Field trips are an important component of architectural education; therefore, for one week during the fall semester the entire student and faculty population leaves the Starkville campus on excursions to major American metropolitan centers and other points of interest. The field trip location generally coincides with the studio focus for that year level, and students prepare for these trips by engaging in research and producing case studies. The time on site is divided between structured visits to important buildings, museums, and architectural offices, and free time for students to explore on their own.
Student participation in the field trip week is a required component of design studio, and the university assesses field trip fees in conjunction with tuition. Once a student has attended the first day of class these fees are nonrefundable. For information on field trip fees, refer to the S/ARC Undergraduate Handbook.
Over the years, field trip destinations have included Atlanta, New Orleans, Savannah, Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, and New Harmony, Indiana.
In addition to the weeklong field trips, students must also participate in local and regional field trips. These trips are not only planned in conjunction with the design studios, but also complement lecture courses and may last a few hours or require an overnight stay.
Destinations for short-term field trips have included the Columbus Brick Factory, Viking Range Corporation, The Rural Studio, construction sites, and Mississippi small towns.