Architecture: Summer Programs at Penn | Ages 14-18

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Experience Architecture at Penn

Offered by the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, this architecture summer program for high school students prepares students for college admission as you experience college life and create your portfolio. 

The architecture studio introduces the fundamentals of design through two-dimensional and three-dimensional exercises. Assignments in freehand drawing, technical drawing, and model building will allow students to explore various techniques and materials. A rigorous sketchbook will also be kept to further observational skills and record ideas. The studio begins with an abstract exercise to familiarize the students with the essentials of critical thinking and their creative strengths. The initial exercise is followed by a project in which each student designs a space on the University of Pennsylvania campus. 


From Portfolios to Career Opportunities

Express your personal ideas as you go from basic architectural design process to hand drawing to creating digital models you can include in your portfolio. Then, you'll go beyond design and look into future career opportunities and what it means to be an architect. With a limited number of students per studio, you'll receive one-on-one personal attention from experienced architects and Penn faculty every day. The curriculum is taken from undergraduate Penn courses, giving you a head start in this field while you are still in high school. Plus, you will visit local architecture firms so you can speak with today's industry leaders. Finally, all student work is displayed in a final exhibition in Penn's art gallery which takes place on the last Friday of the session.     

Visit our student gallery

Learning at Penn

The University of Pennsylvania School of Design is dedicated to promoting excellence in design across a rich diversity of programs including Architecture, City Planning, Landscape Architecture and Fine Arts. They believe in the centrality of design to all aspects of creativity. A dual challenge is offered to our students: explore a broad range of possibilities through both practice and theory. 

The architecture department is housed at Meyerson Hall, in the heart of the University of Pennsylvania campus, at the corner of Walnut Street and 34th Street. In addition to design studios, exhibition spaces, classrooms and offices, this facility includes state of the art laboratories for computing and fabrication, and two advanced research labs.

Penn’s Summer Faculty

Students enrolled in the Architecture: Summer at Penn program learn from world-renowned faculty from Penn's School of Design. Classes are kept small to ensure you will receive personal attention from each faculty member.  




Campus Life at the University of Pennsylvania

Live in Penn’s famous Quad with students from across the country and around the world.  Experience the University City District and its dozens of restaurants, shops, recreational facilities and entertainment venues.


Wharton School of Business
Wharton School of Business
JKCP at Penn
JKCP at Penn
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Slide 8
JKCP at Love Statue at Penn
JKCP at Love Statue at Penn
Penn Campus 2
Penn Campus 2
Penn Campus
Penn Campus

Trips & Activities

Evening Activities – Students who reside on campus participate in evening activities.  Each evening students participate in either an on-campus or off-campus activity. Typical activities include:

  • Game night

  • Dances

  • Movies or the Mall

  • Bowling

  • Casino Night

  • And more

Saturday Trips – Residential students can choose between two Saturday trips.  Students leave in the morning, travel in an air conditioned coach bus and spend the day at their destination of choice. Students will visit the attractions in small groups and a counselor.  You can download the 2014 summer weekend trip schedule here. Typical weekend trips include:

  • Washington D.C.

  • New York City

  • New Jersey Beaches

  • Amusement Parks

  • And more

Sunday Trips – students also participate in visits in and around Philadelphia to many of the most famous destinations such as:

  • Liberty Bell

  • Constitution Center

  • Franklin Institute

  • Philadelphia Zoo

Typical Day

7:45 A.M. — Wake-up. You’ll be living in the famous Quadrangle dorm on the Penn campus.

8:15 — Breakfast. Use your Summer Penn Card for breakfast on campus at 1920 Commons, Starbucks, Einstein Bagels or 3C.

9:00 — Morning Class.

12:00 — Lunch. Join your fellow students at one of Penn’s dining facilities.

1:00 — Afternoon Class.

4:00 — Afternoon Activities. Your choice of activities. The studio is open on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4 – 7.  You can use this time to work on your projects or any other activities like play Frisbee in the Quad, email friends, hit the gym, or visit the bookstore and area shops.

6:00 — Dinner. Most evenings we eat together in the dining hall.

7:00 — Evening Activities. Scheduled activities on campus or in town like: movies, dances, bowling, sporting events, and more!

What are the dates & tuition costs?

Residential Tuition $5,975

Residential Dates July 6 – August 2, 2014

Day Tuition $3,550

Day Dates July 7 - August 1, 2014



Visit our student gallery.