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B.ARCH BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE

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  • Curriculum
  • Requirements
  • Student Work
  • Faculty

The USC undergraduate architecture program has been committed to the fundamental concerns of the built environment for over 100 years. Rooted in Los Angeles but embracing a global outlook, our programs encourage progressive, cultural thinking about architecture and its role in social change. 

The USC School of Architecture nurtures its students, supporting your interests, challenging you and helping you transition into the professional world of design and architecture. The unbeatable combination of a world-class research university, Trojan spirit and Los Angeles—a center of architectural culture—will present you with an education that will forever change your life.

 

Beyond design studios and other classes, there is much going on at the School, including student events, lectures, exhibitions, global travel opportunities and workshops. The School is a constant hive of activity and invention, and the deeply knit undergraduate architecture community progresses our ideals into the future built environment.


RELATED LINKS: NAAB Catalog Statement, Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure Initiative (IPAL), Bachelor of Architecture Learning Objectives, Apply

STEM-Designated Degree Program

The Bachelor of Architecture degree is a STEM program in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (CIP code 04.0902). International students who graduate from USC’s Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture degree may be eligible for a 24-month extension of post-completion OPT (for a total eligibility of up to 36 months). The 24-month STEM OPT extension is adjudicated (approved) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

CURRICULUM

The curriculum includes two cycles of development. The first cycle of six semesters provides a foundation in understanding architecture, concluding with integrative studies after two years of introductory work. The second cycle, four semesters, provides the opportunity to explore many aspects of architecture and to develop individual strengths and interests. During this period, a comprehensive design studio project is undertaken in the fall of the fifth year. The spring of the fifth (and final) year culminates in the development of that comprehensive building project in the context of a professional practice course, coupled with a research design studio taken along the lines of the students’ own interests.


RELATED LINKS: Learning Objectives for this Program

Following is the program curriculum for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. For previous years, please consult the online USC Catalogue archive.

160-UNIT SAMPLE CURRICULUM

The USC Catalogue is the document of authority for all students. The program requirements listed in the USC Catalogue supersede any information which may be contained in any bulletin of any school or department. The university reserves the right to change its policies, rules, regulations, requirements for graduation, course offerings and any other contents of this catalogue at any time.


REQUIREMENTS
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    ADMISSION AS A FIRST YEAR STUDENT

    All applicants to the School of Architecture must complete the Common Application and submit it to the USC Office of Admission along with Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or other test scores. All applicants, including international students, must submit a portfolio.

     
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    ADMISSION WITH ADVANCED PLACEMENT

    It is possible, in selected instances, that a transfer student from an accredited community college or other university may be eligible for advanced placement at the second-year level if previous work includes a minimum of 32 semester units of acceptable academic credit in a pre-architecture program. The academic credit must include 8 semester units in architectural design or environmental design. Students accepted for advanced placement must still comply with all requirements for the degree. Advanced placement applicants are required to submit a design portfolio to the School of Architecture at the time of application.

     
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    SUMMER TRANSFER COURSES

    A summer design studio and drawing course allows highly qualified students transferring from community college or other university programs to be evaluated for advanced placement in the fall semester. Applicants must submit a university application and portfolio by February 1 for consideration. During the summer transfer courses, students must demonstrate significant design and drawing skills to justify advanced placement. Successfully completing these summer transfer courses allows students to reduce the required 10-semester design sequence by two semesters, reducing USC residency to four years. This either provides for advanced placement into the second year or gives credit for ARCH 102abL and ARCH 105L if these courses are passed with grades of B or above. For more information, contact the school at (213) 740-2420.


    Transfer students who are admitted with fewer than 32 units of college level work and who have only limited drawing or design skills may be considered for placement in the first year of the five-year design sequence. Previous academic work may in part be applied toward required and elective courses for the five-year Bachelor of Architecture program.

     
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    ADVISEMENT

    The School of Architecture maintains academic advisers for the benefit of all students in the school. All incoming students will participate in new student orientation and receive information about course requirements and planning. An individual appointment with an adviser may be scheduled at any time during the academic year to review coursework in progress or to plan for future semesters. 

     
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    DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

    Accredited degree programs awarding the B.Arch. degree must require a minimum of 160 semester credit hours or the quarter-hour equivalent, in academic course work in general studies, professional studies and electives. The curriculum leading to the architecture degree must include at least 45 credit hours, or the quarter-hour equivalent, outside of architectural studies either as general studies or as electives with content other than architectural.

