Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design, part of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has once again earned high marks in national rankings for both its programs and its faculty. 

The school’s programs in architecture, interior design, industrial design, and landscape architecture were reviewed in surveys of professional organizations, deans and department heads, and current students. In addition to strong rankings and satisfaction for the school’s programs, Hilary Bryon, an assistant professor of architecture, was recognized as one of the top 30 educators in the nation.

Most Admired Educator 

Assistant Professor of Architecture Hilary Bryon was listed as a Most Admired Educator for 2014. The report recognizes 30 exemplary educators within the areas of architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture who are selected by DesignIntelligence staff with extensive input from thousands of design professionals, academic department heads, and students.

Describing her, the report stated, “Hilary Bryon is one of those professors whose passion for architecture is addicting and contagious. She instills excitement for architecture in her first year students, shares great knowledge about the history of architecture, and takes the time to understand students. Bryon provides trusted advice to students of all levels and is highly respected for her wisdom.”

Architecture rankings

Based on the survey of professional firms, the undergraduate architecture program ranked fifth in the nation, and the graduate program ranked 12th. Architecture also ranked among the top in the nation for educating students on construction methods and materials.

Virginia Tech ranked third among architecture schools in the south; defined as encompassing Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia; for both its graduate and undergraduate programs.

The Deans Survey ranked Virginia Tech second in the category of Most Admired Undergraduate Architecture Programs, “For its emphasis on research, innovative pedagogy, and design rigor.” A student survey returned positive results for student satisfaction, and was ranked among the highest nationwide for overall satisfaction with 96 percent reporting that they, ”Believe they’ll be well prepared for their profession upon graduation.

Industrial design rankings

The undergraduate industrial design program ranked fourth, tied with the Georgia Institute of Technology, among the top industrial design schools in the south and was also ranked fourth on the list of Most Admired Undergraduate Industrial Design Programs in the Industrial Design Deans Survey. The student survey reflected satisfaction well above average, with 82 percent of students ranking the program as excellent — the highest percentage of any of the listed schools — and another 13 percent ranking it above average. Additionally, 100 percent of students reported that they feel well prepared for their profession upon graduation.

Interior design rankings

Based on rankings by hiring firms, the undergraduate interior design program ranked fifth nationally, which is up one spot from last year’s sixth-place ranking. The program ranked second in the south and was recognized for being among the strongest in educating students in the areas of communication, research and theory, computer applications, and cross-disciplinary teamwork. In the student survey, 100 percent reported that they believe they will be well prepared for their profession upon graduation.

Landscape architecture rankings

In a survey of professional firms, the undergraduate landscape architecture program ranked 15th in the nation and tied for fourth in the south. Like the other programs in the school, students responded positively to the program, with 94 percent reporting that they felt well prepared for their future careers.

DesignIntelligence conducts survey research on behalf of the Design Futures Council and publishes architecture and design school rankings each year in its November/December issue. It is the only national college ranking survey focused exclusively on design. Deans and chairs from more than 119 academic programs in architecture, interior design, industrial design, and landscape architecture, along with more than 1,100 professional practice organizations in the same fields, participated in the 14th annual survey, which was conducted in mid-2013, and more than 4,855 students completed satisfaction surveys about their education.



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