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Undergraduate landscape architecture program ranked No. 1 in North America


BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 3, 2009 – Virginia Tech's undergraduate landscape architecture program, in the School of Architecture + Design, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has been ranked No. 1 in North America in the 11th annual America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools study by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council.

Virginia Tech’s graduate landscape architecture program in the School of Architecture + Design, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has been ranked No. 2 in North America, behind Harvard University in first place. The Master of Landscape Architecture program is offered both in Blacksburg and in the National Capital Region.

In category rankings of the preparedness of recent graduates in a range of vital skills, Virginia Tech’s landscape architecture program ranked No. 1 in communication and computer applications, No. 2 in design, and No. 3 in sustainable design concepts and principles.

Last year, DesignIntelligence initiated a classification system for architecture programs that sought to look beyond a one-year ranking to a more multi-dimensional stratification of excellence. Since this new system, the Cramer Report, looks at a longer history of performance than the best schools rankings do, it will be presented every other year for each academic program area. Last year, DesignIntelligence reported on architecture — Virginia Tech was ranked No. 1 with Harvard, Columbia and Yale. This year, the Cramer Report ranks landscape architecture. Virginia Tech’s landscape architecture program is named one of America’s World-Class Landscape Architecture schools with highest distinction.

Architecture rankings



Virginia Tech’s undergraduate architecture program is No. 4 for this year. The university’s graduate architecture program in ranked #8. In category rankings of the preparedness of recent graduates in a range of vital skills, Virginia Tech architecture ranked No. 1 in construction methods and materials, No. 2 in analysis and planning and computer applications, and No. 3 in communication and design. In a category ranking of programs most admired by deans and department chairs across the United States, Virginia Tech’s undergraduate architecture program ranked No. 2 and was cited for its well-rounded preparation of students, its integrated design approach, and its comprehensive balance of design and technology. One hundred percent of Virginia Tech students surveyed reported that they believe they will be prepared for professional practice at the completion of their studies.

Interior design rankings



Virginia Tech’s graduate interior design program is ranked No. 7 for 2010. In category rankings of the preparedness of recent graduates in a range of vital skills, Virginia Tech’s interior design program ranked No. 2 in computer applications and No. 3 in communication and sustainable design concepts and principles. In a category ranking of programs most admired by deans and department chairs across the United States, Virginia Tech’s undergraduate interior design program ranked No. 4 and was cited for the quality of its faculty and students and balancing design excellence with professional preparation.

Industrial design rankings



Virginia Tech’s undergraduate industrial design program is ranked No. 11 for 2010.

Most admired educators



Four Virginia Tech professors were among 25 named Most Admired Educators in North America for 2010: Brian Katen, landscape architecture program chair and associate professor of landscape architecture; Ronald Kemnitzer, industrial design program chair and professor of industrial design ; Patrick Miller, associate dean of graduate studies and outreach and landscape architecture professor; and Lisa Tucker, assistant professor of architecture.

DesignIntelligence ranks accredited undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of leading practitioners. Their survey, conducted in mid-2009, tapped professional practice leaders who have direct experience in hiring and evaluating the performance of recent architecture and design graduates. Leading firms were queried about which college and university programs have best prepared students for professional practice. A cross-section of U.S firms with disbursed geographic profiles were invited to participate.

All told, 381 professional practices were included in this research, including some of the largest architecture and design firms in the United States. Also responding were small- and medium-sized firms that rank among the most respected design organizations.

The professional practice study queried participants about many issues, including preparedness for practice, admired educators, how programs rate in teaching various skill sets and sustainability education trends. The rankings are compiled using data from surveys conducted and analyzed by DesignIntelligence with supplemental information from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the National Architectural Accreditation Board, the American Institute of Architecture Students and design organizations in each discipline. In addition to the best schools study, deans and chairs from 166 academic programs participated in their own separate survey. There were also 1,978 architecture students who completed surveys about their satisfaction with design education.

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