Graduate Admission

Introduction & Deadlines

Introduction

Getting Started

With close to 100 faculty members and 250 graduate students, the School is committed to shaping student experiences so that not only will you perform well in the profession, but will also lead the discipline in new directions, sensing, responding to and helping to cause positive change in society. Your experience in the program will be a continuous act of discovery: of observing, recording, interpreting, and finally, inventing proposals for the built environment which are in response to ideas and critical intentions.

Please review the admissions requirements on this site. If you have further questions please Contact Us.
 

Deadlines

The USC online applications are available beginning September 1, 2014.  Start your online application here.  

 

Applications submitted before or on the deadline dates listed below will receive priority consideration for admission and School of Architecture merit scholarships.  Applications submitted after the deadline date will still be accepted but scholarship funds may be limited.

 

Degree Program

Post Code

Part One: 

Priority Admissions Review and Scholarship Deadline

Part Two: 

Portfolio and/or Writing Sample

Final Deadline

 (if space available)

Master of Architecture, First Professional Degree (M.Arch +3 & M.ARCH +2)

1049

December 15, 2014

January 5, 2015

July 1, 2015

Master of Advanced Architectural Studies:  Post-Professional Degree (M.AAS PP)  

1551

November 1, 2014

November 1, 2014

January 15, 2015

Master of Building Science (MBS)

861

January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 (optional)

July 1, 2015

Master of Heritage Conservation (MHC)

1461

January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

July 1, 2015

Master of Landscape Architecture, First Professional & Post-Professional Degrees (MLA +3, MLA +2, & MLA PP)

859

December 15, 2014

January 5, 2015

July 1, 2015

Certificate in Architecture

1467

January 5, 2015

Not required

July 1, 2015

Certificate in Building Science

840

January 5, 2015

Not required

July 1, 2015

Certificate in Heritage Conservation

1462

January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

July 1, 2015

Certificate in Landscape Architecture

1319

January 5, 2015

Not required

July 1, 2015

Certificate in Sustainable Design

1513

January 5, 2015

Not required

July 1, 2015

Dual Degree Program: MAAS PP/Master of Planning*

1551**

November 1, 2014

January 5, 2015

July 1, 2015

Dual Degree Program: MHC/Master of Planning*

1461**

January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

July 1, 2015

Dual Degree Program: MLA PP/Master of Planning, MLA +2/Master of Planning, MLA +3/Master of Planning*

859**

December 15, 2014

January 5, 2015

July 1, 2015

 

*If you are applying to one of our dual degree programs with the Price School’s Master of Planning (MPL), please make sure that you check their website for any additional admissions requirements and deadlines for the MPL program. 

 

**You must submit separate online applications for each program and be granted admissions to both programs to participate in the dual degree program.  The post code for admissions purposes will remain the same as applying to the SOA program individually.  The post code for the MPL program will be different.

 

Please review the Application Instructions and Portfolio Requirements tabs above for detailed information on the requirements for admissions review. There are different portfolio and/or writing sample requirements for each individual program.  It is important that you read the Application Instructions and Portfolio Requirements carefully.  Failure to submit all the required application materials will delay the processing of your admissions review and your application will be considered incomplete. 

 

Application Instructions

Instructions

Applying for Graduate Admission to the USC School of Architecture is a two-part process.  So that you do not miss any important information, please make sure that you read all the information listed below by scrolling to the bottom.

Please use one of the following checklists listed below depending on the program you are applying to in order to help you keep track of the application process:

Graduate Programs (M.Arch, MAAS PP, MBS, MHC, MLA):  GRADUATE APPLICATION CHECKLIST PDF
Certificate Programs in Architecture, Building Science, Heritage Conservation, Landscape Architecture:  CERTIFICATE APPLICATION CHECKLIST PDF

Use only as a reference as it a summary of the detailed admissions requirements listed below.

 

PART ONE

The following documents must be submitted to the University’s Graduate Admission Office, using the online application system.

