Architecture

The architecture major is a pre-professional program leading to a BA degree within the four-year curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences. Its primary goal is to introduce students to architecture as a cultural practice that structures both the physical and social environment. In addition to core courses in architectural history, analysis and design, architecture majors will be introduced to a wide range of disciplines and creative studio practices that contribute to an architect’s breadth of knowledge and problem-solving skills.

The architecture major also prepares students for graduate programs in architecture and the allied fields such as landscape architecture, interior design, urban design, urban planning, historic preservation, art and architectural history. Students interested in moving to careers in civil engineering, real estate, or working for international, public, or non-governmental development agencies are encouraged to amplify the architecture major with courses in engineering and/or a second major or a minor in environmental studies, business administration, sociology, ethnic studies or international relations.

Preparation for the Major

Lower Division Courses

ARCH 101Introduction to Architecture Studio4
ARCH 201Architectural Design Studio I4
Foundations in the History and Theory of Architecture
ARCH 121Introduction to Modern Architecture3
ARCH 221 Architecture and Theory since 19453
Lower-division course in Studio Arts
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Drawing
Design Foundations
Introduction to Sculpture
Introduction to Video Art
Photography
Fundamentals of Theatrical Design

Upper-Division Requirements 

Architectural Design
ARCH 301Architectural Design Studio II4
ARCH 302Architectural Design Vertical Studio (may be repeated for credit)4
History and Theory of Architecture and the City
Select three of the following:9
Money By Design: Architecture and Political Economy
City and Utopia: Introduction to History of Urbanism
Memory, Monument, Museum: Studies in Historic Preservation
Special Topics in the History of Architecture and Design
Biographies of World Cities
Elective from outside the Architecture Major
Select one of the following:3
Art Since 1960
Asia Modern
Critical Methods in the Analysis of Visual Culture
Seminar (Formerly 394)
Introduction to Printmaking
Intermediate / Advanced Sculpture
Designing for Social Space
Sculpture / Landscape
Art and the Soundscape
Geospatial Information Systems for Organizations
Introduction to Maps and Spatial Data Analysis
Geographic Information Systems
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Environmental Geology
Immigration at US-Mexico Border: Ethnicity, Race & Gender
History of Germany Since 1945
Topics in Modern Europe
Art and Architecture in California
Public Policy
Scenic Design
Upper-Division Electives in Architecture, Visual Arts, Art History
Select at least 6 units from ARCH, ARTV, ARTH 301 or higher6
Architectural Research and Thesis
ARCH 495Senior Project Studio Seminar4
ARCH 496Senior Thesis in Architecture4

Architecture Study Abroad

No more than a total of two ARCH 275 and/or ARCH 375 can be counted toward Architecture major credit. ARCH 275 or ARCH 375 can be repeated once for credit. Two sections of ARCH 275 or ARCH 375 can be taken concurrently during a study abroad semester or summer.

Recommended Program of Study, Architecture

Freshman Year
Semester IHours
ARCH 101Introduction to Architecture Studio4
Core curriculum or electives 
Semester II
ARCH 121Introduction to Modern Architecture3
Select one of the following courses:3
Fundamentals of Drawing 
Design Foundations 
Introduction to Sculpture 
Introduction to Video Art 
Photography (Studio Arts elective) 
Core curriculum or electives 
Sophomore Year
Semester I
ARCH 201Architectural Design Studio I4
Core curriculum or electives  
Semester II
ARCH 221 Architecture and Theory since 19453
Core curriculum or electives  
Semester III (Summer)
ARCH 340Biographies of World Cities3
(Study Abroad course recommended but not required) 
Junior Year
Semester I
Architectural Design Studio II 
Select one of the following courses:3
Money By Design: Architecture and Political Economy 
City and Utopia: Introduction to History of Urbanism 
Memory, Monument, Museum: Studies in Historic Preservation 
Special Topics in the History of Architecture and Design 
Biographies of World Cities 
Electives 
Semester II
ARCH 302Architectural Design Vertical Studio4
Select one of the following courses:3
ARCH 320Money By Design: Architecture and Political Economy3
City and Utopia: Introduction to History of Urbanism 
Memory, Monument, Museum: Studies in Historic Preservation 
Special Topics in the History of Architecture and Design 
Biographies of World Cities 
Upper-Division elective in ENVI, ETHN, HIST, SOCI, THEA (see list) electives 
Senior Year
Semester I
ARCH 495Senior Project Studio Seminar4
Select one of the following: 3
Architectural Design Studio II 
Upper-Division Department Elective 
Electives 
Semester II
ARCH 496Senior Thesis in Architecture4
Select one of the following:3
Architectural Design Studio II (or higher) 
Upper-Division Department Elective 
Electives 

The Architecture Minor

The architecture minor provides students a foundation in the history and theory of architecture and the city in addition to basic design skills.

