DesignIntelligence 2013 Landscape Architecture Program Rankings

DesignIntelligence released its 2013 landscape architecture graduate and undergraduate program rankings. For the third year, Louisiana State University came in at the top of undergraduate landscape architecture programs and, for the ninth 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 13th 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 392 “professional practice” organizations (up by more than 150 more from last year) answered questions about how well prepared graduates are from different undergraduate and graduate programs. Some 80 percent said they “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the state of landscape architecture education in the U.S. Some 66 percent found that graduating students had an “adequate understanding” of biology, biodiversity, and environmental degradation. Some 61 percent thought their firms benefited from the new ideas about sustainability that recent graduates brought with them.

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

  • Maintaining Design Quality (51 percent)
  • Sustainability / Climate Change (48 percent)
  • Speed of Technological Change (38 percent)
  • Integrated Design (37 percent)
  • Retaining Quality Staff in Design Practices (34 percent)

Interestingly, the order of issues this year is identical to last year.

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) Virginia Polytechnic and State University
3) Pennsylvania State University
4) Kansas State University
5) Texas A&M University

Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:

1) Harvard University
2) Virginia Polytechnic and State University
3) Cornell University / Louisiana State University (tied)
5) University of Virginia

An additional deans and chairs survey asked leaders of 57 landscape architecture academic programs about the top programs and the issues they find significant. According to a whopping 88 percent of the professors surveyed, the design profession’s biggest concern is climate change / sustainability, while another 52 percent said urbanization.

Among the biggest changes to curricula in the last 5 years: some 62 percent thought it was the greater “emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and integrated practice,” while 59 percent thought it was the increased focus on sustainable design.

In addition, for the second year, DesignIntelligence surveyed 676 landscape architecture students to gauge their satisfaction with the 20 programs covered.

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

Check out the 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009 program rankings.

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