 

  • The USC Graduate application for admission
    You will receive a 10-digit USC ID within 7 days of submitting the online application. The 10-digit USC ID number should be included with any materials submitted by mail and on all correspondence with USC.
  • Application fee:  the $85 nonrefundable application fee must be paid before an application is processed. Please note that fee waivers are not granted for international applicants.
  • Transcript(s):  Transcripts (academic records) should be submitted from all colleges, universities and post-secondary institutions attended. These records must be stamped and sealed by your previous educational institution(s).

    International applicants: All transcripts and degree certificates/diplomas must be written in the original language of instruction. All original-language documents must be accompanied by a separate, word-for-word English translation. Dual-language transcripts are not acceptable.  Please review the following link for detailed information on submitting your international transcripts:  http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/international/application.html

    Please send the official hard copies by postal mail after submitting your online application to the following address:
    University of Southern California
    USC Office of Graduate Admission
    3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

    Please be sure to include your USC ID on any documents that you send.

    *In addition to official hard copies of the transcript, please upload unofficial copies of each transcript directly onto the USC online application for admission to expedite the processing of your application.
    **To avoid a delay in the processing of your application, you are encouraged to send your transcripts well in advance of the deadline.  Waiting until the deadline to send transcripts may delay the review of your application.

  • Three Letters of Recommendation:  Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation through the USC online application from college instructors preferably.  Applicants who have been out of school for several years may request letters from employers or other individuals in a position to evaluate their professional abilities and academic potential. The School of Architecture does not have a separate form for the recommenders to fill out but there is an optional form found on the online application for admission.  Recommenders will receive instructions via email once the applicant has designated their recommenders and  their email addresses through the online application.
  • Statement of Intent:  Please clearly describe your study intentions and interests.  Upload this information directly into the USC online application for admission.  There are no minimum or maximum length requirements.
  • Resume and/or Curriculum Vitae:  Please upload this document detailing your employment, education, extra-curricular collegiate and community activities, honors, awards, publications, professional organizations, hobbies, travel and any other relevant information you would like to include directly into the USC online application for admission.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores:  All applicants both domestic and international are required to take the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.  Test scores more than five years old at the time of application are not acceptable. Please submit by ETS electronic submission and upload a copy of scores as a supplemental document through the USC online application to expedite the application process. 
    USC Institution code: 4852.  Departmental Code:  4401. 
    Information may be obtained from the Graduate Record Examination, Educational Testing Service:  http://www.gre.org/gre

    *The GRE is not required of applicants to the certificate programs.  

    International applicants only

    • English Proficiency Requirement:   All international graduate applicants must demonstrate English-language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL Internet Based (iBT) or IELTS scores.  We are interested in scores at and above the university’s minimum requirements: a TOEFL iBT score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score.
      Official scores must be received electronically directly from the testing service and dated no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC. 

      If you are sending TOEFL scores:  USC institution code for is 4852, Department code:  12.

      If you are sending IELTS scores, please choose “University of Southern California, Graduate Programs” from the list of available institutions of where to send your scores on the day that you sit for your test. Please do not enter the name and contact information of your specific intended graduate department. USC will only accept electronic IELTS scores. Paper scores are not considered official. 

      *In addition to the above submission requirements, the School of Architecture requests that you upload as a supplemental document a copy of either your TOEFL iBT or IELTS score to expedite the processing of your application.  Failure to follow instructions will delay the review of your application.

      International Students who are granted admissions and have not met the university’s English Proficiency requirements will be required to take the International Student English Examination (ISE) upon arrival at USC (usually early August).  This is a free placement examination that determines the English proficiency of international students.  Your level of achievement on the ISE will determine whether you must enroll in English-language courses at the university’s American Language Institute (ALI) before or during your first semester at USC. The number of required courses will be based on your level of English-language proficiency.  Please be aware that English-language study will increase the overall cost of your degree program (and usually the length of time to complete the degree requirements), because courses at ALI are billed at the regular tuition rate the School of Architecture merit based scholarships do not cover the cost of English-language courses.

