Summer Architecture Academy


The Summer Architecture Academy is undergoing a redesign! In the mean time, eligible students are invited to learn more about the SAIL Program.

student studies next to pond in garden

Summer Architecture Academy (SAA)—Eugene

The University of Oregon's Summer Architecture Academy offers prospective architecture, interior architecture, and landscape architecture students a chance to investigate the field of architecture and design in an intensive four-week experience. Workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and field trips complement the daily studio.

Professional degree programs in the architectural design professions require a tremendous commitment of time and energy. Summer Architecture Academy allows students to sample a professional program before applying to or entering a professional architecture school. The academy provides an excellent means of acquiring both the basic information and the practical experience needed to make an informed career choice and to begin planning for an architectural design career. Students gain a broad view of the field while developing skills and portfolio materials to bolster an application to a professional school. Past academies included students of all ages: high school students, college undergraduate and graduate students, and people in career transition.


Note: The Summer Architecture Academy is on hiatus while we redesign our program. Dates and requirements may change once we've launched the redesigned program. The information below applies to the program as it was through 2017.

Application Opens: November 1

Application Deadline: June 1

Decisions are sent out on a rolling basis, with registration instructions to follow. However, SAA is limited to 34 spaces and fills up quickly! Qualified students are accepted as long as space is available.

Camp Curriculum

Academy Workshop Series/Design Context

2 Credits

Design Context exposes students to issues and methodologies associated with professional design careers of varied scales from graphic design to landscape architecture. It also introduces contemporary design theories and stresses critical inquiry in exploring the reciprocal relationship between western culture and its designed places and artifacts. Open only to Summer Architecture Academy students.

Academy Media For Design

2 Credits

Introduction to visual inquiry for designers; use of freehand and drafted drawings and models in the design process. Complements Academy lectures and design studio. Open only to Summer Architecture Academy students.

Academy Design Studio

4 Credits

Intensive four-week introductory studio in architectural design. Series of design projects and exercises intended to familiarize students with fundamental concepts and principles of environmental design. Open only to Summer Architecture Academy students.

Media stresses freehand sketching, technical drawing, and other media exercises in order to improve students’ visual and spatial understanding. The afternoon workshops are taught by faculty members, visiting specialists, and SAA's student staff. Each workshop focuses on a particular topic and includes lectures and practical exercises. Past topics include Design Process, Site Analysis, Sustainable Design, Computers in Design, and Spatial Composition. Principles learned in the workshops are applied in studio work.

While enrolled in the Academy, students have access to the Design Library and 24-hour access to the College of Design facilities and the Design Computing Lab.

Academy students will have access to the Computing Lab in Lawerence Hall, however, it is recommended (not required) that students bring available laptops, tablets, etc. as an additional resource.

Last minute changes do occur and the academy reserves the right to change the schedule at any time.


Daylong educational field trips (lunch provided) in the Willamette Valley complement the materials presented in studio, media and workshop courses. The field trips will include visits to various key sites in the Willamette Valley. In the past, students visited the Ira Keller Fountain in Portland, The Portland Japanese Garden, the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House, Alvar Aalto's Library at Mt.Angel Abbey, and the John Yeon Center.

Students will also get to go on an afternoon tour of professional offices around Eugene.

Campus Experience

Academy students under 18 must live on campus, where they will be supervised by Resident Assistants connected to the Summer Architecture Academy. Housing and meals are included in tuition option 1. After June 1, the housing fee will be non-refundable.

There will be a mandatory check-in time from 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Sunday, July 8.

Academy students over 18 may choose to live on campus or find nearby housing in the Eugene/Springfield area; please select tuition option two if this is how you wish to proceed.


The academy is coordinated by an administrative team, a faculty member acting as the program director, and assisting student instructors. The Program Director is Jim Givens, who may be reached at Instructors are selected from the UO faculty and other young professionals in the Architecture department. Faculty members and instructors offer insights into the career field, while student instructors give students an idea of what it's like to be a UO Architecture student.

International Students

International students interested in applying to the Summer Architecture Academy are not eligible to be sponsored by the University of Oregon for an F-1 student visa. You are responsible for acquiring your own visa for entry to the US. If you are already in the US, please make sure your visa status allows you to enroll in the Summer Architecture Academy.

Accessible Resources

If you need to coordinate accessibility accommodations, please contact the UO Accessibility Education Center. If you will applying for UO Housing, please coordinate specific housing needs directly with UO Housing and specify that you are a Summer Architecture Academy student. For accommodations related to the SAA Program (studio/classroom, field trips, etc.), please contact

You're In, Now What?

Students must submit an SAA application and be accepted to the Summer Architecture Academy program before registering for any SAA courses.

Registration is coordinated for accepted SAA applicants through the Academic Extension Office. Accepted SAA applicants can register for courses quickly and easily using the following simple, online shopping cart system and a credit card.

Registration instructions will be sent to you via email once you receive an acceptance letter.

Questions on registering for courses? Contact the Academic Extension Office directly at 541-346-4231 or 800-824-2714 or

SAA Contacts

For more information about the UO Summer Architecture Academy Program (SAA), please contact Kim Carson, SAA Coordinator, in the Department of Architecture at