Welcome Architecture Students

Welcome and congratulations! We are very pleased that you are considering joining us. We are certain that you will profit enormously from our rich and challenging environment, and that your training, skills, goals, and motivation to pursue graduate studies here will be a significant contribution to all.

We hope to see you at the PennDesign Open House on Monday, March 27, 2017. There you will have the opportunity to meet faculty and students, tour the facilities, and experience first-hand the unique culture at PennDesign. If you have a conflict with this date and wish to schedule a visit, send us a note and we will assist you with planning a visit. We also encourage you to explore our website to learn more about our program, curriculum, and community. Below you will find essential information that will help you to prepare to begin your program this year. Please read the information that pertains to you and follow it carefully.

Please contact us with questions at +1-215-898-5728 or arch@design.upenn.edu. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Important Dates

June 16 - June 25  Digiblast I
June 26 - August 11  Summer Prep Studio
June 29 - August 4  Physics and History of Architecture courses
July 31 - August 11 Digiblast II
August 14 - August 18  Advanced Architectural Design Digital Workshop

Master of Architecture Students

Are you admitted conditionally with the Summer Preparatory Studio Requirement?
We are excited about your participation in the Summer Preparatory Studio Program and look forward to your involvement in the creation of rich and varied work during this intense course of study. As you know, your matriculation into the three-year Master of Architecture Professional Degree Program is contingent upon the successful completion of ARCH 500-920: Summer Preparatory Design Studio and Digital Blast l: Fundamentals of 3D Modeling. These two courses are designed not only to give you the skills and knowledge necessary to qualify you for entrance into the first semester of the program this fall, but they are seen as a necessary first step in a much larger program of professional studies. Digiblast runs from June 16th through the 25th, Studio from June 26th through August 11th. The cost of the two-course-unit studio Summer Preparatory Studio is about $12,770. This includes the cost of Digiblast. If you are receiving financial aid, a portion of your aid will be applied to your summer studio tuition.

We will begin with a mandatory orientation session for all summer architecture students on June 16th in the Lower Gallery of Meyerson Hall. Please check in with the Architecture Department office in room 212 Meyerson Hall that morning at 9:30am. Immediately following our meeting we will assign design studio work desks. The first Digital Blast l meeting will be on June 16th (time TBD). The schedule for the other courses and syllabi will be distributed at the orientation session. In the meantime, the instructor has provided a Bibliography and Materials List for the Summer Preparatory Design Studio for your information. /sites/default/files/uploads/Bibliography%20and%20Materials%20List%20for%20Summer%20Studio_0.pdf                                                                                                                                                                                               Please look over the subject areas during whatever free time you may have. In particular, try to read the titles in bold print. The remaining books comprise a general list relevant to the design studio course, and most of these books can be found in the Jerome and Anne Fisher Fine Arts Library on campus. They are suggested resources but are not required readings. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the studio instructor, Larry Mitnick, at limitnick@aol.com.

Do you need to fill Physics and/or History of Western Architecture prerequisites?
The Department of Architecture offers a History of Architecture and a Physics course. These non-credit courses will fulfill the history and physics prerequisite conditions for matriculation in the fall. Each course runs from June 29th through August 4th for a course fee of $750.00. Course enrollment is by permit only.

Digiblast Workshops

Master of Architecture (Summer Preparatory Studio) students will take Digiblast I: Fundamentals of 3D Modeling & Digital Output, from June 16 to June 25. The course fee is included in the Summer Studio tuition. Students enrolled in the History and Theory or Physics summer courses must also take Digiblast I.  All other Master of Architecture students and MEBD students will take Digiblast II: Fundamentals of 3D Modeling & Digital Output from July 31 to August 11 for a course fee of $750. These workshops will lay the foundations for a range of computer skills that are essential for navigating the digital workflow of PennDesign graduate studios.

3D and parametric modeling visualization and 3D post-production presentation techniques will be covered in daily hands-on tutorials and during in-class lab time with expert guidance. Topics include Rhino, VRay, and Grasshopper. Once acquired, the skills developed in Digiblast will be used in explorations in future studios at PennDesign.

Master of Science in Design (Advanced Architectural Design) students are required to take the Advanced Architectural Design Digital Workshop. This session, which runs from August 14-18, 2017, is intended to introduce students to the digital techniques that will be used in the design studios. Tuition is $575.

Summer Billing Information

Course fees for Architecture and Landscape Architecture summer institutes will be applied to student’s accounts daily throughout the summer.  Students will receive an email confirmation from the Office of Student Services when the charges have been applied to their account.  The charges will be visible to students under “new activity” in the Penn.Pay system.  The fee will be due during the next scheduled billing cycle.  Student Financial Services billing schedule is available online at: http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/billing/billing-schedule.htm.  Questions regarding billing for summer institutes should be directed to the PennDesign Office of Student Services at: registrar@design.upenn.edu.

Registration - MArch

Credit UnitsCourse & Section #Course Name
2ARCH 501-201Design Studio I
1ARCH 511-001History and Theory I
0ARCH 511-201/202/203/204History and Theory I Recitation - choose section based on preferred time        
.5ARCH 521-101Visual Studies I
.5ARCH 531-401Construction I
.5ARCH 535-401Structures I
0ARCH 535-402Structures I Lab

Waivers: Course requirement waivers can be picked up in the Architecture office (212 Meyerson). This form needs to be signed by the instructor on the first day of class, at which time you should be prepared to show the instructor the course syllabus and a transcript showing the grade you received in the course.

Registration - MSD

Students may take a maximum of five course units per semester and are required to complete a minimum of three semesters of full-time studies.

Credit UnitsCourse #Course Name
2ARCH 703MSD Design Studio I
1ARCH 717Philosophy of Urban History I
1ARCH 743Form and Algorithm I
1Elective I 


Registration - MEBD

Credit UnitsCourse #Description   
1ARCH 751Ecology, Technology, and Design   
1ARCH 752MEBD Research Seminar   
1ARCH 753Building Performance Simulation   
1Designated Elective    
1Designated Elective    


Registration - MS & PhD Arch

You may find it helpful to begin reading books written by members of the Graduate Group, particularly those written by professors with whom you imagine yourself studying: David Leatherbarrow, Akbarzadeh Masoud, Daniel Barber, William Braham, David Brownlee, Winka Dubbeldam, Annette Fierro, Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, John Dixon Hunt, Simon Kim, Frank Matero, Joan Ockman, Ali Rahim, Andrew Saunders, Franca Trubiano, Marion Weiss, Aaron Wunsch


Credit UnitsCourse #Course Name
1ARCH 811Architectural Research
1Elective I 
1Elective II 
1Elective III