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SCI-Arc's four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) in Design prepares students to deploy a wide array of digital design skills with keen cultural, visual, and technological sensibilities that are in demand across many rapidly growing industries, such as film, gaming, and data-based urban planning and design. Faculty will guide the students in navigating their personal career paths.

The Bachelor of Science in Design at SCI-Arc is a program where visually sophisticated, spatially sensible, and technologically literate designers are forged and empowered to seize agency within tomorrow’s creative industries, media landscapes, and urban infrastructures.

"I credit much of my success to the opportunities, guidance, encouragement, and autonomy I was granted by SCI-Arc and its network of inspirational professionals, as well as to my architectural education and the breadth of knowledge it armed me with.”

Brian Harms, M.DesR '13, Master of Emerging Systems, Technology, and Media, Samsung Research America

Heading titleWe Make Worlds

For over 50 years, SCI-Arc graduates have used their architectural education in pioneering ways, forging careers in markets adjacent to the built environment—building technology, real estate development, and urban policy and design—but also in rapidly evolving technologies and platforms for creative production: user experience, augmented reality, visual storytelling, special effects, animation, product design, and virtual production, among others.

The BS in Design at SCI-Arc is designed to educate civic-minded creative technologists who can apply sophisticated sets of design competencies and technical skills to address a range of multifaceted issues and opportunities that are vital to post-digital economies and societies in arenas beyond the built environment.

Students will learn how technological systems produce new layers of latent and emergent realities, and through training in interdisciplinary thinking and practice become equipped to operate at the forefront of culture and the marketplace—as cultural entrepreneurs, innovators, and industry pioneers.

"SCI-Arc exploded open my definition of what architecture could be, showing me pathways and opportunities that I previously didn't know existed but that seemed infinitely more interesting, useful, and exciting."

Laure Michelon, MS Architectural Technologies ‘19, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

Heading titleLearning in Open Mode

SCI-Arc's BS Design is unique among undergraduate design degrees in that it combines a comprehensive academic education with advanced training in a broad set of the most sought-after creative digital skills, under continuous mentoring by trailblazing practitioners. The program builds on SCI-Arc's design pedagogy that stimulates individual pathfinding and growth within a collaborative, adventurous environment of cross-disciplinary learning and bold experimentation.

Students will benefit from a careful alignment between the subjects covered in SCI-Arc's liberal arts-based core curriculum and the design courses. Each semester, courses complement one another to stimulate transdisciplinary thinking. The learning experience follows a sequence of courses taught within each curricular area across the program and progressively deepens the student's technical skills and understanding.

The BS Design degree trains students to approach complex missions in nimble ways, and to conceptualize and execute a lucid proposal in response—be it a data tool for urban innovation, a set of assets for virtual production, or a concept for an immersive digital environment.

"Attending a cutting-edge architecture school was a transformative experience for me. The program fostered a culture of innovation, encouraging me to explore emergent technologies like augmented reality, computational design, and virtual reality... My thesis on implementing augmented reality in urban design caught industry attention, leading me to land a job at a company that is shaping the future of AR. Overall, the school wasn't just a place for learning; it was an incubator for visionary ideas that equipped me to contribute to the future."

Alessio Grancini, M.Arch 1 ‘18, Senior AR Prototype Engineer, Magic Leap

Heading titleFoundation + Track: A Personalized Program in Two Parts

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The BS program starts with a common two-year Foundation Sequence built around a distinctive core curriculum comprising Liberal Arts classes and tailored coursework in Applied Studies, History + Theory, and Visual Studies.

The second year of the Foundation introduces the Case Studio: a modular mini-studio format where students learn analysis, visualization, and design workflows that connect and integrate objects and phenomena of multiple scales across digital and physical environments.

Within the two-semester Case Studio 1, module workshops in Data Environments, Film + Narrative, and Games + Interaction provide students with a taste of the three tracks they may select between as they go into their third year.

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In the two-year Track Sequence that follows, students concentrate in either Data Environments, Film + Narrative, or Games + Interaction. In consultation with faculty advisors, students shape their own curriculum through both open and track-focused electives.

Across the three tracks, the BS design pedagogy revolves around highly original problem formulations that integrate whole sets of complementary techniques: from data curation and dataset management, asset (3D) modeling, mapping, and data visualization, to compositing, animation, and procedural workflows.

The four Case Studios in the Track Sequence are designed to prepare students for a variety of paths after graduation and equip them for versatility in professional practice within their chosen field of specialization.

The BS program culminates with an individual final project that showcases the full range of the student’s creative and technical capabilities with a view toward their future career path.


