Industrial Design Graduate School Rankings

Here are the rankings for Industrial Design GRADUATE programs. They may not be indicative of the undergrad program,which could be stronger or less strong than those listed.For example, I would never pick Ohio State over Cincinnati for undergraduate industrial design. These are the 2008 rankings from US News:

Fine Arts Specialty Rankings: Industrial Design
Ranked in 2008

1 Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA
2 Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI
3 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
4 Pratt Institute Brooklyn, NY
5 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
6 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
7 Cranbrook Academy of Art Bloomfield Hills, MI
8 California College of the Arts San Francisco, CA
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
10 Arizona State University Tempe, AZ
University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL

There are a number of surveys that post rankings based on different criteria. What does US News base it’s findings on?

Posted on UC’s website: Another survey conducted by the Design Futures Council and the journal DesignIntelligence polled design employers to gauge the schools that best prepare students for professional practice.

Their findings:

Undergraduate industrial design programs

  1. Art Center College of Design
  2. University of Cincinnati
  3. Ohio State University

Graduate industrial design programs

  1. Illinois Institute of Technology
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of Cincinnati (tied with a number of national programs)

Wish I could see the whole list, but I’m not going to pay $30 to satisfy curiosity.

what’s the criteria?

and who at US news made the list?

some of these programs seem highly questionable, or at least to be ranked as top 10

These programs vary greatly in focus. Research? Form giving? Human Factors? Pedagogy? Technology? Theory?

It seems silly to reduce them to a top 10 list, let alone a top 3.

Overall, the US News criteria have come under fire, and some small liberal arts colleges refuse to participate because of the bias created by certain criteria, for example: alumni donations. (which is possibly a great way to evaluate the sucess for a biz school but less so for other schools.) They argue that all their criteria are objective - things like teacher to student ratio. they admit it’s an imperfect system. the problem, (as we face all the time in our jobs) is people need shortcuts for making purchace desicions and these rankings eliminate lots of schools from getting the consideration they deserve.
I don’t believe they change their criteria for the Art/Design category, they used to just list them in no particular order.

Yes, the US News ranking methodology has come under fire. HOWEVER, sometimes perception becomes reality. Many employers see these rankings,which does impact the employer’s views. Rankings also help in geting more applications and better students,which inturn improve the perception of the schools by employers.

Result: Higher rankings increase the perceived reputation…period