2004 Architecture Schools Discussion

November 15, 2003 · by DesignIntelligence

No other ranking program currently provides a ranking of design schools. Seeking to close this gap, we’ve looked to practitioners as most qualified to comment on how students from different schools fare in the marketplace.

This is the fifth consecutive year that we have conducted our school rankings in conjunction with Counsel House Research. No other college ranking program currently provides a ranking of design schools. Seeking to close this gap, we’ve looked to the practitioners as the constituency most qualified to comment on how students from different schools fare in the marketplace.

For the first time since this survey was conducted in 1999, NAAB-accredited bachelor’s and master’s architecture programs are ranked separately. The interior design ranking ranks FIDER-accredited bachelor’s programs.

For the architecture survey, 1,108 firms received the questionnaire in July and August 2003. Of those, 22.8 percent participated. This cross-section of firms has a dispersed geographic profile and contains firms of all sizes. It also includes firms that are leaders in their market sectors (i.e. healthcare, commercial, institutional) and firms that have won major national, state, local, and market sector awards. For the interiors survey, which was conducted in August and September 2003, the 1,591 recipients not only included interior design firms but also architecture firms with interior design departments.

The surveys were targeted to those individuals in each firm that have direct experience with the hiring and performance of graduates: the owners/partners, managing principals, and human resource directors. We asked them to look at their hiring during the past five years and choose the institutions that produced graduates most prepared for real-world practice. We also asked them to assess the skill deficiencies they have witnessed in their new hires within the past three years.

Also, we provide a historical comparison of where the schools have fallen over time. But in addition to ranking the top 15 architecture schools nationwide, we also tracked how firms in each region ranked the architecture schools within their region.

James P. Cramer
Jennifer Yankopolus
Lisa Ashmore

Greenway Consulting, Counsel House Research

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