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KNOXVILLE — For the first time ever, the undergraduate architecture program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is ranked in a list that recognizes the top architecture programs in the country.

The architecture program ranked 20th in the 2011 Top 20 Architecture Programs list by DesignIntelligence, a journal produced by the Design Futures Council. The list is featured in the November issue of the journal.

DesignIntelligence ranks undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture based upon which programs best prepare students for professional practice. The research used to determine the rankings was gathered from professional practice leaders who have direct experience in hiring and in evaluating the performance of recent architecture and design graduates.

“We have an extremely gifted student body, which makes the task of teaching design much easier,” said Scott Wall, director of the School of Architecture. “The work that we do within the architecture curriculum, not only within our foundation design program, but also with the advent of design-build projects, transcends the boundaries of a traditional architecture education.

“We are collectively excited for the future of our program and our graduates in the field. We believe that this ranking will support the development of a robust and strategically integrated set of graduate programs. We’d like to follow this accolade with others in an ever-expanding discipline.”

Only one other SEC institution, Auburn University, was included in the top 20 list.

The DesignIntelligence rankings issue also features results from student surveys. Among all undergraduate architecture students in the country surveyed, 92 percent believe they will be well-prepared for their profession upon graduation. In the UT undergraduate architecture program, 97 percent of students surveyed feel well-prepared for the profession. Seventy percent of the UT students who were surveyed ranked the quality of their program as excellent, and 78 percent plan to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited, meaning that they will have a certifiable understanding of green building practices and principles.

DesignIntelligence first published “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools” rankings 12 years ago. Beginning in 2004, DesignIntelligence began ranking undergraduate and graduate programs separately. For more information about DesignIntelligence and the rankings, visit


Scott Wall, (865-974-5267,

Kristi Hintz, (865-974-3993,