University of Southern California
School of Architecture
The USC School of Architecture is located in the heart of Los Angeles, a singular laboratory in which to study and understand urban conditions and their architectural implications. With the appointment of Dean Qingyun Ma the School has extended its global reach into new territories, launching new initiatives in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary discourses, strengthening ties in the community and around the world. Established in 1919, the USC School of Architecture was the first of its kind in Southern California. Educational offerings include architecture, landscape architecture, building science and historic preservation. Among its notable graduates are Conrad Buff III, Donald H. Hensman, Pierre Koenig, and two Pritzker Prize Laureates: Frank O. Gehry (1989) and Thom Mayne (2005).
The University of Southern California, the ninth-largest private research university in the United States, is located in the heart of Los Angeles, only minutes away from the central business district. The university enrolls approximately 28,000 students, yet the School of Architecture enjoys the intimacy of a student body of 750 students. Founded in 1919, it is the only private school of architecture in the western United States associated with a major research university.
The fundamental premises of the school include: recognition of the interdependence of theory and practice; understanding the basis of architecture as a profound response to the human condition and human experience; and respect for the disciplines of visual form and technology as the means for realization of the objectives of the design process. The academic mission of the school is stated in four principal dimensions: To train professionals within the context of a humanistic academic tradition; To advance knowledge about the theory and practice of architecture; To address social and cultural issues; To be a stimulating environment for learning.
Undergraduate Program: The Bachelor of Architecture curriculum provides the foundation of understanding on which to build advanced studies and professional practice. Continuous through the entire 10 semesters of the program is the design studio in which projects are engaged as a means for developing the skills, knowledge, understanding, and judgment to create appropriate and exemplary designs. Foundation Program: Years one through three introduce students to the discipline of architecture: its subjects, its ideas, its methods, and the skills required for its practice. Full-time faculty members are prominent in the foundation program, providing leadership and experience to beginning students. The foundation program culminates in the second semester of the third year with a studio project that assists students in summarizing what they have learned and in making the transition toward the more independent studies of the advanced program. Advanced Program: Three semesters of Topic Studios and Fifth-Year Comprehensive Project provide the opportunity to explore individual interests and strengths in a variety of types and sizes of projects under the guidance of individual faculty critics. Based upon a theoretical premise for design exploration, the Fifth-Year Comprehensive Project serves as the capstone of the degree, employing the skills and knowledge gained in previous courses. The School offers interrelated graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, building science, and historic preservation, as well as dual-degree programs with the School of Policy, Planning and Development. These programs are designed for students who hold either preprofessional or professional degrees in the appropriate fields. Graduate Program: The Master of Architecture is offered in two programs: the +2 professional program for students with pre-professional degrees, and the M.Arch. program for students who hold a professional degree such as the Bachelor of Architecture or its equivalent. The Master of Building Science, a 48-unit degree program, is intended for students who already possess a first degree in architecture or engineering. The typical length of the program is two years, centering on each student's thesis and supported by research seminars and electives from architecture, engineering, and other related fields. The Master of Landscape Architecture is designed to significantly augment the professional capabilities of students who already possess a first degree in landscape architecture. The typical length of time required to complete the 48-unit program is two years. The School also offers a 48-unit Master of Historic Preservation Program whose objective is to familiarize students with the philosophies and practices of the historic preservation movement.
- Art & Design
- Building Information Modeling
- Community Design
- Cross-Cultural Contexts
- Graphics And Visualization
- Historic Preservation
- History, Theory, Criticism