ISU's architecture and landscape architecture programs rank in top 10 nationally

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's undergraduate programs in architecture and landscape architecture are ranked in the top 10 in the nation, according to a new survey of practitioners by DesignIntelligence. The survey places Iowa State's undergraduate architecture program 9th and landscape architecture program 10th in the United States.

DesignIntelligence is a bimonthly publication for leaders in design professions. The magazine's annual report, "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools," is the only national college ranking survey that focuses exclusively on design. Rankings cover accredited programs in architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture. Published in the November-December issue of DesignIntelligence, the 13th annual survey was conducted in mid-2011.

"We're pleased that design professionals recognize what we at Iowa State have long known -- our programs in architecture and landscape architecture are among the best in the nation," said Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy. "The fact that the survey queries those responsible for their firms' hiring demonstrates that our students graduate with the foundation they need to tackle the country's design challenges."

"I want to congratulate the architecture program on its number one in the Midwest ranking and both architecture and landscape architecture on being ranked in the top 10 nationally," added Elizabeth Hoffman, ISU executive vice president and provost. "This is a wonderful testament to the excellence of the faculty and students in both programs and a great distinction for both the programs and the College of Design."

Conducted on behalf of the Design Futures Council, the survey ranks programs from the perspective of leading practitioners. The publication contacted leaders in more than 300 professional firms and organizations who have direct experience with the hiring and performance of recent graduates. They were asked the following question: In your firm's hiring experience in the past five years, which schools are best preparing students for success in the profession?

"This DesignIntelligence report is a type of consumer index that penetrates inside the hiring organizations of leading practices," wrote DesignIntelligence publisher and founding editor James Cramer in his introductory article, "Fostering Better Schools, Challenging Conventions."

"We talk with the world's most successful architects and design firms, from the global firm based in San Francisco to the regional firm located on Charleston's King Street," Cramer explained.

Architecture program

Photo by Bob Elbert

Iowa State's undergraduate architecture program has ranked in the top 20 eight out of the past nine years. Other programs in the top 10 this year included Cornell University (1), University of Texas (2), Virginia Tech (3) and Rhode Island School of Design (6). There are 49 accredited undergraduate architecture programs in the U.S.

In regional rankings of top schools in the Midwest, Iowa State's architecture program was rated number one when ranked by all firms participating in the national survey, and also when ranked by all Midwestern firms in the survey. According to DesignIntelligence, it's "not uncommon for firms to prefer schools outside their own geographic region." In this survey, the Midwest includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

There are 306 undergraduate majors and 30 faculty in architecture at Iowa State.

Landscape architecture

Photo by Alison Weidemann

For 2012, Iowa State's undergraduate landscape architecture program tied for 10th place with California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Louisiana State University ranked first, followed by Pennsylvania State University.

Iowa State has ranked among the top 15 landscape architecture programs for seven of the past eight years. (DesignIntelligence began ranking landscape architecture programs in 2005.) There are 47 accredited undergraduate landscape architecture programs in the U.S.

The landscape architecture department has 145 undergraduate majors and 10 faculty.

Landscape architecture and architecture are in Iowa State University's College of Design.