The minor requires the completion of 6 courses with a total of 21 units as listed below:

Architectural Design
ARCH 101Introduction to Architecture Studio4
ARCH 201Architectural Design Studio I4
Select one of the following:4
Architectural Design Studio II
or
Architectural Design Vertical Studio
History and Theory of Architecture and the City
ARCH 121Introduction to Modern Architecture3
Select 6 units from the following:6
Architecture and Theory since 1945
Money By Design: Architecture and Political Economy
City and Utopia: Introduction to History of Urbanism
Memory, Monument, Museum: Studies in Historic Preservation
Special Topics in the History of Architecture and Design
Biographies of World Cities

Courses

ARCH 101 | INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE STUDIO

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

An introduction to the fundamentals of the discipline of architecture. The purpose of this course is to offer, to any student, an introduction to the basic steps of design as it is done in architecture. Through a series of assignments of increasing complexity and scale, the studio explores the skills of drawing, sketching, and model building, and introduces a range of architectural ideas and issues that form the foundation of the discipline. Methods of instruction include studio work, desk critiques, tutorials and lectures.

ARCH 121 | INTRODUCTION TO MODERN ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

A survey of the intellectual origins, artistic concerns and utopian programs of the Modern Movement in architecture. The course examines how modern architecture responded to the social, political, and technological changes in the years between 1750 and 1960. Topics include a wide range of debates on class, race, gender, nationalism, and colonialism, linking them to the questions of housing, domesticity, privacy, and standardization, as well as to the formal vocabularies of modern architecture.

ARCH 201 | ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN STUDIO I

Units: 4 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: ARCH 101

In this studio, students explore and design housing types at different densities through the basic representational techniques of architecture: plan, section, elevation, axonometric projection and model-making. Under the theme of the house, a series of assignments introduce the students to the various scales of architectural intervention, from the dimensions of the human body all the way to the territory of the city. (3 hours lecture, 3 hours studio/lab weekly. Additional special workshop hours in the computer lab or woodshop may also be scheduled as needed.).

ARCH 221 | ARCHITECTURE AND THEORY SINCE 1945

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course aims at a synoptic view of architecture and the debates surrounding it from 1945 to the present. In addition to foundational readings in architectural history and theory, this course examines design projects by some of the most influential architects of the second half of the 20th century. Cross-listed as ARTH 221. Prior completion of ARCH /ARTH 121 recommended.

ARCH 275 | STUDY ABROAD IN ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

An investigation of site-specific issues or topics in architecture and urbanism, offered by a USD affiliated program abroad. Can be repeated once for credit. Two sections of ARCH 275 can be taken concurrently during a study abroad semester or summer.

ARCH 301 | ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN STUDIO II

Units: 4 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Prerequisites: ARCH 101 or ARCH 102

This design studio course explores architecture as a cultural practice that structures both the physical and the social environment. A number of exercises will introduce the students to questions surrounding a wide range of scales of inhabitation, from the scale of the body to that of the campus, city and region. The design studio will address the inherent material, environmental, cultural and social issues that form these questions. Students can also expect to reach technical competency in a full range of design media, including drawing, model-making and computer aided design. (3 hours of lecture, 3 hours of studio/lab weekly. Additional special workshop hours in the computer lab, metal or woodshop may also be scheduled as needed.).

ARCH 302 | ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN VERTICAL STUDIO

Units: 4 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Prerequisites: ARCH 101 or ARCH 102

This is a thematic and thesis-driven studio that allows students of various levels and design skills to work together and learn from each other’s experiences. Interested Sophomores may be admitted to this course, along with Juniors and Seniors, provided that they have successfully completed ARCH 101 or 102 and obtained the instructor’s permission. The studio assignments will encourage teamwork, independent thinking and accelerated learning. (3 hours of lecture or faculty-led seminar, 3 hours of studio/lab weekly. Additional special workshop hours in the computer lab, metal or woodshop may also be scheduled as needed.).

ARCH 320 | MONEY BY DESIGN: ARCHITECTURE AND POLITICAL ECONOMY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

The course articulates the ways in which architecture as a physical object and a cultural practice influences and is influenced by political economy since the mid-16th century to today. The outline mashes up two conventionally disparate bodies of literature: architectural history and economic history. When architecture no longer operates in a direct, unmediated relationship between individuals, it meets economic forces and the pressures of the market. The course illustrates the cycle of creative destruction that characterizes the spread of capitalism, tuning into the architectural opportunities that occur periodically in each step capital takes backward before taking two steps forward.

