University of Southern California
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Undergraduate Degrees

International and Other Programs

Spring Semester in Italy: Milan-Como Anthony A. Marnell II, Italian Architecture Studies Program

The School of Architecture has a study abroad program in Milan, a city in the forefront of Italian modern architecture and the center of Italian design. Students are housed and have classroom and studio space in Como, a small and pleasant lakeside town about 30 miles from Milan.

The program is held in the spring semester. A full semester of study includes courses in design; history and theory; technology; and cultural studies. Fourth-year students are eligible for the program.

The Milan-Como Program is one of two U.S. school of architecture programs in this part of Italy. Strong relationships are fostered with the place, its people and culture.

Visits are planned to Rome, Florence, Sienna and Venice, and there are opportunities for travel and study in Austria, Switzerland, France and Germany.

Fall Semester in France

The school also offers a study abroad program in Saintes, France. The goal of the 15-unit semester program in France is to provide a place for 14 fourth- and fifth-year architecture students to extend the boundaries of their architectural studies beyond the USC campus. Students develop an understanding of the relationship between architecture and the culture that influences it, which serves to build a broader, more thoughtful, critical framework for their own work. Students experience first-hand significant architectural built work from Medieval times to the present day in a variety of European locations. They compare the development of architecture in Europe, especially France, with that which has occurred in the United States.

The city of Saintes has provided a 5,800 square foot building in the historical medieval section of the city for the program. The facilities include housing for students and faculty, kitchen and dining area, and studio work space as well as a model shop, library, computer center and garden. The Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery is an important part of the partnership with the local community and is used for displaying student and faculty work and other significant projects.

Summer Programs

The School of Architecture offers summer program options that allow students to complete a full semester course load that would typically be completed during a fall or spring semester. These options do not provide for acceleration of the degree but do allow for make up so that students may get back on schedule. Students who complete a full course load of architecture courses during the summer have the option of taking the following fall or spring semester off to travel or work and still graduate on schedule for the five-year degree.

Summer Semester in Asia

The School of Architecture offers a summer semester in Asia, split between two programs. The first of these, established in 1988, is based at the Universiti Malaya, but includes travel throughout Japan, China, Vietnam and Cambodia before arriving at Kuala Lumpur at the mid-term point. USC students will work on a studio project in collaboration with students from the School of Architecture at the Universiti Malaya as part of a full 15-unit, five-course curriculum.

The second program is also a full summer semester, sharing the same curricular requirements as the first. It will begin in India, visiting Delhi, Agra, Varansi and Chandigargh before arriving in China to join the first group.

Both groups will follow the same itinerary for 10 days in China, including Shanghai, Xi'an, Guilinand and Hong Kong. After the first group departs for Vietnam, the second will proceed to Korea and then Beijing, working on a studio project with students from Tsinghua University. The second group will then move to Shanghai and be based at Tongji University, working on a second studio project with students from its School of Architecture before returning to Los Angeles in late August.

The purpose of this two-section program is to offer students the opportunity to:

  • work on a real project in a country where development is a prime goal of the government and where opportunities for architecture students to complete internships and gain employment after graduation are expanding;
  • work with the physical requirements, governmental regulations and economic situations that affect the design of projects that can be realized;
  • become familiar with practitioners in Malaysia and Singapore to learn about architectural practice in these areas; and
  • expand appreciation of the importance of Asian development in the current world market and show practitioners USC graduates' ability to contribute to development in Asia.

Summer Studio in Los Angeles

Upper division students at USC and students at any level from other accredited schools of architecture may enroll in summer design studies for design credit. Special project opportunities are arranged to encourage full use of Los Angeles as an excellent architectural laboratory.

Graduate Studies Abroad

The School of Architecture offers programs for summer graduate study abroad. The purpose of the programs is to offer graduate architecture students the opportunity to study the built fabric of another culture firsthand and engage in a focused urban studies problem in that culture. The programs also strive to expand appreciation of the importance of development in the current world market and show practitioners USC graduates' ability to engage in and contribute to international development.

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 which is required for the major in structures, plus 30 units in architectural studies offered by the School of Architecture. See the Viterbi School of Engineering section of this catalogue for further information.

Exploration of Architecture Summer Program for High School Students

The School of Architecture offers two- and four-week programs for high school students (ages 15 or older) 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. Limited financial assistance is available.

Obtain program details by visiting the School of Architecture Web site or by calling (800) 281-8616.

Summer Program in Historic Preservation

This program offers 15 days of classes with noted experts from Southern California and the United States. Taken together the courses act as a general introduction to the field of historic preservation. In addition to examining the history and philosophy of the preservation movement as it has evolved during the past century, lectures and field trips to historic sites throughout the Los Angeles area will introduce students to a broad range of legal, economic, aesthetic and technical issues associated with the documentation, conservation and interpretation of historic structures, landscapes and communities.

For more information, call (213) 821-2168.

Exhibits of Student Work

From time to time students are given the opportunity to show work in class and in exhibitions. Students provide such work voluntarily and at their own risk. Work that is lost, damaged or stolen is not the responsibility of the school.

Field Trips

Field trips are organized each year in support of various aspects of the academic program. During the past several years, students have made trips to La Jolla to see the Salk Institute and to Catalina Island in connection with a studio project. In addition, students regularly visit sites of significance in the Los Angeles area.

Lectures and Exhibitions

The school provides significant service to the community and profession through public programs and by the participation of faculty members in community and professional activities.

With the support and cooperation of the Architectural Guild, the school generates a vigorous program of lectures, exhibitions and tours.

Some of the world's most distinguished architects have lectured at USC. These include Frank Gehry, Mario Botta, Thom Mayne, Fumihiko Maki, Jean Nouvel, Will Bruder, Enrique Norten, Kazuyo Sejima, Rem Koolhaas, Shigeru Ban and Hans Hollein.

The school also provides the Helen Lindhurst Architecture Gallery for major architectural exhibitions. Recent shows have included important international architects such as Christoph Kapeller, Renzo Piano, Santiago Calatrava, Herman Hertzberger, and Alvaro Siza, as well as USC faculty, students and alumni.