Survey shows dynamic restlessness for renewed strength and fresh relevance.

Note: The 2014 Rankings are now available in Print and PDF

–updated June 19, 2013–

As we discuss in the articles inside DesignIntelligence, you could argue that design education is pretty good the way it is. In fact, it is most likely the best that it has ever been. But according to educators, students and practitioners that we’ve interviewed, it’s not good enough. This year’s rankings by deans, administrators, students and practitioners show that there is considerable quality in design schools but also reveals an unrelenting and increasingly dynamic restlessness for renewed strength and fresh relevance. Any drifting away from quality expectations is most certainly the enemy to the design professions of the future.

In this year’s DesignIntelligence rankings we study several new areas including the strongest branded schools in 22 categories. We have learned, for instance, that the top branded schools for construction leadership are now perceived to be Iowa State, Clemson University and Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo. The strongest branded schools for best campus building and facilities are the University of New Mexico, University of Minnesota and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Leading practitioners in North America believe the top Canadian architecture programs are now the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University (Halifax) and Carleton University. Let’s take a closer look.

The zones of analysis for 2013 America’s Best Schools of Architecture and Design include the following:

  • The 30 most admired educators of 2013
  • The top 20 architecture programs and the contenders
  • Ranking the top interior design, industrial design and landscape architecture programs
  • The Design Futures Council proposal to improve design education
  • Architecture school tuition analysis
  • More than 2,600 students provide in-depth evaluation of more than 50 schools
  • A sampling of the Greenway Group’s practitioner leadership index showing degrees and school affiliations
  • Special report on entrepreneurship in design
  • Directory of leading architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and industrial design schools
  • A complete listing of research participants

Here are the top schools for 2013 in each discipline. For detailed analysis, see the full report in DesignIntelligence.

Top 20 Architecture, Graduate

  • 1.Harvard University
  • 2. Columbia University
  • 3. Yale University
  • 4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 5. Cornell University
  • 6. Southern California Institute of Architecture
  • 7. University of Virginia
  • 7. University of California, Berkeley
  • 9. Washington University in St. Louis
  • 10. University of Cincinnati
  • 11. University of Michigan
  • 11. University of Texas at Austin
  • 13. Kansas State University
  • 14. University of Kansas
  • 15. University of Pennsylvania
  • 15. Rice University
  • 15. Princeton University
  • 18. Iowa State University
  • 18. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 20. Clemson University
  • 20. Savannah College of Art and Design

Top 20 Architecture, Undergraduate

  • 1. Cornell University
  • 2. Southern California Institute of Architecture
  • 3. Rice University
  • 3. Syracuse University
  • 5. California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo
  • 6. University of Texas at Austin
  • 7. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 7. Rhode Island School of Design
  • 9. Iowa State University
  • 9. Auburn University
  • 11. Pratt Institute
  • 12. Carnegie Mellon University
  • 13. University of Notre Dame
  • 13. University of Oregon
  • 13. Boston Architectural College
  • 16. University of Southern California
  • 16. Cooper Union
  • 18. Pennsylvania State University
  • 19. University of Arkansas
  • 19. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Top 15 Landscape Architecture, Graduate

  • 1. Harvard University
  • 2. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 3. Cornell University
  • 3. Louisiana State University
  • 5. University of Virginia
  • 6. University of Pennsylvania
  • 7. Pennsylvania State University
  • 7. Rhode Island School of Design
  • 7. Texas A&M University
  • 10. University of California, Berkeley
  • 11. Kansas State University
  • 11. University of Georgia
  • 13. Auburn University
  • 13. University of Texas at Arlington
  • 13. University of Texas at Austin
  • 13. University of Washington

Top 15 Landscape Architecture, Undergraduate

  • 1. Louisiana State University
  • 2. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 3. Pennsylvania State University
  • 4. Kansas State University
  • 5. Texas A&M University
  • 6. Cornell University
  • 7. Calif. Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • 7. Purdue University
  • 7. University of Georgia
  • 10. Ball State University
  • 11. Iowa State University
  • 11. Texas Tech University
  • 13. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • 13. Michigan State University
  • 13. Ohio State University

Top 10 Interior Design, Graduate

  • 1. Savannah College of Art and Design
  • 2. Rhode Island School of Design
  • 3. Pratt Institute
  • 4. Cornell University
  • 4. Parsons The New School for Design
  • 6. New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk Univ.*
  • 6. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • 8. Boston Architectural College*
  • 9. Kansas State University*
  • 9. University of Oregon

*(CIDA-accredited)

Top 10 Interior Design, Undergraduate

  • 1. Savannah College of Art and Design
  • 2. University of Cincinnati
  • 2. Rhode Island School of Design
  • 4. Pratt Institute
  • 5. Auburn University
  • 6. University of Texas at Austin
  • 6. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 8. Boston Architectural College
  • 8. Cornell University
  • 8. Kansas State University
  • 8 Parsons The New School for Design

Top 10 Industrial Design, Graduate

  • 1 Art Center College of Design
  • 2 Pratt Institute
  • 2 Rhode Island School of Design
  • 4 Arizona State University
  • 4 Auburn University
  • 4. Cranbrook Academy of Art
  • 7. Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 7. Ohio State University
  • 7. Savannah College of Art and Design
  • 7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Industrial Design, Undergraduate

  • 1. Art Center College of Design
  • 1. University of Cincinnati
  • 3. Pratt Institute
  • 3. Rhode Island School of Design
  • 3. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 6. Auburn University
  • 6. College for Creative Studies
  • 6. Savannah College of Art and Design
  • 9. Carnegie Mellon
  • 9. Syracuse University

 

 

One story behind the rankings this year is that there are some outstanding programs that are either too new or too small to get recognized in the lists of top schools. However, this is a time of tremendous change for the design professions, and with it, massive opportunity for schools of all sizes. Respect for design education is high — and can grow further. This will require that there be a deep understanding of the dimensions of the trends in the design profession. When schools and practitioners are in harmony on these dimensions of change, they can reinforce and enhance each other. In this there is art and science. Leadership is at issue. The big shifts can be signs of new strength in a time of flux.