Hometown Glory

Owls rule: Rice University receives most admired honors in important new national rankings

Owls rule: Rice University earns most admired honors in new ranking

Rice University school of architecture students in class
Rice University architect majors at work in class. Arc.Rice.edu
Sarah Whiting, William Ward Watkin Professor and Dean of Architecture, Rice University, Houston
Sarah Whiting, dean of Rice University's school of architecture. HolsimFoundation.org
Rice University school of architecture students in class
Sarah Whiting, William Ward Watkin Professor and Dean of Architecture, Rice University, Houston

Rice University's School of Architecture is getting a lot of love these days.

The undergraduate program is the recipient of the most-admired architecture department honors in the nation in an annual survey of 78 architecture deans and department heads released by DesignIntelligence and the Design Futures Council. The school was named No. 1 in the South for both undergraduate and graduate education.

Members of the DesignIntelligence staff also named dean Sarah Whiting, the William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture at Rice, one of the 30 most-admired educators for 2015.

 "Architecture is equal parts material and intellectual culture, and our students relish both." 

In overall rankings, Rice School of Architecture kept its No. 3 designation for undergraduate education and tied for seventh place with The University of Pennsylvania among the top graduate programs in the country.

"It’s always terrific to have outside confirmation that things are going well," Whiting said in a statement. "We see it every day in the school with the work our faculty and students are producing.

"However, to have our students go well beyond our demanding course work to surprise us with innovations like the Soundworm! and Architectronica is even more gratifying to me than rankings. Architecture is equal parts material and intellectual culture, and our students relish both."

For the second year in a row in this survey, Cornell University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, retained the top two undergraduate positions. Harvard University came in first in the graduate ranking, followed by Columbia University, Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University and the University of Michigan.