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ArcStart is a pre-college program for high school students that offers students the opportunity to explore the built environment firsthand through an introduction to architectural design. Participants will experience the rewarding intensity of an engaging college architecture studio, partake in skill-building workshops that reinforce analytical and conceptual problem solving skills, and explore architecturally significant projects.

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2023 ArcStart information will be posted here in late fall/early Winter as available.

In the meantime, sign up on our mailing list to receive announcements about the program.


About ArcStart

ArcStart Virtual 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, students will witness how a design education prepares students 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. 

We are hoping the program will return as a 3-week in person program in 2023.

The ArcStart program is designed to give students the opportunity to study many different aspects of architecture, though learning to use specialized drawing, drafting and modeling tools, explorations of architectural history, a virtual 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 virtual program functions under the direction of Julia McMorrough, our Faculty Director.

Testimonials from 2022 ArcStart 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 director's 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.”


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

2023 Program Dates and Timeline

January 2023 Application will open
July/August 2023 ArcStart Program


The 2023 tuition cost will be determined and announced when the application opens.

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 2023.

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 the 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.


Contact the ArcStart team at ArcStartProgram@umich.edu

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