USC Architecture Provides Unique Educational Balance

USC Architecture Provides Unique Educational Balance



The Design Intelligence rankings for architecture programs help shape the images of schools and universities, and quantify lots of qualities students look for when considering their educational path. Their categorizations not only show what makes one school stand out among the masses, but also can provide keen insight into the future of architecture as a whole. Recently the popular archdaily newsletter analyzed some of the results, and found several interesting points that highlights USC as a key player in the architectural community. 


[Taken directly from the article]


"There are five lists that are particularly interesting. For the sake of clarity, here they are in full:


  • Communication: Harvard University; Yale University; University of Southern California; Columbia University; University of Michigan
  • Design: Harvard University; Yale University; Columbia University; Southern California Institute of Architecture; University of Southern California
  • Research & Theory: Harvard University; Columbia University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Yale University; Princeton University


  • Construction Methods & Materials: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Auburn University; Kansas State University; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; University of Southern California
  • Sustainable Design Practices & Principles: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; University of California, Berkeley; Auburn University; University of Oregon; University of Southern California

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that these five lists are split into two sets which are very different: while the first set is dominated by Harvard, and features Yale and Columbia prominently, the second set is dominated by Cal Poly, and features Auburn prominently.


The two sets are very nearly mutually exclusive, with only the University of Southern California bridging the gap."


The rest of the article speaks on the fracturing of educational standards in the US - it seems as if most schools either tend towards the technical, construction, and sustainability side, or the more design and theoretical aspects of architecture. USC is shown as truly the only institution that consistently is found in the top 10 in most categories. 


"The University of Southern California seems to be producing uniquely balanced architects, appearing on four of the five lists highlighted and six of the eight lists in total, with their undergraduate program ranked 7th overall. Sadly, the statistics can’t tell us exactly how they achieve this balance – but this university may be one to watch in the future."