Bachelor of Architecture students compare notes and final projects after their first-year studio reviews in Watt Hall. Photo by USC School of Architecture.
The USC School of Architecture offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral education in architecture and architectural studies, landscape architecture, heritage conservation and building science. Its faculty is active in professional practice, design research and in extended professional education.
Work in the school is conducted in an intellectual climate, which promotes inquiry, introduces principles and values, and teaches the disciplines necessary to work in collaboration with other professionals to develop design and research excellence.
The school is located in the center of Los Angeles, the second largest urban region in the country, which offers a unique understanding of 21st century growth and change. In such an environment the possibilities for teaching and learning are extraordinary.
The school is highly selective in its admissions and enjoys the strong support of alumni and the professions it serves. The opportunity exists for students to have close contact with faculty, other students and practicing architects.
An architecture curriculum was initiated at USC in 1914. In 1919, a Department of Architecture was created and a separate School of Architecture was organized in 1925. The school shares Watt and Harris Halls with the USC Roski School of Art and Design and the Fisher Museum of Art.
USC School of Architecture
Watt Hall 204
FAX: (213) 740-8884
Milton S. F. Curry, MArch, Dean
Douglas E. Noble, PhD, Chair, PhD Program, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Joon-Ho Choi, PhD, Associate Dean of Research & Creative Work
Esther Margulies, MLArch, Diversity and Inclusion Liaison
Kyle Konis, PhD, Director, Chase L. Leavitt Graduate Program of Building Science
Trudi Sandmeier, MA, Director, Heritage Conservation Programs
Alison Hirsch, PhD, Director, Landscape Architecture and Urbanism Programs
Alvin Huang, MArch, Director, Graduate & Post-Professional Architecture Programs
Doris Sung, MArch, Director, Undergraduate Architecture Programs
Della and Harry MacDonald Dean’s Chair in Architecture: Milton S. F. Curry, MArch
Judge Widney Professor of Architecture: Frank O. Gehry, FAIA, MArch
Professors: Diane Ghirardo, PhD; John V. Mutlow, MArch (UD); Victor Regnier, MArch*; Marc Schiler, MS, ArchSci; John Wilson, PhD
Associate Professors: Kenneth Breisch, PhD; Joon-Ho Choi, PhD; Vittoria Di Palma, PhD; Alison Hirsch, PhD; Alvin Huang, MArch; Kyle Konis, PhD; Charles Lagreco, MFA (Arch); Amy Murphy, PhD; Douglas E. Noble, PhD; Alexander Robinson, MLArch; Doris Sung, MArch
Assistant Professors: Sascha Delz, DSc; Aroussiak Gabrielian, PhD; Faiza Moatasim, PhD; Ginger Nolan, PhD; Bhavna Sharma, PhD
Professors of the Practice of Architecture: Wesley Jones, MArch; Karen M. Kensek, MArch; Gary Paige, BArch; Hadrian Predock, MArch
Associate Professors of the Practice of Architecture: Valery Augustin, MArch; Yo-ichiro Hakomori, PhD; Esther Margulies, MLArch; Lauren Matchison, MArch; Scott Mitchell, MArch; Lee Olvera, MArch; Trudi Sandmeier, MA; Selwyn Ting, MArch; Olivier Touraine, Dipl Ing (Arch)
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Architecture: Geoffrey von Oeyen, MArch
Adjunct Professors: Michael Arden, MA; T. Jeff Guh, PhD; Eric Haas, MArch; Peyton Hall, MED; Mia Lehrer, MLArch; Rob Ley, MArch; David C. Martin, MArch; Lorcan O’Herlihy, MArch; Lawrence Scarpa, MArch; Jennifer Siegal, MArch; Warren Techentin, MArch; Patrick Tighe, MArch; Roland Wahlroos-Ritter, Dipl Ing
Adjunct Associate Professors: Tigran Ayrapetyan, MS; Vinayak Bharne, MArch; Mina Mei-Szu Chow, MArch; Mario Cipresso, MArch; Victoria Coaloa, MArch; John Dutton, MArch; Miller Fong, BAArch; John Frane, MArch; Sophia Gruzdys, MArch; Jerry Hastings, BS; Michael Hricak, MArch; Andy Ku, MArch; Lisa Little, MArch; Aaron Neubert, MArch; Scott Uriu, BArch
Adjunct Assistant Professors: Iman Ansari, PhD; Rob Berry, MArch; Mary Casper, MArch; Lauren Dandridge Gaines, BS; Janek Dombrowa, BS (Arch); Kathryn Horak, MHP; Erin Kasimow, MArch; Eric Nulman, MArch; Jay Platt, MS; Susanna Seierup, MArch; Takako Tajima, MLArch; Brian Tichenor, MLArch
Lecturers: Myrna Ayoub, MArch; Victoria Turkel Behner, PhD; Isaac Brown, PhD; Yujuan Chen, PhD; Jerome Chou, MLArch/MUP; Erin Cuevas, MArch; Meredith Drake Reitan, PhD; Katy Foley, MLArch; David Gerber, DDes; Richard Gooding, MS; Katherine Harvey, MLA; Jessica Henson, MLArch; Christof Janzten, MArch; Alfie Koetter, MArch; Andrew Kovacs; John Lesak, MArch; Alexander Maymind, MArch; Emily Mohr, MArch; Michael Patterson, PhD; Farnoosh Rafaie, MArch; Mary Ringhoff, MA; Juan Salazar, MArch; Marcos Sánchez, MArch; Kris Sandheinrich, MFA; Lee Schneider; Daví Schoen, MLArch/MUP; Santosh Shahi, PhD; Melissa Shin, MArch; John Southern, MArch; Hyunch Sung, MLArch; Jennifer Toy, MLArch/MUP; Elizabeth Valmont, PhD; Yaohua Wang, MArch; Sandra Yum, MArch
