YArch runs for four weeks during the summer. The program has a rigorous, full-time schedule that includes weekdays, some evenings and Saturdays, and additional coursework to complete during open studio time or at home. YArch activities are coordinated to provide a well-rounded experience; for this reason, no one may participate in less than the entire program.
Typically, mornings consist of tutorials, discussions, and sketching outings throughout the city. During these sessions, faculty will introduce students to key concepts in the history and theory of architecture as well as analog modeling and digital graphic techniques. Most afternoons are dedicated to working in the studio. Several evenings per week, students attend lectures by School faculty, visit design firms, and enjoy dinner as a group. Saturday field trips include architecture tours in and around Chicago.