USC Architecture Ranked in DesignIntelligence's 2018 Top Ten Architecture Schools

School News

USC Architecture Ranked in DesignIntelligence's 2018 Top Ten Architecture Schools

September 11, 2017

The USC School of Architecture has been distinguished as one of the Top Ten Architecture Schools for 2018 in DesignIntelligence’s (DI) annual rankings. DI rankings are considered to be highly influential and important as measures of success and progress for undergraduate and graduate architecture programs.


The USC B.Arch program was ranked #5, and the USC M.Arch degree program was ranked #9. The DI rankings also placed USC in the top 5 for the following skill sets: sustainability (5), construction methods and materials (4), and research (5). According to a report on the rankings in Architectural Record, the programs “leapt into the Top 10” from previous years.


According to dean Milton S. F. Curry, “The upswing in the rankings of our professional degree programs in architecture is evidence that practitioners and academics in our field recognize the rigor and depth of our curricular offerings and the strength of our faculty. We intend to build on this ascension with new masters-level degrees, enhanced research opportunities for faculty and students, and deeper connections to local and global cities as we strengthen offerings on urbanism.”


For broader context, USC’s undergraduate program jumped from 11 in 2017 to hit the number 5 position for 2018. While the undergraduate program has placed in the Top Ten for many years, this is the first time for the graduate program to break in. This movement up shows the dramatic advances both programs have made over the past year.


“The undergraduate programs have been on an upward trajectory with the re-tooling of the curriculum, the addition of incredibly talented faculty, and an increasingly capable and high-achieving student body,” says Hadrian Predock, director of undergraduate programs. “The current ranking is an exciting accomplishment, and I believe an accurate metric of the program as a whole. We continue to define our identity around inquiry into the future of the city, with Los Angeles acting as a locus for new relations and understandings. In addition, the culture of practice, how we can shape it internally and what it means to future generations, continues to be a central effort at USC.”


DI’s school rankings are based on surveys of hiring managers at firms across the country, seeking their perspective on how design education prepares graduates for a future in the profession. In order to gather insights from the student perspective, DI also sent surveys via email to program deans, chairs, and coordinators to forward to their students. Students were asked to provide more personal insights into their educational experiences at their respective schools and programs.