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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Environmental Design

Majors Overview April 16, 2014

Students will be prepared for careers involving green technologies, environmental project planning, and historic preservation, with the Environmental Design program. The fundamental practices and principles of environmental architecture and design are taught to students, along with drafting skills and design theories.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Environmental Design

Students enrolled in Environmental Design programs are trained to seek entry-level jobs in various specialties, including environmental design planning, green technologies and historic preservation. In some cases, architecture may be included among these specialties. The programs cover drafting skills and design theory, in addition to fundamental practices and principles of architecture and environmental design.

Professional programs for aspiring architects are conducted by some Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Environmental Design and the Bachelor of Environmental Design (B.Envd.) degree. By contrast, students enrolled in other programs are prepared exclusively for architecture-related careers. The general focus of Environmental Design programs is on the influence and change of the design process by modern technology, building systems like plumbing, heating and lighting, building materials and methods, environmental impact of design, historical appreciation of architecture and design, and design theory. Coursework combines classroom lectures, internships, and design studio and research activities.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria in Environmental Design programs typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school degree, in addition to prior coursework in science and math. Some schools also insist on submission by students of a portfolio of their achievement as an annexure to the application.


Students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs are introduced to advanced and basic concepts of environmental design via extensive coursework in the area of concentration. Students also need to complete general education coursework in other subject areas, such as social sciences and humanities. Coursework may include major topic areas such as:

•Introduction to landscape architecture
•Ecology and design
•Design communications media
•Introduction to environmental design
•Introduction to architecture

Career Choices

Graduates of the program can seek entry-level occupations in architecture or professional design related areas. They may choose from career options such as:

•Historical preservation specialist
•Environmental conservationist
•Environmental designer

Continuing Education Choices

Some graduates of Environmental Design programs may pursue entry-level architecture-related careers immediately after graduation; others aspiring to become licensed architects would need to enroll into an accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree program. It usually takes two years to complete the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program.

A state license is also required to be held by architects. A period of mentorship within a professional environment and passage of the Architect Registration Exam are required for licensure.

Those already engaged in architecture-related careers can seek career advancements by earning a master’s degree in Environmental Design and Planning. Schools offer Master of Environmental Design (M.E.D.), Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees. It usually takes about two years to complete the programs. Master’s degree students may choose specializations such as interior design, architecture, or landscape architecture. Professional associations offer certifications in some career fields to interested candidates.

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