Exploration of Architecture

Exploration of Architecture sticker

Credit: 3.0 units of USC credit

Prerequisites: None

Special Dress Code: None

Course Materials:
A list of student materials required for each course,
as well as purchase options, will be provided by May 1st.

Daily Schedule, Monday through Friday (Updated May 27, 2020)

AM Session(s) PM Session(s)
10:00 – 11:30 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) 4:30 – 6:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Please note: In addition to assignments and independent work, all courses have a morning and afternoon live class session. For students
joining from overseas, faculty will provide recordings of certain classes that can be watched a-synchronously at a more convenient time.
Participation, attendance and expectations for the course will be provided by your instructor.

System Requirements


Exploration of Architecture is an immersive 4-week program that engages high school students with architecture thinking and the design process. This program will challenge you to connect more deeply with the built world by providing opportunities to experience and create meaningful places through dynamic remote learning methods. You will imagine and draw, as well as discover, examine, and analyze architecturally impactful places and buildings. You will gain insights into the profession through talks, conversations, and interviews with leading architects and scholars. The goal of the program is to stimulate you to pursue further education as architects, designers, and scholars who are leaders in your community and beyond.

This dynamic program is remotely taught by USC Architecture faculty members and offers 3-units of college course credit.

This course is also offered as a 2-Week, non-credit course, which runs concurrently with the 4-Week, credit course.


  • Virtual interviews with leading architects and scholars
  • Virtual visits to architecturally and culturally significant places
  • Close interaction with USC School of Architecture faculty members, practicing architects, and current USC students
  • Specific guidance to create a compelling portfolio advantageous to the college admissions process
  • Instruction to develop valuable drawing skills
  • 3-units of college credit, applicable to USC and other universities nationwide

USC Summer Programs Exploration of Architecture Photo AlbumTake a look at our photo album!

Topic of Study

Core architectural skills:

  • Heightened three-dimensional spatial awareness and understanding
  • Fundamentals of design and composition
  • Improved vocabulary of basic ordering principles
  • Fundamental sketching, drawing, and photography skills
  • Broadened understanding of design methods and tools

Important Considerations for Success

This rigorous program is most suitable for students who are independent workers and highly self-motivated.

A successful summer will rely in part on a smooth remote-learning experience. This means that students must have access to a computer every day, a strong and consistent WIFI connection, and the ability to install a variety of architectural and design software on their computer.

Hardware, Software, and Materials

Students will be required to obtain drawing materials and software programs on their own (specific requirements will be made available to admitted students).

For More Information

Read more about the Exploration of Architecture course and see more pictures on the USC School of Architecture website.

The instructor gave me extremely valuable advice for my portfolio and led very stimulating lectures.

USC Summer Programs 2019 Student