University of South Florida

School of Architecture & Community Design

USF College of The Arts

Course Descriptions

Small details add up to one unique educational experience just for you. The courses you choose with the help of your academic advisor will allow you to explore and redefine what architecture and community design means to you. Read through the course descriptions below to discover the scope of study options, from Pre-Architecture undergraduate courses to graduate-level studio electives.

Undergraduate Course Descriptions | Graduate Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

ARC 2112L: Architectural Freehand Drawing Methods

This course provides an introduction to basic freehand drawing with an emphasis on observational drawing, mapping, gesture, and drawing as a means of orientation. The student is introduced to a wide range of drawing methods, media and concepts.

ARC 2131C: Introduction to Architectural Design and Graphics

An introduction to fundamental "critical thinking" and graphic communication skills in architecture.

ARC 2135C: Introduction to Architectural Design & Graphics II

This course explores fundamental issues of space-making and perception of space, scale and habitation. In addition, this course builds on the skills and knowledge developed in the first introductory course through analysis and interpretation of specific works.

ARC 2180: Introduction to Digital Architecture

The Introduction to Digital Architecture course introduces students to various software utilized by Architects in the field such as, AutoCAD, Sketch-up, StudioMax, Photoshop, etc.

ARC 2211: Introduction to Architecture

An introduction to the analysis and interpretation of the architecture and urban design of various cultures.

ARC 2701: Architectural History I

Overview of the built environment from prehistory through the Middle Ages. Buildings and cities in their geographical, topographical, political, aesthetic, social, technological and economic context.

ARC 2702: Architectural History II

Overview of the built environment from the Middle Ages to the present. Buildings and cities in their geographical, topographical, political, aesthetic, social, technological and economic context.

ARC 2931: Selected Topics

Selected topics will include architectural diagramming, freehand drawing, model making, photography, and computer graphics. Courses are intended for non-majors and are repeatable.

ARC 4376: Architecture for Real Estate & Development

The course introduces the basic processes necessary for large scale projects and developments. Numerous professions are explained from varying points of view to allow participants to better understand how buildings get built and land developed.

ARC 4541: Physics for Architects

Physics for Architects is a study of physical concepts/problems applicable to current and future graduate architecture student, creating a foundation for technical issues of structures, environmental technology and construction methods.

ARC 4757: Made in Italy: Italian Design and Interdisciplinary Coherence

This course explores Italian design as a way to understand the coherence among differing fields of study. By discovering shared cross-disciplinary themes found in Italian design, students will gain new insights which will enlighten their own studies.

ARC 4784: The City

This course examines the history of the city, as both idea and reality, with a particular focus on Western cities and the 20th century. The course is open to undergraduates and students in the Graduate Architecture Program.

ARC 4884: Sustainable Neighborhood Development

This course will focus on understanding and evaluating sustainable neighborhood development strategies, using multiple concepts, practices and approaches.

ARC 4931: Selected Topics in Architecture and Community Design

Variable topics will be offered for pre-professional studies for students in the Liberal Studies Major/ALA Degree Program and as electives for other undergraduates.


Graduate Course Descriptions

ARC 5175: Computer Technology

Introduction to the application of computer technology in current architectural practice. The exploration of available software, programs, and computer services for word processing, information handling, specification writing, feasibility analysis, cost estimating, economic performance and life-cycle cost analysis, project management (network programming and analysis), computer graphics, computer-aided design, and drafting.

ARC 5216: The Building Arts

Introduction to the man-made environment. The study and profession of architecture. The various facets of the process of shaping the built environment as it manifests itself in the different roles and specialization of the experts involved the process, and in the various academic courses that prepare the architect for practice.

ARC 5256: Design Theory

Survey of major schools of thought in design theory, methods of design and problem-solving, and design research. The nature of the design activity and its recurring difficulties. The nature and different types of problems. Traditional approaches to problem-solving and design in architecture; recent systematic as well as intuitive approaches to problem-solving based on developments in other fields. Scientific method; the systems approach and design.

ARC 5361: Core Design I

First of two-semester Design Fundamentals/Design Graphics sequence focusing on design abstractions and analysis of the factors influencing conceptual design. Emphasis is placed on ordering principles, pattern recognition and utilization, and figure-ground relationships. Development of craftsmanship, drawing as a means to design, and perceptual acuity are stressed.

