Graduate Architecture Rankings

August 30, 2015

Interview with James P. Cramer

Gund Hall (home from the Graduate School of Design) throughout Harvard Graduation. Year 2007. Photo CC Wikimedia User Tebici.

Each year, when DesignIntelligence’s latest ratings of the greatest US Architecture Schools arrives, the majority of the anticipation is focused on one question: who’s # 1?

But despite our laser-concentrate on the ratings, the report is really a lot more. It's also market research of 100s of design teachers and professionals, an excellent understanding of the present condition of architecture and architecture education today.

So with this thought, along with the ratings aside, which colleges are actually creating students best outfitted (and many marketable, within this competitive market) for that architecture profession today? Whenever you consider the data, 3 Colleges stick out in the pack.

Find out more to discover which two Colleges would be best planning students in 2013, following the break...

Milstein Hall at Cornell College, rated the very best Undergraduate College for Architecture this season. Photo thanks to OMA © Matthew Carbone

What Firms Want

Knowing from Design Intelligence’s survey of pros from 392 organizations, while firms today have course searching for design excellence within their new employs, they’re also searching for graduates to supply them insight and concepts into sustainability, interdisciplinary/integrated practice, and technological change - fields which have become vital within the last couple of years.

While 58.8% of firms (the greatest percentage) recognized design quality among the architecture profession’s premier concerns, the problems of Integrated Design (52.1%) and Sustainability/Global Warming (48.5%) rounded the firms’ best three focal points (multiple reactions were permitted).

Sustainability would be a running theme through the report. 64.8% from the firms reported getting tips using their new hires’ ideas about sustainability and 67.8% from the Deans selected sustainability and global warming among the profession’s greatest concerns (the 2nd most selected category, speed of technological change, was selected by 44.3%).

However, among the couple of negative statistics from the survey says 50.9% of firms, that’s one in 2, discovered that most new employs come with an insufficient background in building, facility, and equipment existence cycles.

What Students Need

What exactly do new graduates have to catch a firm’s eye within this competitive market? This report indicate a properly-rounded grounding in design, sustainability, integrated practice, and construction.

As students start selecting which College program is going to be satisfactory, it’s vital that you keep these matters in mind. A college might be rated #1 or #2, but exactly how strong could it be (or, a minimum of, what’s its status), in sustainable design? Will it value an inter-disciplinary curriculum? Does it give a practical grounding in construction and materials?

A Pavilion created by Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture Team. Columbia rated because the #2 Architecture Graduate School this season.

Which School’s “Best”?

So let’s break lower which Colleges, a minimum of within the eyes from the employing firm, stand out during these 4 fields. Based on Design Intelligence’s report, fundamental essentials collegiate programs that employing firms deem most powerful in all these skill areas:


  • 1. Harvard College
  • 2. Los Angeles Institute of Architecture
  • 3. Columbia College
  • 4. Yale College
  • 5. Cornell College


  • 1. College of Or
  • 2. College of California, Berkeley
  • 3. Harvard College
  • 4. Los Angeles Institute of Architecture
  • 5. College of Cincinnati
  • 5. Auburn College

Mix-DISCIPLINARY Working together

  • 1. Los Angeles Institute of Architecture
  • 2. Harvard College
  • 3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 4. College of California, La
  • 5. College of California, Berkeley


  • 1. Los Angeles Institute of Architecture
  • 2. California Polytechnic Condition College, San Louis Obispo
  • 3. Harvard College
  • 4. Syracuse College
  • 5. Auburn College

As you can tell, the only real two schools which consistently result in the lists are Harvard College and also the Los Angeles Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).

Obviously, Harvard, the old stalwart of excellence, may come as no real surprise. Rated (once more) because the #1 Graduate College for Architecture this season, Harvard’s even the school most respected by Deans (because of its “exceptional status, students and faculty, and it is multidisciplinary program”) and many respected by its students (an astonishing 95% from the student body ranked the general program as Excellent).

SCI-Arc, however, arrived at #6 within the ratings. While that’s certainly absolutely nothing to sneeze at, the ranking possibly misrepresents the exceptional, well-rounded status from the enter in your eyes of employing firms. While obviously it should be stated that Harvard and it is Ivy-League brethren still hold much status (mainly in the Southern and Eastern regions of america), Sci-Arc, despite being youthful, has built itself a status like a school around the cutting-edge. Plus, as reflected in the steady increase in the ratings from 17th, to thirteenth, and today to sixth, it’s only growing.

Using the market as competitive because it is, Architecture candidates could be smart to think about not only the status or ranking of colleges, but which schools will maximize their knowledge of the important thing regions of sustainability, integrated practice, and construction to organize them perfect for a realistic look at in which the profession is headed.

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