About the School

Since our establishment, the USC School of Architecture has excelled in offering a solid foundation for success for all of our graduates.


Our program gives students numerous degree options to best pursue their individual interests and goals. All undergraduate students may choose between two distinct bachelor degrees and a minor from more than 150 options. Graduate students may choose from five master’s degrees, three dual degrees and five certificate programs.




Through the ongoing success of so many of our alumni, trained within these programs, the School of Architecture has built a well-earned reputation of preparing leaders in our field. Our degree-curriculum — whether in architecture, landscape architecture, building science or heritage conservation — has always been intensive, in-depth and topical, with each program fusing history, theory, technology and design into a variety of degree programs that well-prepare our students for the rigors of the professional design practices.


Our graduates from these programs are truly world renowned as the foremost designers, practitioners and faculty in architecture of yesterday and today. We hold two Pritzker Prize laureates Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne as our alumni, as well as Case Study House Program participants, Pierre Koenig, Conrad Buff, Don Hensman and Cal Straub. Countless more of our alumni continue to established themselves as leaders in local and international practices. For instance, to name a few, Emmet Wemple, William Pereira, Albert Martin, Jon Jerde, Mark Rios, Ronald Altoon and Gerard Furbershaw all established their own local offices after graduating from USC, which then quickly grew into practices with world wide reputations for creative, groundbreaking architecture, landscape architecture and design.


Embracing the future, our students are encouraged to participate each year in one of our many global studies opportunities. We offer programs throughout the world introducing students to new cultural frameworks that contribute to the shaping of the global perspective.


Our approximately 100 faculty members create a diverse spectrum of experts for our students to learn from in both studios and seminars each term. Tenured academicians teach along side practicing award-winning professionals. Our invited visiting faculty and critics are selected from elite schools and design practices from Los Angeles and around the world and have recently included Frank Gehry, Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa, Michael Maltzan, Mia Lehrer, Will Bruder, Dan Meis, Markus Miessen, Larry Scarpa and Oliver Schulze.



The future of the architectural profession rests on providing the highest caliber education to students who will become leaders in the industry and beyond. The USC School of Architecture demonstrates its commitment in bridging academic excellence and professional development through individualized mentoring programs, career guidance, and active engagement through the USC Architectural Guild. As the nation’s most distinguished architecture professional alumni organization, the Guild has provided philanthropic support to enhance and promote the School’s top priorities including scholarships, professorships, and school programs. For more than 50 years, the members of the Guild from all professional backgrounds and industries within the realm of architecture, design, construction and real estate development, have joined together with a shared vision that architectural education at USC must be supported and nurtured. In this spirit, USC Architecture students are presented with numerous opportunities to develop connections, both through personal and professional development such as one-on-one reviews of student resumes and portfolios and small group networking with selected industry leaders and firms. The School dedicates special attention and resources to ensure its students achieve their academic and career goals that align with their passion and core values.




 Los Angeles is world-renowned for its vibrancy. The University of Southern California is a premier research institution. Both provide the USC School of Architecture with an unparalleled context for the study of the natural, built and technological environments. Positioned at the fulcrum of East and West, described by Dean Qingyun Ma as “a double frontier,” the city, University and School combine to engage our students simultaneously on the global and neighborhood stage.




Los Angeles is described as the perfect laboratory for architecture students. Its variety of urban and environmental components, both cultural and physical, contributes to the city’s diversity, flexibility and multiplicity in all aspects.


These conditions make it the perfect laboratory where architecture starts to challenge its boundaries. In this city is where the USC School of Architecture should be. But to be in it is not enough. It should be connected to it and immersed in it.


This immersion takes many forms.Our students actively participate in the city and its culture, studying notable architecture and landscapes through first-hand experience. Student design projects often reflect this interactive engagement by creating work that directly examines issues of the city, engaging in the real world issues of architecture, landscape architecture, building science and heritage conservation that surround them everyday.




You are part of the Trojan Family the moment you become a student at USC. This unique and prestigious designation joins you not only to the community of students and faculty but also to a network of 190,000 alumni. Together they offer an unsurpassed support system for every student. This vibrant setting presents numerous opportunities to get involved academically and socially, not only on campus but within the surrounding community and city as well. With 750 student organizations, you can explore your passions and interests — leadership programs, recreational sports, religious groups, student government, multi- cultural organizations, Greek life, community service opportunities and much more.



USC offers students countless opportunities and options to enhance their academic careers. You can pursue degrees from 17 different professional schools and choose from 150 minors — the broadest selection of any U.S. university. Visions and Voices, a university-wide arts and humanities initiative, fosters creativity and discovery.