ARC 5362: Core Design II

Second of a two-semester Design Fundamentals/Design Graphics sequence focusing on synthesis of design concepts and application of ordering principles in architectural design. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding and awareness of architectural elements and compositions. Students examine the work of significant architects and use it as a basis for design exploration. Graphic documentation, diagramming, and model studies are stressed.

ARC 5363: Core Design III

Study of the various phases of the building delivery and design process, and of different approaches to ordering that process in a systematic fashion. The student will use one such systematic approach in the investigation and development of design solutions for a project of moderate scale and complexity. Studies of built form ordering principles, mass/void relationships, scale and proportion, color, texture, contextual relationships, meaning/imagery, and building technology (awareness of structural organization, services networks, construction processes and materials). Aspects of human behavior as design determinants.

ARC 5364: Advanced Design A

Application of orderly design processes to building projects of moderate complexity and scale. Continued investigation of the relationship between human behavior and the environment. Analysis and integration of site relationships into the development of design solutions. Legal aspects of zoning, building codes, and regulations regarding access for accessibility, fire escape, etc.

ARC 5365: Advanced Design B

Investigation of the interaction between user requirements, environmental determinants, site and urban context conditions, technological factors, and design intentions in the development of design solutions for projects of medium scale and complexity. The analysis, design, and coordination of the various resulting systems, including structural, circulation, service networks, space zoning and use, environmental control systems at the interface between interior and exterior of a building. Representation of these relationships and systems in diagrams and models, and their manifestation in design and construction details.

ARC 5366: Advanced Design C

Design of multi-purpose buildings of medium- to large-scale and complexity. Issues of community and neighborhood design as they relate to the design of buildings. Restoration and adaptive re-use of existing historic buildings. Focus on thinking through as well as documenting the complete building system and process.

ARC 5467: Materials and Methods of Construction

Overview of properties of primary construction materials and systems that make up building structures and enclosures. Emphasis on elements and assemblies relative to various climates, technologies, costs, building codes, and craftsmanship.

ARC 5470: Introduction to Technology

Introduction to architectural technology, including structures, materials and methods of construction, and environmental controls. Overview of building systems and components and their integration into architectural design projects.

ARC 5587: Structures I

Review of static and mechanical principles of materials. Analysis and evaluation for appropriate selection of structural systems and elements. Analysis and design of timber and steel structures, based on moment, shear, and deflection. Fundamentals of wind and seismic design as they apply to wood and steel construction. Truss analysis, beam and column behavior.

ARC 5588: Structures II

Introduction to the concepts and theories of structural analysis and design of reinforced concrete systems and elements, including practical application in building construction. Pre-stressing, post-tensioning, hybrid assemblies. Fundamentals of wind and seismic design. Formwork, placement, and assembly techniques.

ARC 5689: Environmental Technology

Comprehensive overview of mechanical systems for buildings including: water and waste: fire protection and suppression; heating, cooling and controls; electric power distribution and illumination; communications; transportation systems, and acoustics.

ARC 5731: Architectural History I

Overview of the built environment from prehistory through the Middle Ages. Buildings and cities in their geographical, topographical, political, aesthetic, social, technological and economic context. Varieties of methodological approaches to the analysis of historical architecture. The focus will be on the built environment of Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

ARC 5732: Architectural History II

Overview of the built environment from the Renaissance to the present. Buildings and cities in their geographical, topographical, political, aesthetic, social, technological, and economic context. Study of various methodological approaches to the analysis of historic architecture, and development of student's own approach. Emphasis will be on the built environment of Europe and America.

ARC 5789: Modern Architecture History

Exploration of the philosophic, economic, aesthetic, social, historical and moral imperatives used by modern architects and historians in their attempt to design the appropriate physical environment for a new social order. The course will investigate the writings and works of the proponents of the modern style of architecture and study the "New Architecture" as defined by those who broke tradition and expressed the new era using modern construction materials and techniques.

ARC 5793: History Abroad

Summer study abroad. Location and description vary from year to year.

ARC 5794: Florida Architectural History

An examination of the environmental, sociological, technological, political, economic, cultural, and other factors that influenced the discovery, growth, and urbanization of Florida as manifested by its architecture.

