I thought for my blog this week I would give you an idea of what Civil Engineering (Building Science) students do at USC, at least through sophomore year! I really wanted to study engineering and architecture, and USC has given me that opportunity. USC is one of the few schools in the country that has a combined, accredited architectural engineering-type program. Building Science students take a combination of civil engineering and architecture courses. For our architecture courses we use the same studios and resources that architecture majors use. I have already taken a course on civil engineering graphics, where I learned to use engineering and architecture software programs to draft and model various projects and designs. I also took a course on the effect of architecture on culture and the environment. In the next few years, I’ll take more studio classes, engineering foundation courses, and then specialized courses related to building technology. Right now I am in the first semester of my Building Science lab sequence, and I am loving it so far!


This week in my Building Science class we are wrapping up our final projects of the semester: our mountain cabin models. For the past semester we have been learning about what qualifies as good design and how to design effectively using space, systems, and building enclosures. For our final project we were instructed to create a model of a mountain cabin and working drawings for our design, including floor plans, elevation and section drawings. So here are a few of the models my classmates and I have made, plus some of our architectural drawings.


  • Brittany says:

    This is the coolest thing ever! I am in the middle of choosing whether I want to follow civil engineering or architecture and I am so pleased to hear about this!

  • Maika'i says:

    I agree with Brittany. I have been curious about the Building Science Emphasis and I’m glad you posted this information to help us gain an inside look. Thanks!

  • natalie says:

    No problem! If you have any questions about the program feel free to ask me, using the email at the bottom of the page! This is only a small glimpse of what Building Science students do. 🙂

  • SPENCER says:


    • natalie says:

      Hi Spencer,

      Good question! While there aren’t any specific sustainability classes required for the Building Science degree, green design concepts are a large part of our program! We are required in our architectural designs to include green building aspects. There are also elective courses available within the Civil Engineering and Architecture related to sustainability – I will be taking a course on Sustainable Design and Construction next semester, which culminates in the LEED exam! Research is another option to gain experience and learn more about green building – I did undergraduate research my freshman and sophomore year on sustainability. Hope that helps answer your question!