Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Design BA

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Look around you. From the building you live in to the bike path you take to school or work to the farmer’s market you visit to buy healthy food, the built environment touches every aspect of your life.

It is also closely tied to some of the most complex problems facing cities today, from climate change and community health to public safety and housing affordability.

If you’re interested in how the world around you takes shape-and you want to help communities create places that are not only beautiful, but also sustainable, healthy and equitable for generations to come-then environmental design could be the field for you.

Visit the Environmental Design academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.

Visit the Urban and Regional Planning department page  for contact information, a brief overview of the department and the curricular options.

Admission Criteria

  • Minimum UB GPA of 2.333
  • Minimum GPA of 2.500 in ENG 105, END 120 and END 212

Current UB students who are interested in applying to the Environmental Design BA in the School of Architecture and Planning should submit the Application to the Major form.

Transfer students with a transfer GPA of at least 2.333 can be directly accepted to the major.

Course Requirements

Nine Environmental Design Electives (27 credits minimum)

  • At least 3 credits must be upper-level division credits (300/400).
  • No more than 3 credits of END 496  and 3 credits of END 499  may be applied toward major requirements.

(See AAR for list of course options) 

Total Credits Required for Major: 54

Additional Degree Requirements Include:

Additional coursework to fulfill UB Curriculum requirements Elective courses as needed to complete the 120 credit hour total

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120

Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This should not be used for financial aid purposes.

Academic Requirements

Students are reviewed on their progress and eligibility to continue on a semesterly basis. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500 in environmental design program courses and a minimum cumulative UB GPA of 2.000 is required for successful completion of the major. In addition to all minimum GPA levels, all undergraduate students are expected to make satisfactory progress in workshops. All students must earn no less than a C- in an environmental design workshop or capstone course; any student who receives a grade lower than C- must repeat the environmental design workshop or capstone course before registering for the next workshop or capstone course. Grades of lower than C- in any environmental design workshop or capstone course will not count toward the preprofessional bachelor of arts in environmental design degree requirements, and a grade of F in any environmental design workshop may result in dismissal from the program.

Transfer Credit Policy

A minimum of 36 END-prefixed credit hours must be completed at the University at Buffalo to satisfy the Department of Urban and Regional Planning’s bachelor of arts in environmental design academic residency requirement.

Program Distinction

A student in this major is eligible for Program Distinction upon degree conferral if the criteria are met. Criteria are found under Academic Honors in the Policy and Procedure section of this Catalog. Program Distinction is noted on the official transcript.

Curricular Plan

A Curricular Plan provides a roadmap for completing this academic program and the UB Curriculum on time. Your actual plan may vary depending on point of entry to the university, course placement and/or waivers based on standardized test scores, earned alternative credit and/or college transfer credit.

First Year Fall

Total Credits: 15 or 16

First Year Spring

Total Credits: 15 or 16

Second Year Fall

  • END Elective Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Scientific Literacy 1 Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3

Total Credits: 15

Second Year Spring

  • END Elective Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Scientific Literacy 2 Credits: 3
  • Scientific Literacy Lab Credit: 1
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 2

Total Credits: 15

Third Year Fall

Total Credits: 15

Third Year Spring

Total Credits: 16

Fourth Year Fall

Total Credits: 15

Fourth Year Spring

Total Credits: 13

Total Credits Required: 120

Note: Some classes may count toward both a major and UB Curriculum requirement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:

  • Fundamental Skills: Ability to effectively use basic planning and development principles in environmental design;
  • Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, apply, and comparatively evaluate information related to environmental design challenges;
  • Communication Skills: Ability to effectively read, write, speak and listen, and visually communicate ideas;
  • Critical Practice Skills: Ability to apply evidence-based design, development, and planning methods and precedents to environmental design processes and proposals; and,
  • Graduate School & Entry Level Job Preparation Skills: Students will be well prepared to enter graduate school or an entry-level position in an environmental design related field of study.


(HEGIS: 02.01 ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN-GEN, CIP04.0401 Environmental Design/Architecture)


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