As one might expect, students interested in architecture seek out programs that occur during the summer.  In fact, each year, publishes a list near the end of January (see below for Summer 2019). 

Summer 2019 List of Summer Architecture Programs

But there are many programs that are held during the academic year.  Below is a partial list of programs held in various locations of the country.  Do not limit yourself to formal programs – you can do a number of activities to develop your interest in architecture.  Below are just a few.

AIA (American Institute of Architects) Chapters – Many AIA Chapters have programs designed for school-aged students; contact AIA to learn more.

Visit Architecture – regardless of where you live, seek out to visit architecture.

Read about Architecture – go to your local public library and check out books on the topic; remember, most architecture books have lots of images.

Visit an Architecture Firm – with the help of a parent, contact an area firm to ask for a visit; most firms would welcome you.

Attend a Lecture – If you have an architecture school in your region, consider attending a lecture on architecture.

ACE Mentor Program – Throughout United States

The ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. (ACE) helps mentor high school students and inspires them to pursue careers in design and construction.  More than 9,000 students from 1,000 high schools annually participate in ACE.

AIA DC – Washington, DC

Like many AIA chapters, the AIA DC located in the nation’s capital has a handful of programs (see below) for interested students during the school year –

Archi-Builder Studio is a three-session program for kids ages 10 to 12, teaches students the design processes used by architects to build scale models of habitable spaces of their own imagining.

Design Like a Girl Mentor program is for young women with an interest in architecture and design. The program pairs girls ages 12-14 with mentors from the architecture, construction, and engineering fields, so they can learn first-hand about career from professional women. 

Architectural Foundation of San Francisco – San Francisco, CA

The Architectural Foundation provides programs designed to help high school students learn design, engineering and architecture skills.  The Foundation hosts a HS Design competition and a summer program.

ArtCenter for Kids – Pasadena, CA

ArtCenter for Kids offers a wide range of unique art and design classes created just for youth in grades 4 through 8. Teaching skills such as critical thinking, innovation and visual literacy, our classes help kids learn to solve problems creatively, find new ways of expression and become designers of their own worlds.

Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, PA

K-12 Saturday Sequence The Fall session of our eight-week Saturday Sequence will commence Saturday, October 5. Classes run each Saturday, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm on the CMU campus. The last class will be Saturday, November 23. Cost is $195 per student. For more information or to apply for a scholarship, e-mail us at

Center for Architecture + Design – Kansas City, MO

The Center for Architecture & Design is now offering outreach programs for students to learn about careers in architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, interior design and graphic design.

Center for Architecture – New York, NY

The Center for Architecture is a leading cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in New York City.  Throughout the year, the Center hosts a number of programs for students of all ages all designed to introduce them to architecture.  In February 2020 and in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects New York offers a program for current New York City high school students interested in learning more about the field of architecture.  They also host the Architecture + Design College Fair (Saturday, November 2).

Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) – Chicago, IL

The CAC offers camps and classes throughout the year that give your 7- to 14-year-old unique opportunities to explore the built environment and dive into the design process.  They are also the host of Open House Chicago – a great way to see Chicago architecture.

Chicago Mobile Makers – Chicago, IL

Chicago Mobile Makers is a nonprofit organization in Chicago, Illinois that offers free and low-cost youth workshops encompassing design, architecture, digital fabrication, basic construction and place-making in Chicago communities.

Girls Garage – Berkeley, CA

Girls Garage is a design and building program and dedicated workspace for girls ages 9-17. Through classes in carpentry, welding, architecture, and activist art, we support and equip a community of fearless girls who are building the world they want to see.

National Building Museum – Washington, DC

The National Building Museum encourages families to discover architecture, design, and engineering in fun and interactive ways.  Like others, they host a number of programs during the academic year targeted at students wishing to learn more about architecture.  You can even have your birthday party there.

Oak Park Education Foundation – Oak Park, IL

The Oak Park Education Foundation is a privately funded nonprofit that brings artists, architects, scientists, and technology experts into K-8th grade classrooms.

Temple University – Tyler School of Art and Architecture – Philadelphia, PA

Introduction to Architecture

Fall 2019 Saturdays: October 5 – November 23 – 10:00 – 1:00pm

Spring 2020 Saturdays: February 1 – March 21 – 10:00 – 1:00pm

Tuition: $375

Philadelphia has a robust architectural history, and provides an ideal setting in which to learn about the field of architecture. This program provides an introduction to the profession of architecture and the visual language of architectural representation and design. Through design problems, lectures and site visits students will gain and understanding of how to visually represent ideas about the built environment. Skills such as sketching, orthographic drawing and model making will be introduced. No previous experience required.

Thus, do not feel obligated to wait until next summer for a program; do it now.

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