CPAD Curriculum

Program Catalog
The latest program catalog can be found here.

Semester One
CPAD 605 Drawing Charleston
Drawing is a traditional way to learn visually, especially in the case of architecture and its elements. This course will focus on drawing such each day. We will be using Charleston as our subject and will use various art mediums to explore aspects of Charleston’s physicality.

CPAD 615 Introduction to Urban Design
This studio course offers an introduction to the principles and methods of urban design. Physical, economic, sociological and architectural aspects of an existing area in or near Charleston will be analyzed, and proposals for future development will be formulated. This course will include field research, drawing, and digital model building.

ARTH 565 The City as a Work of Art
This course examines the characteristic elements of historical urban form, explaining their presence and meaning, and looking at the ways in which they were modified over time and space, comparing cities across global cultures. Particular emphasis is placed upon public spaces such as squares, parks, civic buildings, and streets.


Semester Two
PUBA 511 Urban Policy
This course will introduce students to the field of urban policy and will train students to critically analyze policy debates that directly impact city life. The course traces the major ideological shifts in urban policy over the past century, analyzes their historical and philosophical foundations and explores the relationship between urban change and policy formulation.

CPAD 619 Architectural Design Studio
This is an introductory studio course in architectural design. Students will conduct an urban analysis of a community outside of Charleston, produce a basic vision for urban improvements as a group, and then design, as individuals, a single building, in detail, to bring a portion of that vision to life. Students will learn architectural drawing conventions as well as building basics.

ARTH 535 American Architecture
A history of architecture in North America. Though beginning with a brief examination of pre-Columbian building and including Canadian examples where useful, the course will focus primarily on American architecture from the period of European settlement to the present.


CPAD 790 Independent Urban Design Field Study
This class will call upon every student to select a site, anywhere in the world, where a key portion of the built environment and the body politic stand to gain from an intervention. They will regularly upload cultural analysis essays and sketches of the city to a common course website shared with other students, and choose a problem site for a detailed research paper and digital model.


Semester Three
PUBA 517 Urban Transportation: Problems and Prospects
Foundational urban transportation concepts, theories, and policies are analyzed in applied contexts. Students explore contemporary problems, and prepare solutions to these problems. The transportation planning process is reviewed and critiqued, including the political and ethical implications surrounding this process. The role of Geographic Information Sciences in transportation planning is examined.

CPAD 830 Sustainable [Urban] Design & Adaptive Reuse
One of the most successful strategies for sustainable urban design is the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, providing profound ecological, economic, cultural, and social benefits. This hybrid seminar/research/studio class will require students to catalog and integrate new technologies into the urban fabric, with the sustainability of both old and new architecture as the primary focus.

CPAD 631 Introduction to Real Estate
Building is an expensive pursuit, and all designers should be acquainted with the economic costs attached to design, materials, financing, construction and maintenance. Strategies for bearing and mitigating these costs will be considered, in relation to both traditional development and public/private partnerships, and issues of social and environmental sustainability will be confronted.


Semester Four
CPAD 895 Urban Design Graduate Thesis Studio
Students will apply the lessons they have learned throughout their participation in the program to build upon their Independent Urban Design Field Study, offering a solution to the problem site in their chosen community. Highly detailed, publishable digital renderings will be created, as well as a detailed description offering economic, cultural, and political justifications for the design.


Two electives are required. They can be selected from CPAD special topics courses or approved PUBA urban planning, EVSS Environmental Studies or COMM Communications.