Architecture Discovery Program

Work by Kianna Armstrong, Architecure Discovery Program, 2020.

Architecture Discovery Program
2 weeks | July 11-24, 2021
2 college credits

The Architecture Discovery Program (ADP) is an exciting introduction to architecture and design for high school students. Our rigorous two-week program offers intensive individual instruction by Sam Fox School faculty. The explorations carried out provide you with quality material to add to your design portfolios.

This program will be held online again in summer 2021, and is for rising juniors and seniors in high school. Upon successful completion, you'll earn 2 college credits.

Check out the online exhibition of student work from the 2020 Architecture Discovery Program>>


Work by Zachary Dietrich (left) and Mackenzie Stock (right).

The heart of the program, Design Studio drives creativity and discovery to foster passion and compassion in design. You'll learn how sustainability and the built environment are shaping the practice of architecture. Over the course of the program, you'll undertake a series of short design exercises that will introduce you to the design thinking process, culminating in an architectural project for review by faculty and guest critics.

Drawing studio engages you with the art of seeing, as you learn how to better observe the world around you and communicate what you see through drawing. Faculty will engage you in multiple opportunities to practice drawing on site. Through observation and sketching, you will understand elements such as proportion, light/shadow, material and texture, spatial relationships, orthographic projections, and perspective.

Course work is complemented by additional events and activities, including:

- Virtual field trips to some of the finest examples of architecture in the St. Louis region—such as the Pulitzer Arts Foundation by Tadao Ando and our very own Kemper Art Museum by Fumihiko Maki—as well as local architecture firms such as Axi:Ome, CannonDesign, and HOK.
- Lectures by architects and designers
- Presentations and workshops on topics such as research, portfolio preparation, and the college admissions process
- A final online exhibition of work


Assistant professor Kelley Van Dyck Murphy is the faculty director for the 2021 Architecture Discovery Program. Updates about additional faculty will be posted here>>

Discussion between faculty Catalina Freixas and students during the 2020 Architecture Discovery Program.


Students apply online via SlideRoom for the Architecture Discovery Program; we are no longer accepting applications for summer 2021. Requirements include:
- Essay
- 1 letter of recommendation
- Optional test scores
- Optional samples of your work
- Application fee of $35 (for early bird applicants) and $45 (for regular applicants)

If the application fee presents financial hardship, students may request a fee waiver by contacting Courtney Cushard at

For summer 2021, all participating students must reside within one of the following time zones for the duration of the program: Eastern Time (GMT-4), Central Time (GMT-5), Mountain Time (GMT-6), or Pacific Time (GMT-7). We will not be able to host students on the WashU campus in summer 2021. For special elgibility criteria for international students for summer 2021, click here>>

Application Deadlines:
Scholarship application deadline: March 15, 2021
Early application deadline: March 15, 2021
Regular application deadline: April 15, 2021

Tuition & Scholarships

The estimated cost of the 2021 Architecture Discovery Program is $2,980. Estimated tuition includes a complete supply packet mailed to each student. Upon acceptance to the program, a $250 nonrefundable deposit will be required by May 1, 2021, to reserve your space in the program. If you withdraw from the program after classes begin, no portion of tuition will be refunded.

Scholarship assistance is available up to the full cost of tuition. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and academic merit. The program deposit is waived for students requiring scholarship assistance. The scholarship application package must be received by March 15, 2021, in order to be considered.

Scholarship application process:
1. Submit scholarship application and program application by March 15, 2021.
2. If eligible, our team will be in contact to schedule a phone interview with the student.
3. Scholarship recipients will be notified before May 1, 2021.

Download the scholarship application form>>

International Students

International students are welcome to participate in our Architecture Discovery Program, but only under specific circumstances because of the current U.S. consulate and visa policies, as well as the nature of our virtual program. Please read below to identify which category you fall into.

You CAN participate if you are...
1. An international student already attending high school in the United States. You can participate because your F-1 visa allows you to study in the summer at U.S. institutions. You must still be living in the United States during the program. You can travel home at the end of spring term and then return to the United States for the program in the summer.
2. An international student who lives within one of the four time zones of the contiguous United States (Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific). You can participate from home; no visa or I-20 is required. This includes the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bahamas, Haiti, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, and all Central American countries.

You CAN'T participate if you are...
An international student living outside of the time zones of the contiguous United States and not currently studying in the United States. Unfortunately you are unable to participate in our summer 2021 Architecture Discovery Program because the current visa and I-20 requirements stipulate that at least one class must be taken in person (for new students), and we are not offering in-person classes for summer 2021.

If you have any questions about your specific circumstances, please contact


For more information about the Architecture Discovery Program or application process, please contact:

Courtney Cushard, Coordinator of Special Programs,
Rachel Youn, Admissions Counselor,