ARCH 321 | CITY AND UTOPIA: INTRODUCTION TO HISTORY OF URBANISM

Units: 3

This course surveys the relation between social and physical space in the formation of modern cities, as well as in the formation of modern disciplines, city planning and urban design. It examines how the projects of social reform and political control shaped the grand urban projects and the “master plans” of the 19th and 20th century. This course is intended to introduce students to a history of ideas in modern urbanism and enhance their understanding of the city as a symbolic form. Cross-listed as ARTH 321.

ARCH 322 | CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course aims at a synoptic view of architecture and the debates surrounding it from 1945 to the present. In addition to foundational readings in architectural history and theory, this course examines design projects by some of the most influential architects of the second half of the 20th century. Cross-listed as ARTH 322.

ARCH 323 | MEMORY, MONUMENT, MUSEUM: STUDIES IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Units: 3

This class introduces students to the contemporary debates and practices in art, museology, and historic preservation by focusing on the changing definitions of the monument, the souvenir, collecting, collective memory and the museum. Cross-listed as ARTH 323.

ARCH 330 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A focused investigation of select issues in architectural and design history. Topics vary. May be repeated for credit. Cross-listed as ARTH 330.

ARCH 340 | BIOGRAPHIES OF WORLD CITIES

Units: 3

This course is a focused survey of the arts and architecture of a great city throughout history. It examines how shifting social contexts and patronage shaped the monuments of art and architecture; how the function and meaning of these monuments have changed in subsequent stages of the city’s history; how the traces of past architecture—the archaeological strata—structure the city’s present form; and how the monuments record the individual experiences and collective memory of a city’s inhabitants. Students will learn to analyze art and architecture based on firsthand experience, field surveys, and faculty-guided research. Offered mainly as a study abroad course by the USD faculty during winter Intercession or summer programs. Cities may include Rome, Istanbul, Madrid, Paris, London, Mexico City, and Los Angeles, among others. Cross-listed as ARTH 340.

ARCH 375 | STUDY ABROAD IN ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

An investigation of site-specific issues or topics in architecture and urbanism, offered by a USD affiliated program abroad. Can be repeated once for credit. Two sections of ARCH 375 can be taken concurrently during a study abroad semester or summer.

ARCH 494 | TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A focused investigation of select issues in architecture, architectural design or urbanism. May be repeated for credit.

ARCH 495 | SENIOR PROJECT STUDIO SEMINAR

Units: 4

Prerequisites: ARCH 301 or ARCH 302

A research studio-seminar course designed for architecture majors in their Senior year to help them prepare for ARCH 496 Senior Thesis. Students will acquire the necessary skills for architectural research and analysis, and formulate critical positions through readings, lectures, design studio research, and cross-disciplinary discussions. ARCH 495 requires participation in shared research, studying several methodologies as the foundation upon which a student will formulate a thesis question. At the end of the semester, students are required to develop a Senior Thesis Project Proposal, which includes a clear itinerary for further research, and to participate in a final oral defense of the Thesis Proposal. 3 hours faculty-led seminar, 3 hours of studio/lab weekly. Offered in Fall only.

ARCH 496 | SENIOR THESIS IN ARCHITECTURE

Units: 4

Prerequisites: ARCH 495

The Senior Thesis in Architecture is a studio seminar course, leading to a capstone project, which demonstrates a student’s technical competencies, knowledge, critical thinking and creative synthesis skills. Architecture Majors who have successfully defended a Senior Thesis Proposal in ARCH 495 are admitted to ARCH 496, and are expected to develop their capstone projects during a research studio seminar under the supervision of a primary faculty advisor. The thesis is an opportunity for each student to define an individual position with regard to a specific aspect of the discipline of architecture. Students are expected to incorporate research, programming, and site definition within their design process, and present a written essay that discusses the development of their work. Students are also required to participate in a midterm and a final oral defense of the thesis project. ARCH 496 should be taken in the Spring semester of the senior year. 3 hours faculty-led seminar, 3 hours of studio/lab weekly.

ARCH 498 | INTERNSHIP

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Students who are interested in pursuing internship in a professional architecture office or design studio, or attending the summer design program of an accredited professional school in architecture, are required to submit a written proposal to the faculty internship coordinator, describing their expected duties, the work-load and the corresponding units, the beginning and the end of the internship period and the name and the contact information of the senior staff who agreed to supervise their work. The faculty coordinator will approve the course units (1-3) after reviewing the proposal. Upon the completion of the internship or the summer program, students are required to promptly submit a portfolio, clearly delineating their individual contribution. The faculty internship coordinator will assign the course grade after reviewing each student’s portfolio.

ARCH 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A project developed by the student in coordination with an instructor. The project should investigate in-depth a field of interest to the student not covered by established architecture courses.