B.S. in Global Geodesign

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Prepare to be a world leader capable of addressing issues such as population growth, rapid urbanization, water and energy needs, biological conservation, climate change, and other problems of global consequence in the ground-breaking USC B.S. in Global Geodesign.

Offered by the USC Spatial Sciences Institute in coordination with the top-ranked European and Asian universities in geodesign, Global Geodesign majors receive an unparalleled multi-cultural experience of learning and training with international faculty, peers, and industry leaders in three geopolitically important areas of the world.

In a comprehensive curriculum coordinated between the faculty of USC Spatial, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam|Amsterdam University College, and Peking University, Global Geodesign majors build upon a USC liberal arts foundation to take interdisciplinary courses in geographic information science (GIS), landscape architecture, architecture, and urban planning and development. From the beginning of the program while resident in LA, USC students get to know the Vrije University and Peking University faculty, their global geodesign students, and renowned geodesign practitioners from around the world through synchronized assignments, webinars, and guest speaker visits.

Then in a distinctive aspect of this degree program, students from all three universities come together three times as exchange students: in two summer intensive geodesign studios in Amsterdam and Beijing, and in the fall semester of a USC Global Geodesign student’s fourth year. During the summer studios conducted in English, all students work together on real-life and real-time consulting projects addressing complex societal challenges that span the built and/or natural environments, and all take classes together during the fourth year fall semester.

Ready to improve our communities, regions, and world? With a B.S. in Global Geodesign degree awarded by the University of Southern California, you can.

Interested? Contact Ken Watson, academic advisor, at 213-740-8298 or watsonke@usc.edu.

CURRICULUM

The B.S. in Global Geodesign is a highly structured academic program that requires 135 units. It satisfies the requirements of USC general education, writing, and diversity and USC Dornsife majors.

Core Courses

MATH 114 Foundations of Statistics (4 units)
ECON 203 Principles of Microeconomics (4 units)
SOCI 314 Analyzing Social Statistics (4 units)

Architecture Sequence

ARCH 203 Visualizing and Experiencing the Built Environment (4 units)
ARCH 303 Principles of Spatial Design I (4 units)
ARCH 403 Principles of Spatial Design II (4 units)

Planning Sequence

PPD 227 Urban Planning and Development (4 units)
RED 417 History of Planning and Development (4 units)
RED 425 Designing Livable Communities (4 units)

Spatial Sciences Sequence

SSCI 301L Maps and Spatial Reasoning (4 units)
SSCI 382L Principles of Geographic information Science (4 units)
SSCI 383L Geospatial Modeling and Customization (4 units)

Global Geodesign Sequence

SSCI 201 Principles of GeoDesign (4 units)
SSCI 311 International Geodesign Studio – Europe (summer – 12 units)
SSCI 312 International Geodesign Studio – Asia (summer – 12 units)
ARCH 361 Ecological Factors in Design (3 units)
WRIT 450 Advanced Research Writing (4 units)

Capstone

SSCI 412 GeoDesign Practicum (4 units)

CAREER AND GRADUATE SCHOOL OPPORTUNITIES

Geospatial and geodesign jobs currently are available and growing in every industry and discipline in consulting firms, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private-sector companies. Global Geodesign students are candidates for graduate studies in environmental sciences, geodesign, geographic information science, landscape architecture, spatial planning, sustainability management, and other related disciplines.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Knowledge

Graduates will have achieved:

  • a deep understanding of:
    • the myriad ways in which places can be constructed, interpreted, and experienced by different people;
    • the principles of design and how these can be used as a force for good in building healthy, livable, and sustainable communities;
    • how urban and regional planning provides a framework for promoting civic engagement and collective action;
    • how geographically referenced data can be gathered and organized to support a large number and variety of collaborative projects;
    • how geospatial data can be analyzed, modeled, and visualized to inform design and planning, and by doing so, support public participation and urban development; and
    • how form and function co-exist and evolve in urban and rural settings and how globalization connects near and far-away places and actions;
  • an understanding of the broader context in which the research issues of geodesign are positioned; and
  • a breaddh of knowledge, as demonstrated by a general knowledge of the physical and natural world, a general knowledge of world histories, philosophical traditions, major religions, and cultural life worlds and an understanding of economic forces and political dynamics.

 Academic Skills

Graduates will have:

  • highly developed cognitive, analytic, and problem-solving skills;
  • the capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry, and self-directed learning;
  • the ability to work, independently and collaboratively, on research projects that require the integration of knowledge with skills in analysis, discovery, problem solving, and communication;
  • mathematical skills;
  • familiarity with the general scientific method;
  • second-language competence;
  • the ability to engage with socio-cultural frameworks and tradition other than their own; and
  • the ability to plan work and to use time effectively.

Interdisciplinary Skills

Graduates will demonstrate interdisciplinary skills, i.e., they will:

  • be able to evaluate which disciplines are involved in the solution of complex issues;
  • be able to assess which research methods are most suitable in a particular situation;
  • be able to integrate the content and research methods from architecture, urban and regional planning, spatial sciences, and other disciplines relevant to a particular situation;
  • be able to defend a well-considered viewpoint covering the relevant disciplines; and
  • know which phenomena are being studied in different disciplines and which research methods and theories are used.

Learning Skills

Graduates will possess the attitudes as well as skills for lifelong learning, i.e., they:

  • know how to obtain and evaluate information; and
  • are able to orient themselves on a new knowledge domain, formulate an overview, and determine their knowledge gaps.

Communications Skills

Graduates will demonstrate excellent communication skills, i.e., they will be able to:

  • express themselves well verbally and at an academic level in writing;
  • present ideas in a clear and effective way; and
  • communicate knowledge to a public consisting of specialists or laypersons, making use of various modes of communication.

Engagement at Local and Global Levels

Graduates will demonstrate engagement at local, regional, and global levels, i.e., they will be able to:

  • use a knowledge of cultures in explaining current problems in society;
  • understand and appreciate cultural differences, not only at a distance, but in real life;
  • live with different value systems in daily life, and reflect on their own value systems; and
  • demonstrate an international awareness and openness to the world, based on understanding and appreciation of social and cultural diversity and respect for individual human rights and dignity.

Personal and Social Responsibility

Graduates will demonstrate:

  • profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship;
  • intellectual curiosity and creativity, including understanding of the philosophical and methodological bases of research activity;
  • an openness to new ideas and unconventional critiques of received wisdom; and
  • leadership skills, including a willingness to engage in constructive public discourse, to accept social and civic responsibilities and to speak out against prejudice, injustice and the abuse of power.