May 24, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

USC School of Architecture

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Students collaborate

At the annual USC Architectural Guild Career Fair, students meet with firm representatives to discuss potential jobs, internships or other design community opportunities. Photo by Steve Cohn.



The USC School of Architecture offers undergraduate and graduate 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
(213) 740-2723
FAX: (213) 740-8884


Willow Bay, MBA, Interim Dean

Vittoria Di Palma, PhD, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs

Trudi Sandmeier, MA, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Joon-Ho Choi, PhD, Associate Dean of Research & Creative Work; Director, Center for Wellness and the Built Environment

Esther Margulies, MLArch, Diversity and Inclusion Liaison

Kyle Konis, PhD, Director, Chase L. Leavitt Graduate Program of Building Science

Trinidad Rico, PhD, 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

Lauren Matchison, MArch, Director, Pre-College Programs

Faiza Moatasim, PhD, Director, Center for City Design



Della and Harry MacDonald Dean’s Chair in Architecture: TBA

Judge Widney Professor of Architecture: Frank O. Gehry, FAIA, MArch

Professors: Milton S. F. Curry, MArch; Diane Ghirardo, PhD; John V. Mutlow, MArch (UD); Victor Regnier, MArch*; Marc Schiler, MS, ArchSci; John Wilson, PhD

Visiting Professor: Trinidad Rico, PhD

Associate Professors: 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: Yo-ichiro Hakomori, PhD; Wesley Jones, MArch; Karen M. Kensek, MArch; Esther Margulies, MLArch; Gary Paige, BArch; Hadrian Predock, MArch; Trudi Sandmeier, MA

Associate Professors of the Practice of Architecture: Valery Augustin, MArch; Lauren Matchison, MArch; Scott Mitchell, MArch; Lee Olvera, MArch; Selwyn Ting, MArch; Olivier Touraine, Dipl Ing (Arch)

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Architecture: Geoffrey von Oeyen, MArch

Adjunct Professors: Michael Arden, MA; Vinayak Bharne, MArch; T. Jeff Guh, PhD; Eric Haas, MArch; Peyton Hall, MED; Mia Lehrer, MLArch; Rob Ley, MArch; David C. Martin, MArch; Lawrence Scarpa, MArch; Warren Techentin, MArch; Patrick Tighe, MArch; Roland Wahlroos-Ritter, Dipl Ing

Adjunct Associate Professors: Tigran Ayrapetyan, MS; 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; Jessica Henson, MLArch; Michael Hricak, MArch; Andy Ku, MArch; Lisa Little, MArch; Aaron Neubert, MArch; Scott Uriu, BArch, Eui-Sung Yi, MArch

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Rob Berry, MArch; Mary Casper, MArch; Lauren Dandridge Gaines, BS; Janek Dombrowa, BS (Arch); Peter Ekman, PhD; Kathryn Horak, MHP; Christof Janzten, MArch; Erin Kasimow, MArch; Eric Nulman, MArch; Jay Platt, MS; Farnoosh Rafaie, MArch; Marcos Sánchez, MArch; Takako Tajima, MLArch; Brian Tichenor, MLArch

Lecturers: Kais Al-Rawi, MArch; Victoria Turkel Behner, PhD; Jasmine Benyamin, PhD; Hallie Black, BArch; Isaac Brown, PhD; Gesa Buttner-Dias, MArch/MS; Kate Chiu, MArch; Matt Conway, MArch; Meredith Drake Reitan, PhD; Lauren Elachi, MLA; Wendy Fok, DDes; David Gerber, DDes; Richard Gooding, MS; Jesse Hammer, MArch; Sarah Hammond, BArch; Katherine Harvey, MLA; Douglas Kent, MS/MLA; Alfie Koetter, MArch; Andrew Kovacs, MArch; Jimenez Lai, MArch; John Lesak, MArch; Alejandra Lillo, MArch; Ryan Tyler Martinez, MArch; Farre Nixon, MArch/MLA; Amanda Ortland, MArch; Ioni Papaioannou, MBS; Michael Patterson, PhD; Rodolfo Reis-Dias, BArch; Parsa Rezaee, MArch; Mary Ringhoff, MA; Juan Salazar, MArch; Kris Sandheinrich, MFA; Lee Schneider; Santosh Shahi, PhD; Kevin Sherrod, MArch; Teddy Slowik, MArch; Ismael Soto, MArch; John Southern, MArch; Gideon Susman, PhD; Sanjeev Tankha, MBS; Jennifer Toy, MLArch/MUP; Elizabeth Valmont, PhD; Yaohua Wang, MArch; Jia Zhou Zhu, MArch

Citizen Architect Fellow: Gillian Shaffer Lutsko, MArch

Postdoctoral Fellow, USC Society of Fellows in the Humanities: Jessica Varner, PhD

Emeritus Faculty: James Ambrose, MS; Kenneth Breisch, PhD; 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.

Degree Programs

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.

Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Inventive Technologies: This program will look at architecture and the architectural market through a lens of entrepreneurship as students develop critical thinking skills to address the wicked problems of the 21st century, such as climate change, social justice, health and wellness, and our increasingly virtual world.

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.

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 Façade Art Science and Technology: The program is designed to provide students with the deep knowledge and skills necessary for careers in the increasingly technical field of façade system design, fabrication, delivery and operation.

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, The last review in November 2017 was completed successfully and we were granted the maximum renewal until December 2022.

Other Programs

Exploration of Architecture Summer Program for High School Students

The School of Architecture offers a four-week program 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. 

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. 


    Bachelor’s DegreeMinorMaster’s DegreeDual DegreeGraduate CertificateDoctoral Degree



      All courses must be taken in sequential order, a before b.

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