The Summer Academy in Architecture is an academically intensive course that engages students in a series of challenging, deadline-sensitive assignments.

Summer Academy classes are scheduled Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. in the School of Architecture’s Goldsmith Hall (GOL on campus maps) for the program duration. Program assignments are under deadline and typically require students to devote significant time during their weekend and evening hours for successful completion. Class time is devoted to individual studio work, student reviews, lectures, discussions, readings, and a film series. Program field trips to local area sites take place during the regularly scheduled class time, with the exception of the field trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which takes place on a Saturday and is optional for students to attend.

On evening and weekends, Academy students are generally “on their own” schedules — however due to the intense workload of the program, Academy students usually find it necessary to spend much of their free time back in the studio working on their design projects in order to successfully fulfill all of the program requirements. (When we said the program is “academically rigorous,” we weren’t kidding!)

Project presentations and critical reviews take place at the close of each design project and at the close of the program. There is a Closing Reception scheduled for the last day of the program, at which time qualifying students receive their program completion certificates and student achievement awards are announced. Parents/guests of Academy students are invited to attend the Closing Reception to view student work on display in the Summer Academy studios.

Teaching and Resident Assistants occasionally schedule optional extra-curricular activities on evenings or weekends for Academy students as ‘study breaks’ or a chance to enjoy some of Austin’s outdoor attractions.

Program Faculty

Kevin Alter is the Principal Director of the Summer Academy and the Sid W. Richardson Centennial Professor in Architecture. Academy Studio Instructors and Teaching and Resident Assistants are recent graduates of the School of Architecture’s professional degree programs or students in advanced standing. Occasional lectures are given by invited guests or members of department faculty.


An important aspect of the Summer Academy in Architecture is its emphasis on academic advising. Academy students meet with undergraduate advisors and/or graduate coordinators of The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and have the opportunity to schedule individual advising appointments with advisors while on campus. Additionally, prospective student resources are immediately available to all Academy attendees while on campus – such as the Undergraduate Admissions Center, Graduate and International Admissions Center, International Office, and the Office of Financial Aid. The most useful advising, however, is typically offered via one-on-one contact with Summer Academy instructors and faculty during studio activities.

Periodic meetings with program faculty and guest speakers emphasize students’ more practical concerns such as application procedures, admissions policies, degree program requirements, portfolio and resumé preparations, professional experience, and other aspects of the architectural profession.

Transfer Credit

The Summer Academy in Architecture is a non-credit program and does not appear on university transcripts. However, dependent upon the particular institution and program in which each student enrolls, credit for the Summer Academy may be granted by that institution. Participants leave the Summer Academy with a certificate of completion and a written evaluation of their performance from their studio instructors mailed within 60 days of their departure from the program.

Admission to the Summer Academy in Architecture does not increase the chance for admission to the Univeristy of Texas at Austin School of Architecture as a degree-seeking candidate.