School of Architecture earns a No. 1 rating nationally

Detroit Mercy's School of Architecture has a focus on social justice in design.
Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture has a focus on social justice in design.

University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture (SOA) achieved a No. 1 ranking in the America’s Top Architecture Schools 2020 report by DesignIntelligence (DI), an independent business dedicated to the business success of organizations in architecture, engineering, construction and design.

Each year, DI conducts a survey of America’s top architecture schools, ranking undergraduate and graduate programs from the perspective of practitioners who hire graduates of those programs. For the 2020 rankings, which cover 2019, DI received nearly 12,000 responses to surveys. The responses from hiring professionals help determine the rankings in the categories of Most Admired and Most Hired From. DI validated the approximately 4,000 respondents from that group. Programs in the architecture survey must be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Detroit Mercy’s SOA ranked No. 1 in The Top 10 Architecture Programs Most Hired From with undergraduate and graduate class size of 20-49 students. Other schools ranked below Detroit Mercy in this category include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Texas A & M and Clemson University among others.

Detroit Mercy’s SOA consistently produces graduates with professional experience, exceptional talents and a commitment to the values espoused through the University’s Jesuit and Mercy mission.

Dan Pitera, dean of Detroit Mercy’s SOA, said he believes this prestigious national ranking is a testament to the quality of instruction, experience of faculty practitioners and the commitment of the University and faculty have to helping students achieve both career and personal success.

“The strong teaching environment at the School of Architecture is formed through mutual trust and knowledge sharing,” he said. “This relationship provides room for mutual learning and growth, where both our students influence our professors and the professors influence our students. We can and do learn from each other. With this in mind, I would submit that we at the Detroit Mercy School of Architecture put ourselves in the position to educate students and help tackle some of the world’s most difficult built environment issues and problems, as opposed to avoiding them or developing systems to obscure them. This moves us away from skill-based learning to deliberately developing critical thought leaders,” he added.

The University’s SOA graduates engage in paid internship programs, study abroad programs and practice what they learn in the classroom and studio during community projects designed to help organizations that need a helping hand. Detroit Mercy’s SOA is one of only six schools in the country with a commitment to social justice focus.

The School of Architecture is a community of about 225 students in total, served by 32 accomplished full-time and adjunct faculty. The school emphasizes a progressive hands-on approach to education that is also driven by close personal relationships with dedicated faculty. To learn more, please visit

For more regarding the DI 2020 rankings, please visit

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