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Top Ten Rankings: UC Interior Design Is No. 1 in Nation, Industrial Design No. 2 and Architecture Is No. 5!

UC pulls rank with its design programs. The undergraduate interior design program was just named No. 1 in the nation for the ninth straight year. Other design programs ranked as high as No. 2 and No. 3, with all – interior design, industrial design and architecture – consistently ranking in the nation’s Top Ten.

Date: 12/13/2007 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Dottie Stover, Lisa Ventre

UC ingot  

The nation’s 2008 “scorecard” for design programs has just been posted, and the University of Cincinnati’s architecture, interior design and industrial design programs continue to build a consistent national following.

In the ninth year of annual surveys of hundreds of professional firms and organizations that hire  architecture, interior design and industrial design graduates, UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning programs are again highly ranked by the country’s leading firms.

Below is a summary of how UC placed in the annual employer poll conducted by the Design Futures Council and the journal, DesignIntelligence, to gauge the schools that best prepare students for professional practice.

DesignIntelligence masthead

UC’s undergraduate interior design is, again, the nation’s No. 1
Once again in 2008, UC’s undergraduate interior design program ranked No. 1 in the nation. This is the ninth straight year that UC’s interior design program has topped a national class, beating out programs at Cornell University, Pratt Institute and all others in the country.

  1. University of Cincinnati
  2. Pratt Institute
  3. Cornell University


UC’s industrial design program is, again, the nation’s No. 2 (undergraduate) and No. 3 (graduate)
Once again in 2008, UC’s undergraduate industrial design program ranked No. 2 in the nation. This is the third straight year that the program has been so highly regarded. In addition, the graduate program in industrial design was ranked No. 3 in the nation (tied with a number of other programs). It’s the second year in a row the graduate industrial design program has been so highly placed.

UC undergraduate industrial design rankings top those at programs located at Carnegie Mellon University, Ohio State University, Pratt Institute, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Similarly, UC’s graduate industrial design program is also ranked ahead of programs like those at Carnegie Mellon and Ohio State.

The complete DesignIntelligence survey report contains a number of sub-rankings, including one where UC’s industrial design program is ranked best in the nation for fostering collaborative learning between students in design, business, engineering and other disciplines.

ID faculty and students
Industrial design faculty Brigid O'Kane with student Eric Erhardt and Billy Herweh.

Undergraduate industrial design programs

  1. Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.)
  2. University of Cincinnati
  3. Ohio State University

Graduate industrial design programs

  1. Illinois Institute of Technology
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of Cincinnati (tied with a number of national programs)


UC architecture programs ranked No. 5 (undergraduate) and No. 7 (graduate)
Architecture education at DAAP again took top honors. UC’s undergraduate architecture program was ranked at No. 5 nationally, ahead of programs at Carnegie Mellon University, Pratt Institute and the University of Notre Dame.

The graduate program in architecture at UC ranked No. 7 in the 2008 survey, ahead of programs at Princeton University, Yale University and the University of Virginia.

The annual survey includes sub-rankings in specialty areas of architecture education. And in these focus areas, UC has an enviable record. For instance, UC was placed as the nation’s No. 4 architecture program for teaching students design skills, ahead of every other program in the country except Harvard, Columbia and Cornell universities. Similarly, UC was named as the nation’s No. 2 architecture program in the teaching of construction methods and materials.

Solar house construction
Architecture graduate students Eric Stear and Luke Field work on UC's solar house project.


UC’s cooperative education program (also nationally ranked in the nation's Top Ten by U.S. News & World Report) is one reason the university is a stand-out in the design fields, according to coverage of these latest DesignIntelligence rankings in the November 2007 issue of Architect magazine. UC is the global founder of what’s commonly known as co-op, the practice that requires students to alternate quarters or semesters in the classroom with quarters or semesters of professionally paid work. Co-op at UC is more than a century old, and the university requires all architecture, interior and industrial design undergraduates to co-op. That means they graduate with about 18 months of professionally paid experience working on prestigious projects throughout the United States and overseas.

Of these UC co-op students, Architect magazine states: “Not surprisingly, they emerge [from school] highly employable… .”  

The complete DesignIntelligence/Design Futures Council survey report of more than 100 pages is available at