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University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Art and Architecture Building
University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Art and Architecture Building, Location: Knoxville TN, Architect: Bruce McCarty

UT’s College of Architecture and Design has been recognized in several categories in the most recent national rankings report released by DesignIntelligence, the preeminent source of design program rankings.

The School of Architecture’s undergraduate architecture program ranked 15th among all public universities and eighth in the most-hired-from rankings compared to peer institutions of its size. It was the fifth time the school has been ranked by DesignIntelligence in recent years.

Also ranked among the most-hired-from programs in the United States were the School of Interior Architecture (ninth) and the School of Landscape Architecture (10th). Interior architecture moved up two places from 2018, while landscape architecture rose by eight.

The 2019–20 rankings convey hiring practices over five years as reported by more than 9,000 design firms nationwide.

“Rankings provide a valued external perspective of our creative culture, innovative programs, faculty distinction, and student excellence,” said Scott Poole, dean of the college. “These accolades reflect the hard work and dedication of each professor, student, and staff member in our college as well as our devoted alumni who choose to hire our graduates.”

The report named Rana Abudayyeh, Robin Klehr Avia Professor of Interior Design, among its most admired educators of 2019. The designation was based on input from thousands of design professionals, academic department heads, and students.

Abudayyeh, who joined the college in 2015, has broad experience in teaching, professional practice, and innovative research.

“Design education is a diverse endeavor that involves weaving culture, technology, geography, and aesthetics into a curriculum for students,” Abudayyeh said. “I believe strongly in the role of design education and am truly humbled by the recognition. The dedication and energy of my students are a continuous source of inspiration for me.”

Faculty members previously recognized among the most admired educators include James Rose, Distinguished Lecturer in the School of Architecture (2016), Ryann Aoukar, former associate professor of interior design (2015), and Poole (2014 and 2012).

The report is compiled annually by the Design Futures Council, whose research ranks undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of professional practice leaders with direct experience in hiring and supervising recent architecture and design graduates.



Brian Canever (865-974-0937,

Amanda Johnson (865-974-6401,