Emeritus Professors: James Ambrose, MS; Frank Dimster, MArch; Robert S. Harris, MFA (Arch); Ralph Knowles, MArch*; Graeme M. Morland, DiplArch; Goetz Schierle, PhD; Roger Sherwood, MSArch, MCRP; James Steele, PhD
*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.
The School of Architecture offers curricula leading to the following degrees.
Bachelor of Architecture: a five-year undergraduate accredited professional degree program.
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies: a four-year undergraduate non-professional architectural studies degree program providing specialization in related fields and an alternative path to graduate studies in architecture and other design fields.
Minor in Architecture: provides the flexibility of complementing a student’s major with an area of specialization. Not available for architecture majors.
Minor in Landscape Architecture: provides students with the ability to integrate the natural and cultural profession of landscape architecture into their course of study. Not available for architecture majors.
Master of Advanced Architectural Studies: a 48-unit, three-semester program for students who hold a first professional degree from an accredited school of architecture.
Master of Advanced Architectural Research Studies, City Design and Housing Emphasis: a 42-unit, three-semester program for students who hold a first professional degree from an accredited school of architecture.
Master of Advanced Architectural Research Studies, Performative Design and Technology Emphasis: a 42-unit, three-semester program for students who hold a first professional degree from an accredited school of architecture.
Master of Architecture: a 102-unit, three-year accredited degree for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree with a major other than one of the design professions; a 64-unit, two-year accredited degree for students holding a pre-professional degree with a major in architecture.
Master of Heritage Conservation: a 48-unit program designed to prepare individuals for work in heritage conservation and its allied disciplines, including architecture, urban planning, cultural resource management, real estate development, construction and materials conservation.
Master of Landscape Architecture: a 96-unit, six-semester curriculum for students with no prior degree in architecture, landscape architecture or environmental design; a 64-unit, four-semester curriculum for students who hold a first non-accredited degree in architecture, landscape architecture or environmental design.
Master of Building Science: a 48-unit, two-year program for applicants who hold an architecture, engineering or science-related degree (e.g., Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Architectural Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Environmental Studies, Physics or Mathematics). Students with five-year professional degrees in architecture and a minimum of five years of experience may be given advanced standing.
Dual Degree in Advanced Architectural Studies and Urban Planning: a 72-unit program leading to the post-professional Master of Architecture and the Master of Urban Planning degrees. Admission to both degree programs is required.
Dual Degree in Building Science and Heritage Conservation: a 72-unit program leading to the Master of Building Science and Master of Heritage Conservation degrees. Admission to both degree programs is required.
Dual Degree in Heritage Conservation and Urban Planning: a 60-unit program leading to the Master of Heritage Conservation and Master of Urban Planning degrees. Admission to both degree programs is required.
Dual Degree in Heritage Conservation and Landscape Architecture: a 87- or 111-unit program leading to the Master of Heritage Conservation and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees. Admission to both degree programs is required.
Dual Degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning: a 84- or 110-unit program leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Urban Planning degrees. Admission to both degree programs is required.
Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture: This program is designed to prepare individuals for university level teaching and professional research and for leadership positions in industry and professional architectural practice.
