, human science, and economics.

22. Saunders Hall, Darden School of Business – University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Thanks to its grand architecture, Saunders Hall at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business echoes the aesthetic vision of one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Robert A.M. Stern, the incumbent dean of the Yale School of Architecture, designed the business school's campus to tie in with Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village at Virginia. As a result, Saunders Hall and its surrounding buildings Рcompleted in 1996 Рare graced with traditional red brick walls, white-painted Chippendale balustrades and red metal roofs. The hall acts as Darden's commons building, where its MBA, Ph.D. and executive education students, as well as staff, can intermingle, have official meetings, or simply sip a coffee in the building's own caf̩.

21. Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Graduate Engineering Center – Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

The concept of "flexible space" is integral to Clemson University's Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Graduate Engineering Center Рjust as collaboration is key within its programs and research. What's more, Atlanta-based Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects designed the building to welcome in the public by way of facilities such as an auditorium, caf̩ and display areas. The striking structure plays host to master's, doctorate and post-doctorate students, with its teaching focused on mechanical engineering. Completed in 2007, the building has since earned LEED Silver certification owing to eco-friendly elements like its innovative wastewater technology Рwhich has led to potable water savings of 32 percent compared to baseline governmental standards. Its design has also been acclaimed by the Georgia branch of the AIA, which gave it a Merit Award in 2010.

20. William R. Hough Hall, Hough Graduate School of Business, Warrington College of Business Administration – University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Although the University of Florida was established in 1853, William R. Hough Hall is a relatively new addition to its Gainesville campus. Completed in 2010, the sophisticated-looking building is home to the Hough Graduate School of Business and was the brainchild of Tampa's Rowe Architects in conjunction with Massachusetts- and Shanghai-based Sasaki Associates. The Collegiate Gothic-inspired structure is notable for its sharply pitched roofs and also takes its cues from some of the surrounding university buildings through its use of cast stone alongside red brick and roof tiling. Inside, the attractive facility hosts classrooms, an executive boardroom, lounges, areas for collaboration, and even a "financial markets laboratory."

19. Student Investment Center, Anderson School of Management – University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The gleaming, multicolored Student Investment Center at the Anderson School of Management was conceived by Albuquerque firm The Hartman + Majewski Design Group. Opened in 2007, the center is part of an enlargement and restoration project to update the school's previous facilities. This move rejuvenated an underused plaza on the University of New Mexico's campus with a lively aluminum- and glass-fronted structure containing a simulated boardroom and a pair of small conference rooms. An atrium enveloped by energy saving solar control glass also houses an investment center for observing financial markets and affords splendid mountain views. The building won its architects the 2007 NAIOP Award of Merit in the Renovation/Remodel Project category. Plus, industry publication Southwest Contractor named it the top higher education entry in its 2007 listing of the best projects in New Mexico. The school offers graduate students MBA and executive MBA courses as well as a master's in accounting.

18. Owen G. Glenn Building, University of Auckland Business School – University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

The Owen G. Glenn Building at the University of Auckland Business School gives more than a touch of elegance to the campus of the biggest university in New Zealand. Australia- and U.K.-based architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp teamed up with New Zealand firm Archimedia to design the project, which scooped a New Zealand Institute of Architects Auckland Architecture Award in 2008 – when it was completed. The building also made the shortlist at the World Architecture Festival Awards that same year and has garnered other honors besides. In keeping with its location, the building references the culture of native Maori people, while a piece of sculptural art at its entrance also marks traditional Maori thought and ideas. Inside is housed a postgraduate lounge and study areas alongside teaching spaces and a business information center for graduates. The school offers master's degrees in applied finance, marketing, international business and management among its programs.

