DesignIntelligence 2012 Landscape Architecture Program Rankings

DesignIntelligence released its 2012 landscape architecture graduate and undergraduate program rankings. For the second year, Louisiana State University came in at the top of undergraduate landscape architecture programs and, for the eighth year, Harvard University came in as the best graduate programs in the annual survey conducted by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council.

Detailed rankings are available in the 12th edition of “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools,” which assesses program rankings and education trends in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design.

Respondents from 227 “professional practice” organizations, which are listed in the report, answered questions about how well prepared graduates are from different undergraduate and graduate programs. Some 74 percent said they “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the state of landscape architecture education in the U.S. Some 64 percent found that graduating students had an “adequate understanding” of biology, biodiversity, and environmental degradation. However, only 51 percent thought recent graduates brought any new ideas on sustainability to their new jobs.

This year, the top five emerging concerns by practitioners are:

  • Maintaining Design Quality (51 percent)
  • Sustainability / Climate Change (49 percent)
  • Speed of Technological Change (39 percent)
  • Integrated Design (39 percent)
  • Retaining Quality Staff in Design Practices (32 percent)

DesignIntelligence asks us to only list the top five schools for each program. To see the top fifteen rankings for each category, purchase the report.

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:

1)  Louisiana State University
2)  Pennsylvania State University
3)  California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; Purdue University; Texas A&M University (tied)

Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:

1)  Harvard University
2)  Louisiana State University
3)  Kansas State University
4)  Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania (tied)

An additional deans and chairs survey asked respondents from 111 academic programs about the top programs and the issues they find significant. According to 84 percent of the professors surveyed, the design professions’ biggest concern is climate change / sustainability while another 64 percent said urbanization. Following this, some 68 percent also thought the most significant change in the curricula over the past five years has been an increased emphasis on sustainable design.

In addition, for the first time, DesignIntelligence surveyed more than 670 landscape architecture students to gauge their satisfaction with 20 programs covered.

To see the full responses from professors and students, purchase the report.

Lastly, DesignIntelligence lists their 25 most admired educators of 2012. This year, the list was dominated by leading landscape architecture educators:

  • Rod Barnett, Associate Professor and Chair, Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, Auburn University
  • James Corner, ASLA, Professor and Department Chair, Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania
  • Hope Hasbrouck, Graduate Advisor and Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin
  • David Hulse, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
  • Judith Kinnard, Chair of Landscape Urbanism and Professor of Architecture, School of Archictecture, Tulane University
  • Margaret Livingston, PhD, ASLA, Professor, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona
  • Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
  • Peter Trowbridge, FASLA, Chair and Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Cornell University
  • Charles Waldheim, Affiliate ASLA, Professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Check out the 2011, 2010, and 2009 program rankings.

Image credit: DesignIntelligence

6 thoughts on “DesignIntelligence 2012 Landscape Architecture Program Rankings

  1. Michael Murray 12/14/2011 / 1:40 pm

    It’s the same schools every year just slightly re-arranged. Why should we care?

  2. 02/24/2012 / 10:27 pm

    University of Guelph rules!

  3. Barbara Abbott 08/05/2012 / 10:23 pm

    What challenges do you think a person 55 years of age would have after completing a degree in landscape architecture? I spent 10 years in the landscape industry, from nursery worker to tree care, and ran a landscape business for 8 of those years. I have a bachelors degree in an unrelated field, and am considering a bachelors in landscape architecture. Thoughts?

  4. Mary C. 09/20/2012 / 9:44 pm

    Barbara, if you can afford to go to school, consider a Masters in Landscape Architecture as you already have a BA in another area. The programs are 3 years. We’ll probably all be working into our 80s now – so investigate transitioning into this profession.

  5. David C. 10/25/2012 / 10:47 am

    This report should be provided at no cost for all to enjoy reading about the “creative” ranking approach that is used…

  6. Yvette M 01/17/2013 / 10:23 am

    What about all the other schools? Is my Masters degree from Morgan State University worthless according to the rankings? I agree that the report should be provided at no cost.

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