Certificate in Architecture: The focus of this program is on understanding the broad and complex role of architecture within the urban and cultural context. Studies focus on cities and architecture throughout the world where conditions of increasing density, environmental challenges and cultural complexity require design initiatives that support amenity, sustainability and cultural meaning. The certificate is open to graduate students not pursuing a Master of Architecture degree.
Certificate in Building Science: This program is intended as a supplementary credential for students enrolled in graduate course work in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban planning or related disciplines, and also for practicing design and planning professionals with undergraduate or graduate degrees and related experience.
Certificate in Heritage Conservation: This program is for those who wish to augment their current work in heritage conservation, and for graduate students who wish to obtain a complementary specialization in conjunction with their degree.
Certificate in Landscape Architecture: This program provides an opportunity for professionals and graduate students to develop understandings and skills related to the basic subjects inherent in the field of landscape architecture.
Certificate in Sustainable Design: This certificate provides students with the tools necessary to understand and quantify sources of energy use in buildings and landscapes and to use design of natural and man-made systems to reduce their energy use. Environmental, economic and socially responsible solutions will be explored through the course work.
National Architecture Accrediting Board Statement
In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.
Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
The University of Southern California School of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
Bachelor of Architecture (160 undergraduate credits)
Master of Architecture (pre-professional degree + 64 graduate credits)
Master of Architecture (non-professional degree + 102 graduate credits)
Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2023
Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure Initiative
The USC School of Architecture is one of the initial 14 accredited architecture schools in the United States accepted to participate in the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s (NCARB) Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure Initiative (IPAL). IPAL monitors and provides support for obtaining architectural registration in designated professional accredited programs with an integrated approach to Architectural Experience Programs (AXP) and Architectural Registration Exam requirements required for licensure.
Participation in the IPAL program does not change any of the existing professional degree requirements. With guidance and support, both BArch and MArch students at the USC School of Architecture will be encouraged to take advantage of the increased access to state and national licensure examinations concurrent with enrollment in their degree studies. The programs will provide support and encourage architectural experience in the professional community, which will allow the opportunity to significantly reduce the amount of time necessary to become a licensed architect while increasing the awareness and interaction between professional and academic experiences.
National Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board Statement
The USC Master of Landscape Architecture first professional curricula (three-year and two-year curricula) are accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). The LAAB conditions of accreditation (including the student performance criteria) are posted on the ASLA website, asla.org/AccreditationLAAB.aspx. The last review in November 2017 was completed successfully and we were granted the maximum renewal until December 2022.
Exploration of Architecture Summer Program for High School Students
The School of Architecture offers two- and four-week programs for high school students (must have completed ninth grade by the start of the program) who have no previous experience but are interested in architecture. The program, which began in 1983, is particularly rewarding for students who are contemplating a career in architecture. However, all students find the exposure to the unique problem-solving methodologies of architecture a benefit regardless of their final career choice. Living on campus in a USC residence hall, high school students experience what it is like to be a university student. They participate in studio classes with professional critics and present their ideas in reviews attended by parents and friends.
The program also exposes them, through case studies, sketching exercises and field trips, to some of the most dramatic and impressive historical and modern architecture of Los Angeles. International students have especially appreciated the opportunity to pursue this summer program of study that is not highly dependent on English language skills.
Obtain program details by visiting the School of Architecture website or by calling (800) 281-8616.
The Building Science Program in Civil Engineering
The Sonny Astani Department of Civil Engineering offers an undergraduate program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, with an emphasis in building science. The curriculum includes most of the work that is required for the major in structures, plus 30 units in architectural studies offered by the School of Architecture. See the USC Viterbi School of Engineering , Civil Engineering section of this catalogue for further information.
All courses must be taken in sequential order, a before b.
- • ARCH 100x A-LAB Architecture Development Program
- • ARCH 102a Architectural Design I
- • ARCH 102bL Architectural Design I
- • ARCH 105L Fundamentals of Design Communication
- • ARCH 106x Workshop in Architecture
- • ARCH 114 Architecture: Culture and Community
- • ARCH 202aL Architectural Design II
- • ARCH 202bL Architectural Design II
- • ARCH 203 Visualizing and Experiencing the Built Environment
- • ARCH 205aL Building Science I
- • ARCH 205bL Building Science I
- • ARCH 207 Computer Applications in Architecture
- • ARCH 211 Materials and Methods of Building Construction
- • ARCH 213a Building Structures and Seismic Design
- • ARCH 213b Building Structures and Seismic Design
- • ARCH 214ag World History of Architecture
- • ARCH 214bg World History of Architecture
- • ARCH 215 Design for the Thermal and Atmospheric Environment
- • ARCH 220 The Architect’s Sketchbook
- • ARCH 302aL Architectural Design III
- • ARCH 302bL Architectural Design III
- • ARCH 303 Principles of Spatial Design I
- • ARCH 304x Intensive Survey: Prehistory to the Present
- • ARCH 305aL Building Science II
- • ARCH 305bL Building Science II
- • ARCH 306m Shelter
- • ARCH 307 Digital Tools for Architecture
- • ARCH 313 Design of Building Structures
- • ARCH 314 History of Architecture: Contemporary Issues
- • ARCH 315 Design for the Luminous and Sonic Environment
- • ARCH 316 Place and Culture
- • ARCH 326 The Modern Movement in Architecture
- • ARCH 341 History of Italian Architecture 1400–1990
- • ARCH 370 Architectural Studies — Expanding the Field
- • ARCH 390 Special Problems
- • ARCH 402aL Architectural Design IV
- • ARCH 402bL Architectural Design IV
- • ARCH 403 Principles of Spatial Design II
- • ARCH 404 Topics in Modern Architecture in Southern California
- • ARCH 405aL Building Science III
- • ARCH 405bL Building Science III
- • ARCH 406 Global Studies: Topics in Architecture, Urbanism, History and Art
- • ARCH 407 Advanced Computer Applications
- • ARCH 409L Design Foundation
- • ARCH 410 Computer Transformations
- • ARCH 411 Architectural Technology
- • ARCH 412L GeoDesign Practicum
- • ARCH 414 Perspectives in History and Theory in Architecture
- • ARCH 417 Computer Programming in Architecture
- • ARCH 418 Designing with Natural Forces
- • ARCH 419 Architectural Sustainability Tools and Methods
- • ARCH 420 Visual Communication and Graphic Expression
- • ARCH 421 Digital Architectural Photography
- • ARCH 422L Architectural Photography — Film and Digital
- • ARCH 423 Light, Color and the Character of Material
- • ARCH 424L Field Studies in Architecture
- • ARCH 425L Field Studies in Urbanism
- • ARCH 426L Field Studies in Tectonics
- • ARCH 430 Design Teaching Methods
- • ARCH 432 People, Places and Culture: Architecture of the Public Realm
- • ARCH 439 Landscape Architecture Foundations Workshop
- • ARCH 440m Literature and the Urban Experience
- • ARCH 442m Women’s Spaces in History: “Hussies,” “Harems” and “Housewives”
- • ARCH 444 Great Houses of Los Angeles
- • ARCH 447 Ecological Factors in Design
- • ARCH 454 Contemporary Asian Architecture
- • ARCH 465 The Landscape Imaginary
- • ARCH 469 Mixed Use Development Process
- • ARCH 470a Architectural Studies Capstone
- • ARCH 470b Architectural Studies Capstone
- • ARCH 472 Building Skins: Materials and Methods for Facades and Enclosures
- • ARCH 480 Conversations on the Expanded Role of the Architect
- • ARCH 481 Furniture Design
- • ARCH 490x Directed Research
- • ARCH 499 Special Topics
- • ARCH 500aL Comprehensive Architectural Design
- • ARCH 500zL Comprehensive Architectural Design
- • ARCH 501 Critical Topics in Architecture
- • ARCH 502aL Architectural Design V
- • ARCH 502zL Architectural Design V
- • ARCH 505aL Graduate Architecture Design I
- • ARCH 505bL Graduate Architecture Design I
- • ARCH 507 Theories of Computer Technology
- • ARCH 510 Independent Degree Project Preparation
- • ARCH 511L Building Systems: Materials and Construction
- • ARCH 512 Material + Process: Material Systems
- • ARCH 513L Seminar: Advanced Structures
- • ARCH 514a Global History of Architecture
- • ARCH 514b Global History of Architecture
- • ARCH 515L Seminar: Advanced Environmental Systems
- • ARCH 517 Current Topics in Building Science
- • ARCH 518 Advanced Surface Tectonics: Methods in Material and Enclosure
- • ARCH 519 Sustainability in the Environment: Infrastructures, Urban Landscapes, and Buildings
- • ARCH 520 Housing and Community Design for an Aging Population
- • ARCH 521 Health and the Designed Environment: Landscape, Place, and Architecture
- • ARCH 522 Healthcare Design
- • ARCH 523aL Structural Design and Analysis
- • ARCH 523bL Structural Design and Analysis
- • ARCH 524 Professional Practicum
- • ARCH 525 Professional Practice: Pre-Design, Project and Office Administration