The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, California, is an independent, nonprofit school offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture. It offers community design and outreach programs, and free public access to frequent exhibitions and lectures by leading thinkers in architecture. Founded in 1972, SCI-Arc is widely regarded as one of the most avant-garde U.S. architecture schools, with a reputation for pushing the boundaries of academic study. SCI-Arc's approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members - some of whom are practicing architects - work together to explore and test the limits of architecture. The school is based in the quarter-mile long former Santa Fe Freight Depot in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.