DesignIntelligence (DI), a consulting firm, conducted their annual survey across the design industry on architecture-school rankings and found that the top three undergraduate programs in the United States are available at Cornell University, Rice University and California Polytechnic State University.
Significant changes in results were seen compared to the previous year, among them is Cooper Union moving from number 15 last year to number 5 this year and Rice University rising from number 6 last year to number 2 this year.
In regards to the graduate programs, Princeton jumped from number 22 last year to number 6 this year. Rice University went from number 16 to number 7; Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) moved from number 13 to number 9; and University of Michigan advanced from number 11 last year to occupy the number 10 spot this year.
This year, DI changed their strategy by deciding to switch from asking one primary question to two. The first question remained the same as previous years but received a slight change in language as they moved away from asking for “the best” school to asking for “the most admired” school. The second primary question that was asked was, “From which schools have you hired the greatest number of (undergraduate or graduate) students in the last five years?”
With this change, the number of valid responses from hiring managers of architecture and design-professional firms for 2018 grew to more than 4,500, greatly surpassing the typical range of 2,600 and 3,200.
Each undergraduate architecture program and graduate architecture program was ranked across four categories: design theory; construction methods and materials; sustainability; and research.