New B. Arch Freshman Student Information

new, student, info new, student, info

Dear Incoming Student,

Welcome! Congratulations on your admission to the School of Architecture! You form part of a group of students coming from across the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Our goal now, is to help you develop academically and professionally, during your years at the U-SoA, and after graduating.

The first semester of the first year is designed to foster a collegial working environment. Most of the class will be taking three courses in the School of Architecture together, so that you will become well-acquained by the end of the first week. An initial workshop on research methods will be offered to help with further research skills. If other topics, such as public-speaking or time-management need structured attention, workshops will be coordinated.

Our first year curriculum has been the subject of national interest. Distinctively different from most architectural curriculum in the country, the University of Miami is distinguished by students’ initial engagement with the city and in building design. In addition, the school’s focus on drawing as the basic and fundamental tool of the architect, is stressed from the very beginning.

This year, as your first assignment, you will analyze a significant architectural masterwork. Understanding architectural composition is central to the education of the architect. This first assignment is sure to introduce you to the basic principles of architectural composition and its forms of expression in architectural drawings: plan, section and elevation. This assignment will be the focus of freshman design and drawing courses during the first weeks of the semester.

You will recieve a list of drawing supplies that you will need. You may already have some of the items, or may want to find them at a discount store in your neighborhood to save time and money, upon arrival. The University bookstore will also have materials, as will other supply stores near the University. Utrecht Art Supply is located close to the University and is offering a special package for our students. Enclosed please find more information on their special offer.

You will find computer hook-ups in the studio as well as a campus-wide wireless network and printing facilities in the computer lab. Learning to draw well by hand not only assures excellence later in computer drawings, but also establishes skills that you will need your entire, professional life. To this end, the first year studio projects will be hand-drawn while the drawings produced in the architectural drawing course will be generated both manually and digitally (please refer to the attached computer guidelines).


You are required to read the following text:

Rasmussen, S. Eiler. Experiencing Architecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1962.

Please make notes in a journal of your choice; these notes will be used in a group discussion during the initial week of classes. Furthermore, we require one text book for the first year studio: Between Two Towers: Drawings of the School of Architecture of Miami by Vincent Scully, Jorge Hernandez, Catherine Lynn & Teofilo Victoria, 1996, New York. Monacelli Press. The book will also be on reserve in the reference section of the School of Architecture Library throughout the semester and will introduce you to the work of U-SoA students and faculty.

If you have any questions about the first year, the first projects, or general issues, please feel free to contact us. In addition, Ana Santana, Assistant Dean, and Danay Morales, Associate Director are available from 9 to 5 weekdays at (305) 284-3731.

The faculty joins me in welcoming you. We look forward to seeing you in August.

Sincerely yours,


Jorge L. Hernandez
Coordinator for Architecture Design I
Steven Fett
Coordinator for Architecture Drawing I

Supply List

Kit prices:

Blick Art Materials

Jerry's Artarama