Topic: College of Architecture and Planning

December 4, 2009

Ball State University's landscape architecture programs have earned the highest distinction from Design Intelligence.

Ball State was placed in the top level of the 2010 edition of "The Cramer Report: America's World-Class Landscape Architecture Schools." "The Cramer Report" initiated a classification system for its rankings that looks at multidimensional levels of landscape architecture programs, rather than simply the one-year ranking. The first year for "The Cramer Report" was 2009, when it reported Ball State's architecture program as "world-class."

"We like the Cramer Report because it is not a one-year snapshot, it is multiyear; Design Intelligence considers the track record of the school, which is for our benefit because we have been ranking on a sustained basis," said Guillermo Vasquez de Velasco, dean of the College of Architecture and Planning.

Vasquez de Velasco says this report is "more holistic" because, in addition to asking practitioners what schools they tend to hire from, the report also carefully inspects the history of the programs, dean and department chair surveys, student-faculty ratios, infrastructures and accreditation by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board.

The new system places programs in three categories: highest distinction, high distinction and notable distinction. Garnering highest distinction alongside Ball State are Cornell University, Harvard University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, as well as 11 others.

With this ranking, the program is recognized on its merits, and the recognition can help it continue to attract the best students and faculty, noted Vasquez de Velasco.

"It's also a good thing for our former students to have their degrees continue to be recognized as coming from a top school," he said.

Ball State's landscape architecture programs consistently rank highly, with the undergraduate program in the top 10 for the past four years and the graduate program in the top 10 for the past three years.

By Aly Brumback