Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

USC School of Architecture

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Type  Private
Students  approximately 750
Dean  Qingyun Ma
Established  1916
Founded  1916
Location  Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Address  Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA

Usc school of architecture expo 2016

The USC School of Architecture is the architecture school at the University of Southern California. It is one of USC's 17 professional schools, offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of architecture, building science, landscape architecture and heritage conservation (historic preservation). The current dean is Qingyun Ma.


Usc school of architecture from head to heart to hand


The program at USC began as a small architectural department in 1916. Soon after, with the help of the Allied Architects of Los Angeles, a separate School of Architecture was established in 1925. By 1928, majors and degree-granting programs were provided to students. One of the earliest undergraduate programs was the 5-year professional Bachelor of Architecture program. Over the years, the school grew and expanded its influence as one of the premier architecture programs in the country. The school now offers 3 undergraduate degrees, 3 undergraduate minors, 4 master's degrees and 1 Ph.D.

The current main buildings are Watt Hall & Harris Hall. Watt Hall was built in 1974 and designed by alumnus Edward Killingsworth ('40).

USC Architecture took over maintenance of the Gamble House, the Craftsman masterpiece in Pasadena designed by Greene and Greene in 1966 in a joint deed with the city of Pasadena, which took over responsibility for the grounds.


The School of Architecture is located in the Harris Hall and Watt Hall Complex, at the southern end of the USC University Park Campus. The school comprises over 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of design studios, classrooms, galleries, workshops and labs. One advantage of USC's architecture program is the ability for all students to have their own 24-7 personal workstations. Students have access to their projects at all times. Within and adjacent to the complex are three landscaped courtyards. The complex also houses several art galleries and, next door, the "USC Fisher Museum of Art".


The School of Architecture is consistently ranked amongst the best architecture schools in the country. In 2006 and 2007, "Architect Magazine" ranked USC's undergraduate program 5th nationwide. In 2013, Architectural Record ranked USC as the 7th best undergraduate architecture program in the country.

Both the undergraduate "B. Arch" and the graduate "M. Arch" are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The "NAAB" is the sole authority for granting accreditation for professional architecture degree programs.

The Master of Building Science (MBS) degree program was recognized as a "top-notch program" by ARCHITECT: Journal of the American Institute of Architects, in 2009.


Many of the faculty members at the School of Architecture are practicing professionals and researchers. The majority of the faculty are active members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and 14 are Fellows of AIA (FAIA).

Notable Faculty:

  • Manuel De Landa (adjunct)
  • Wes Jones - RA, FAAR
  • Qingyun Ma - AIA
  • Steven Ehrlich - FAIA
  • Lorcan O'Herlihy - FAIA
  • Lawrence Scarpa - FAIA
  • Patrick Tighe - FAIA
  • Diane Ghirardo
  • Notable Former Faculty:

  • A. Quincy Jones - Professor and later Dean of the School of Architecture from 1951-1967. Designed the building which houses the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
  • William L. Pereira - Joined faculty in 1949. Notable works include the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco and Geisel Library at UC San Diego. Designed the campus plans of USC, UC Irvine, and Pepperdine University.
  • Richard Neutra - Considered among the most important modernist architects.
  • Raymond Loewy - internationally acclaimed industrial designer.
  • Gregory Ain - Best known for bringing elements of modern architecture to lower and medium-cost housing.
  • Craig Ellwood
  • Alumni

    Many of the students that have graduated from the USC School of Architecture have moved on to be leading figures in the architectural community.

  • Frank O. Gehry - B. Arch, 1954. Notable works include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Experience Music Project, and Dancing House. Pritzker Prize laureate.
  • Thom Mayne - B. Arch, 1968. Notable works include the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters and the San Francisco Federal Building. Pritzker Prize laureate.
  • Jon Jerde - B. Arch, 1966. Notable works include Canal City Hakata, Mall of America, Westfield Horton Plaza, and Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles.
  • Boris Dramov - B. Arch, 1966. Notable works include Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Third Street Promenade.
  • Paul Revere Williams - B. Arch, 1934. Designed homes for numerous celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnaz. First African American member and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
  • Pierre Koenig - B. Arch, 1952.
  • Calvin C. Straub - B. Arch, 1943.
  • Raphael Soriano - B. Arch, 1934.
  • Zelma Wilson - B. Arch, 1947.
  • Edward Killingsworth - B. Arch. 1940. Participated in the Case Study Houses experiment. Master planning architect for California State University, Long Beach for over 40 years. Designed Watt Hall and the University Religious Center at USC.
  • Gregory Ain - Attended the School from 1927-1928. Former professor at the USC School of Architecture and Dean of the school of architecture at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Albert Nozaki - B. Arch, 1933. Academy-Award nominated art director for Paramount Pictures. Known for work on The War of the Worlds and The Ten Commandments. Career was disrupted when he was interned at Manzanar during World War II.
  • References

    USC School of Architecture Wikipedia