New B.Arch First-Year Student Information

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Dear Incoming Student,

Welcome and congratulations on your admission to the School of Architecture! You form part of an elite group of students coming from across the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. At U-SoA, you will begin an extraordinary journey that will inspire you to become keen observers of the built environment, understanding the role of the architect in contemporary society.

The center of your architectural education will be the design studio. Unlike the standard lecture course, the studio is an interactive classroom that fosters a dynamic and collegial working environment. During your first semester, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of architectural design through an in-depth study of the elements of architecture; and you will explore the ways in which these elements can be choreographed to create meaningful spaces and places.

Parallel to your design studio, you will be enrolled in Visual Representation I, the first of a three-semester sequence of drawing courses. Drawing, both by hand and on the computer, is the fundamental tool of communication for the architect and the means to not only learn the language of architecture but also to represent your own architectural ideas.

These two studio-based courses will be accompanied by the Introduction to Architectural Theory, a lecture class that will provide you with an overview of the theories that have shaped architectural practice from antiquity to the present. Together, these three courses comprise the core of your first semester curriculum and are supplemented by general education classes that expand your areas of knowledge beyond the School of Architecture.

You will receive a list of required reading as well as supplies that you will need to purchase for the beginning of the academic year. Moreover, on the U-SoA website, you will find recommendations regarding specifications for the purchase of your computer.

If you have any questions about the first year, please feel free to contact me at In addition, Nora Gay-Betton, Senior Program Coordinator, is also available to answer your questions from 9 to 5 weekdays at (305) 284-3731 or via email at

The faculty joins me in welcoming you; and we look forward to seeing you in August.

Best wishes,

 ana regalado
Ana M. Regalado
Associate Dean & Director, Academic Services


First Year Supply Kit

Required reading:
Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen