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The Master of Architecture program brings together renowned, progressive academic faculty and award-winning practitioners to set new international standards for postgraduate education, placing the School in a key pedagogical position to combine influences from all corners of the global architectural community. The M.Arch draws upon a 100-year tradition of groundbreaking architectural design in Los Angeles by its distinguished alumni and faculty, exemplified by the Pritzker Prize laureates Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne. 

The graduate program is built on three levels. The first level is dedicated to introducing essential disciplinary knowledge and the basic skills required for the NAAB-accredited degree. The second level builds upon this foundation with increasingly refined vocational knowledge and advanced professional capability. The final level culminates with a year of individually directed work, with master classes and a directed design research project (thesis) focused on the student’s emergent architectural interests. All three levels draw on the University’s extended resources and the inspiration of Los Angeles. Firmly rooted in an investigative mode of critical, professional practice, the program’s aim is for every graduate to be prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.


RELATED LINKS: NAAB Catalog Statement, Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure Initiative (IPAL), Learning Objectives for this Program.

STEM-Designated Degree Program

The Master 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

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

ADMISSION WITH NO PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (+3)

Students admitted with no previous professional education must complete 102 units, including 74 units of specified courses, 20 units of electives and 8 units of Directed Design Research or Thesis. Electives must be part of a curricular plan approved by the program director.

 

The required courses for the 102-unit M.Arch +3 Curriculum are: ARCH 409L Design Foundation; ARCH 410 Computer Transformations; ARCH 505abL Graduate Architecture Design I; ARCH 511L Building Systems: Materials and Construction; ARCH 514ab Global History of Architecture; ARCH 523ab Structural Design and Analysis; ARCH 525 Professional Practice: Pre-Design, Project and Office Administration; ARCH 526 Professional Practice: Legal and Economic Context, Project Documentation; ARCH 561 Urbanism Themes and Case Studies; ARCH 562 Architecture Themes and Case Studies; ARCH 563 Contemporary Architectural Theory; ARCH 564 Descriptive and Computational Architectural Geometry; ARCH 575a Systems: The Thermal Environment; ARCH 575b Systems: Luminous and Auditory Phenomena in Architecture; ARCH 605abL Graduate Architecture Design II; ARCH 611L Advanced Building Systems Integration; ARCH 705L Advanced Graduate Architecture Design – Topics; ARCH 793abL Architecture Directed Design Research Option I, or ARCH 795abL Architecture Thesis Option II.

102-unit sample curriculum

ADMISSION WITH ADVANCED STANDING (+2)

Advanced standing students must complete 64 units, including 38 units of specified courses, 18 units of electives or basic studies requirements and 8 units of Directed Design Research or Thesis. Electives and basic studies courses must be part of a curricular plan approved by the program director.

 

The required courses for the 64-unit M.Arch +2 Curriculum are: ARCH 410 Computer Transformations; ARCH 525 Professional Practice: Pre-Design, Project and Office Administration; ARCH 526 Professional Practice: Legal and Economic Context, Project Documentation; ARCH 561 Urbanism Themes and Case Studies; ARCH 562 Architecture Themes and Case Studies; ARCH 563 Contemporary Architectural Theory; ARCH 564 Descriptive and Computational Architectural Geometry; ARCH 605abL Graduate Architecture Design II; ARCH 705L Advanced Graduate Architecture Design – Topics; ARCH 793abL Architecture Directed Design Research Option I, or ARCH 795abL Architecture Thesis Option II.


RELATED LINKS: Learning Objectives for this Program

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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    DEGREE CONFERRAL

    In order for the M.Arch. degree to be conferred, students must complete 102 credit units of both required professional and elective coursework during three years of residency, as well as continually meeting the established standards for graduate study at USC.

     
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    NAAB ACCREDITATION REQUIREMENTS

    To meet NAAB accreditation requirements, all students must complete (before graduation) a combined total of 168 credit hours of study at the undergraduate and graduate level, of which at least 30 semester credit hours must be at the graduate level as well as a minimum of 45 units of non-architectural content.

     
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    PHYSICS/CALCULUS REQUIREMENT

    A minimum one-semester college-level course in physics or calculus is required prior to the start of studies.

     
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    ADVANCED STANDING

    Students seeking advanced standing must have a four-year architectural studies degree from: a U.S. school with an accredited professional architecture program; a U.S. school that is accredited by a regional accrediting body, without an accredited professional architecture program; or an international program that is deemed equivalent.

     

    All students who meet the pre-professional undergraduate degree requirement and wish to be considered for advanced standing must request a course-by-course review. Students must provide significant evidence from the coursework completed at the undergraduate level in order for waivers to be considered or granted for USC M.Arch. required courses. This review is conducted after admission to the program, during the summer prior to starting coursework. M.Arch. students with advanced standing are required a minimum two year residency, or 4 semester units of study at USC.

     
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    SUMMER SEMESTER

    A curriculum is available during summer semesters between regular semesters of your program. A combination of internationally based studios, field studies and the full first semester sequence of the M.AAS is available to allow students diverse and advanced opportunities that can expand their degree offerings.

     
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