Architecture and Community Design

Building Communities for Human & Environmental Sustainability

Curriculum   Student Projects Faculty   Alumni News

Program Description

The Architecture & Community Design (ARCD) Program at the University of San Francisco combines an introduction to the disciplines of architecture, urban design, city planning, and landscape design with a strong emphasis on the social sciences and humanities. The program draws from the university's diverse resources and faculty to form a unique interdisciplinary curriculum of study, which reflects the university's mission and commitment to building community for a more just and humane world.

This interdisciplinary program emphasizes the critical role of design in negotiating between individual and collaborative acts of making and the larger framework of political, social, and cultural issues. It seeks to engage and encourage students to understand the contemporary metropolis through a breadth of analytical approaches and design strategies. Through this process we train students to become impassioned readers, interpreters, actors, and designers of their cities, institutions, and communities.

The B.A. in Architecture & Community Design is a four year pre-professional degree program that has been carefully crafted to satisfy the entrance requirements for professional architecture and urban design graduate degree programs at the nation's top universities. Applicants to the program should follow USF's regular undergraduate admissions procedures; no portfolio is required.

Selected Graduate Schools
Architecture & Community Design graduates have been admitted to the following grad schools:

● Boston Architectural College

● California College of Arts
● Cal Poly Pomona

● Columbia University

● Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
● Oregon State University, Portland
● Parsons School of Design

● Pratt Institute
● Savannah College of Art and Design

● Southern California Institute of Architecture

● State University of New Jersey, Rutgers
● Tulane University

● University of Washington, Seattle
● University of California, Berkeley

● University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
● University of Hawaii at Manoa

● University of Oregon, Eugene
● University of Oregon, Portland 

● University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
● University of Southern California (USC)

● University of Texas, Austin


Selected Companies

Architecture & Community Design students and graduates have worked for:
● Andrews + Chang Architecture

● Cahill Contractors
● Thomas Dolan Associates
● Dana Hanson Interiors
● Fargo Farnesi

● Form4 Architecture

● Geoffrey E Butler Architecture & Planning

● Gould Evans Architects

● Huang Iboshi Architecture

● Hubbard Godfrey Architects

● Landmark Builders Inc.

● Lombard Consulting Services

● Pyatok Architects
● Walker Moody Architects

● Matt Hollis Architects
● HP Media Solutions
● SF Public Works
● SmartHaus Associates
● Kirk E. Peterson and Associates, Architects

● Kiewit Building Group
● City of Downey Planning Department
● Davis Square Architects
● Jizhun Fangzhong Architectural Design

● Serrano Development Group, Inc.

● Tanner Hecht Architecture
● Peace Corps
● U.S. Army

● USF Facilities/Project Management
● Americorps


Elements of the Architecture & Community Design Program
● Seven intensive core studio courses that address local and global urban and architectural design issues 
● Four history courses covering distinct eras in architecture and urban history across the globe
● The use of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area as urban laboratories for the study of history, theory and design 
● Training in both abstract and applied design 
● Integration of the studio core within the context of a liberal arts education in social sciences, sciences, and the humanities 
● Preparation for graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, environmental design and city planning; and, also for any number of professional career tracks including government, law, history, business, journalism or the visual arts 
● An architecture-focused semester abroad 
● An Architectural Engineering minor option
● Bay Area and International community design outreach on real-world design/build projects 
● Professional practice/internship at architecture related firms, municipalities and non-profits

Learning Goals/Outcomes for the B.A. in Architecture and Community Design
● Gain a historical foundation of architecture from pre-history to recent developments in the field, through a comprehensive approach to the range of social and economic factors affecting the design of world cities and buildings 
● Develop familiarity with social justice issues in under-served communities and developing regions of the world as well as more inclusive perspectives on architectural history 
● Develop critical skills and methodologies of inquiry, analysis, conceptual development, resolution and presentation of design ideas 
● Learn to integrate aspects of site, program, space, structure and material to create designs for buildings which actively respond to the historical, cultural, social and political exigencies of time and place 
● Develop analytical tools that give attention to the various historic and social forces that intersect to create the built environment 
● Gain a solid foundation in technical and conceptual design skills to present architectural ideas visually, verbally and in writing to clients, associates, and communities 
● Graduate with the knowledge and skills to facilitate positive change to built environments in the world

Beyond the Coursework
Architecture & Community Design students participate in USF student organizations and activities such as: 
● American Institute of Architects Students, USF chapter 
● Bay Area Architecture Lecture Series 
● Architecture Film Series 
● USF Community Garden

● Environmental Justice and Outdoors Club

● San Francisco Institute of Architects – San Francisco Symphony Adventures in Music program