UO architecture programs score high in national ranking

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Jan. 26, 2009) - A special edition of the journal DesignIntelligence recognized the University of Oregon's department of architecture for its commitment to teaching sustainable design. The publication ranks the country's top architecture and design schools each year.

In the category of skills assessment for sustainable design concepts and principles, the university's programs in architecture tied for first place with University of California at Berkeley. UO's undergraduate architecture program ranked 18th overall. The National Architectural Accrediting Board reports that there are 142 accredited architecture programs in the U.S. with 54 of the programs offering undergraduate professional degrees.

"It is a great honor to share first place among a growing team of national architectural programs focused on the broad scope of sustainability," said Frances Bronet, dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts (AAA). "AAA's sustainability leadership comes from decades of innovation, integrated and excellent design, rigorous work and many partnerships and collaborations amongst students, faculty and internal and external constituents."

The editors of DesignIntelligence also listed the UO program as a "Program of High Distinction" in the special report. The report rates programs based on a 10-year review of ratings by professional practice firms, dean's survey results and external analysis.

"The current rankings are an indicator that UO graduates make meaningful contributions to design practices and have gained important skills from faculty expertise in sustainable design," said Christine Theodoropoulos, head of the architecture department. "Graduates from Oregon are well prepared and have earned respect from practitioners for many years. "

UO's interior architecture program was voted in the top two graduate programs admired by deans. It was cited for its strong applied design with theory and its variety of approaches to graduate studies not offered at other institutions. The program's undergraduate education ranked ninth in the nation. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation reports that there are 145 undergraduate interior design programs in the U.S.

"We take deep pride in our program's consistently high rankings. Our curriculum and dedicated faculty provide approaches and opportunities to educate students in excellent and unusual ways not found in other schools," said Alison Snyder, interior architecture program director.

DesignIntelligence is a monthly publication produced by the Design Futures Council, a Washington D.C.-based think tank exploring trends, changes and innovation in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. The annual rankings edition was established 10 years ago. Surveys for the rankings were conducted in mid-2008, tapping industry leaders and private sector professionals who have had direct experience in the hiring and performance evaluation of recent architecture and design graduates. More than 200 respondents were asked which accredited programs have best prepared students for today's real-world practices.

The UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts offers accredited professional degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture and product design.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 62 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contacts: Julie Brown, UO media relations, 541-346-3185, julbrown@uoregon.edu; Karen Johnson, AAA external relations and communications, 541-346-3603, karenjj@uoregon.edu

Links: DesignIntelligence, http://www.di.net/archschools/schools.html; UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts, http://aaa.uoregon.edu; Council for Interior Design Accreditation, http://www.accredit-id.org; National Architectural Accrediting Board, http://www.naab.org