ARC 5920: Architectural Design Studio Abroad

Summer study abroad. Location and description vary from year to year.

ARC 5931: Special Studies in Architecture

Variable titles offered on topics of special interest.

ARC 6176: Advanced Computer Technology

Elective course dealing with further development of CAD skills, focusing on three-dimensional modeling. A wide range of software programs is included, which explores painting and shading, surface textures, 3D detail studies, perspectives, and oblique representations.

ARC 6287: Professional Practice I

Introduction and overview of professional practice, emphasizing business, organization, management, and marketing. Legal, economic, and ethical aspects of project procurement, design services, and delivery. Contracts, owner-contractor-architect roles, and responsibilities.

ARC 6288: Professional Practice II

Continued overview of professional practice, emphasizing legal, economic, and ethical aspects of practice. Project planning, funding, administration, risk management, and performance. Topics include: estimating, financing, life-cycle cost analysis, information resources, and management.

ARC 6367: Advanced Design D

Comprehensive studio problems emphasizing the integration of disciplinary and professional skills through the formulation of architectural propositions grounded in critical, speculative, and creative research.

ARC 6372: The Neighborhood

Introduces students to the range of urban and suburban neighborhood typologies. We will discuss the purpose of the neighborhood as a physical and social construct, the history of neighborhoods, and the meaning of the neighborhood in present.

ARC 6373: Community Design Studio

(Varies depending on topic) The Community Design Studio is a six-credit hour physical design lab course. Its focus is on design at the scale of urbanism – the metropolitan region, the city, the district, the block, the street, and the building complex.

ARC 6397: Introduction to Urban Design Theory, Methods & Processes

Introduction to the concepts, methods, and manifestations of urban design and city-building. Focus on both traditional city and modern city conditions. Students will gain a basic understanding of the design structure, order, function, and character of cities and towns and assess various qualitative aspects of these conditions. Relationships between processes of architecture, landscape architecture, site planning, preservation and other relevant acts of city-building will be considered as referential points-of-view in assessing certain complexities of urban morphology.

ARC 6398: Introduction to Community and Urban Design

Introduce community and urban design as an academic discipline and professional practice that incorporates architecture, planning, landscape architecture, real estate development, and engineering. Major topics include urban form, function, and perception.

ARC 6471: Advanced Topics in Materials and Methods

Analysis and design of advanced construction assemblies. Specific focus on application and integration of multiple systems and components. Research on new materials and methods. Documentation and model and analysis.

ARC 6481: Design Development

The summary course of the building technology sequence in which construction, structural and environmental technologies are integrated within an architectural design project. Emphasis is placed on poetic and technical aspects of building systems.

ARC 6692: Advanced Topics in Environmental Technology

Analysis and preliminary design of advanced environmental control systems; specific focus on architectural applications; integration with structural and construction systems. Research on special aspects of ET systems, computer simulation, and analysis techniques.

ARC 6930: Special Topics in Urban and Community Design

Special topics related to urban and community design and planning issues.

ARC 6936: Research Methods in Architecture

A seminar course with the primary purpose of providing tools to conduct the independent research necessary for the two-semester, independent Master's Thesis requirement

ARC 6971: Master's Thesis

This represents the most significant project and provides for a demonstration of the ability to synthesize learned skills into a convincing independent work of professional quality. 10 credit hours of ARC 6971 is required. See also the USF Graduate Catalog.

ARC 6974: Master's Project Planning

The Master's Project (ARC 6971) will call for the student's independent selection, organization, programming and design of a complex project. This course aims at preparing students for these tasks by exploring potential topics for master's projects and theses, introducing the concepts of architectural facility programming, methods of gathering, organization, analysis and evaluation of information needed for the project, and by studying the process of writing proposals for the master's project that clearly communicate the problem or task, goals and objectives, the proposed approach and procedure, the expected outcome, as well as the work plan and schedule for such a project and the time and resources required. At the end of the course, students will have prepared an acceptable master's project proposal, which will allow them to proceed with the master's project during the following term.

ARC 6976: Terminal Master's Project

Students will independently investigate an architectural topic of personal interest. The requirements include the submission of a research and design document and the preparation of juried presentation of the work.

Please email Architecture Advising if you have with any questions.