ArcStart is a pre-architecture residential program designed to introduce students to the built environment, architectural design principles, and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Over the course of the program, high school students will witness how a design education prepares participants to engage the world around them within the context of a rigorous academic setting at a leading design institution.

Participants will experience the rewarding intensity of an engaging college architecture studio, partake in hands-on workshops that reinforce analytical and conceptual problem-solving skills, and enjoy an energetic camp-like atmosphere.

The ArcStart program is designed to give students the opportunity to study many different aspects of architecture, through learning to use specialized drawing, drafting, and modeling tools, explorations of architectural history, a visit to a thriving architecture firm, the creation of original design proposals, and the curation of their work into a digital portfolio.

This year’s program functions under the direction of Julia McMorrough, our Faculty Director.

A top down view of students learning in an open instruction area

2023 Program Dates and Timeline

Please note applications for ArcStart 2023 program are closed. If you are interested in being notified about ArcStart 2024, complete the ArcStart Inquiry Form.

May 1, 2023 Full Tuition and CampDoc Forms Due
July 10-28, 2023 ArcStart Residential Program

2023 Schedule

Preview the tentative schedule for ArcStart 2023.

/ Testimonials from Participants

The best part about ArcStart was the valuable knowledge and hands-on experience I gained.

I liked how welcoming everyone was from the very beginning. It didn’t feel awkward or scary once we actually started and that definitely helped me feel more comfortable. I also had so much fun with the workshops and learning all kinds of different aspects of architecture.

The best part, I’d say, was learning about instructors and directors’ journeys and projects and learning from their teachings/own favorite architectural styles/features/ aesthetics to create our own as students.

ArcStart really exposed me to the design aspect of architecture – something I really needed to see as an artist.

/ Eligibility

Admission is limited to rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as rising college freshmen. There is no minimum GPA requirement to be eligible to apply.

/ Application

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • High School Transcript (uploaded with application)
  • Essay (uploaded with application)
  • No application fee

Before you begin your application, please be prepared to submit information about yourself, your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), and your high school. You will also need to submit

  • High School Transcript(s): An unofficial high school transcript (PDF or JPG) for each high school you have attended.
  • Interest Essay: An essay (250-500 words) explaining your favorite building and why, your interests in architecture and the ArcStart program, what you hope to learn in ArcStart, and how the ArcStart program will help you reach your goals. Applicants are encouraged to write the essay before starting the online application. The essay must be complete when the application is submitted.

Note: The attachments requested will help our team better understand your background, experience, and interests related to architecture and design. You will not be graded, nor are you expected to have any prior education or knowledge. Everyone who participates in ArcStart will learn and grow, no matter how much exposure they may already have to the field of architecture. Please use this as a chance to show us more about who you are and why ArcStart might be a good fit for you. 

If there are more applicants than space available, then Taubman College will utilize a waitlist.

/ Tuition

Tuition for the 19-day, residential ArcStart program in 2023 was $3,600, which included costs of overnight accommodations on campus, meals, materials, and field trips.

Funding Opportunity: The Watson A. Young Scholarship is available for Michigan residents with an annual family income of $65,000 and under. Click here for more information regarding eligibility and how to apply.

arcDESIGN Young Architect Scholarship

arcDESIGN in Indianapolis offered one full-tuition scholarship for ArcStart 2022.  Priority is given to Indiana residents. No additional scholarship application is required.  arcDESIGN will review all admitted ArcStart students for scholarship consideration.  Stay tuned if this scholarship will be offered again in 2023.

/ Admitted Students

Applicants will be emailed an admission decision per the dates outlined above. Admitted students will receive an information packet by email that provides enrollment material (i.e.class schedule, liability, and health forms).

Students admitted to ArcStart 2023 were required to submit a $300 nonrefundable deposit upon accepting their admission/registering for the program by March 31, 2023. Full tuition was due by and fully refundable by April 15, 2023. All cancellations after April 15 were nonrefundable.

/ College Preparation

In addition to the academic and social aspects of the program, students will also benefit from presentations conducted by the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on the college application process and how to prepare for their college experience.  The Taubman College Admissions team will also review the application and admissions process for undergraduate degrees in architecture and urban technology.

At the end of the program, students will come away with an expanded understanding of the role architecture and design plays in everyday life, and those intending to apply to architecture school will be well-equipped to begin the application process.

/ Questions

Contact the ArcStart team at ArcStartProgram@umich.edu.