Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- June 3, 2005

Cal Poly Architecture Program Ranks in Top Five of National Survey

Landscape Architecture Program Named Best Undergraduate Program in the West

A national poll of practicing architects has ranked Cal Poly’s undergraduate architecture program as one of the best in the United States at producing “graduates most prepared for real-world practice.” For the first time, a separate ranking for landscape architecture education was added and Cal Poly’s program ranked first in the western United States.

The survey, conducted for the architecture and engineering journal DesignIntelligence rated Cal Poly’s program fourth in the nation among bachelor of architecture degree programs, behind only Cornell University, University of Cincinnati, and Rice University.

The magazine also polled within regions because, it said, it has found that reputations sometimes are better at a distance than near home. Cal Poly topped the Western region bachelor’s program rankings for the third year in a row.

This year a separate survey ranked landscape architecture education. Cal Poly ranked eighth nationally and was rated the best landscape architecture school in the West.

Additionally, survey participants were asked which school provided the best preparation for specialized areas of practice in landscape architecture. In the areas of design, construction methods and materials, and computer applications, Cal Poly’s landscape architecture program ranked in the top ten.

R. Thomas Jones, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design is proud that Cal Poly’s architecture and landscape architecture programs ranked “best in the west” for undergraduates. “When you look at the national rankings we compare favorably with some of the most exclusive universities in the nation,” said Jones. “Within the constraints of state funding, we have managed to attract and retain extraordinary faculty, and created invaluable partnerships with outstanding professionals. Our past graduates are leaders in their fields and their success generates an abundance of bright and motivated applicants to our programs,” adds Jones.

The survey also identified Jones as one of the 30 most respected educators, for “bridging the practice of architecture with higher education,” by leading practitioners from throughout the United States.

The rankings, included in the 2005 America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools, published by DesignIntelligence, were the result of a survey mailed last summer to the partners, principals and personnel directors at more than 1,000 firms throughout the United States. They were asked to reflect on graduates they hired during the past five years and consider how prepared they were for the real-world.

DesignIntelligence is published by the Design Futures Council, a Washington, D.C. based think tank dealing with architecture, engineering and building technology.

Cal Poly’s five-year architecture program first awarded degrees in 1965 and has educated an estimated one in every five architects in California. The landscape architecture program, the only 5-year bachelor’s degree of its kind in the state, was first awarded in 1974. More information on the department is available on the college’s Web site,

Contact: Ray Ladd, (805) 756-7432,

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