Practitioners’ Top 10 for Architecture
We can’t discuss all 40 architecture programs that were ranked at the top of the DesignIntelligence Best Architecture Schools lists in these pages, but let’s take a look the top 10 undergraduate and graduate schools.
Cornell University again dominated the undergraduate rankings. In the past nine years, Cornell has placed first seven times. It was followed this year by the University of Texas at Austin; Virginia Tech; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Rice University; Rhode Island School of Design; Southern California Institute of Architecture and Syracuse University (tied for seventh); Iowa State University; and Pratt Institute.
In graduate architecture education, Harvard University edged out Yale University and the University of Michigan (the only other two schools that have been ranked first in the history of the DesignIntelligence survey). Yale placed second, followed by Columbia University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Kansas State University. Tied for sixth were Cornell and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania tied for eighth, followed by the University of Cincinnati.
The findings were particularly interesting with regard to the ranking held by the University of Michigan last year, which took first place among the graduate programs. Its relocation to eighth place is respectable, but raises the question about how it made it to No. 1 in the 2011 ranking. We can only conjecture that its communications strategy, aimed at reaching numerous firms (not just alumni) to tout its programs and accomplishments, elicited more respondents who had hired Michigan graduates or who were impressed by its strategic vision. Michigan didn’t game the system: Indeed, we encourage schools to talk to the whole profession about the quality of their programs.
A complete list of the top 20 undergraduate and top 20 graduate architecture programs is available through www.di.net, along with regional rankings, student satisfaction data, and rankings of landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design programs.