Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Architecture school ranked 4th in nation

WU’s rankings over the years:

2011
4th
2010
9th
2009
11th

A recent ranking of architecture schools placed Washington University’s Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, fourth in the nation.

The ranking of “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools” was published by Greenway Communications last week. It appeared in the most recent issue of DesignIntelligence, a design trade journal published bimonthly.

The Graduate School of Architecture was ranked ninth last year and 11th in 2009.

The ranking is determined by surveys sent across architecture and design firms, said Bruce Lindsey, dean of the College of Architecture.

He attributes the school’s recent success to its faculty and graduates.

“[It] reflects the good work of our alumni—our alums work in firms all across the world,” Lindsey said. “Our school is known for educating architects that are effective right after college. They are known for their knowledge in design, technology, history theory and sustainability.”

According to DesignIntellegence’s website, the study targets employers in architecture and design firms who hire graduates directly out of school. Firms then answer, in their experience, which schools from the past five years have best prepared their students for success in the industry.

The survey then asks employers to evaluate students’ knowledge of design, sustainability, analysis and planning, construction methods and materials, research and theory, communication skills and computer ability.

Kathryn Dean, director of the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, said the ranking reflects the quality of the school’s faculty and program.

“I’ve worked in academia for over 17 years before coming here and Wash. U. has the most dedicated faculty I have ever worked with,” she said. “We raise our standards every day.”

Dean has worked at the University for three-and-a-half years. Before coming to Sam Fox, she served on the faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

She added that the school has progressed significantly during her short tenure at the University.

“We’ve completely revised the curriculum. The faculty is very creative [and] we work together in small-working groups to tackle different issues,” Dean said.

She also noted pride in the students who live up to the high standards their teachers set for them.

“The students here are absolutely wonderful to work with,” Dean said.

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878