The Good Oil
Every five years we rank all the accredited architecture schools in the English-speaking world that we can get reliable data from, as research institutions: the best and the worst, top to bottom. Read about it here. We supply this information freely (eat your heart out DesignIntelligence).
This chart uses the data from our 2009 survey. It shows the median research scores of the architecture schools, grouped by nation. The USA may have the best schools on the earth, but it also has a huge amount of duds. Nigh-on one-half of all the USA's schools are crowded in that tiny space below that orange median bar. Think of it this way: were you to choose an American architecture school at random, it would have a research score of 0.5. Were you to do the same in Canada, you would be attending a school with a score of 2.7.
Let's take a closer look. The chart below shows all schools with a score of five or below. That's every school out of our whole sample of almost 170, less the very top 20 or so schools. See those arrows for the USA and the UK? In the United States, a full 51 of the 103 schools we surveyed had a score of zero. In the United Kingdom, 12 out of 28 also scored zero.