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Discovering Architecture



An Online Summer Program for High School Students

We are excited to offer Discovering Architecture summer program online in a synchronous (scheduled times) format. This virtual immersion will introduce you to design concepts and skills, drawing and sketching techniques, design related software, and help you to discover the possibilities that exist within the fields of Interior Design and Architecture. Additionally, this can help you build your portfolio.

The Discovering Architecture summer virtual program will include a combination of workshops, studio work and tutorials in 2D and 3D software, team building with cross-disciplinary collaboration, and a series of evening enrichment lectures and activities.  There is even a fun Zoom social on Friday!  The program culminates with the students presenting their projects to professional jurors followed by a family Gallery Exhibition of work.   

Apply Online: For consideration, please submit all three components of the application:

About the program

image of student work site model by dautrich
image of student work 3d model by dautrich

Architecture summer program has been running continuously since 1996. You'll experience what it's like to study architecture in college. You'll attend classes taught on-line by Drexel architecture faculty members in virtual studios, just like Drexel architecture students. You'll attend lectures by distinguished speakers and try your hand at architecture while working closely with an instructor. Our program will introduce you to this fascinating profession while helping to build your portfolio.

The core of this program emulates the Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism’s curriculum in interior design and architecture, employing:

  • The process of design thinking
  • The iteration of ideas
  • Individual critiques with faculty
  • History/theory context
  • Sustainability and systems thinking
  • Drawing and sketching development
  • Presentation preparation
  • Portfolio guidelines
  • Student presentations to professional jurors as they defend their design decisions     

Program format

image of student work site model picture two by edmonston


Design studio is at the heart of the program. Most afternoons will be spent in studio, developing design projects through drawings and models. It is expected that students will spend some evenings at work in the studio as well. We will take advantage of being in Philadelphia by focusing on a topic currently relevant to the city. The session will culminate in a presentation by students to faculty and invited professionals. Friends and family will have an opportunity to review the gallery show at the program’s closing reception.


Students will be introduced to computer design and Sketch-Up Pro, a modeling tool to help visualize and experience space in three dimensions. Using this latest professional software, students will model 3D forms on the computer and see its role in design. In the computer lab a faculty member and teaching assistants will work closely with each student.


Lecturers from Drexel University Westphal College faculty and visiting professionals will speak about architecture and related topics. There will also be informal lectures related to studio work.

Computer requirements

Minimum Requirement
Device type  Apple computer or  Windows computer
Processor Intel Multi-core with 2 GHz or greater
Memory (RAM) 8GB or greater
Storage 15GB disk space for installation
Graphics Integrated or dedicated with 1GB graphics memory or greater and support for OpenGL 3.0 or higher
Display 1280 × 800 display resolution or higher with 16-bit color
Operating system PC: Windows 10 (64-bit) Mac: macOS Mojave, macOS Catalina, or macOS Big Sur

Additional requirements

  • 3-button, scroll-wheel mouse
  • Stable Internet connection for video streaming

General information

image of student work hand sketch by lunex


Students will be taught by Drexel University Westphal College faculty members. In the design studio a faculty member and teaching assistants will work closely with each student.

Tuition Registration

image of student work research drawing by willig

Eligibility: High school students at least 16 years of age who have completed their sophomore or junior year by July 2021 are welcome to apply.

Tuition: $1560.00 covers program related expenses and includes a kit of supplies and materials shipped to your home.

Registration Deadline: Priority, May 1st - Final, June 1st, 2021

Please note: spaces in the program are limited and fill quickly. Additional applicants will be added to a waitlist once all spaces are filled.

Application, Registration, Payment

For consideration, please submit all three components of the application:

Architecture On-campus Summer Program testimonials

My son participated the Discovering Architecture program. What he has created and achieved in both his architectural design and his own personal growth are inspiring. We are thrilled he had the opportunity to learn and grow in such a nurturing environment. Thank you Drexel. You have fueled his passion.

Very impressive program and outcome. We selected this in lieu of another one because of the very realistic activities and opportunities students were given. Faculty and RA’s were excellent. Thank you!

About Architecture at Drexel

The practice of architecture requires a unique skill set—creative thinking and aesthetic sensitivity balanced with technical knowledge, cultural understanding, and social responsibility, all coupled with the ability to communicate effectively. The Drexel University Bachelor of Architecture curriculum encompasses foundation courses in the applied and social sciences, the humanities, and a wide range of professional architecture courses to prepare students for careers in architecture and related fields. At the heart of the curriculum are the design studios where students are challenged to apply their knowledge acquired from the above disciplines to consequential design problems.

The mission of the Drexel Architecture Program is to pursue architecture as a professional discipline by combining the rigors of the academy with the realities of contemporary architectural practice. The program does this by providing a strong, broadly based curriculum in the arts, humanities, social sciences and the applied sciences coupled with professional courses taught by faculty who reflect the broad diversity of architectural practice today.

Drexel University's work/study program is an experiential-based learning model that complements and provides an alternative to traditional studio-based programs. The Drexel model provides a practical, high-quality education to those students who seek early exposure to daily architectural practice as well as an affordable alternative to students who could not otherwise be able to enter the profession.

General Questions? e-mail

Questions about Curriculum? Call 215-895-6931 or e-mail Ada Tremonte at