Additional Scholarships, Grants & Awards

Other Scholarships

The below scholarships are unaffiliated with the Architecture Department offered by outside parties who maintain their own selection criteria and applications. Cal Poly Architecture Students have a successful track record earning these scholarships year after year, and you are encouraged to apply. All information and links are provided as a courtesy, but make sure all applications and information inqueries are directed appropriately. Double check all the information on official web sites. Kindly report any broken links or outdated information at Good Luck!

You may also check the following web sites for additional scholarship opportunities:

AIA Mel Ferris Scholarship

The California Architectural Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of architecture and the science and art of environmental design, and is managed by a volunteer Board of Regents composed of architects and members of the public with the purpose of administering grants and scholarships relating to the architectural profession and education in California. The Foundation has been a strong advocate for architectural education in California through its support of programs such as the Mel Ferris Scholarship Program, named for Mel Ferris, Hon. AIA, who served as executive director of the AIA California Council from 1953 until his retirement in 1978. The scholarship is funded by contributions from California architects, their firms and friends who have join in this effort to recognize Ferris’ contribution to the profession of architecture and to California architects.

The Mel Ferris Scholarship program provides scholarships to qualified architecture students studying at one of the ten accredited Architecture universities in California. The scholarships are awarded based upon demonstrated financial need, as well as academic and design achievements, and are awarded without regard to race, gender, age, physical abilities or religious beliefs. The scholarships are awarded annually by the California Architectural Foundation. It is the goal of the Foundation Board of Regents to award scholarships to offset tuition expenses.

Past Awards Offered

  • First place - $5000
  • Second place - $4000
  • Third Place - $3000 (two third place awards will be awarded)
  • Dean’s Choice Award - $500 given to the Dean of each school to award to a student who demonstrated excellence in their portfolio.
  • Savings By Design Energy Efficiency Integration award - $5,000

Please visit the California Architectural Foundation web site for downloadable application packets and to view previous award winner submissions. We hope that you review the submittal guidelines carefully and consider this important opportunity.

Darden Architects Student Scholarship ($1000)

This scholarship is made possible through the generosity of Darden Architects, Inc. who want to to recognize, support and encourage the professional development of students interested in Architecture from California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. Darden Application.

Eligibility and Application Notes

  • Open to all class levels for the current academic year
  • Minimum 2.8 GPA
  • Recipient must have graduated from a high school in one of the following counties Kern, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, or Tulare.  

Verla and Paul Neel Faculty Scholarship ($1,200)

Verla and Paul Neel, dean emeritus of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design and ARCE alumn, Faculty Scholarship provides professional development funds to CAED faculty for participation in state or national conferences and conventions of the professional organizations within the disciplines of the CAED.

Carson Starkey Memorial Scholarship ($10,000)

The Carson Starkey Memorial Scholarship was lovingly established in the memory of Carson Starkey, an Architectural Engineering student, who passed away in December of 2008. His parents, Julia and Scott Starkey, intend for Carson’s memory to live on in two scholarships, one focused on need and the other on merit.

Herbert E. Collins Scholarship (2 @ 1200)

This scholarship, that is distributed among seven CAED students, is made possible through a generous endowment to the university in honor of Julian A. McPhee, the first president of Cal Poly. Upper division students (junior/senior/graduate) are selected for their academic achievement, industriousness and display of overall fine character.

Note: Picked by School representatives in consultation with Department Heads

Tile Contractors’ Association of America’s 2010 Architecture Scholarships

TCAA is seeking future architects who will lead their industry, shape the language of design, and create new ways to give shape to their vision for public and private space as art for habitation. The association is committed to awarding scholarships to high achieving architectural students enrolled in an accredited school of Architecture, pursuing their BArch or MArch Professional degrees. In addition to the $2,000 award, scholarship winners are invited to be our guests at our annual convention to be held in Orlando, Florida.

The Architectural Scholarship application form is available at:

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architectural Scholarship of
The Oregon Community Foundation

This scholarship is intended to recognize and foster students who have a demonstrated talent and passion for architecture. This $10,000 annual stipend will be awarded to an admitted architecture student who is in a fourth year (entering fifth year) or master's program at a board accredited college or university within the United States. In addition to the financial award, a summer internship at one of our offices will be offered.