DATA ENVIRONMENTS track opens the door to a field of inquiry and practice that sees urbanized areas as a depository of various types of digital and material intelligences. Algorithmic governance and data-driven planning, in their attempt to deliver new urban efficiencies and decrease the messiness of lived realities, often forego the intelligence of local communities and knowledge institutions.

The track’s curriculum equips students with skills to navigate a complex web of urban policies and regulations, helps them develop fluency in geospatial data analytics and mapping and alternative data visualization techniques, and introduces them to machine learning models and the creation of datasets.

While prioritizing spatial and digital justice, the track introduces students to thinking about alternative urban computational models and possible ways of embedding digital technology into existing environments. This set of technical and research skills will allow students to develop careers in data science, service and strategic design, policy analysis, research consulting and community advocacy.

track intersects cinematic art, emerging technology, and architectural thinking to foster the next generation of visual storytellers. Students will expand on their creative voices and design sensibilities, while developing core skills to prepare them to enter the workforce in the fields of virtual production, film, digital media, live events, and fine art.

Through the unique cross-disciplinary methodology of the program, students develop a contemporary approach to film, storytelling, and image making—preparing them for the continuously evolving media landscape. Film and Narrative equips students with the skills to critically engage cultural, climatic, civic, technological, and digital spaces through the lens of cinematic storytelling.

Using film as a foundation, the track encourages a broad range of media and approaches, including still and moving images, pitch decks, animation, sound, performance, and publication. Students will leverage visual and technical skills that bring higher resolution to the concept of “worldbuilding” while challenging the term and the practice itself.

track focuses on teaching the culture and techniques of video game technologies and immersive media and is geared towards multiple application scenarios: video game development, spatial computing, spatial XR simulation and visualization, development for the Metaverse, and virtual worlds.

The track studies video games for entertainment but also interactive simulations for learning, visualization, and other purposes. Combining practice and theory with a strong emphasis on transdisciplinary and collaborative work, the track will equip students with the design and development skills necessary to create virtual interactive worlds and environments that can be deployed across devices and platforms.

The course structure, designed for skill amplification with each semester, not only gears up students for impactful roles in various sectors of the digital economy but also nurtures their capacity for personal creative innovation. As they develop both their artistic voices and their coding skills, students will be prepared for a diverse range of career paths, such as game design, AI-assisted design, real time simulations, spatial computing, mixed reality (XR, AR, VR), as well as the Metaverse.

Heading titleA Landscape of Opportunities

Graduates of SCI-Arc's BS in Design will be able to confidently seize the opportunities arising between different ecosystems of emerging technologies, and be well positioned for employment across multiple industries, entrepreneurial ventures, and academic pathways. Their career paths will include:

  • Game Designer
  • Production Designer
  • Creative Director
  • Concept Artist
  • Interaction Technologist
  • Asset Developer
  • Worldbuilder
  • Narrative Designer
  • Urban Strategist
  • Data Visualization Specialist
  • 3D Generalist
  • Architectural Designer

Graduates will also be well-equipped to continue into a postgraduate or professional architecture program at SCI-Arc, or go on to advanced degrees at top institutions, where the placement rate of SCI-Arc graduates is high.

"SCI-Arc nurtured my critical, questioning eye. "

Jackson Lukas, M.Arch 2 ‘18, Hair and Fur Artist, DreamWorks Groom Instructor, Gnomon

Heading titleThe Culture of SCI-Arc

At SCI-Arc, students enter an evolving learning environment characterized by an open-ended spirit of inquiry that responds to shifts in society, technology, and culture. Faculty and students work together to advance to the next generation of architecture and design.

"SCI-Arc is a dynamic playground where many fields of design converge to allow us to create our own voices. By exposing us to the most cutting-edge trends and technologies, SCI-Arc reshaped the way I looked at architecture and motivated me to explore its cultural impact beyond its traditional boundaries."

Justine Poulin, M.Arch 2 ‘20, 3D designer for live touring concerts, theater, and award shows

Heading titleStudying with Trailblazers

SCI-Arc faculty is comprised of practicing architects, multidisciplinary designers, artists, and scholars who are passionate about experimentation and fostering new modalities of engagement in their respective fields.

The BS Design curriculum builds on this adventurous spirit as well as continuous, dynamic feedback from SCI-Arc alums who are inventively appropriating emerging technologies and redirecting them toward new applications and publics.

Learning from active practitioners not only provides a window into the lives of professionals, but also enables students to develop a wide-reaching network with options to pursue professional opportunities and employment outside the school.