USC School of Architecture

USC School of Architecture

For more than 100 years, the USC School of Architecture has envisioned architects as global citizens with a unique set of skills and competencies to influence connection amongst and between students, faculty, and communities. At USC Architecture, a 21st century architectural education means responding to the complexities of urbanism, social and racial equity, climate change, and sustainability. As practitioners, designers, and scholars we are well positioned to make positive, transformative contributions at home and around the globe. 

Together our stakeholder community—alumni, faculty, and students—are tirelessly working toward new solutions to current challenges. Below are highlights of the innovative programming USC Architecture is engaging in:

Advancing Social and Racial Equity through our Strategic Plan on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

The admitted class of fall 2021 is the most ethnically and racially representative student body in the history of the School. It is also one of the most diverse freshman classes in any architectural school nationally with 32% Hispanic, 23% Asian, 15% Black, and 14% international students; 24% are the first in their family to attend a university.  

In this dynamic context, the A-Lab Architecture Development Program is scheduled to launch this fall, welcoming a cohort of 20 juniors from neighboring LAUSD high school, Foshay Learning Center. Students will embark upon three design projects over the course of the semester. In keeping with the ethos of the Citizen Architect, each design project emphasizes architecture’s role in shaping culture and community, and empowering and claiming civic space for the public good. 


Faculty and Students: Charting a Bold Future Through Innovation and Fabrication 

On May 4, more than 240 donors contributed nearly $30,000 to USC Architecture on USC’s Day of SCupport. These impactful funds  helped support the completion of the CARAPACE PAVILION in Joshua Tree National Park in California, future design-build projects, and graduate student scholarships.  

The USC Architecture Design-Build Fund was created to support future explorations of experimental materials and processes for students. The CARAPACE PAVILION has been a wonderful design-build hands-on experience for our students studying site and space, cultural heritage, and building technologies that are sustainable. The structure is on track for completion in fall of 2021 and USC Architecture has already applied for the next round of industry funding and will start a new project this fall semester. 


Investing in Our Students: Scholarships and Global Studies Support

Increasing access to a world class education continues to be a university-wide imperative. USC Architecture has made significant progress to expand access and foster inclusivity. Today, 24% of our student body are first-generation college students and the number of students in need of financial assistance is growing. Your continued support of merit and need-based scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students expands academic opportunities and fosters a more culturally aware, diverse and inclusive design community.  

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“As an international student who moved across continents to start a new life, USC School of Architecture has really made me feel at home. The faculty and staff members are super supportive and helpful, and so are my fellow classmates and seniors. From an academic point of view, I could not have asked for anything better.”


And, as in-person global studies and independent study abroad resume, our students are deserving of our support now more than ever. We have established a new requirement for all students, regardless of financial circumstances, to have the opportunity for global studies and off-campus experiences. Global studies programs in Asia and Europe inspire students to understand architecture in cultural contexts around the globe. 

“Every professor here really cares about you and understands what you are going through, as most professors here have been through a similar program. Although it is a rigorous program, the rewarding feeling once you reach the end of a project and see how far you have grown as an architecture student makes it all worth it.”



The Alumni Fund for Student Excellence was created in 2019 with a generous challenge gift by Warren Lortie ’66 to inspire others – alumni and non-alumni alike – to join him in providing support for graduate and undergraduate students at USC Architecture. The challenge continues and funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 each year. Nearly 86% of all USC Architecture students receive need or merit-based scholarship support. 

“LA has proven to be the ideal place to provide a medley of circumstances to incur on landscape and urbanistic studies, for it is a highly complex megalopolis that presents a wide array of problems and solutions.”


As one of the nation’s preeminent architecture schools, we must continue to lead by example. Our curriculum encourages students to exemplify the role of Citizen Architects – those who will create systems that benefit the public good, contributing to an imaginative and creative civic and public infrastructure.  

For more information about the programs and initiatives outlined above, please contact Ratri Lertluksamipun, Alumni & Constituency Relations Officer, at