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5 Architecture Programs for High School Students

January 25, 2024
By AdmissionSight
Paper architectural drawings and blueprint

5 Architecture Programs for High School Students

Exploring the world of architecture before college is an exciting journey, and these top 5 Architecture Programs for High School Students e are tailor-made for high school students keen on delving into this creative field. Each program offers a unique blend of hands-on learning, theoretical understanding, and practical skills development. They are crafted to help you build a strong portfolio, earn college credits, and gain a deep insight into architectural design and practice.

Whether you’re solidifying your decision to pursue architecture or just curious about the field, the 5 pre-college programs we’ll discuss provide an excellent platform to enhance your knowledge and skills. Dive in to find out more about each program and how it can align with your aspirations in architecture.

1. Introduction to Architecture Summer Program at Cornell

  • Location: College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
  • Cost: $10,500 ($ 1,750 per college credit); $75 application fee
  • Program Dates: June 24-August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 6, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students and undergraduates.

The Cornell Introduction to Architecture Program is an online course for high school and undergraduate students interested in architecture. It combines practical studio design with lectures to teach architectural concepts and design. Students work on creative projects, learn from past architectural examples, and use both digital and traditional design methods. The program ends with a project useful for college applications and gives students a certificate and individual feedback.

an unidentified interior designer comparing miniature models of chairs

No previous architecture knowledge is needed to join. The program includes two online courses, each worth three credits: “Introduction to Architecture: Design Studio (ARCH 1110)” and “Introduction to Architecture: Lectures (ARCH 1300).” This makes a total of six credits. The program is a well-rounded introduction to architecture, suitable for high school students.

2. Roger Williams Summer Academy in Architecture

  • Location: Cummings School of Architecture, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island.
  • Cost: $5,800
  • Program Dates: July 7-August 3, 2024
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising high school Juniors and Seniors.

The Summer Academy program is for high school juniors and seniors to experience college life and earn three college credits. It combines studio work, seminars, field activities, and extracurricular activities, focusing on architecture as a potential college major and career. The program covers architectural basics, digital drawing, modeling, and modern architectural practices. Students get mentorship from college teaching assistants, which gives them a real look at college academic life.

Additionally, the program includes team projects where students work with those from RWU Cummings School of Architecture on big projects. It features lectures, virtual tours of famous buildings, and fun events. There’s also help with college admissions and making a portfolio for professional school applications. Workshops, lectures, and demos support the daily studio work, helping students understand architecture deeply and prepare for college.

3. Architecture Career Discovery Program at RPI

  • Location: School of Architecture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.
  • Cost: $1300 (for 2023)
  • Program Dates: No update for 2024
  • Application Deadline: No update for 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students entering grades 10, 11, or 12.

This two-week class is for high school students interested in architecture. It focuses on studio work, where students start by developing an idea, then make abstract models, and finally design a building proposal. The class includes regular feedback from instructors and reviews with guest critics. Students also attend lectures and presentations about architecture, covering topics like contemporary projects and drawing skills. The course is a good fit for those considering a career in architecture or design.

Unidentified people working on a project.

During the first week, students work on hand-drawn models and drawings. The second-week shifts to digital design, teaching 3D modeling with Rhinoceros and 2D drawing with Adobe Creative Suite. This workshop helps students think about a career in architecture and create a portfolio piece important for getting into top architecture schools like Rensselaer. The course gives a broad introduction to architecture, mixing practical experience with theory.

4. Boston Architectural College Summer Academy

  • Location: Boston Architectural College, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Cost: Credit-bearing: $2,000 ( $1,800 register by March 1, 2024 discount) equivalent to 3.0 college credit; Base Price (not for credit): $1,800 ($1,600  register by March 1, 2024 discount)
  • Program Dates: July 1-August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: June 3, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students entering grades 9- 12.

The BAC Summer Academy, in its 50th year, is a four-week program for high school students interested in design. It’s available in two formats for 2024: an in-person experience in Boston or online. Led by graduate students and professionals, the program offers practical design projects done both in groups and individually. On-site students will have live lectures, exercises, and visits in Boston, while online students will do similar activities via video and get materials for home projects. All students use advanced design software and tools provided by BAC.

The academy includes interactive workshops on various design and architectural topics. These workshops are practical and encourage active participation and questions. Students will work on projects to build both digital and physical portfolios, important for applying to design schools. They also get a 3D printing pen for design projects. Teamwork is a big part of the program, with group projects and discussions that teach collaboration and problem-solving. This program prepares students for a future in architecture by combining learning, creativity, and teamwork.

5. Architecture Discovery Program at WashU

  • Location: Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Cost: $4,091 ($35 application fee)
  • Program Dates: July 14 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 30, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors in high school.

The Architecture Discovery Program (ADP) is a two-week course for high school juniors and seniors interested in architecture and design. Happening in the summer of 2024 and taught by Sam Fox School faculty, the program is in-person and offers activities that help students improve their design portfolios. Completing the program successfully earns students 2 college credits. The main part of the program is the Design Studio, where students work on creative and sustainable design projects that get reviewed by faculty and guest critics.

a group of six student journalist gathered around a table while working

Another key component is the Drawing Studio, which teaches students how to observe and draw, focusing on things like size, light, textures, space, and perspective. The program includes field trips to St. Louis’s museums, galleries, and historic sites, helping students explore the city’s art and design. Students have also visited places like architecture firms and artist studios. There are also fun activities like movies in the park and bowling. This makes the program a complete introduction to architecture and design.

Final Thoughts

Overall, these Architecture Programs for High School Students offer high school students a unique opportunity to explore and understand the world of architecture. Each program, with its distinct focus and approach, provides valuable experiences in design, drawing, and conceptual thinking.

Whether you’re aiming to strengthen your college applications, earn early college credits, or simply want to immerse yourself in architectural studies, these programs are an excellent starting point. They not only enhance your skills and knowledge but also give you a glimpse into the life of an architecture student. As you consider your future in architecture, these programs could be the stepping stones toward achieving your academic and professional goals.

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