How the best schools of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and industrial design are ranked

America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools by DesignIntelligence is conducted on behalf of the Design Futures Council. The research ranks undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of leading practitioners. This 12th annual survey was conducted in mid-2010.

Selected professional practice leaders who have direct experience in hiring and in evaluating the performance of recent architecture and design graduates are invited to participate in the research. Survey participants, who are drawn from a database of leading firms throughout the United States, were queried about which college and university programs are best preparing students for professional practice.

For the four professions surveyed — architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and interior design — a total of 220 organizations participated in the research. (See the list of participating organizations.)

The professional practice study queried participants about many issues in addition to preparedness for practice, such as how programs rate in teaching various specific skills.

The schools rankings are compiled using data from surveys conducted and analyzed by DesignIntelligence staff. Research for the surveys is aided by information provided the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the National Architectural Accreditation Board, the American Institute of Architecture Students, the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Deans and Chairs Survey

In addition to the undergraduate and graduate schools rankings, deans and chairs from 126 academic programs participated in their own surveys, the data from which is presented separately from the rankings.

Student Survey

In our largest student survey ever, 2,556 architecture students completed satisfaction surveys about their education, and that data is also presented separate from the rankings.

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America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools 2011