Cornell Holds No. 1 Rank As America's Top Undergraduate Architecture School

Students and faculty seated in chairs examine an architectural model

First-year B.Arch. final reviews, spring 2017. William Staffeld / AAP

September 5, 2017

For the fourth consecutive year, Cornell University retained its leading position for undergraduate programs nationwide in the 2018 rankings of top architecture schools published in Architectural Record. Cornell's professional Master of Architecture program (M.Arch.) is ranked number three in the annual survey titled "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools."

Conducted by DesignIntelligence (DI), the rankings are based on surveys of students and hiring professionals at firms, and broken down into skill sets including the schools best for research, design, sustainability, and construction knowledge. More than 2,600 hiring professionals and 4,300 students participated in the surveys.

Andrea L. Simitch, the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow and chair of the department, remarked, "Not only are our students exceptionally committed, creative, and talented with an unparalleled work ethic, but our faculty are dedicated to both the fundamental principles of architectural education and the rapid advances of design thinking and design making in an evolving environment.

"Together with facilities and staff that support the students in every way," Simitch added, "we are fortunate to graduate versatile professionals prepared to engage the discipline with unabated resilience, optimism, and responsibility."

"Those of us who are at Cornell every day know that we have incredibly talented and hardworking students, extremely dedicated faculty, and that the work is consequently the highest quality," said Caroline O'Donnell, director of the department's M.Arch. program. "It's great to see that excellence is acknowledged in the discipline at large."

According to DI's studies, 40 percent of students plan to seek employment in a private practice, a decrease of 17 percent compared to 2017, and many said they will look for jobs in the corporate sector after graduation.

The Top 10 Architecture Undergraduate Programs
1. Cornell University
2. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
3. Syracuse University
4. Virginia Tech
5. University of Southern California
6. Rice University
7. University of Texas, Austin
8. Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)
9. Pratt Institute
10. Rhode Island School of Design

The Top 10 Architecture Graduate Programs
1. Harvard University
2. Columbia University
3. Cornell University
4. Yale University
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
6. University of California, Los Angeles
7. University of Pennsylvania
8. University of California, Berkeley
9. University of Southern California
10. Washington University, St. Louis

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