Jun 15, 2024  
Graduate Record 2022-2023 
Graduate Record 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Programs Abroad - Graduate School of Architecture

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The School of Architecture encourages study abroad.  Programs in China, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Switzerland as well as a fall program in London are perennial offerings; in addition, a variety of international embedded travel opportunities are available based on faculty initiatives through courses and design studios in the fall and spring semesters. To study abroad, students must be in good academic standing.  Furthermore, to earn degree credits, students must have a cumulative UVA GPA of no less than 2.50 at the time of application or at the end of the term prior to the commencement of study abroad program or course. These standards apply to UVA study programs and to study abroad programs under the auspices of other institutions or organizations.

The programs administered by the School of Architecture are competitive; priority is given to applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence as reflected in a higher GPA. Applicants to semester and exchange programs are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50.

For additional information on a School of Architecture education abroad programs, contact the Associate Dean of Academics.

Summer Program in Vicenza, Italy

The program is open to all students in the School of Architecture. Students receive six credits through the International Studies Office.  Extensive field trips to explore the art, architecture, and urbanism of the Veneto region are an essential part of the program. A faculty member of the School of Architecture leads the program. Knowledge of Italian language and cultural customs and traditions is recommended, but not required.

Summer Program in China

The UVA program in China introduces students to Chinese art, architecture, urbanism, and culture. The program includes study trips to sites in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. The program is open to all students in the School of Architecture. Students receive six credits through the International Studies Office. A faculty member of the School of Architecture, as well as local experts, lead the program.

One of the greatest global challenges of the twenty-first century is Chinese urbanization. Cities change; Chinese cities, through their scale and speed of developments, are at a historically unique moment of distinctive change. This change is producing global consequences. UVA Architecture China Program takes on the challenge to research into the emerging conditions of Chinese cities as they forge unprecedented realities in two of China’s most dynamic city-regions, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.

The program will guide students in the methods of urban research, and visit locations of historical significance, sites of important buildings, and offices of influential architects. Students will work together with professors and students from South China University in Guangzhou on urban research to gain knowledge and insight, and attend talks by leading experts and practitioners in China in architectural design, urban planning, landscape architecture, and history. The research results will be reviewed in Guangzhou in June, and exhibited in Charlottesville in the winter.

Summer Program in Morocco

This program is purposefully designed to fully engage students in contemporary sustainable development efforts taken in Morocco. Participants will engage with different actors involved in Morocco’s sustainable development initiatives including NGO employees, policy makers, researchers, field specialists, entrepreneurs, and students.

Topics include urban development projects (new towns and affordable housing developments), renewable energy plants, the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project, the 2016 sustainable tourism charter, cultural preservation efforts, social entrepreneurialism, and other projects that demonstrate Morocco’s commitment to sustainable development. Site visits and meetings with local professionals will be supported by readings, assignments, and discussions lead by co-instructors (UVA faculty), local subject matter experts, and instructors at a local cooperating institution.

Summer Program in Switzerland

The Sustainable Europe program is open to undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Architecture. Students receive six credits through the International Studies Office. This course analyzes trends, planning, and policies in sustainable urban development, water resource management, and sustainable transport in Europe. It is divided into interrelated modules and includes travel to several locations to examine various case studies.  A faculty member from the School of Architecture leads the program.

Fall Program in London, England

This program is open to graduate students in the history of architecture for study at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Students enroll in a full-time course load at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Transfer of credit to U.Va. for use toward degree requirements is arranged prior to participation.

The Department of Architectural History offers second-year Masters of Architectural History students the opportunity to study at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London during the fall semester. Students enroll in the fall term of the Courtauld’s M.A. program in architectural history, which runs from early October until mid-December. In the past, the program has considered issues such as architectural theory, urbanism, drawings, and the concept of the architect. Several site visits are also included in the program.

Fall Program Barcelona, Spain

The School of Architecture offers a full semester program in Barcelona. The Barcelona semester abroad program is a fall option for Graduate students in any program in the school, subject to advisor and director approval. The program includes courses in studio design, urban and architectural history and 20th Century design practices. Courses are taught by UVA faculty in collaboration with faculty in local universities.  

Extended Embedded Travel Program Venice, Italy

The Venice Program offers a unique collaborative experience:  the study of a centuries-old relationship between dwelling, the land, and in this case, the water.  Being immersed in the daily rituals of a foreign culture and in material, spatial constructs takes an unparalleled hold on the imagination.  In a one-semester, fifteen-credit curriculum, the students retrace the urbanization of Venice and the Veneto, attend lectures and visit exemplars of the development of Venetian art and architecture, conduct independent research and participate in a design studio. The Venice program’s focus on strategies for resilience in dynamic settings is grounded in an understanding of landscape processes, the multiple histories embodied in the cities, buildings, and art, and the cultural structures that enable communal life. The complexities of building and rebuilding a city in a preposterous landscape emerge again as contemporary challenges operate at nested scales of daily life, material constructs, and landscape systems. 

The School of Architecture has a longstanding connection to Venice and the Veneto, initiated by the late Professor Mario di Valmarana over 40 years ago. As a commitment to Mario’s legacy, the school has continued the program through the generosity of alumni who have funded numerous student scholarships and the Mario di Valmarana Professorship.  The semester-length program in Venice builds upon this deep tradition to offer the students of the School of Architecture the opportunity for immersion in the rich art, architecture, and landscape of the unfathomable cultural life of Venice.

The program is open to fourth-year undergraduates and final year graduate students of all of the disciplines of the School of Architecture. Following three weeks of structuring a research focus and initiating urban analysis in Charlottesville, the students embark on a six-week residence in Venice from mid-September to the end of October. Upon their return, students apply lessons from Venice in an immersive design studio or independent study.