Sources: Tim de Noble, 785-532-5950, tdenoble@k-state.edu;
Stephanie Rolley, 785-532-5961, srolley@k-state.edu;
Matthew Knox, 785-532-5953, mknox@k-state.edu; and
Katherine Ankerson, 785-532-5992, ankerson@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu

Friday, Nov. 4, 2011

Designed for excellence: College of Architecture, Planning and Design boasts three top-10 programs

MANHATTAN -- To get a design education at the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University is to get one of the best in the country.

DesignIntelligence magazine ranked all three of the college's eligible programs among the top 10 graduate programs in the nation, according to the newly released "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools 2012" issue. The landscape architecture program is No. 3 in the country; the architecture program is No. 5; interior architecture and product design ranks as the seventh best program in the U.S.

"These rankings, based on the perceptions and experiences of design professionals across the nation, are testament to the work ethic, intellectual rigor and seriousness to purpose of our students and faculty, as well as the wonderful support of our administrative team," said Tim de Noble, dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design. "In this case, perception is reality; these rankings and skill assessments are clear indicators of the vitality of the allied design professions housed in our college and the potency of our interdisciplinary collaboration."

The DesignIntelligence data is compiled by surveying professional practice leaders about which schools are best preparing students for successful careers in the design professions. A total of 277 professional practice organizations participated in the research for the 2012 rankings.

The landscape architecture program is the third-ranked graduate program in the country and the highest ranked graduate program in the Midwest. The landscape architecture graduate program has placed in the top eight every year since DesignIntelligence began ranking landscape architecture programs in 2005.

The landscape architecture program was also ranked third nationally in educating students in design skills by professional firms. One hundred percent of K-State landscape architecture students polled rated the quality of the program as excellent or above average.

"We are thrilled to have such a strong vote of confidence from today's employers," said Stephanie Rolley, head of the department of landscape architecture and regional and community planning. "This ranking recognizes the dynamic combination of the long-standing strength of our traditional post-baccalaureate master's degree track and our new innovative, first-in-the-country non-baccalaureate master's degree track. Our students and faculty are very deserving of this wonderful recognition."

The architecture program is the fifth-ranked graduate program in the U.S. and the highest ranked graduate program at a public institution. The architecture program has been ranked on DesignIntelligence's list 10 out of 13 possible times, either on the graduate list or the undergraduate list, prior to the conversion to the five-year non-baccalaureate master's program in 2006. The K-State graduate program also was selected as best in the nation by firms in the Midwest.

In assessing skills preparation, professional firms selected the architecture program as the best in the country at educating student in sustainable design practices and principles, and second in developing analysis and planning skills, construction methods and materials training, and cross-disciplinary teamwork. The firms ranked the program third in the country in design skills and communication skills, and fourth at computer applications skills.

"It is great to see the effort undertaken by our students to learn and develop a broad range of skills so important to practice is being gracefully translated into their professional endeavors," said Matt Knox, interim department head of architecture. "A strong and passionate faculty, coupled with motivated and passionate students, makes for the consistent production of graduates able to contribute to practice and become leaders in architecture and design locally, regionally, nationally and beyond."

The interior architecture and product design program was chosen as the seventh best graduate program in the nation in the interior design rankings, and it is one of only three ranked graduate programs that is Council for Interior Design Accreditation accredited. Interior architecture and product design is also the highest ranked graduate program in the Midwest. The program has been ranked in the top eight in 12 of 13 years, either on the graduate list or the undergraduate list, prior to the establishment of the five-year non-baccalaureate master's program in 2006.

The firms selected the program as the second best nationally in preparing students in the area of cross-disciplinary teamwork and third in communication skills.

"The faculty and staff of the department of interior architecture and product design are very proud of this recognition, and our students and alumni should be as well," said Katherine Ankerson, head of the department of interior architecture and product design. "We have intertwined the three distinct areas of interior architecture, product design and furniture design into a strong program of study where innovation and the art of 'making' intersect, and where evidence-based design plays an increasingly important role in the education of students who we know will contribute mightily to the design professions."

The College of Architecture, Planning and Design's graduate programs are accredited five-year master's programs, meaning students can come directly from high school and graduate five years later with a professional master's degree.

For more information, please contact Emily Vietti, communications and events coordinator for the college, at 785-532-1090 or evietti@k-state.edu. For information on the full rankings list, contact DesignIntelligence editor Jane Gaboury at 678-879-0929 or jgaboury@di.net.