Which schools are best preparing students for success in the design professions?

Updated 1/6/2016

For more than 15 years, “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” from DesignIntelligence has been the definitive school ranking in four key disciplines: architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and industrial design.

The America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools survey is conducted annually by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council. The research ranks undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of leading practitioners. The 16th annual survey was conducted in mid-2015.

Selected professional practice leaders with direct experience hiring and supervising recent architecture and design graduates are invited to participate in the research. Survey participants, who are drawn from the Design Futures Council database of leading firms throughout the United States, must verify they are currently responsible for hiring or supervising design professionals. Surveys from non-qualifying individuals are excluded from the results.

A total of 1,426 professional practice organizations participated in the research for the four professions surveyed.

The professional practice survey posed participants the question, “In your firm’s hiring experience in the past five years, which schools are best preparing students for a future in the profession and designing a sustainable future?” In addition, practitioners are asked about which programs are best in teaching skills such as design, communication, sustainability, and technology. The rankings are based on their responses.

Below are the top schools in each of the four disciplines covered by the survey: architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and industrial design.

ARCHITECTURE



LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE



INTERIOR DESIGN



INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

*Where more than one school receives the same number of votes, the schools are given the same numerical ranking, and the next rank is omitted.


Note: the full report—including architecture programs ranked 11-35 and related rankings for interior design, landscape architecture, and industrial design programs—is now available as an instand download PDF. You can also pre-order the print edition, shipping out on November 15.

Related interview: Architectural Record asks James P. Cramer, chairman of the Design Futures Council, to address changes he sees confronting architectural education today.