The University of Cincinnati (UC) is now ranked 3rd for best design school in the world, according to a new crowd-sourced, public opinion list on UC’s Master’s in Design program is specifically highlighted in the listing, and UC’s DAAP (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) program is internationally recognized as a high-achieving school for students.

International Recognition

News outlets such as DesignIntelligence magazine and Business Insider (which ranked UC DAAP as #3 in the world) have formally recognized UC’s DAAP school as a top-tier institution.

Similarly, UC’s Master in Design also ranked as #6 nationally by U.S. News and World Report, and as #4 in the U.S. by DesignIntelligence.

UC Master’s in Design

Kaleidoscope Principal Human Factors & Industrial Designer Bob Roth earned a Master’s in Design from UC, and describes the experience as a positive and influential one.

“I had a midlife career switch and successfully transitioned from Engineering to Industrial Design, due to the master’s program at UC. The program was unique in that you could make it what you wanted it to be. For me, I needed both basic ID skill development so I could work as a Designer, and Human Factors training as the other half of what I wanted to do. The flexibility of the DAAP master’s program made that possible. As a bonus, the core curriculum allowed me to collaborate with a unique mix of people on their own paths. I was able to work alongside a terrific sketcher from Argentina, and … a design student who just finished up as the reigning Miss America! So, it was not your normal school experience.”

Roth adds that the master’s program has been particularly important in helping various Designers gain the advanced knowledge and credentials to pursue teaching and leading in industry organizations. “A good example is graduate and UC Assistant Professor Mary Beth Privatera,” says Roth. “She went on to help found the UC Medical Device Innovation program, and was instrumental in helping publish the widely referenced ANSI Standard HE75, Human Factors Engineering of Medical Devices.”

UC DAAP Co-Op Program

best design school in the worldWhile the Master’s program is recognized in the listing, the undergraduate programs at UC DAAP are also highly respected. One aspect of UC DAAP’s undergraduate programs in particular that truly makes the school stand out is their co-op program. Kaleidoscope’s Associate Creative Director of Industrial Design, Karl Vanderbeek, currently has nearly 20 years of industrial design experience, including work for Stanley Black & Decker and another agency where he worked for clients like Timex, Nike and Leap Frog.

Vanderbeek earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design through the UC DAAP school. Since then, he worked two summers as an Adjunct Professor teaching Sophomore Design Visualization Studio. Additionally, he served as a guest critic for DAAPworks graduating class projects.

Vanderbeek speaks highly of the co-op program, which he also participated in as a UC student.

When asked why students should consider UC DAAP for their education, Vanderbeek responded that “the co-op program alone should make the college decision easier. With the deep history of the co-op program partnering with many companies around the world, there is an amazing opportunity to explore the various directions a student could want to see.”

Kaleidoscope itself has had a number of UC co-ops and interns come through our doors and gain real-world experience. Some have stayed with us beyond their co-op as employees. (Check out what some of our co-ops had to say about their experience at Kaleidoscope.)

“My personal experience with the UC co-op program gave me experience at an Exhibit design firm, a small SCUBA equipment manufacturing company, a huge mailing machine manufacturer, and a design consultancy,” says Vanderbeek. “In addition to the huge variety I experienced, I lived on both coasts, in between, and overseas in Holland.”

UC’s Quality Education

best design school in the worldKaleidoscope has long recognized the tremendous value UC offers for students. In fact, several members of our current staff graduated from UC, with specialties spanning industrial design, graphic design, engineering, psychology and business disciplines.

Kaleidoscope Human Resources Strategy Leader Liz Freedman (herself having earned a Master’s in Human Resources from UC) joined the team last year with more than 15 years of HR experience with Mercy Health.

“I enjoyed UC because of the networking opportunity I had with my classmates,” says Freedman. “The courses were designed for us to work together and share our experiences. This helped us apply the academics and research to the practical.”

Overall, UC is one university providing quality higher education for students, to prepare them for their rest of their careers.


Ranker: The 30 Best Design Schools in the World
DAAP News: DAAP Programs Are Again Ranked as Top in the Nation by DesignIntelligence Magazine
Cincinnati Business Courier: UC’s DAAP among 5 best design schools in the world
Kaleidoscope: Spotlight: How Industrial Design and Engineering Co-ops Benefit Kaleidoscope