ARCHITECT Magazine ranks Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design 5th in nation

Annual survey polls top U.S. architecture firms

Washington University’s Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, has been ranked 5th in the nation by ARCHITECT Magazine.

The survey, published in the magazine’s November issue, examined all 117 programs recognized by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Washington University was tied with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg. It was ranked first in the Midwest.

“This ranking reflects the strong contributions that our graduates are making to the practice of architecture,” said Bruce Lindsey, dean of the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. “The survey asks a cross-section of employers about which recent graduates have had the most significant influence on their work. It’s a powerful testament to the impact of our young alumni.”

The survey polled directors of design, managing principals and human resource directors from hundreds of leading U.S. architecture firms about which programs had produced the most professional, best-prepared graduates over the last five years. It also queried participants — as well as deans and current students —about how programs rated in various skill sets, including design; sustainability; analysis and planning; construction methods and materials; research and theory; communication skills; and computer applications.

“A long-standing complaint—a cliché, really—about architectural education is that the typical curriculum places insufficient emphasis on the pragmatics of professional practice,” noted Ned Cramer, editor of ARCHITECT Magazine, in his forward to the issue.

“Yet the academy seems to be gaining ground on the marketplace,” Cramer continues. “While many green-minded firms, for instance, still struggle to adopt the LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certification process and get buy-in from clients, the survey results suggest that universities are proving more nimble: 57 percent of firms surveyed say that they get new ideas about sustainability from their straight-out-of-school employees.”

The ARCHITECT rankings are excerpted from an annual book-length report, titled America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools, published by the journal DesignIntelligence. The survey, which was launched in 2000, is conducted for DesignIntelligence by Greenway Communications and the Design Futures Council. The full report is available for a fee from the DesignIntelligence Web site,

In 2007 DesignIntelligence ranked Washington University 6th in the nation.