17. Myron Taylor Hall, Cornell Law School – Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Cornell Law School relocated to its current site at beautiful, elaborately decorated Myron Taylor Hall in Ithaca, New York in 1937. The elegant Gothic building – which was designed by New York-based architectural firm Eggers & Higgins – was finished in 1932 thanks to a donation from previous U.S. Steel CEO and Cornell alumnus Myron Taylor. Taylor also funded the adjoining Hughes Hall, which was completed in 1963. Fellow Cornell graduate Jane M.G. Foster is the namesake of another of the hall's extensions – a new wing that was built in 1988 to expand the capacity of the institution's library. Today, Myron Taylor Hall hosts all of the graduate school's amenities, from classrooms and offices to a practice courtroom, the library and even dining and dormitory areas.

16. National Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies – Tokyo, Japan

In 2005 the striking new Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies building opened in Tokyo's thriving Roppongi district. British architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (then known as Richard Rogers Partnership) joined forces with Japanese- and New York-based firm Yamashita Sekkei Inc. to develop the structure, which incorporates transparent glazing and terracotta sections in its arresting-looking facade. Aluminum louvers also deck the exterior, which helps to lessen solar gain and in addition affords occupants superb views of the surrounding scenery. As its name suggests, the graduate institute concentrates on policy studies and research – with its students working towards master's and doctoral degrees in everything from disaster management to Japanese language and culture.

15. John D. Messick Learning Resource Center / Marajen Chinigo Graduate Center – Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma

According to Oral Roberts University, the building that accommodates the Marajen Chinigo Graduate Center takes its diamond-like form from the ancient design of Solomon's Temple. Also incorporating the John D. Messick Learning Resource Center, the magnificent structure serves as the flagship academic building on the college's Tulsa campus. The striking edifice is notable for its pylon-esque columns and gold-colored windows, and it covers a huge area. Local architect Frank Wallace was responsible for the futuristic appearance of a good number of the buildings on the Oral Roberts University campus – which broke ground in 1963 – and he has since described his work for the college as "sculptures." The graduate center itself includes the majority of the university's classrooms as well as office spaces and labs.

14. Tuck Hall, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth – Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business is widely regarded as one of the best schools in the world for MBAs and is regularly listed in the top ten of rankings published by outlets such as The Economist, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. The school, which was established in 1900, has a suitably prestigious building for its administrative offices – namely, the grand, exceptionally elegant Tuck Hall. Tuck was designed by Larson & Wells' Jens Frederick Larson, who served as Dartmouth's architect-in-residence for nearly 30 years. This imposing, red-brick structure – one of the New Hampshire business school's 11 buildings – was put into use in 1930 and is notable for its stunning, white-colored Ionic portico made of wood.

13. Collaborative Research Center – Rockefeller University, New York City, New York

New York City-based firm Mitchell | Giurgola Architects was responsible for Rockefeller University's gleaming Collaborative Research Center, which is located on the school's Manhattan campus and was completed in 2010. The designers had to incorporate two of the college's historic buildings into their blueprint: Flexner Hall, which was constructed in 1917, and Theobald Smith Hall, which dates back to 1930. These buildings were fully restored, equipped with modern lab facilities, and bridged by a stunning, light-filled elliptical atrium clad in a glass and metal facade. This new seven-story structure became the Collaborative Research Center. Exceptionally pleasing to the eye, the end result well suits an esteemed graduate college that has had a hand in producing over 20 Nobel Prize winners. The center contains meeting and conference spaces and was intended to promote social interaction between the university's scientists.

12. Paul Rudolph Hall, Yale School of Architecture – Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

After a major renovation process that ran from 2007 to 2008, Yale University's Art & Architecture Building was rechristened Paul Rudolph Hall in a tribute to its original architect. After its completion in 1963, the building drew applause from academics and critics and was honored with an American Institute of Architects Honor Award. However, Yale's students bemoaned what they saw as some of the building's shortcomings – for example, low ceilings and the uncomfortable temperatures of its workspaces. East Coast firm Hoffman Architects and New York City-based Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects stepped in to help transform the aging brutalist structure in line with Rudolph's initial vision. This included measures such as the revamping of terraces and roofs and a restoral of the original light wells. The building is the home of the Yale School of Architecture, which offers several types of master's courses and a doctoral program.

11. Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology – Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea

The relatively new Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT) building at the Pohang University of Science and Technology is certainly an eye-catcher. Opened in 2009, it showcases an astounding reflective cylindrical centerpiece that clearly distinguishes it from the rest of the Pohang, South Korea-based university's campus. GIFT houses nine specifically designed labs that enable students to conduct research in all areas of metallurgy, although the institute specializes in the applied science of steel and iron. Founded in 2005, GIFT is the only accredited tertiary education institution in the world that offers graduates teaching in its specialist fields. It features three facilities that specialize in materials development, eco-friendly technology, and solutions and applications, respectively, as well as a dedicated research center.

10. Amenities Building, Jubilee Graduate Centre – University of Nottingham, Nottingham, U.K.

The University of Nottingham's Jubilee Graduate Centre sits within the striking, brightly hued Amenities Building, which was completed in 2008. Featuring an array of red and earthen-colored terracotta tiles, its distinctive appearance was the work of London- and Beijing-based firm
Make – which also designed two other buildings and a public artwork for the university's Nottingham, U.K. Jubilee Campus. What's more, the facility is not only attractive but also eco-friendly: its exterior is able to lower cooling and heating demands, while heat pumps and a closed-loop system take energy from lakes close to the building to ensure it's habitable whatever the season. Storm and run-off water is also borne back into the lakes so that it isn't wasted. In terms of services, the Jubilee Graduate Centre offers training, career guidance and workshops to its graduate student body.

9. Breakwater Lodge, University Of Cape Town Graduate School of Business – University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

The University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business ranked 59th on the Financial Times' Global MBA Ranking 2014 list and is the sole African school to be included there. As well as offering MBAs, it runs associate in management, master's and doctoral programs, among others. Located on Cape Town, South Africa's scenic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the school's main building, known as Breakwater Lodge, has an intriguing past, for it was originally part of a jail in the city from 1902. The building then functioned as an institution for young offenders and was later a boarding house for dockworkers – although it has been used as a hotel and the home of the university's Graduate School of Business since 1991. The impressive structure features an enclosed courtyard modeled after two 19th-century English prisons as well as four castle-like turrets.

8. Matsushita Library and Information Center – International University of Japan, Minami-Uonuma, Japan

Currently host to 330 graduate students, the International University of Japan was established in 1982 and is one of only a handful of colleges in the country whose study programs are taught in English. Its campus in the city of Minami-Uonuma showcases the sleek, space age-looking Matsushita Memorial Library, which was opened in 1994 to honor the 100th birthday of Konosuke Matsushita, the late founder of Panasonic. The library's large metal dome is arguably its most eye-catching feature, while behind its doors lies an exhibition space dedicated to Matsushita's philosophies. Also within the library are a salon, conference rooms, and a collection of books featuring publications by Matsushita plus other business-related materials.

7. Rackham Education Memorial Building, Rackham Graduate School – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Rackham Education Memorial Building was originally completed in 1938 as the central administrative building for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor's school of graduate studies. Still used as a hub for graduate student activity today, it contains a lavish 240-seat amphitheater, a 1,200-seat auditorium, a chandelier-adorned study hall, gallery spaces and marble staircases. Architect William E. Kapp from the Detroit-headquartered Smith, Hinchman & Grylls (now SmithGroupJJR) developed the blueprint for the Classical Renaissance-styled edifice, which was constructed out of Indiana limestone and topped with a gabled copper roof. Inside, the building features sumptuous moldings and other embellishments consistent with the Art Deco style of the 1930s. In 1980 the structure was honored with the Building Stone Institute's Tucker Award for its attractiveness and continued survival.

6. James B. Williams Medical Education Building, Emory University School of Medicine – Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

U.S. architects The S/L/A/M Collaborative had a tricky task on its hands when designing the James B. Williams Medical Education Building at Emory University in Atlanta. While inside the facility would need to contain state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, its exterior was required to hark back to times past so as to fit in with the pair of buildings it stands between – both of which date back to 1917. The firm's solution was a design that sees the School of Medicine's home clad in Georgia marble similar, but not identical, to that of the neighboring structures. And the end result is a handsome edifice in which graduate students can follow master's programs in human genetics and genetic counseling and anesthesiology not to mention a doctorate in physical therapy and MD courses. Emory's new School of Medicine building was completed in 2007.

