Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- December 06, 2002

Cal Poly Architecture Program Ranks Second in Nation In Professional Journal Poll

A poll of practicing professionals, conducted by a leading architecture and engineering journal, has ranked Cal Poly’s architecture program as the No. 2 architecture school in the nation, second only to Harvard University.

The rankings, released in the November 2002 issue of DesignIntelligence, were the result of a survey of 148 owners, partners and principals at the top private architecture and engineering firms in the United States.

The architecture and engineering leaders responded to the magazine’s question, “In your firm’s hiring experience within the past five years, which schools do you feel have best prepared students for the architecture profession?” Respondents were asked to name up to 10 accredited architecture schools in a survey conducted by the journal in late summer and early fall 2002.

The survey results ranked Cal Poly’s architecture program – part of the university’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design – second, behind only Harvard and ahead of the University of Cincinnati in third place, Cornell University in fourth place, and Yale in fifth place.

University officials said they were honored by the industry assessment of Cal Poly’s architecture program.

"To prepare students for the competing demands of architectural practice has long been an expected outcome of our program. This study is one metric that suggests it is working," said Margot McDonald, interim director of the university’s Architecture Department.

K. Richard Zweifel, interim dean of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, agreed. “Through its exceptional faculty, Cal Poly’s architecture program has a long history of valuing and successfully integrating the complexities of professional practice into its curriculum,” he said.

“The benefits of this approach are affirmed by surveys such as this and in the ability of our graduates to assume leadership roles in a wide range of architectural practice areas,” Zweifel stressed.

DesignIntelligence is published by the Design Futures Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank dealing with architecture, engineering and building technology. Along with the rankings, the magazine also compiled an “Editor’s Choice” list of architecture schools. DesignIntelligence editors, using their own separate criteria, ranked Cal Poly’s architecture program 17th nationally, but noted the program was tied with Yale, Harvard and MIT as the most selective programs in the nation in standards for admitting students.

For the full article, including the list of national architecture and engineering firms surveyed, visit the DesignIntelligence Web site at

Cal Poly’s five-year architecture program first awarded degrees in 1965 and educates an estimated one of every five architects in California. For more details on the department, visit the Cal Poly College of Architecture and Environmental Design Web site at

Contact: Ray Ladd, College of Architecture and Environmental Design (805) 756-7432,

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