      For detailed information on the university’s requirements for waivers of the English Proficiency Requirement, please click here:  http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/international/englishproficiency.html

    • Confidential Statement for Financing Studies at USC:  You can find detailed information on how to submit your financial support documents on the central Office of Graduate Admissions website:
      http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/international/financialsupport.html
      Post codes for your intended program of study can be found on the Introduction and Deadlines tab on the School of Architecture Graduate Admissions section.
    • Copy of your Passport:  Submit the above Financial Support Documents with a copy of your passport identification page to the central Office of Gradate Admissions at usci20@usc.edu and upload as a supplemental document on the USC online application.

 

To review the university’s requirements for international applicants, please click here:  http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/international/application.html

For more information about Part One, please click here (http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/apply/application1.html)
 

PART TWO

  • Portfolio and/or Writing Sample
    Please review the Portfolio Requirements section (see tab above) for specific content and format requirements for your intended program of study.

    M.Arch/MAAS:  Portfolios submitted online via SlideRoom.
    MBS:  Optional Portfolio can be submitted as a supporting document via the USC online application.
    MHC:  Writing Sample(s) should be submitted as a supporting document via the USC online application.
    MLA:  Portfolios submitted online via SlideRoom.

    *Portfolios are not required of applicants to the following certificate programs:  Certificate in Architecture, Certificate in Building Science, and Certificate in Landscape Architecture.   A writing sample is required of the Certificate in Heritage Conservation. 
    *Please note:  Certificate programs differ from Masters programs.

    Download a copy of our 2013-14 Program brochure below.

Portfolio Requirements

Requirements

Portfolio and Writing Sample Submission Instruction

The USC SlideRoom online submission portals for Graduate Admission are available beginning September 1, 2014:   https://uscarch.slideroom.com/

 

Master of Architecture

Admission with No Previous Professional Education (+3)
Individuals who have completed a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, or its equivalent, with no prior degree in architecture, are eligible for admission to the 3-year professional degree program.

Preparation in the visual arts is strongly encouraged. A minimum of a one-semester, college-level course in the visual arts, such as drawing, sculpture, graphics and/or basic design, is required before beginning the first semester of study. Courses in the humanities, ecology, history of art, and architecture are strongly encouraged, although not required.  

The portfolio submission is an opportunity for you to tell us about your creative experiences.  Candidates may demonstrate design aptitude by submitting examples of freehand drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, furniture, product design, etc. The portfolio will help us understand your visual and spatial thinking skills, aptitude for design, and a capacity to think and design in three dimensions.

Admission with Advanced Standing (M.Arch. +2)
The design portfolio is a compilation of one’s own work, which demonstrates past creative and graphic ability. It should include drawings and photographs of models from past architecture design studios, professional work, or any other artistic/creative activity.  

Format
The portfolio submission should consist of a minimum of 10 and up to 25 digital image files uploaded online by January 5, 2015.  Other electronic formats, or CD/DVD submissions will not be accepted. Please do not send original or bound materials.  Please do not send more than one online submission.

Submit your portfolio online at https://uscarch.slideroom.com/
The School of Architecture is committed to sustainable design practices and discourages the use of excessive printing, binding and shipping processes.

 

Master of Advanced Architectural Studies, Post-Professional

Admission with a First Professional Degree in Architecture
The design portfolio is a compilation of one’s own work, which demonstrates past creative and graphic ability. It should include drawings and photographs of models from past architecture design studios, professional work, or any other artistic/creative activity.  

Format
The portfolio submission should consist of a minimum of 10 and up to 25 digital image files uploaded online by the priority deadline of November 1, 2014 (Final Deadline: January 15, 2015).  Other electronic formats or CD/DVD submissions will not be accepted. Please do not send original or bound materials.  Please do not send more than one online submission.

