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  • Address
    850 W. 37th Street
    Watt Hall, Room 204
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-0291
    United States
  • Architecture Degrees

    Professional Architecture Degrees (Undergraduate)

    Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)

    Pre-professional Architecture Degrees (Undergraduate)

    B.S. Architectural Studies

    Other Related Disciplines (Undergraduate)

    B.S. Geodesign

    Professional Architecture Degrees (Graduate)

    Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

    Post-professional or non-professional Architecture (Graduate)


    Master of Advanced Architectural Research Studies (M.AARS)

    Other Related Disciplines (Graduate)

    M. Building Science
    M. Landscape Architecture
  • Tuition

    Undergrad Tuition – In State


    Undergrad Tuition – Out of State


    Graduate Tuition – In State


    Graduate Tuition – Out of State

  • Full-Time Students
  • School Deadlines
    Fall Semester
    12/1: Freshmen 12/15: Graduate

    Spring Semester
    2/1: Transfer

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. 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 heritage conservation. 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 and cultural districts. The university enrolls approximately 44,000 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.

School Philosophy

The USC School of Architecture is at a unique moment - embedded in a university with one third of its academic schools dedicated to the enterprise of artistic production, the cultural mission of the School is to link the discipline of architecture with the profession of architecture; and to link both of these to the public and social spheres both within and outside of the university. The School's academic mission is to train design professionals within the context of a humanistic intellectual tradition; to advance knowledge about the history, theory and practice of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism; and to address social and cultural issues through the study and research of our architectural heritage and the evolution of technology.


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 MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE fully prepares graduates for the present and future professional activities in the ever-evolving field of architecture. As an accredited professional degree, it provides a solid intellectual base of knowledge in history, technology, professional practice and theory. Particular emphasis is put on each of the six-semester design studio sequences, where students learn to synthesize the social, environmental and tectonic thinking through informed design practice. The studios culminate in an option-based studio and directed design research sequence, pursuing exploration of advanced and emerging topics. Exploring the many elective opportunities within the school, students are encouraged to develop a tailored curriculum, and if possible, to complete one of the several graduate certificates offered by the school or within the university.

MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE: a 102-unit, three-year accredited degree for students who have completed a bachelor's degree with a major other than one of the design professions; a 64-unit, two-year accredited degree for students holding a pre-professional degree with a major in architecture.

MASTER OF ADVANCED ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES: a 48-unit, three-semester program for students who hold a first professional degree from an accredited school of architecture.

As a two-year, 48-unit degree program, the MASTER OF BUILDING SCIENCE includes the option for each student to complete a course-based or thesis-based research project and is supported by research seminars and electives from architecture, engineering, and other related fields. Past thesis research topics include building envelopes, BIM, computer-aided architectural design, energy analysis, lighting design, seismic sustainability, structural systems, and zero net energy buildings. This program is intended for students with a background in architecture, engineering, or related areas.

MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: a 96-unit, six-semester curriculum for students with no prior degree in architecture, landscape architecture or environmental design; a 64-unit, four-semester curriculum for students who hold a first non-accredited degree in architecture, landscape architecture or environmental design. USC offers a unique living laboratory of a diverse, multicultural and geographically sophisticated territory, which is exemplar for many of the world's most pressing landscape challenges within the context of a major urban research university. Los Angeles, in particular, and California, more generally, are extreme natural and social geographies, where the evolving interplays of infrastructure, landscape and urbanism require innovative and systemic thinking.

MASTER OF HERITAGE CONSERVATION: a 48-unit program designed to prepare individuals for work in heritage conservation and its allied disciplines, including architecture, urban planning, cultural resource management, real estate development, construction and materials conservation. Embedded in the School of Architecture at USC, heritage conservation students are instantly part of a multidisciplinary environment, linking landscape architecture, building science, architecture, and conservation. As such, the program curriculum is designed to expose students to a broad range of topics including materials conservation, policy and planning, conservation theory, global conservation efforts, architectural and landscape history, best-practices in resource documentation and evaluation, sustainability, and historic site management.

of Focus

1. Art & Design
2. Materials and Construction
3. Digital Design & Visualization
4. Building Technologies
5. History |Theory | Criticism
6. Sustainability & High Performance Build Environments
7. Design/Build
8. Cross-Cultural Contexts > Human Experiences

Cross-disciplinary experience
Study Abroad
Large-format Printer
Laser Cutter
3D Printing
CNC Milling
Fabrication Lab
Robotics Lab

Transfer Policies

Using the Common Application and the USC Writing Supplement

Via the SlideRoom link provided in the Common Application

— Students who attended secondary school/high school in a non-U.S. system may substitute the appropriate leaving certificate or comprehensive diploma result, provided it shows the completion date.
— Students who did not finish high school should also submit a copy of their completion certificate (such as a GED) and may also submit a letter of explanation.

Official transcripts of any and all college coursework completed through the fall term.

Required from applicants who have completed fewer than 30 semester units of college coursework.

Transfer applicants must submit up to 2 letters of recommendation via SlideRoom. Please ask your college course instructor, academic advisor, employer, or internship supervisor to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Please note that the deadline for recommendations is February 1, 2019. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that ample time is given to the person to write and submit their letter online. No separate recommendation form is required.

Please refer to the International Applicants section below for Additional Requirements: (https://arch.usc.edu/undergraduate-apply)

Contact University of Southern California