Observations for Prospective Students - Department Rankings

DesignIntelligenceArchitecture Program Ranks 1st in 2014

The Architecture Department ranked first in the nation among undergraduate programs in the 2014 DesignIntelligence survey ranking public and private degree programs nationally. Cal Poly’s Architecture program has made the nation’s Top 20 list since 2003 with a ranking of sixth or better. Please see the report here

The Survey also rates the best institutions at preparing students for specific skills. Cal Poly's Program continuous to be ranked the top program in the West with additional skills assessment rankings that position our program as:

  • 1st in Construction Methods and Materials,
  • 2nd in Sustainable Design Practices and Principles,
  • 3rd in Cross-Disciplinary Teamwork,
  • 4th in Analysis and Planning, and
  • 5th in Computer Applications.

In the 2012 introduction, James P. Cramer writes, "California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo continued to hold 4th place. Cal Poly deserves mention as one of the most consistently ranked schools in our research. Prior to this year’s ranking at 4, it achieved rankings as follows: 4, 3, 3, 4, 6, 3, 4, 3 (averaging 3.77 over the past nine years). It is impressive to see a school so highly regarded year after year."

This report gives much resonance to the integrity of our pedagogical responsibilities. Our learn by doing philosophy combines common sense and intellectual curiosity, and our graduates are well positioned to become the next team players in a world of increased complexity. In particular this year’s 2012 Design Intelligence rankings sends a clear message that practitioners recognize the importance of a polytechnic education. The Architecture Department remains ambitious in educating creative leaders who can work in an integrative and interdisciplinary manner; a professional path that continues to be demonstrated successfully by our alumni.

BArch Programs: Ranked by Tuition as of 2010

The listed institutions represent the top twenty three undergraduate architecture programs in the nation as defined by DesignIntelligence. In 2010, the architecture program at Cal Poly ranked the third best undergraduate program in the nation. To see the full rankings, go to our Architecture Program Ranking web page.

Cal Poly’s program is $34,712 below the most expensive ($40,910 Carnegie Mellon University) and $1,641 above the least expensive ($4,952 Virginia Polytechnic Institute) as reflected in the chart below based on Winter 2010 data.

DesignIntelligence Programs

Rank University Tuition & Fees
1 Oklahoma State University $4,557
2 Virginia Polytechnic Institute $4,952
3 University of Arizona $5,933
4 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo $6,198
5 Iowa State University $6,651
6 Auburn University $6,924
7 University of Arkansas $7,382
8 University of Oregon $8,006
9 University of Texas at Austin $9,808
10 Southern California Institute of Architecture $12,675
11 Boston Architectural College $15,340
12 Pennsylvania State University $18,674
13 Illinois Institute of Technology $30,212
14 Rice University $32,058
15 Pratt Institute $33,300
16 Cooper Union $33,000
17 Syracuse University $34,928
18 Rhode Island School of Design $36,659
19 University of Southern California $37,694
20 Cornell University $37,954
21 University of Notre Dame $38,480
22 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute $39,165
23 Carnegie Mellon University $40,910

California Programs

The listed institutions represent the Bachelor of Architecture programs in California.

Cal Poly’s program is $26,706 below the most expensive ($32,904 California College of the Arts, CCA) as reflected in the chart below based on Winter 2009 data.

Rank University Tuition & Fees
1 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona $5,077
2 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo $6,198
3 Berkeley $19,800
4 Academy of Art University (San Francisco) $20,343
5 New School of Architecture and Design (San Diego) $20,850
6 Woodbury University (Los Angeles) $29,476
7 California College of the Arts, CCA (San Francisco) $32,904

Cal Poly Named Tops In the West for 20th Year by US News

For the 20th straight year, Cal Poly has been rated the best public-master’s university in the West in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 America’s Best Colleges guidebook. Cal Poly ranked sixth in the magazine’s overall list of the West’s best universities, including both public and private institutions that provide “a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.”

U.S. News ranks colleges that grant doctoral degrees, such as those in the University of California system, in a separate category. “Being named Best in the West for 20 straight years is a terrific acknowledgment of Cal Poly’s sustained excellence over a long period of time,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “The credit belongs to our faculty and staff for their unwavering dedication and commitment to our students’ success, and it underscores the power of our Learn by Doing philosophy.”

For additional information, go to U.S. News

Cal Poly Admissions Statistics

For a more comprehensive understanding of Cal Poly's historical trend data on admissions, enrollment, degrees awarded, faculty/staff data, and financial aid, see the following documents:

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