NEW FOR 2017! 
Apply Now!

California State Polytechnic University Pomona
College of Environmental Design
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban & Regional Planning

Professor Irma Ramirez,
Professor Courtney Knapp,

Summer 2017
June 24 - July 31, 2017

Application deadline: extended to May 1, or until full 
(travel grants available)
current status: program is still open and accepting applications

Study collaboratively with students and faculty from the departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban & Regional Planning.

This is an intense travel and study experience focused on an interdisciplinary collaboration between the departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban & Regional Planning. The program includes 3.5 weeks in China + 10 days in Japan focusing on the key cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. 

Live in North China University of Technology and work with Chinese faculty and students in this award winning program led by Cal Poly Pomona faculty.  See some of the largest and most populated cities in the world. Experience a political ideal in a communist countryn with the second largest economy in the world. Only in China can you experience the contrasts and controversies of a country rapidly changing as it seeks to balance modernity and tradition. 

Experience Japan, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Study the Architecture of world renowned architect, Tadao Ando; the intricacies of Japan's extensive and advanced transportation and urban systems; and the beauty of its nature and elegant Japanese gardens.

We also welcome non Cal Poly Pomona students. 
Please inquire: Professor Irma Ramirez at

Professor Irma E. Ramirez (ARC),
Professor Andy Wilcox (LA),
Assistant Professor Courtney E. Knapp (URP),

1. Print and Fill out Application: CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION

2.Turn in application to either of these offices:
Architecture Department Office, 7-210
Landscape Architecture Department Office, 7-222
Urban Planning Department Office,  7-224

Or Turn in directly to Professor Irma Ramirez,
or Professor Courtney Knapp,

3. Email Professors for instructions on making the deposit. After you make the deposit, return paid receipt to Professors.

COST (updated)
$4,592 Living/Tours Expenses (approx.)
  • Lodging in dormitory facilities living on campus at North China University of Technology in Beijing in a two-person dormitory room; hotel stays while on China tours; shared housing accommodations in Japan.
  • 80% of meals covered at on-campus cafeterias and on restaurants during travels. 
  • Trips/tours admissions entry tickets. 
  • Bus transportation to scheduled sites/tours and overnight trains to multi-day tours.
  • Japan Rail Pass
  • Travel Insurance
  • Chinese Visa
$2,500 Undergraduate Tuition (13 units), $2970 Graduate Tuition (14 units)

$1800 approx. Roundtrip Los Angeles-Beijing-Tokyo

$8,892 Approx. Undergrads - $2400 travel grant = $6,492 approx.
$9,362 Approx. Graduates - $2400 travel grant   = $6,862 approx.

Note: You should budget additional funds for your own recreational/entertainment activities like eating out and any activities on your days off. Students have reported that they have spent anywhere from $500-$1000. This is all depends on your own taste and spending habits.

Travel grants will be used to pay for your airfare, Japan train pass, Travel insurance, and Chinese visa. The money will be credited directly to your program cost. 

Note on Air Ticket: You will pay for your ticket, and then submit your receipt for reimbursement from the grant.

 $500 program deposit required to ensure your place in the program.
(Deposits are non-refundable unless the program is cancelled)

NOTE: In order to obtain this award, students must FIRST submit the application and get an official acceptance email with approval to make the deposit. 

Contact Financial Aid counselor as soon as possible to determine your financial aid eligibility. Loans and some scholarships may be available to you. 
Calling her will get you faster results. She can give you an answer usually same day with an estimate with amount and type of financial aid you qualify for. 
Tiva White
Financial Aid Counselor