Submit your portfolio online at https://uscarch.slideroom.com/
The School of Architecture is committed to sustainable design practices and discourages the use of excessive printing, binding and shipping processes.

 

Master of Landscape Architecture

Admission with No Previous Professional Education (MLA +3)
Individuals who have completed a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, or its equivalent, with no prior degree in landscape architecture, architecture or environmental design, are eligible for admission to the program. Preference for admission is given to those who have completed a balanced undergraduate education that includes study in the arts, sciences and humanities. Applicants must document successful completion of a college-level course in the natural sciences. Preparation in the visual arts is strongly encouraged. A minimum of a one-semester, college-level course in the visual arts, such as drawing, sculpture, graphics and/or basic design, is required before beginning the first semester of study. Courses in the humanities, ecology, history of art, landscape architecture and architecture are strongly encouraged, although not required. 

The portfolio submission is an opportunity for you to tell us about your creative experiences.  Candidates may demonstrate design aptitude by submitting examples of freehand drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, furniture, product design, etc. The portfolio will help us understand your visual interests and prior experience to assist us to evaluate your aptitude for spatial thinking and design.
 

Admission with Advanced Placement (MLA +2)
The design portfolio is a compilation of one’s own work that demonstrates the character and quality of your design background in landscape architecture or architecture. It should include studies and presentations representing your best work from past design studios, professional work, and from any other activity that has helped shape your interest for graduate study in landscape architecture.

Admission with a First Professional Degree in Landscape Architecture
Advanced Standing (+1.5)

The design portfolio is a compilation of one’s own work that demonstrates the exceptionally high character and quality of your design background in landscape architecture or architecture. It should include studies and presentations representing outstanding work from past design studios, professional work, and from any other activity that has helped shape your interest for advanced graduate study in landscape architecture.

Format
The portfolio submission should consist of a minimum of 10 and up to 25 digital image files uploaded online by January 5, 2015.  Other electronic formats, or CD/DVD submissions will not be accepted. Please do not send original or bound materials.  Please do not send more than one online submission.

Submit your portfolio online at https://uscarch.slideroom.com/
The School of Architecture is committed to sustainable design practices and discourages the use of excessive printing, binding and shipping processes.

 

Master of Building Science

Applicants may submit an optional portfolio consisting of papers, projects, computer programs, Web sites or other materials, which demonstrate technical competence, research skills, or appropriate knowledge or talents.   

Format
Submit your optional portfolio online as a supporting document via the online USC application by January 5, 2015.

If your supporting document file size is larger than 1 MB, please submit your portfolio online at https://uscarch.slideroom.com/

The School of Architecture is committed to sustainable design practices and discourages the use of excessive printing, binding and shipping processes.

Master of Heritage Conservation

Applicants must submit a writing sample (essay, article, published work, or nomination).  Additional portfolio materials are not required, but will be reviewed if submitted.  A writing sample is required of applicants to the Certificate in Heritage Conservation program.  

Format
Submit your writing sample(s) online as a supporting document via the online USC application by January 5, 2015.

 

If your supporting document file size is larger than 1 MB, please submit your portfolio online at https://uscarch.slideroom.com/

The School of Architecture is committed to sustainable design practices and discourages the use of excessive printing, binding and shipping processes.

 

 

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

  • Q: I won’t graduate from my undergraduate program until May or June. Can I still apply for the next Fall Admissions term?
    • A: Yes. If you are admitted, you will need to send us a final official transcript from your undergraduate school showing your undergraduate degree received.

