University of South Florida

School of Architecture & Community Design

USF College of The Arts

Why Study at USF

Architecture comes alive at the University of South Florida's School of Architecture & Community Design (SACD). Students develop projects that fuel both architectural and personal growth. This is a place where you have freedom within the creative process to explore your ideas and designs. Where the faculty doesn't just teach but also mentor and invest in students. Our robust curriculum and opportunities for real-world experience through travel, research and community engagement help shape our students into innovative and dedicated designers. At SACD, immerse yourself in the complexity of the discipline and the camaraderie of the school. Join us.

The USF School of Architecture & Community Design offers two degrees: the Master of Architecture and the Master of Urban and Community Design. The Master of Architecture is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and is a professional degree required for licensure.

Supportive Community

Join SACD and become a part of our close-knit community. Where teachers support your growth and success, and peers inspire one another to greater heights. Build lifelong relationships that will bolster you and your aspirations throughout your career. Our community sparks ideas and discussion inspires creativity and collaboration. It brings people together to problem-solve. We build our dream designs and construct our visions for the future.

Learning Culture


Learning primarily centers on the design studio, where students make many physical models. Hands-on practice enables them to master the skills and technologies necessary for professional work.

From learning architectural freehand drawing methods to honing their critical thinking and graphic communication skills, students set a strong foundation. Digital design courses teach students how to use professional software, and architectural history provides insight for the contexts of buildings and cities. Students further strengthen their education by learning design theory, the basic processes for large-scale projects, and evaluating development strategies for sustainable neighborhoods.

Students develop their craftsmanship through the Core Design and Advanced Design sequence of classes, as they build projects of increasing complexity and scale. In their final semesters, SACD students embark on their Master's Project, during which they work independently on a complex project and demonstrate their design and communication skills.


Embedded into our love of construction is the spirit of collaboration. Students work together to select materials and create and design projects. Faculty and design professionals provide guidance and expertise. The combined input leads to thoughtful and innovative output.

Global Perspective

Being able to think about architecture and urbanism in a national and international context is vital. At SACD, students gain a comprehensive and global architecture education. Domestic field trips and study abroad opportunities broaden students' understanding of architecture and urbanism while enhancing their ability to work with diverse communities.

It helps ensure thoughtful decision-making that takes into account the current issues and respective landscapes of different areas. Understanding how past designs can inform future possibilities also paves the way for innovative design. SACD prepares students to work with diverse communities through:

  1. Domestic and international community engagement projects;
  2. Educational travel opportunities to different regions of the United States and abroad;
  3. A variety of guest lecturers who represent different viewpoints.

Each semester, the design studios at the School of Architecture & Community Design embark on field trips to regional, national, and international locations to experience significant architectural works and urban systems. Summer study abroad studios include international travel for several weeks followed by a Tampa-based studio in the second half of the summer. Recent study abroad programs have included trips to the Netherlands, Slovenia, Japan, India, China, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

Personal Development

What does a sound, ecological world look like to you? SACD strives to help students develop a sustainable vision of what such a world might be. In order to achieve this vision, the school also cultivates within students a wide range of capabilities that will prepare them for leadership roles.

In a nurturing yet critically rigorous environment, SACD supports students in finding and refining their own style. Our robust curriculum expects the best of our students and assists them in reaching their full visionary and artistic potential.

Social Responsibility

The development of a sense of ethical responsibility to society, colleagues, and clients are essential to our architecture program. Questions of personal and professional responsibility occur within the curriculum and are fundamental to the mission of the school and university. Several classes examine the role of architecture in a world of increasingly limited resources, while others examine the legal and ethical implications of the practice of architecture with respect to clients and users.

Career Preparation and Development

Planning how to revitalize a city. Designing tiny homes for homeless veterans. Getting to know and really listen to the interests and concerns of diverse communities who will live in and interact with the built environments we construct. Internships at professional architecture firms. An annual career fair. Mentorship. Academic advising. Travel. These are a few of the ways SACD prepares our students for professional practice. Visit the career page to learn more about what students can expect after graduation.

Graduates from SACD have joined professional architecture firms in Florida, New York City, Seattle, and more across the country. Some have started their own award-winning design firms and worked on design projects both national and international.

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