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Discovering Architecture

July 14 - July 27, 2019

A Summer Program for High School Students

APPLY ONLINE (PROGRAM FULL) (Deposit payable by credit card)

Residential Mail-in Application (PROGRAM FULL) (Deposit payable with check or money order)

Commuter Mail-in Application (PROGRAM FULL) (Deposit payable with check or money order)

    About the program

    About the program

    For two intensive weeks, while living on campus at Drexel University, you'll experience what it's like to study architecture in college. You'll attend classes taught by Drexel Architecture faculty members in studios and computer labs used by Drexel architecture students. You'll go on field trips to significant architectural sites in Philadelphia, hear lectures by distinguished speakers, and try your hand at architectural design while working closely with an instructor. Our program will introduce you to this fascinating profession. During the summer, while Drexel architecture students are on vacation, we're opening their studio and other facilities to a group of high school students who want to experience what education and work are like in the field of architecture.

    You will visit prominent architecture offices and meet architects on the job. You'll have a chance to see first-hand the types of projects architects work on, and how they go about it in the environment of an architecture office. With the historic city of Philadelphia at your doorstep, you'll be practically living in an architectural classroom. Almost every day you'll explore some part of the city to discover magnificent buildings, public squares, parks, and museums.  And along the way you'll also see Philadelphia's traditional houses and neighborhoods, learn about its history, and tune into the rhythms of city life.

    Program Format

     Program Format

    Studio:  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.

    Computer: Students will be introduced to computer design. Using the latest technology, students will learn to model three-dimensional forms on computer and see the role of the computer in design.

    Lectures: 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.

    Field Trips and Cultural Events:  We will visit an off-campus destination almost every day. Students will sketch important city buildings and sites, visit museums, architect and interior design offices, and explore the urban environment. An all-day field trip outside of Philadelphia is planned for the weekend.

    Special ActivitiesIt is July after all! There will be opportunities to play volleyball in the evenings, see the city of Philadelphia, and enjoy other social events as a group and with students in other programs, including architecture, graphic design, fashion design, and design & merchandising.

    General Information 

    General Information

    Faculty: 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.

    Housing & Facilities:

    Residential Option: Students enrolled in the residential program will reside together in a Drexel University campus residence hall. The campus is located in University City, adjacent to downtown Center City Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, and many cultural and historic sites. Around-the-clock staff supervision will be provided.

    Non-Residential Option: Students enrolled in the non-residential program will be required to arrive to studio at 9:00a.m. daily. There is an option to either be picked up by a parent  or guardian at 5:30 p.m. each day or remain for evening studio/activities and be picked up by 10:30pm. Additionally, students are welcome to attend weekend activities at no additional cost. Weekend pick-up and drop-off times will vary.

    The non-residential option is available to students who live within a ten mile radius of Drexel University.

    Tuition Registration 

    Tuition Registration

    Eligibility: High school students at least 16 years of age who have completed their sophomore or junior year by July 2019 are welcome to apply.

    Residential Program Tuition: The tuition of $3,250.00 covers all program related expenses including:

    • Supervised accommodations in residence halls
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • Classes, seminars, and architectural office visits
    • Supplies and materials        
    • Use of computer resources and library
    • Recreational field trips and social events
    • Cultural events and planned leisure activities
    • The opportunity to interact with professional architects and architecture faculty
    • The opportunity to meet other high school students from across the globe who are also interested in architecture

    Non-Residential Program Tuition: The tuition of $2,550.00 includes the following program related expenses:

    • Lunch
    • Dinner if remaining for evening activities
    • If participating in weekend activities: Saturday- breakfast, lunch and dinner; Sunday- snack and dinner
    • Classes, seminars, and lectures/guest speakers
    • Supplies and materials
    • Academic field trips
    • Use of computer resources and library
    • Recreational field trips and social events
    • Cultural events and planned leisure activities
    • The opportunity to interact with professional architects and architecture faculty
    • The opportunity to meet other high school students from across the globe who are also interested in architecture

    Application, Registration, Payment:

    You may apply by completing the downloadable PDF application, or the online application, and submitting a copy of your high school transcript, and a 300 word personal statement of interest.  Transcripts can be e-mailed to or mailed to the address below. 

    A deposit of $300 is required with your application. Your deposit will be returned if you are not accepted into the program. Upon acceptance, your deposit is nonrefundable. The balance must be paid by June 21, 2019. No refunds will be made once the program begins.

    Send items to:

    ATTN: Susan Hahn
    Drexel University
    URBN Center #71-4A20B
    3501 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Architecture 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? Call 215-895-2409 or e-mail

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