MayJune 2008
Industry News

California School Creates a Doctoral Program in Architecture

This fall, the University of Southern California (USC) will begin offering students the opportunity to earn a doctor of philosophy in architecture degree. According to the university, the new program will allow the school to pursue in-depth research while preparing students for careers in both the profession and academia.

The USC School of Architecture joins an elite, international group of institutions offering a doctorate in architecture degree, including the University of California, Berkeley; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Architectural Association, London; Harvard Graduate School of Design; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich; Georgia Institute of Technology; Tsinghua University, Beijing; University of Melbourne; and the University of Michigan.

“If architecture is seen as a form of knowledge, the Ph.D. in Architecture must lead the effort to explore new knowledge and unknown territories,” says School of Architecture Dean Qingyun Ma. “This becomes urgent today, because we start to realize that the way we build and the way we live have contributed so much to the crisis of where we build and live.”

The initial focus of the program will be on the building sciences and technology. “The school has great strengths and a lengthy history of research in structures, environmental control systems, materials/methods, sustainability and digital processes,” said Program Chair Douglas Noble, FAIA, Ph.D. “We are especially interested in technology integration and design intelligence, and the Ph.D. program will allow us to seek additional federal and private research grants.”

According to USC, as the doctoral program grows, it will expand into additional areas of concentration in environmental design, historic preservation, history/theory, and landscape architecture.  MD