      Domestic students must submit their final transcripts directly to:

      Office of Degree Progress
      Degree Progress Department
      601 Exposition Blvd, REG 101
      Los Angeles, CA 90089-0912

      IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A DEGREE FROM AN INSTITUTION OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES OR CANADA AND ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE DEGREE VERIFICATION, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:

      • Students whose admission is conditional on having their previous degree(s) verified will have an "Activity Restriction Warning," identified as an ADM40 or RNR40, placed on their records. Failure to complete the verification process in the allotted time may result in delayed or canceled registration and late fees. Your previous degree(s) must be verified before your graduate degree can be awarded.
      • This requirement is separate from, and in addition to, the credential review conducted for admission. Therefore, you may be required to submit another set of credentials in addition to the materials submitted with your application for admission.
      Most students will have to satisfy this requirement before the end of their first term at USC. Verification of international prior degrees requires a, "General Report" from the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org/usc). International prior degree verification is not offered on campus. Please review the information on the www.ierf.org/usc website for details regarding their required documents and fees.
      For more information, please contact the Office of Degree Progress: http://www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/degreeprogress/wespage.html

  • Q: Can applicants without a design background apply to the graduate programs?
    • A: Yes. Our 3-Year First Professional Degree programs: M.Arch and MLA do not require a previous background in design, although a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in any field, or its equivalent, is required in order to apply. Both these programs require a portfolio submission (See the Portfolio Requirements on the tab above.

      Additionally, our MBS (add link: http://arch.usc.edu/programs/master-building-science) and MHC (add link: http://arch.usc.edu/programs/master-heritage-conservation) programs do not require a design background but require a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, or its equivalent to apply.

  • Q: Do I need to take specific courses during my undergraduate studies to prepare to apply?
    • A: For the first professional degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, specific courses are required.

      M.Arch: A minimum one-semester college-level course in physics or calculus is required.
      MLA: Applicants must document successful completion of a college-level course in the natural sciences.

  • Q: Do I need to have the M.Arch or MLA+3 course pre-requisites completed by the listed application deadlines?
    • A: You do not have to complete the pre-requisites by the deadline. You will need to have them completed before you start the program in the fall.

  • Q: Do I need to have the MLA+2 course pre-requisites completed by the listed application deadlines?
    • A: Pre-requisites for MLA+2 (Advanced Placement) are to be completed prior to matriculation, or on specific notice, completed in the first year of the program.

  • Q: I'm currently enrolled in another graduate school. Can I transfer credits?
    • A: If you have completed graduate course work at another regionally accredited institution, or international institution, you may be able to apply some of this course work to your USC degree program. If admitted into your intended program of study, you must first obtain a course syllabus from the year/semester you completed the course. You must have your Program Director review the material and determine if the course work is acceptable and if it will count toward electives or other required courses. You must pick up the Transfer Graduate-Level Course Work form from Degree Progress (John Hubbard Hall 010), and have your Program Director sign off. Give a copy of the form to Student Services, and then submit the package to Degree Progress. If the course work is international, an additional step may be required. If Degree Progress approves the request, please contact your advisor to apply the units to your degree program.

      *Each program has a limitation on how on how many units can be transferred. Most programs limit transfer work to twelve units.
      *Transfer credits may not be determined during admissions review. Discussions regarding transfer credit will take place after an admissions offer or during the department Graduate Orientation in August prior to beginning the program.

  • Q: Can I apply for the spring term?
    • A: We do not have spring admissions for our Master’s programs. All our Master’s programs begin in the fall term. Graduate certificate applicants may apply for admission in any term.

  • Q: When does the program begin?
    • All programs begin in the fall term (end of August). Academic calendars listing important university dates can be found at the following link: http://academics.usc.edu/calendar/

      Registration Calendars listing important registration dates can be found in the schedule of classes for each semester: http://web-app.usc.edu/soc/

      IMPORTANT: All incoming students admitted to the M.Arch and MAAS programs will be required to participate in a computation course (ARCH 410) during the two weeks prior to the first day of classes. More information on the course requirements and registration process will be sent during the summer.

      IMPORTANT: All incoming students admitted to the MLA +3 program will be required to participate in a media workshop during the week prior to the first day of classes. More information will be sent by your Program Director and/or Degree Advisor.

Application Process

  • Q: Is there a different application for international students?
    • A: There is only one application, which can be used by U.S. citizens, permanent residents and international applicants.

