Students in West Virginia University’s landscape architecture program can now know that they’ve prepared for their profession in one of the 10 best programs in the nation.

That’s according to a recent survey conducted by “Design Intelligence,” the bi-monthly publication of the Design Future Council. The council is an interdisciplinary network of design, product and construction leaders exploring global trends, challenges and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of the industry and environment.

The ninth-place ranking of WVU’s undergraduate landscape architecture program was revealed in the 11th edition of “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools.” The rankings are based on an assessment of programs and education trends in architecture, landscape architecture, interior and industrial design.

For the survey, respondents from 381 private-practice firms and other organizations, which are listed in the report, answered questions in four separate surveys about the level of preparedness they experienced in hiring graduates over the past five years. They also answered other questions relating to educational and professional issues.

“The ranking is a reflection on the quality and loyalty of our alumni and graduating students,” said Charlie Yuill, associate professor and chair of landscape architecture and environmental design in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “The ranking comes from an extensive survey of landscape architectural design firms so obviously our students are very well thought of in the real world of environmental design.”

Cameron Hackney, dean of the college, concurs: “The raking is the result of the fact that we have some of the most career-ready graduates in the country.” He added that the Davis College has invested more than $1 million in the landscape architecture program over the last few years, updating studio spaces and equipment and adding faculty lines.

The undergraduate program, accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects, features four years of intensive, increasingly complex studio instruction. Service learning is incorporated throughout the four-year program, and students are required to complete a professional internship during their time at WVU. They are also encouraged to study abroad in programs like WVU’s Disegno Italia.

Another advantage for WVU’s landscape architecture students is the co-location of their program in a college with extensive offerings in areas such as horticulture, soil science and community development. The Davis College’s Horticulture program offers a landscape management emphasis in its major, along with a minor.

WVU’s Landscape Architecture program recently received approval to offer a master’s program in the discipline. It will begin accepting graduate students in the fall of 2010.

For more information on WVU’s landscape architecture program, visit .



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