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Phone: (909) 869-4671

COURSEWORK - 13 units for undergrads; 14 units for grads

1. Urban Design Studio and Lecture (3-unit lab and 2 unit lecture)

  • Architecture Undergrads: Credit for one topic studio that may be applied as ARC 401/L, or ARC 402/L, or ARC 405/L. If you are a 4th year, this program will put you ahead and will allow you to focus on senior project during your 5th year. 
  • Architecture Grads: Credit for one topic studio (3 lab units for ARC 601L or 602L, and 3 lecture units of ARC 601 or 602). 
  • URP Undergrads: Credit for URP 400, 498, 498L. Petition upon return.
  • URP Grads: May satisfy URP 641 and URP 642. Upon return, grads must make a presentation to URP faculty.
  • Landscape Architecture Students: Successful completion of the program with a grade of B or better in all courses can be used for credit towards Asian Gardens History, Senior Seminar, Senior Project, Directed Electives, and is a basis to petition an upper Division Topic Studio by portfolio review. Consult Professor Andy Wilcox. 
  • Art Students: Credit may be used to satisfy elective requirements. Consult with your advisor. 
2. Chinese Cities and Gardens - 4 units of 499 Upper Division Elective
  • All students take this class
3. Chinese Architecture, Landscape and Planning Practices 4 units of 499 Upper Division Elective.
  • All Students take this class

  • 2.0 minimum gpa. Preference given to higher gpas
  • Architecture Students: Undergraduates currently in 3rd or 4th year may apply. Graduate students currently in their 2nd year of studies may apply. 
  • Landscape Architecture Students: Consult with Professor Andy Wilcox,
  • URP Students:  Open to all URP Grads, Students in 3rd and 4th year have priority.
  • ART Students: Consult with your department advisor for credit. 

China is a setting of social, cultural, political, and economic extremes. The country’s delicate and fragile urban structure has the potential to thrive in its world influence or to break a key balance between people and government, history and tradition, nature and progress, and economic growth and market collapse. The ENV China program is structured to give students a vision of themselves as key players and contributors to the solutions that will shape our world in a time of critical transnational ties and challenges.

Classroom Pedagogy and the Planning and Design Process
The collaborative process is explored though an intensive and demanding classroom/travel experience that begins at home at Calpoly Pomona prior to departure and continues through the program, and post program completion.

Cultural preparation is performed through pre-trip research on Chinese history, culture and planning practices, and interdisciplinary team-building exercises. Reflection methods during the program rely on individual expressions through graphic and verbal “sketches” on journals/sketchbooks created on-site during extensive China travels, and the development of project blogs.

The project topics are explored through site analysis projects conducted in collaboration with Chinese partners to perform date acquisition and extensive sidewalk surveying. Students lead a citizen participation component by developing surveys, interviewing community residents, and inviting community to become civically engaged citizens. In the classroom, students work in multidisciplinary teams that immerse themselves into an intensive and invigorating process of great visions, compromise, and deep ethical reflections. Guest speakers and site visits expose students to the social, political, legal, and economic contexts that shape the design and development of buildings and urban settings in China.

Resources, Collaborators and Partnerships of the program consist of Chinese faculty and students, government agencies and local planning and architectural firms. The collaboration with North China University of Technology facilitates contact local advocacy groups that lead to recorded interviews with activist preservation planners.

Among the companies that have opened their doors to our program are global companies like ARUP construction and AECOM (firm with departments of urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering), and Zaha Hadid Architects. Other agencies sharing their expertise with us are the Beijing Department of Urban Planning, the American Planning Association in Shanghai, The China Academy of Urban Planning and Design; and the Los Angeles Times Beijing Bureau correspondent David Pierson among others.

Results and Program Honors
This interdisciplinary experience exposes students to non-western canons of cultural, professional, and academic traditions. The program encourages students to become socially responsible professionals as they work on real-world design projects in a foreign context. These are mutually beneficial encounters as parties share ideas about the roles of architects, landscape architects, and planners in the west and the newly developing east. In addition, since our program inception, North China University of Technology has started an urban studies program stemming from lessons of our collaboration and with Calpoly faculty as advisors. For the students, lessons learned and evidence of success is displayed by the comprehensive nature of the final report, student reflection papers, and distinguished recognition of regional and state awards at home by the American Planning Association Los Angeles Chapter and California Chapter.

The result of the class project is serving our local partners to dialogue with city officials on out-of-the-box thinking. Since our collaboration, the Fayuan Temple hutong area that was slated for demolition is currently under further review and demolition plans have been halted.

Program Honors
 Environmental Design Research Association
June 2012

American Institute of Certified Planners
February 2012

American Planning Association California State Award
August 2011

American Planning Association Los Angeles Section
June 2011