5. Faculty of Business and Economics Building, Melbourne Business School – University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Business School opened its doors in 1954, when the Melbourne, Australia-based institution had the privilege of being the first of its kind country wide to offer an in-house executive education course. The graduate school is affiliated with the University of Melbourne and today also runs MBA, other master's and doctoral programs. Since 2008 the school has been rated as the best in the Asia-Pacific for executive education by the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report. However, it wasn't until 2009 that it received its eye-catching building, The Spot, developed specifically for the school's Faculty of Business and Economics and designed by Australian architects METIER3. The glazed facade not only looks elegant, but also keeps the facility pleasantly infused with natural light while reducing solar gain. In fact, the eco-friendly building helps save the university more than $166,000 a year, thanks to energy-conserving measures that have cut usage by 46 percent compared to equivalent campus structures.

4. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology – Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

The stunning Masdar Institute of Science and Technology was the brainchild of international firm Foster + Partners, which is headed up by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster. The intricate patterns of its exterior are a re-imagining of traditional mashrabiya oriel windows, and the concrete facade also had sand added to it to give it a hue that would help it blend into its desert surroundings. The institute itself focuses on graduate research on environmental technologies. It practices what it preaches, too, as a slew of eco-friendly features were incorporated into its design. Most notably, almost 54,000 square feet of photovoltaic devices were added to its roof, making it the first such structure to be supplied wholly by solar power. The complex was completed in 2010.

3. Graduate Centre – London Metropolitan University, London, U.K.

London Metropolitan University's Graduate Centre makes a bold statement with its shiny, stainless steel facade and sharp angles, which make it stand out from its surroundings. Still, despite its seemingly haphazard appearance, the building's form is quite deliberate, with its three sections extending in different directions, towards the main campus, the closest subway station and the City of London, respectively. Geometric, slash-like windows let in light and look out onto London's busy Holloway Road, although any distracting noise is eliminated for those inside. The center was conceived by American architect Daniel Libeskind and completed in 2004 – the same year it earned a Royal Institute of British Architects Award. In 2005 it was also honored with the Jeu D'Esprit prize at the Royal Fine Arts Commission Trust's Building of the Year Awards. Inside, the center features facilities such as a cutting-edge lecture hall, seminar spaces, and an area where students can interact.

2. Novancia Business School Paris – Paris, France

Paris' Novancia Business School catches the eye with its vibrant, flame-colored exterior. International firm Architecture-Studio set off the old-fashioned brick walls of a building dating back to 1908 with a fully up-to-date structure featuring a blazing frontage of red and yellow glass shutters. And while this facade may initially appear to bear no similarity with its surroundings, those hues were carefully chosen by the firm with respect to the yellow coloration of the original building and the reddish appearance of the nearby Musée Bourdelle. What's more, the striking shutters rotate to control the amount of sunlight entering and also reveal views of the immediate neighborhood. The Novancia Business School building was completed in 2011. Academically, the school offers master's degrees focusing on areas such as entrepreneurship and innovation and marketing and the digital sphere.

1. S.R. Crown Hall, College of Architecture – Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois

Completed in 1956 and renovated in 2005, the Illinois Institute of Technology's S.R. Crown Hall in Chicago is arguably among the most noteworthy college buildings in the entire U.S. This Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed modernist tour de force has been acclaimed by Time magazine as "one of the world's most influential, inspiring and astonishing structures" and is now a National Historic Landmark. The open-plan concept deftly expresses the deceased German-born architect's notion of engendering spaces that can be used and adapted indefinitely depending on need. Moreover, it enables concurrent teaching to take place, interrupted, whilst also fostering engagement between students and staff. Fittingly for what has been hailed as a "masterpiece" of design, the building plays host to the Illinois Institute of Technology's College of Architecture, which offers master's degrees in architecture and landscape architecture as well as a doctoral program.

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