Architecture Summer Immersion Program 2020


We regret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSU Architecture Summer Immersion Program 2020 will be canceled. If you have already applied to the program, we will be in touch with you by email to provide guidance and advising regarding your options for launching your architectural education. Please contact with any questions. 

"[The program was] intense but very collaborative and supportive. Everyone here is driven to learn and we all support one another in a very tight knit community" -Summer immersion student, 2018

The Architecture Summer Immersion program at the Portland State University School of Architecture offers those interested in architecture as a potential career and/or field of study the opportunity to explore the subject in this intensive 4-week experience. Open to those eighteen years of age or older with a high school degree, this program is ideal for anyone considering architecture as a major, has an undergraduate degree in another field and is thinking of applying to a Master of Architecture program, or would just like to learn the foundational skills of architecture and have a unique and enlightening experience. Participants accepted to the Architecture Summer Immersion Program will:

  • Gain valuable insight into architectural education and practice
  • Learn foundational design, drawing, and making
  • Receive workshops in skills such as model-making, sketching, and drafting
  • Earn academic credit 
  • Create work that is ideal for a portfolio required by most architecture programs 
  • Interact with design professionals and receive feedback on their work 
  • Be exposed to a broad range of architecture
  • Learn about strategies in the emerging field of public interest design
  • Attend lectures and events at the PSU School of Architecture
  • Visit architecture firms and have a chance to speak with professionals in the field 
  • Explore Portland for the first time or in a whole new way!

"[Architecture] is a more accessible profession/ discipline than I imagined"-Summer immersion student, 2018

Read about the Architecture Summer Immersion Program in this article that originally appeared in the Daily Journal of Commerce ("PSU Program Grooms Future Architects").

Summer in Portland

The city of Portland is a wonderful place to explore architecture. It has a thriving design culture and is seen worldwide as a model for successful urban design in a midsize city. Portland is also home to world-class architecture firms, as evidenced by the richness of our built environment. However, due to its rapid growth, the city is facing issues of displacement of minority and low-income populations and struggling with issues of identity in the face of densification. This full and complex environment provides an ideal backdrop to experience and investigates the role of architecture in a society and how design can poetically respond to the social, economic, and environmental issues inherent within the act of making buildings. Summer Immersion students will learn how to use their time in their design studios to create meaningful projects strategically created to provide foundational design skills, while offering a chance to respond to information learned from project sites, building tours, lectures, architecture firm visits, and personal experiences as visitors/residents of Portland.

Program Details

The Summer Immersion offers an intensive course that mirrors a real studio experience, similar to that of early graduate school studios. The program centers around several short but intensive design projects. Students will have project reviews at the end of each project, presenting work and getting feedback from faculty, graduate students, and professionals.
"I hope to pursue a 3-year M. Arch starting in 2020-2021 after some world travels. This program solidified me falling in love with Architecture"- Summer immersion student, 2018

Classes run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Shattuck Hall for the duration of the program. This time will include individual work on studio projects, lectures, skills workshops, discussions, and field trips such as visits to firms and significant buildings. Due to the demanding workload of the program, students should expect to dedicate substantial time outside of these hours and on weekends in order to complete projects successfully.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition (6 undergraduate credits): $1,950*
Course and University Fees: $531*

*Tuition covers the 6 credits earned, including use of studio space and facilities. Course and University Fees cover all primary materials for course, and required fees including health services, recreation facilities, incidental, university building, and registration fees.

Supplies and Materials

Most students in the Summer Immersion program will not have previous experience in architecture or other design fields. Therefore, a full kit of primary supplies (a value of approximately $220) will be provided by the School of Architecture, as covered by the course fees.

Housing on Campus

A limited number of PSU dormitories are available for Summer Immersion students. If you would like to secure a place in the dorm, you must apply and be accepted through Early Admission (April 30 deadline) application and reserve a dorm room through an online portal by May 15. Students coming from outside of Portland are encouraged to consider staying in the dormitories, as finding temporary accommodations in Portland can be difficult, and the close proximity is ideal for meeting the demands of the program. Accepted students who indicate that they will need housing on campus will be provided with complete instructions regarding how to reserve rooms in dormitories and purchase an optional meal plan. Summer Architecture Immersion Program housing is first-come, first-served, so we recommend registering for housing as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program.

Students utilizing campus housing should plan to move in no later than Sunday, July 19 and move out on Saturday, August 15.

Housing rates for the 4-week duration of the program are $1,428 for a single room ($51 per night) and $1,064 for a double room ($38 per night), under the Internship Housing rate offered by PSU's Summer Housing & Conferences office. Architecture Summer Immersion Program housing is expected to be in the Broadway Building. Learn more about the housing amenities here.

Program Faculty

Todd FerryTodd Ferry is the director of the PSU Architecture Summer Immersion Program, as well as Senior Research Associate and Faculty Fellow at the Center for Public Interest Design. Summer Immersion Studio Instructors and Design Assistants consist of outstanding Graduate Students and/or recent distinguished graduates from the School of Architecture. Additional School of Architecture faculty will be joining the for design reviews, lectures, and activities.

How to Apply

*We are no longer accepting applications for the 2020 PSU Architecture Summer Immersion program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.*

Online application requirements include:

  • Personal Statement (approximately 250 words): What interests you about architecture? 
  • Two references
  • Resume
  • Transcripts (unofficial accepted)

Early Action Application Deadline: April 30, 2020 (required for those who will need on-campus housing)
Notification regarding acceptance or regret will be sent via email as soon as possible.
Accepted students needing housing on campus must register for campus residence by May 15. 

Regular Application Deadline: June 3, 2020
(We will continue to accept applications on a space-available basis; please inquire about space availability at after June 3.)
Notification of acceptance or regret will be sent via email as soon as possible. 

Contact Us

Please contact us at or 503.725.8405 with questions about the Architecture Summer Immersion Program.

Architecture Summer Immersion Flyer (download PDF)