Criteria: The recipient shall demonstrate the ability to produce quality architectural design and dedication to personal development in the field of architecture.

Qualified candidates must be recommended by the head of the school of architecture or faculty member with a signed letter from the dean. Applications must be received no later than May 1.

Go to the ZGF Scholarship web page to download the application.
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca web site

Dr. Glenn G. McRae Internship ($3,000)

Open to all junior or senior level students in the CAED, this award, shared among four students, is based on scholastic achievement, evidence of interest in university and multi-cultural activities and demonstrated competence in graphics and design. Interns will provide graphics and design tutorial assistance in the CAED's learning assistance program. One of the principal intentions of the award is to rekindle the caring spirit so aptly demonstrated by Dr. McRae during his counseling career at Cal Poly and his assignment to work with CAED students and assist them in life's problems.

Professional Organization Awards

AIA California Central Coast Chapter ($500)

This scholarship is to support the study of architecture and the pursuit of an architectural career, the American Institute of Architects Central Coast Chapter (AIACCC) awards an annual $500 scholarship to one 4th year architecture student attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Applicant must be a 4th year architecture major in good standing at Cal Poly SLO as of January. Cal Poly SLO 4th year architecture students at the San Luis Obispo campus or those studying architecture in a 4th year off-campus program are eligible.

Selection will be based on verification of 4th year status, Written Goal Statement, and Sample Graphics Review. AIACCC Scholarship Committee will review all applications and select the applicant that best demonstrates architectural talent, creativity and professional promise. If two or more applicants are considered of equal merit, preference may be given to AIAS member applicants.

Award Information

For information and application forms go to the AIACCC Scholarships & Awards web page.

AIA Henry Adams Medal

The American Institute of Architects recognizes two top-ranking graduating students in accredited programs with an engraved medal and certificate of merit. The award program began in 1914 and was formerly called "The School Medal." Named in honor of the author of the book Mont. St Michel and Chartres, The purpose of the award is to recognize students for their general excellence in architecture throughout their course of studies. The recipient is a graduating senior with the highest grade point average in the Architecture Department.

AIA Henry Adams Certificate of Merit

The second recognition from the American Institute of Architects is awarded to the architecture graduating senior with the second highest grade point average.

Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal

Established in 1931, Alpha Rho Chi, the National Professional Fraternity for Architecture and the allied arts promotes the profession of architecture by encouraging students to excel. The members of Alpha Rho Chi believe the profession of architecture needs strong leaders as much as it needs strong designers. The recipient is committed to public service and shows merit beyond the design studio and academic career. Nominated by architecture faculty, this medal honors a graduating senior for outstanding achievements.

CAED Student Council Recognition Awards

Each of the ASI Chartered clubs and organizations within the CAED has a representative on the Student Council. This group represents a significant number of students within the college and serves as a “clearing house” for ideas, input and opinions that are communicated to the administration, faculty and Associated Students, Inc.

Outstanding Service and Contribution for Design Village Conference 2011

A nationally recognized event, Design Village attracted more than 200 students –– in 40 or more teams––to participate in a design and construct competition to create temporary “structures” in Poly Canyon during Cal Poly Open House. The teams stayed in their structures for two nights. The students and their advisors organized and ran the entire event.

Contributions to the Objectives and Public Image of the College

The graduating senior who receives this award is recognized for his/her outstanding contributions to the College’s objectives and public image. Emphasis is on participation in college-wide organizations, committees and special projects. The student is nominated to receive this award by faculty and fellow students as a consequence of his/her distinguished involvement.

CAED Jamba Juice Scholarship (4 @ $5,000)

This scholarship was established with a generous donation from Mr. Kirk Perron, founder of Jamba Juice. It is to be awarded to four currently enrolled students in any of the five majors of the CAED. Preference is given to applicants who have worked or are working at Jamba Juice.

Douglas James Martin Scholarship ($600)

Jim and Barbara Martin established this scholarship in memory of their son, Douglas James Martin, who was the CAED’s first specialized computer technician. This award is given to an undergraduate CAED student who shows special ability and excellence in the area of computer applications and computer skills related to architecture and environmental design who has demonstrated volunteer service with exceptional positive benefit to the off-campus community.

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