     
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    DESIGN STUDIO AND DEGREE SEMINAR GRADE POINT AVERAGE REQUIREMENT

    Less than average work in design and design research is not considered sufficient for a professional degree. Students must receive a grade of C (2.0) or above in each semester of design and design research (ARCH 102abL, ARCH 202abL, ARCH 302abL, ARCH 402abL, ARCH 500aL, ARCH 501, ARCH 502aL) in order to continue in the design sequence and to graduate. Students will be required to repeat the course until such a grade is achieved.

     
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    TRANSFER LIMIT FOR DESIGN STUDIO CREDIT

    School of Architecture majors enrolling for a semester of study off campus are limited to the transfer of only one design studio course within the ARCH 402abL sequence. Approval of transfer credit will be dependent upon portfolio review by an appointed faculty review committee.

     
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    PASS/NO PASS COURSES

    Architecture students are permitted to take a maximum of 24 units of non-architecture electives, exclusive of the writing requirements, MATH 108 and the PHYS 125L requirement, on a pass/no pass basis. No more than 4 units of pass/no pass courses may be applied to general education requirements; no more than 4 units may be taken in one semester. Students who have taken non-architecture courses pass/no pass in the past (i.e., before admission to architecture) may count such pass/no pass courses toward, but not in addition to, the maximum of 24 units.

     
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    SCHEDULE CHOICES

    Students in upper division (ARCH 402abL) may substitute any fall or spring semester by completing degree requirements, including design studio, by enrolling during summer session. This substitution does not provide for acceleration of the degree but does allow for make up so that students may get back on schedule for the five-year degree.

     
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    TIME LIMITS

    While there are no specific time limits for completing the bachelor’s degree (except in the case of discontinued programs) the School of Architecture may require additional course work of students who remain in the degree program beyond six years.

     
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    GENERAL EDUCATION

    All students who begin college in fall 2015 or later at USC (or who begin elsewhere in fall 2015 and then transfer to USC) must satisfy the 2015 General Education Program, which includes six Core Literacy and two Global Perspectives requirements. Together these provide training in the liberal arts — the critical skills necessary for a free person to function effectively, thoughtfully and productively in a complex world. This General Education program has been designed to nurture habits of thought essential for professional success and personal development, and to establish a background for lifelong learning.

     

    To fulfill a minimum 160 units for the Bachelor of Architecture degree, courses in the Global Perspectives categories should be used to satisfy requirements in the Core Literacies as well. A single course can satisfy one Global Perspective and one Core Literacy requirement.

     

    Students must complete eight courses in the six Core Literacy categories:


    CORE LITERACIES

    GE-A: The Arts (one course)

    GE-B: Humanistic Inquiry (two courses)

    GE-C: Social Analysis (two courses)

    GE-D: Life Sciences (one course)

    GE-E: Physical Sciences (one course)

    GE-F: Quantitative Reasoning (one course)

     

    Students must complete one course for each of the two Global Perspectives requirements:


    GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

    GE-G: Citizenship in a Global Era (one course)

    GE-H: Traditions and Historical Foundations (one course)


    However, because a single course can satisfy both a Core Literacy and a Global Perspective requirement, students can satisfy all 10 requirements with eight appropriately chosen courses.


    GENERAL EDUCATION SEMINARS

    All entering freshmen must complete one General Education Seminar during their first year at USC. Each GE Seminar satisfies one of the Core Literacy requirements above. Students may count only one GE Seminar for degree credit.

     

    WRITING COURSES

    Eight units of writing requirements: WRIT 150 & WRIT 340

     

    PHYSICS AND MATH

    Eight units, including PHYS 125L (or equivalent) (4) and MATH 108 (or equivalent) (4)

     
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    CORE REQUIREMENTS

    In order to take advantage of elective opportunities at the upper division level, students MUST complete the following courses before the end of the integrative semester (third year, second semester): ARCH 102abL, ARCH 105L, ARCH 114, ARCH 202abL, ARCH 211, ARCH 213ab, and ARCH 214ab, MATH 108 (or equivalent), PHYS 125L (or equivalent), and WRIT 150.