  • Q: Who Is Considered an International Student?
    • A: If you are not a United States national, and you will be entering, or have already entered, the United States with an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you should apply as an international student. Students who already reside in the United States and hold other non-immigrant visas (E2, H2, or L2, for example) are also considered international students.
      Permanent residents of the United States, naturalized U.S. citizens, and U.S. citizens residing abroad and attending school outside the United States are not considered international students. For more information please visit the central Office of Graduate Admission’s website for international applicants: http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/international/application.html

  • Q: Can I apply to more than one program?
  • Q: Do all materials need to arrive at the USC School of Architecture by the deadline?
    • A: Yes, for priority admissions and scholarship review all application materials and supporting documents must be submitted online and received by the appropriate admissions departments on or before the appropriate application deadline. Although we have a rolling admissions policy, the later you submit the less spots in the program and scholarship funds may be available.

  • Q: Does the USC School of Architecture have any sample portfolios?
    • A: No, we do not have any sample portfolios. A wide variety of design work and portfolio styles are submitted; there is no one type of correct or successful portfolio. In the case of applicants to Architecture and Landscape Architecture whose first degrees are equivalent to a B.Arch or BLA degree, the portfolio should include examples of design studies. The portfolio submission is optional for MBS applicants. MHC and Certificate HC applicants must submit a writing sample.

      We have examples of student work from all of our degree programs. Please review the following link: http://arch.usc.edu/search/search_by_page/idwrk

  • Q: Are interviews required?
    • A: No. Interviews are not required but attendance at our Graduate Open house is encouraged. Please go to the "Plan a Visit" page for details. There is also information for scheduling a department visit: http://arch.usc.edu/apply/graduate/visit

  • Q: When should I take the GRE?
    • A: GRE scores must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions on or before the deadline for the program to which you are applying. Please allow sufficient time for scores to reach us. Results of the computer-based examinations are mailed to USC approximately 10-15 days after testing. USC Institution Code: 4852, Departmental Code: 4401.

  • Q: Can I waive the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)? Can I substitute another exam? How important is the GRE?
    • A: It is not possible to waive the GRE. All applicants both domestic and international must submit GRE scores. Test scores are just one aspect of an application file. The admissions committees will be conducting comprehensive admissions reviews based on all of your application materials: transcripts, recommendation letters, essays, resumes, and portfolios and/or writing samples.

  • Q: Is there a cut-off point for the GPA or GRE scores?
    • A: The university requires a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a scale in which A=4.0) and GRE combined scores of no less than 297(Quantitative: 153 and Verbal: 144). In addition, each department sets its own standards, which tend to be more competitive. We encourage you to apply whether or not you meet these guidelines. Keep in mind that all components of the application are taken into consideration.

      If you are conditionally admitted (ADM 20) with a GPA below a 3.0, you will be required to achieve at least a 3.0 GPA during your first semester.

  • Q: For international students, can you submit an IELTS score for the English Proficiency requirement?
    • A: Yes. Both the TOEFL iBT and the IELTS scores can be submitted for the English Proficiency Requirement. Please see the Application Instructions tab above for the minimum requirements for each test.

  • Q: One of my recommenders is really unfamiliar with technology. Can he or she send a paper recommendation?
    • A: If at all possible, all recommendations should be completed using the electronic method via the online USC Graduate application. However, to accommodate a recommender who is not adept at using technology, a paper option is possible. Please download the recommendation form from the online application and have your recommender attach his or her own letter. Both pieces should be sealed in an envelope with the recommender’s signature across the seal and sent to Graduate Admissions, USC School of Architecture, Watt Hall 204, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0291

  • Q: Can I submit more than three recommendations?
    • A: Yes. Up to five recommendations can be submitted through the online Graduate Admissions application.

Admissions Notifications

  • Q: When will I receive my admissions notification?
    • A: We operate on a rolling admissions basis, so there is not a formal date as to when admissions notifications are sent out. If you submit your application by the Priority Review Deadlines, then you may receive a notification in March or April.

