Building science and technology studies at USC recognize that exemplary buildings are based on responses to the human condition and to natural forces, requiring good judgment and knowledge for the creative use of architectural technology.
The Master of Building Science program is intended for students with a degree in architecture, engineering or related areas. The typical program length is two years. Students with a professional five-year architecture degree may qualify for advanced standing. Studies are centered around each student’s thesis and are supported by research seminars and electives from architecture, engineering and other related fields. Students are individually guided through their study and thesis by three faculty advisors. The faculty has academic, research and professional practice experience in architecture, civil and structural engineering, environmental control system design, and computer applications. Many papers based on thesis work have been co-authored by faculty and students have been published and/or presented at professional conferences.
The need exists for a new generation of professionals whose education has prepared them to fully participate in bringing appropriate technology to the building and rebuilding of humane and supportive cities. Within this context, the program emphasizes:
- The integration of planning, design and technology to form a coherent and interdependent force for the appropriate construction of urban places
- Recognition of the ecological importance of energy-conscious design and construction as well as the high social value of places in which natural forces and systems are being utilized rather than suppressed
- The development of research and design methods suited to the complexity of building in urban settings and effective in the use of extensive information
Areas of Study
- Design processes that explore form in response to natural forces: sun, wind, water, seismic and thermal
- Exploration of unique structures: lightweight, long-span and high-rise
- Static and dynamic simulation models for investigation of structures
- Lighting and daylight design
- Passive and active solar design for heating and cooling
- Acoustic isolation and performance
- Systems integration: structure, mechanical, electrical, envelope, for fit and synergy with architectural objectives
- Industrialized construction processes, automation, transportation, etc.
- Materials and methods of construction
- Theory of architectural technology
- Computer tools: animation simulation, structural and environmental analysis, simulations of lost architecture, design information systems, smart building technology, stereoscopic visualization, and related topics
Advanced Standing for Students with a Five-Year Professional Degree in Architecture
Applicants who have completed a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree and at least five years of teaching or practice (may be combined), may be qualified for advanced standing. Each student will be considered individually. In such cases, the degree requirements are 36 units, including 8 units of specified courses, 15 units of thesis and thesis preparation and 13 units of electives. Students with advanced standing will typically be able to complete the degree program in three regular semesters. Admission with advanced standing is determined at the time of review for admission to the program.