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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Summer Design Academy (FULL)

This summer, high school students are invited to enroll in a regular UMass introductory architecture studio. The course will be offered in person or online.

This immersive three-week foundational studio course will explore the vital effects of architecture and their representation. Through carefully sequenced two and three dimensional projects, students will develop a conceptual approach to architecture that incorporates graphic storytelling, mapping, and translation across a wide range of media and scales.

Students will enhance skills in drawing and drafting techniques, digital and physical model making, and digital graphic design while exploring the process of conceptualization, design development, iteration, analysis, and critique. The final project will conclude with the design of a habitable space.

Anchored in the challenging and fun design curricula used in many top design and architecture schools across the U.S., the Summer Design Academy provides an opportunity for high school students interested in architecture, landscape architecture, urban or interior design to explore and gauge their interest in the kinds of activities that take place in a typical university design program.

Students attending the Summer Design Academy in person will receive a materials kit (included in program fees). Students attending the Summer Design Academy online will be provided with a list of materials to purchase on their own - please budget about $100 for materials. 


The UMass Department of Architecture is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment in higher education, and in the profession of architecture. Students of color who cannot meet the financial obligations of the Summer Design Academy (SDA) are encouraged to apply for a scholarship. Please see Tuition & Fees to learn how to apply.


Students may attend this course either in person or online. 

In Person Schedule: M - F, 9am - 4pm. This course is offered at the UMass Amherst campus as a residential program. Local students may apply to attend as a commuter.

Online Schedule: Live, synchronous sessions will meet Mon - Thur 1:00 - 4:00pm (EST) plus additional asynchronous work as assigned.