Students posing for photos in Rome

Summer Program at the Pantheon Institute

Study abroad at the Pantheon Institute in Rome, Italy, is a 12-credit, 7-week semester during Summer I term. Courses focus on architectural design and history, with a curriculum consisting of lectures, design studios, and directed field trips of Rome and select cities around Italy.

Faculty-led, the program is an intensive academic, cultural, and development experience. While much of the lecturing involves site visits to archeological sites and city buildings, students should be committed to undertaking a heavy workload. Field trips sites include: Pompei, Ercolano, and Paestum; the Italian hill town of Umbria and Tuscany; as well as Firenze, Venezia, Parma, Verona and/or Vicenza. Hotel accommodations and travel costs during these organized field trips are included in tuition fees for the program.

All classes are offered at the Pantheon Institute, located in two revered piazzas of Rome — Piazza Venezia and Piazza della Rotunda.

Rome Coursework

  • ARCH 499I – Studio
  • ARCH 499B – Architectural Analysis
  • ARCH 499J – Cartography
  • AE 497A – Study of Medieval Structures

Courses count as:

  • Arch 499D – Substitute for either ARCH 441 or ARCH 442
  • Arch 499B – GA
  • Arch 449E – GH
  • AE 497A* – Department Elective

* Structural M.A.E. students may not use AE 497D as a department elective. 

The obvious success of Roman and medieval architects in producing large clear span spaces, high domes and vaults, and other successful feats of structural engineering invites an investigation of their methods of structural analysis and design. These courses will explore what we know or can find out about this topic through investigation of artifacts and review of texts. Although the courses will require thoughtful reading, looking at buildings, and investigations, the material will be presented at an elementary level, requiring no more than a first semester of statics (EMCH 211) as preparation.



Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394