More milestones in
quest for excellence

New lists rank Texas A&M landscape architecture
and architecture programs among nation's best


Two recently published reports rank the architecture and landscape architecture programs at Texas A&M University among the nation’s best.

The reports, one a study conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the other, a survey published in the November/December issue of the DesignIntelligence journal, place four of the degree programs offered by the Texas A&M College of Architecture near the top of national and regional rankings in a variety of categories.

“It is extremely rewarding to have two prestigious organizations independently verify the high quality of our architecture and landscape architecture programs,” said J. Thomas Regan, dean of the Texas A&M University College of Architecture. “Recognition of this magnitude is achieved only through the sustained efforts of our outstanding, dedicated faculty and through the demonstrated talent, character and leadership of our graduates. These two verifications of the quality of our faculty and programs are but the latest milestones in our ongoing objective to be recognized as one of the best colleges of architecture in the world.”

One of these reports, an index of scholarly productivity published online by The Chronicle of Higher Education, ranks the Texas A&M architecture doctorate program fourth among U.S. public universities and eighth overall among public and private schools.

In compiling its “Top Research Universities Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index,” The Chronicle examined the scholarly work of faculty associated with architecture Ph.D. programs throughout the United States, taking into account published works, including books and journal articles, journal citations, federal grant dollars awarded, honors and awards.

“The history and practice of the design professions permeate the interdisciplinary inquiry that defines the modern study of architecture,” said Louis G. Tassinary, associate dean for research at the Texas A&M College of Architecture.  “It is therefore quite gratifying to have the quality of our architectural doctoral program affirmed using traditional academic metrics. Evidently one can, on occasion, eat one’s cake and have it too.”

The architecture portion of this index can be viewed on The Chronicle of Higher Education website.

The DesignIntelligence report, “2008 Education Survey and Rankings: America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools,” included several categories in which Texas A&M architecture and landscape architecture programs are highly ranked. The report also recognized a the dean of the Texas A&M College of Architecture and a Texas A&M landscape architecture professor as two of the nation’s most admired educators.

These rankings were determined by a nationwide survey conducted by the Design Futures Council in mid-2007. The survey polled architecture firm leaders who, “during the past five years, have had direct experience in the hiring and performance of recent architecture graduates.” Leading firms were asked which accredited programs best prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s real-world practice.

In this, the organization’s ninth annual survey, the Texas A&M Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program ranked fifth nationally among public institutions and tied with Cornell University for sixth place overall. The Master of Landscape Architecture program also ranked fifth among public institutions and seventh among both private and public schools.

“Clearly, the ranking is a reflection of the relentless dedication of our talented faculty and students, implementation of a strong curricula, substantial investments in technology, and sustained efforts of the department and college to provide the best learning experiences for our students,” said Forster Ndubisi, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M.

On the regional level, survey participants in the seven-state southern region ranked both undergraduate and graduate Texas A&M landscape architecture programs third among all such educational programs nationwide. Additionally, firm leaders in the study’s Western and Midwestern regions placed Texas A&M landscape architecture programs among the nation’s ten best.

The skills assessment portion of the DesignIntelligence survey shows the Texas A&M landscape architecture programs first nationally in computer applications and third nationally in both construction methods and materials and in sustainable design practices and principles.

Also, as part of this survey, firm presidents and managing directors named J. Thomas Regan, dean of the Texas A&M College of Architecture, and Michael D. Murphy, Ph.D., a professor of landscape architecture at Texas A&M, as two of the “25 Most Admired Educators of 2008.”

Regan, a professor of architecture at Texas A&M, has served as dean of the College of Architecture since 1998. Prior to this appointment, he served as dean of architecture colleges at three major universities – Auburn University, North Carolina State University and the University of Miami. As dean, Regan has greatly expanded the global influence of the college of architecture and promoted interdisciplinary collaboration in research and education between faculty in the college’s four departments. He is committed to international study and research as a catalyst for global collaboration in issues related to the built and virtual environments in both education and professional practice.

Murphy, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1969, is interested in interdisciplinary design and programming, environmental planning and design and landscape architecture theory. His 2005 book, “Landscape Architecture Theory: An Evolving Body of Thought,” published by Waveland Press, examines landscape architecture as a process responding to biological, physical and cultural systems.

In the architecture category, the DesignIntelligence report ranked the Master of Architecture program at Texas A&M ninth nationally among public universities. The Texas A&M graduate architecture program was also ranked third overall by the surveyed firms in the study’s southern region.

In the skills assessment category, Texas A&M architecture programs ranked third nationally in construction materials and methods and in computer applications.

There are 115 architecture programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

“We are pleased to receive recognition for our pioneering and innovative programs in architecture. Our faculty and capabilities are unmatched in sustainable architecture, digital fabrication and construction, healthcare facilities design and evidence-based design,” said Mark Clayton, interim head of the Texas A&M Department of Architecture. “The students, alumni and faculty are due this recognition. A&M architects are renowned for their leadership ability, technical knowledge, and design skill,” he continued.  “I expect even greater acclaim as our pioneering efforts in sustainability, healthcare facilities design, evidence-based design, and building information modeling have increasing impacts on the profession.”

Print and PDF copies of “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools,” can be ordered or downloaded for a fee from the DesginIntelligence website at

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