What Are You Doing This Summer? Get a Jump on Becoming an Architect!


This article was written by Lee W. Waldrep, Ph.D. aka Dr. Architecture of Illinois School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of Becoming an Architect.

2017 Summer Programs in Architecture

Do you want to study architecture? Are you ready to start your journey to becoming an architect? If so, you should look into attending one of the over 100 summer architecture programs across the country and abroad. Participating in one of these exciting, hands-on programs is a great way to see learn more about architecture as a major, and as a career path.

Below are some factors to consider as you research which program may be best for you.

Audience: High School, College, Younger?

While many summer programs are intended for elementary, middle, and high school students, there do exist some for college students looking to pursue architecture.

If you are younger, there are programs for you. Below are two:

  • The Center for Architecture (New York, NY) offers a myriad of week-long programs for students in grades 3-12 that explore topics in architecture and design; sample courses include Treehouses, Survival Architecture, Below the Streets – Subway Architecture and Fairytale Architecture.
  • North Carolina State University (Charlotte, NC) hosts Design Explorations Camp for 7th and 8th graders; the program introduces students to design thinking and hands-on activities.

If you are currently in college or recently graduated, here a few for you:

Length of Program & Format

One factor to consider is the length of the program. When you look at the full listing on StudyArchitecture.com, you will notice that programs offer a range from a week or less to as long as a full six weeks.

Another factor is the format of the program. Some programs are offered during the day, typically from 9:00am – 5:00pm. Obviously, you would need to reside near the program in order to participate. Others provide overnight housing; if offered by a college or university, you would stay in one of the residence halls, these often offer scheduled activities for the evening hours.

Cost & Scholarships

For you, a critical factor may be cost; as expected, summer programs will vary in cost, but note that some programs may be more expensive because they provide college credit. Also, some programs charge a single program fee but that is all inclusive (program fee, housing, food, supplies, etc.), while others charge only the program fee and other costs are add-ons. Be sure to read carefully and if you have any questions, contact the program directly.

Also, be sure to check if there are scholarships and/or financial aid available. You may be required to submit drawings or an essay to win a full or partial scholarship to attend Discover Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Many programs offer financial assistance so do your research.


Find the Perfect Summer Architecture Program for You