Three Iowa State College of Design programs rank in top 25 nationally

Design building

Iowa State's College of Design. Photo by Christoper Gannon.

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University’s programs in interior design, landscape architecture and architecture are ranked in the top 25 in the United States, according to the latest survey of practitioners by DesignIntelligence.

The survey placed Iowa State’s graduate interior design program in the top 10 — ninth in the nation — for 2017-18. ISU’s undergraduate landscape architecture program ranked 11th and the undergraduate architecture program 22nd.

DesignIntelligence is a quarterly 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, interior design and landscape architecture. Published in DesignIntelligence Quarterly Issue 269, Third Quarter 2017, the 18th annual survey was conducted between April and June 2017 on behalf of the Design Futures Council.

The DesignIntelligence survey ranks programs from the perspective of leading practitioners who hire and supervise recent graduates in each of the design fields represented. The publication received responses from more than 2,650 professionals who were asked the following question: From your hiring experience in the past five years, which of the following undergraduate (graduate) schools are best preparing students for a future in the profession? They also were asked about several dimensions of academic performance, such as how programs rate in teaching various skills.

Interior design program

Iowa State’s graduate interior design program ranked ninth among the top 10 programs this year. It ranked 10th in 2008-09 and 15th in 2007-08.

Savannah College of Art and Design ranked first, followed by Rhode Island School of Design and Pratt Institute. Because few graduate interior design programs are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (which focuses primarily on professional bachelor’s degree programs and not advanced degrees), many nonaccredited programs were listed as choices in the survey, and write-in responses were allowed.

The ISU interior design department has 19 graduate students and six tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Landscape architecture program

Iowa State’s undergraduate landscape architecture program ranked 11th this year and has rated among the top 15 programs for 12 of the past 13 years. (DesignIntelligence began ranking landscape architecture programs in 2005.)

Harvard University ranked first, followed by the University of Pennsylvania and Louisiana State University. There are 43 accredited landscape architecture undergraduate programs in the U.S., of which 28 — like Iowa State’s — are professional bachelor of landscape architecture programs.

The ISU landscape architecture department has 123 undergraduate students and 13 tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Architecture program

For 2017-18, Iowa State’s undergraduate architecture program ranked 22nd. It has ranked in the top 25 for 13 of the past 15 years. The list this year was led by Cornell, followed by Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Syracuse University. There are 55 accredited undergraduate architecture programs in the U.S. and two in Puerto Rico.

There are 325 undergraduate students and 24 tenured or tenure-track faculty in architecture at Iowa State.

Architecture, interior design and landscape architecture are in Iowa State University’s College of Design.