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New Study Names LSU’s Robert S. Reich School of Landscape Architecture Among Best in U.S.

(Baton Rouge) – For the third consecutive year the LSU Robert S. Reich School of Landscape Architecture is ranked among the top five schools in the nation by Design Intelligence, the leading journal of the design professions. According to the results of the 2008 survey, the School has the No. 2 undergraduate and graduate programs in landscape architecture in the U.S. That’s a slight change from last year, when the undergraduate program was ranked first and the graduate program ranked fifth.

“We couldn’t be more proud of these rankings,” said David Cronrath, dean of the College of Art and Design. “As with rankings in sports, everyone knows your number one team is going to change from year to year, but to consistently be counted in the top five is the true mark of excellence.”

Two other programs within the College also ranked highly in the latest DI survey. The Department of Interior Design’s undergraduate program ranked 4th among comparable programs in the South, while the School of Architecture’s undergraduate program ranked 5th in the South.

“This is extremely significant,” Cronrath said. “One of the criteria for the LSU Flagship Agenda is to have our academic units recognized by national organizations for exceptional quality.”

While U.S. News and World Report has established a nationally recognized ranking system for universities and many university programs, the magazine does not rank design schools. To fill that void, Design Intelligence began its own ranking of accredited programs in architecture, landscape architecture and interior design several years ago. Since then, the Design Intelligence survey has become the established ranking system for design programs across the U.S.

Rankings in the Design Intelligence survey are based on statistical information, professional surveys and academic surveys. Practitioners at leading U.S. landscape architecture firms complete the survey, which asks them which schools have produced the best-prepared graduates during the past five years. LSU’s Robert S. Reich School of Landscape Architecture has been among the top five for the past three years and has made the list of top ten schools every year since the survey began.

“To me this demonstrates the School has a well-rounded and effective educational program,” Conrath said. “It means the faculty is extremely engaged in the academic enterprise and committed to their students’ success, the students are inspired and devoted, and the leadership of the School has a clear vision that is respected by the profession.”