  • Q: Is it possible to defer?
    • A: Although USC does not defer offers of admission, students may "update" their applications to be considered for a future term that begins within one year (two semesters) of the original application. Updated applications do not require a new fee or letters of recommendation; however, any additional academic work completed must be reported, and transcripts of this work are required.

      Applicants who were denied admission may not update; they must reapply. Individuals who are granted admission and then update are not guaranteed admission or a merit-based scholarship offer to a future term. Your application will be reviewed with the new pool of applicants.

  • Q: I've been put on the Wait List; what does this mean? *NEW*
    • A: We are often not able to admit all of our qualified applicants into each degree program. We admit a certain number of applicants straight into the degree program, and then put some on a wait list. If we have any admission withdraws from the first group, we will start to admit people from the wait list if necessary to attain full enrollment.

  • Q: I've been admitted to the Architecture graduate program, and would like to work on my digital skills. Does the USC School of Architecture offer any courses over the summer?
    • A: Yes the School of Architecture requires that all MARCH/MAAS incoming first semester students register for a Computer Transformations Workshop: ARCH 410 is scheduled the two weeks before classes begin. The course is taught by Architecture Faculty. MBS students are offered the option to take this course. MLA +3 students are offered a media workshop the week prior to the beginning of the fall semester. This course is taught by a Landscape Architecture Faculty member and provides an introduction to basic drawing media. Information about these workshops are sent to incoming students over the summer prior to their first semester.

  • Q: Will I be able to be a class assistant or research assistant?
    • A: Master's students are eligible to work as class assistants (CA), helping faculty in both studio and lecture courses. Prior to every semester an email with open spots and information on the application process are sent to all graduate students. It may be difficult to obtain a CA position during your first semester as it takes some familiarity with the faculty to be considered for one. Through the Graduate Research Scholars (GRS) program you can apply for a research assistant (RA) position and work with faculty on sponsored projects. Students apply in the fall semester for GRS assignments. GRS assignments are for one project per year (Spring to Fall) and are paid positions. The types of research projects change every year depending on what our faculty are working on. The following is a link for the past year’s research projects: http://arch.usc.edu/information/grs

  • Q: Where do most students live?
    • A: Most students live off-campus in shared apartments on the perimeter of campus. Some students live in downtown Los Angles and other close neighborhoods. USC also offers housing in one- and two-bedroom apartments near campus for students. Priority is given to students who have submitted the earliest housing applications for their first semester at USC: http://housing.usc.edu/Default.aspx

      During the summer the Graduate Admissions Coordinator will create a Google Group for every incoming cohort of graduate students. Students in the past used this as a good place to post for housing requests and to get to know your fellow classmates.

Financial Aid, Tuition & Fees

  • Q: How can I start gathering information on financial aid and scholarships?
    • A: Please refer to the USC Office of Financial Aid section of our website for information on financial assistance for domestic and internationals applicants: http://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/

  • Q: How much will it cost to complete one of the programs at the USC School of Architecture?
    • A: The University sets tuition and fees on a yearly basis and also establishes a budget that provides estimations of other items, such as room & board, books & supplies, personal & miscellaneous, and transportation costs for the academic year. The current year’s figures can be found at http://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/applying_receiving/graduates2/costs.html

      The M.Arch, MAAS, and MLA programs follow the flat rate of tuition which covers 15 to 18 units per semester.
      The MBS and MHC programs follow the full time tuition costs. The average number of units MBS and MHC students take are 12 units per semester.

      To get an approximate idea of what the full cost of a program will be, just multiply the total amount of the budget by the length of the program in years (i.e. M.Arch +2 is 2 years, so estimated costs = budget total x 2).

