AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University’s landscape architecture, interior design and architecture programs are ranked among the top 25 in the United States, according to the latest survey of practitioners by DesignIntelligence.

The survey ranked Iowa State’s undergraduate landscape architecture program the 10th most admired in the nation for 2019-2020. ISU’s undergraduate interior design program ranked 15th and the undergraduate architecture program 22nd. Iowa State’s graduate landscape architecture program ranked 22nd. Architecture, interior design and landscape architecture are in the College of Design.

DesignIntelligence Quarterly is a publication for leaders in design professions. The journal’s annual report, “America’s Top-Ranked Architecture and Design Schools,” is the only national college ranking survey that focuses exclusively on design. Rankings cover accredited programs in architecture, interior architecture/interior design and landscape architecture. Published on di-rankings.com, the 20th annual survey was conducted in May and June 2019 on behalf of the Design Futures Council.

The DesignIntelligence survey ranks programs from the perspective of leading practitioners who hire and supervise recent graduates in each of the design fields represented. Professionals were asked about the schools they most admire, the ones they hire from the most and how recent graduates are performing in 12 key focus areas.

Most admired programs

Landscape architecture
Iowa State’s undergraduate landscape architecture program is No. 10 this year. It has consistently been ranked among the top 15 programs for 14 of the past 15 years (DesignIntelligence began ranking landscape architecture programs in 2005).

There are 47 accredited landscape architecture undergraduate programs in the US, of which 29 — like Iowa State’s — are professional bachelor of landscape architecture (BLA) programs.

ISU’s graduate landscape architecture program ranked 22nd among 53 accredited graduate programs in the US and Puerto Rico, of which all are master of landscape architecture (MLA) programs.

Among the 12 focus areas, ISU’s BLA program ranked sixth in project planning and management; seventh in healthy built environments and in practice management; eighth in communication and presentation skills, construction materials and methods, and research; ninth in design theory and practice, engineering fundamentals, and transdisciplinary collaboration across architecture/engineering/construction; and 10th in sustainable built environments/adaptive design/resilient design.

The ISU landscape architecture department has 108 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate majors and 13 tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Interior design
Iowa State’s undergraduate interior design program ranked 15th this year.

There are 169 accredited undergraduate interior design programs in the United States, Canada, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, of which 87 are professional bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of interior architecture, bachelor of design with a major in interior design or bachelor of interior design programs. There are four accredited online programs.

The ISU interior design department has 191 undergraduate majors and seven tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Iowa State’s undergraduate architecture program ranked 22nd. It has ranked in the top 25 for 15 of the past 17 years.

There are 58 accredited undergraduate architecture programs in the US, Puerto Rico, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates, all of which are professional bachelor of architecture programs.

There are 332 undergraduate majors and 21 tenured or tenure-track faculty in architecture at Iowa State.

Most hired-from programs

In an additional “Most Hired From” ranking by DesignIntelligence, schools were grouped into size categories based on the average number of graduates each year in their combined undergraduate and graduate programs. Iowa State’s interior design and landscape architecture programs ranked seventh among the most hired-from schools in their cohorts. Iowa State’s architecture program is 10th in its cohort.


Deborah Hauptmann, Architecture, (515) 294-7185, deborah@iastate.edu
Lee Cagley, Interior Design, (515) 294-9869, lcagley@iastate.edu
Carl Rogers, Landscape Architecture, (515) 294-5334, rogersc@iastate.edu
Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Design Administration, (515) 294-7427, lrico@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu
Chelsea Davis, News Service, (515) 294-4778, chelsead@iastate.edu