    COURSES: ARCH 102abL Architectural Design I A/B, ARCH 105L Fundamentals of Design Communication, ARCH 114 Architecture: Culture and Community, ARCH 202abL Architectural Design II A/B, ARCH 211 Materials and Methods of Building Construction, ARCH 213abg Building Structures and Seismic Design A/B, ARCH 214abg World History of Architecture A/B, MATH 108 Contemporary Precalculus (or equivalent), PHYS 125Lg Physics for Architects (or equivalent)

     
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    ALLOCATION OF ELECTIVE UNITS

    PROFESSIONAL ELECTIVES

    A minimum of 12 units of professional electives in architecture is required.

     

    ARCHITECTURE HISTORY ELECTIVE

    A minimum of 2 units in architecture history is required.

     

    FREE ELECTIVES

    A minimum of 8 units in any area of liberal arts or sciences excluding MATH 108, PHYS 125 (or PHYS 135ab)

     
STUDENT WORK
FACULTY
Michael Arden
Adjunct Associate Professor
Valery Augustin
Associate Professor of Practice; Director of Global Studies
Myrna Ayoub
Lecturer
Victoria Turkel Behner
Lecturer
Rob Berry
Lecturer
Biayna Bogosian
Lecturer
Justin Brechtel
Lecturer
Laurel Consuelo Broughton
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Maria Esnaola Cano
Lecturer
Mary Casper
Lecturer
Mina Chow
Adjunct Associate Professor
Mario Cipresso
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Victoria Coaloa
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Kim Coleman
Barcelona Program Director, Professor
Erin Cuevas
Lecturer
James Diewald
Lecturer
Frank Dimster
Professor Emeritus
Janek Dombrowa
Adjunct Assistant Professor
John Dutton
Adjunct Associate Professor
Steven Ehrlich
Visiting Critic
Miller Fong
Adjunct Associate Professor
Gary Fox
Lecturer
John Frane
Lecturer
Lauren Dandridge Gaines
Adjunct Associate Professor
Diane Ghirardo
Professor, ACSA Distinguished Professor
Richard Gooding
Lecturer
Joanna Grant
Lecturer
Sophia Gruzdys
Lecturer
Eric Haas
Adjunct Associate Professor
Yo-Ichiro Hakomori
Associate Professor of Practice
Robert S. Harris
Emeritus Professor, ACSA Distinguished Professor
Cory Henry
Lecturer
Michael Hricak
Adjunct Associate Professor
Alvin Huang
Associate Professor
Christof Jantzen
Lecturer
Wes Jones
Professor of Practice; Director, Architecture Programs
Erin Kasimow
Lecturer
Alfie Koetter
Lecturer
Andy Ku
Director, Exploration of Architecture Program; Adjunct Associate Professor
Charles Lagreco
Associate Professor
Christine Lampert
Lecturer
Rob Ley
Adjunct Associate Professor
Lisa Little
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Lauren Lynn
Lecturer
Qingyun Ma
Professor
Elizabeth Mahlow
Lecturer
Lauren Matchison
Associate Professor of Practice; Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies
Paul Matevosyan
Lecturer
R. Scott Mitchell
Associate Professor of Practice
Anthony Morey
Lecturer
Graeme Maxwell Morland
Associate Professor
Amy Murphy
Associate Professor
John V. Mutlow
Professor, ACSA Distinguished Professor
Ginger Nolan
Assistant Professor
Eric Nulman
Lecturer
Geoffrey von Oeyen
Assistant Professor of Practice
Lorcan O'Herlihy
Adjunct Professor
Lee Schuyler Olvera
Associate Professor of Practice
Gary Paige
Professor of Practice
Vittoria Di Palma
Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Hadrian Predock
Director of Undergraduate Architecture Programs, Associate Professor of Practice
Victor Regnier
Professor of Architecture and Gerontology, ACSA Distinguished Professor
Roland Wahlroos-Ritter
Adjunct Associate Professor
Jose Sanchez
Assistant Professor
Marcos Sanchez
Lecturer
Lawrence Scarpa
Adjunct Professor
Susanna Woo Seierup
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Brendan Shea
Lecturer
Roger Sherwood
Professor Emeritus
James Steele
Professor, ACSA Distinguished Professor
Doris Sung
Associate Professor
Warren Techentin
Adjunct Associate Professor
Patrick Tighe
Adjunct Professor
Selwyn Ting
Associate Director, Graduate Architecture Programs, Associate Professor of Practice
Olivier Touraine
Associate Professor of Practice
Scott Uriu
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Yaohua Wang
Lecturer
Sandra Yum
Lecturer
Peter Zellner
Lecturer