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Career Explorations in Architecture

Career Explorations in Architecture is a summer pre-college program for high school students interested in exploring the fundamentals of design and thinking at the architectural scale. This studio-based architecture program provides a fun and rewarding experience, and encourages participants to explore the world around them from the design perspective. No specialized knowledge or background is needed, beyond a serious interest in architectural design.

Preparing students for positions of leadership in their communities.


By exposing students to the unique urban landscape of New Orleans, students begin to see how architecture blends history and culture. Over the course of the program, Tulane design faculty will work with each student to develop a set of projects through models and drawings resulting in a portfolio of work they can use for their college applications.

Architecture students

Program Highlights

  • Hands-on coursework
  • Learn from talented faculty in the heart of New Orleans
  • Explore potential careers in architecture
  • Receive college credit

Reasons to Choose the Tulane Pre-College Architecture Program

As high school students consider careers, they may not yet have been exposed to the unique blend of visual orientation, creative process, academic investigation, and professional training that forms an architectural education. Tulane Pre-College students will explore architectural ideas, methods, and issues with Tulane faculty and local practicing architects. Lectures, studio time, digital workshops, field trips, discussions, and critiques will be supplemented with regular design exercises to be completed outside class time.

The Tulane School of Architecture's location in uptown New Orleans provides an unmatched cultural and urban context within which to study architecture as a creative, cultural and social practice.


For the 2021 summer sessions, the Tulane School of Architecture is offering two, online studio based summer courses that introduce high school students to the study and practice of architecture. Each course is offered as both a two-week online session.

shoe sketch

At the completion of each course, high school students will receive 3 credit hours and an official Tulane transcript. Students who opt to participate in both sessions will receive 6 credits along with a great introduction to the full spectrum of design and making.

Architecture: Tactile Design (June 28 - July 9)- this two-week course embraces the tactile facets of the creative design process utilizing hand drawing, mixed media exploration, and physical model making. Students will explore the city with their sketchbook, experiencing the spatial, environmental, and cultural context of New Orleans.

Architecture: Digital Design (July 12 - 23)- this course explores the realms of digital design, representation, and production as a means of communicating information in a visual and compelling way. Students will learn the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) as well as 3d modeling software to express their design ideas. Students will have the opportunity to work with innovative digital tools within our digital laboratory to compile a portfolio of work that is lively, relevant and professional.

Students who pursue a degree in architecture at Tulane may use up to 3 credit hours toward major requirements in the Bachelor of Architecture or Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree.

2021 Session Information

Two Sessions June 28 - July 9, July 12 - 23
Who's eligible? Rising 11th & 12th grade students
College Credit Up to 6 credits and a Tulane transcript
Cost (Online) 2-week Session: $1,795 (includes materials)


Applying to Career Explorations in Architecture

The Pre-College Architecture program is a college level program designed for students entering the 11th and 12th grades. A completed application consists of an essay, transcript and letter of recommendation.

The School of Architecture offers a special tuition rate - a 10% savings - to all students who enroll in both courses.

Tulane's School of Architecture offers scholarship opportunities to students with demonstrated need. In order to be considered for scholarship opportunities, you must submit your scholarship application by the financial aid application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application or have questions about scholarships, email summer@tulane.edu for more information.


Career Explorations Teaching Team

Emily Parsons

Emily Parsons, Director of Student Affairs
Director of Student Affairs

Emily Parsons serves as the Program Director for the Career Explorations in Architecture summer program. During the year she works with the student body on all matters outside of that classroom including course planning, student organizations, and student health and wellness.

Emily received her Bachelor of Architecture from Mississippi State University and her Master of Science in Education from University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. She is particularly interested in understanding the cognitive development of students in a studio based curriculum and how interventions in student affairs can impact success in Architectural education and the profession.

Frequently Asked Questions

I do not have any architecture experience. Can I participate?
You do not need any prior experience in or have studied architecture to participate in CEA - just an interest in architecture and design.

Are there any specific math or computer skills necessary?
Students who wish to enroll in CEA are not required to have specific skills beyond basic math and general computer literacy.

What equipment and/or materials will I need to bring?
We will provide all materials needed for the program. You may be asked to bring a commonly used item (like an old shoe) for the project.

What happens after the program ends?
The CEA program culminates in a professional portfolio that can be used for applying to colleges.

Do you offer a day session option?
Due to the intensive studio time and co-curricular activities, CEA does not offer a day option.

Can I take both courses?
Yes! Students who complete both sessions will receive 6 credits and a great introduction to the full spectrum of design and making.

Do I still receive college credit for the online courses?
Yes, students who complete our online courses will receive 3 hours of college credit per course.