Topic: College of Architecture and Planning

January 18, 2008

Ball State University's landscape architecture program has again been ranked among the nation's best and tops in the Midwest by Design Intelligence.

The 2008 edition of "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools" ranked the undergraduate program as the fourth best in the nation — an improvement over last year's fifth-place ranking — and the best in the Midwest. The graduate program ranks fifth in the nation (previously it did not ranked in the top 15) and second in the Midwest.

"It's certainly an honor to see our programs continue to improve their national positions. It's quite a tremendous recognition for our department," said Malcolm Cairns, chairman of the landscape architecture department. "We're consistently earning such rankings in surveys of the nation's elite programs, which says quite a lot about our faculty, students and alumni."

Along with earning high overall rankings, the landscape architecture department scored impressively in skills assessment categories:

  • research and theory — second
  • sustainable design practices and principles — second
  • analysis and planning — third
  • design — fifth
  • computer applications — fifth

Design Intelligence's annual ranking of design education programs is based on the hiring experiences of leading U.S. employers that are polled regarding which programs accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accrediting Board produce the most professional, best-prepared graduates.

Through Ball State's program, landscape architecture students plan and design land and outdoor spaces for human use, enjoyment, safety, health and welfare. They also learn to integrate the work of architects, engineers, planners, ecologists, geographers, and physical and social scientists.

"Our students do well in practice because they have had a strong educational foundation and also because they have had excellent contacts with our alumni and the practicing professional community," Cairns said.