  • Q: Does the USC School of Architecture offer scholarships?
    • A: Yes, the School of Architecture offers merit based scholarship awards for both US and international students. These scholarships are performance based and do not require additional application forms. Your scholarship eligibility will be based on the application materials submitted. If you do not receive a scholarship offer at the same time as an admissions offer, you will automatically be reviewed based on performance for your second or third year after the Spring Semester grades are submitted. All students are reviewed annually for scholarship consideration. Scholarships may be increased or reduced, based on performance.

Miscellaneous

  • Q: Can I have a tour of the school?
    • A: Prospective students are invited to attend our Graduate Program open house usually during fall term in October during midterm reviews. Please check our admissions website for upcoming dates and other opportunities to visit the department: http://arch.usc.edu/apply/graduate/visit

  • Q: I would like to take a few courses at the USC School of Architecture. Is this possible?
    • A: Limited status enrollment allows persons who have not been admitted to the university to take a limited number of courses at USC. Depending on the course, you can register for a class as a limited status student. You will have to pay the full price of tuition for the class. The open enrollment for limited status students is usually right before the beginning of the semester. You will need to obtain the Limited Status form from the Office of Records and Registrar at the time of registration at the following link: http://www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/registration/limitedstatus.html
      To check if the course you are interested in is available for limited status enrollment please contact archgrad@usc.edu

  • Q: What are the student demographics of the USC School of Architecture?
    • A: The School of Architecture has about 500 undergraduate students and 240 graduate students. 56% are female and 44% are male. At USC there are students representing all 50 states, 5 territories, and 135 different countries.

  • Q: How can I earn money while I'm a student?
    • A: There are a number of work opportunities for students: "work-study" for eligible students within the School of Architecture and other USC offices; working with practitioners in local firms; working as a class assistant to faculty in both studio and lecture courses, or as a research assistant to faculty working on sponsored projects through the GRS program. International students can apply for part time work opportunities on campus. Please see the Office of International Services (OIS) for more information: http://sait.usc.edu/ois/intl-students/f-1-employment/on-campus.aspx

  • Q: Is there any career advising or help finding a job once I graduate?
    • A: The USC School of Architecture demonstrates its commitment in bridging academic excellence and professional development through individualized mentoring programs, career guidance, and active engagement from the USC Architectural Guild which holds an annual job fair at the School of Architecture.

      The Career Center also provides a variety of resources and services to students. The SOA Development Office works with the Career Center and coordinates a firm fair as well as other career services: portfolio review, resume building, interview preparation during Career Week.

      Many of our faculty are practitioners in the field who have an extensive professional network both domestically and globally and often hire and/or recommend USC students. Through the Architectural Guild we have an extensive network of alumni and friends who can also connect you to various opportunities.

  • Q: What type of facilities does the USC School of Architecture offer?
    • A: The School of Architecture comprises over 50,000 square feet of design studios, classrooms, galleries, workshops and laboratories specifically designed to offer an immersive and stimulating learning environment. Each semester, all architecture students are assigned their own design work stations, with storage. The University provides continuous wireless support and students have 24-hour, seven-days-a-week access to their studios and workstations.

      The School expects, promotes and supports the use and advancement of technology for the study of architecture. Our facilities provide access to the latest in computer modeling and building design analysis software as well as advanced output technologies including large-format printers, laser cutting and 3D printing. Students can also take advantage of the numerous computer labs spread across the USC Campus: http://www.usc.edu/its/spaces/computing_centers/index.html

      The Verle Annis Gallery, Helen Lindhurst Gallery, Rosendin Family Atrium, Gin Wong Conference Center and Pierre Koenig lecture hall provide exhibition, review and lecture space for the school. The Robert H. Timme Architectural Research Center occupies the 22,000 square feet third floor of Watt Hall providing studio space for the graduate programs as well as faculty offices, research suites, "sky gardens" and review spaces.

      In addition, our facilities include a wood shop for model making, a welding facility and a work yard, where students have the space to construct full-size and scale representations in metal, plastic and wood. The school operates a state-of-the-art darkroom for digital and analog photography with a variety of equipment, darkrooms and a model shooting room for student use.