What will I learn?

The Bachelor of Environmental Design curriculum is comprised of a shared core (lasting five semesters) followed by three semesters of course work focused on one of four specializations: architecture, landscape architecture, planning or design studies.

The shared core is innovative because it provides an intensive and balanced introduction to the traditional professions contained within the broad field of environmental design. The core provides students the information and flexibility to hone their career direction and specialization area. It allows opportunities for hands-on problem solving that features design studios as the primary teaching pedagogy. Anchored through a combination of lecture courses and studio instruction, the core curriculum builds upon studios where students solve design problems at three important scales of the built-environment: buildings, landscapes, and urban systems.

Prospective students often choose to enroll at CU in ENVD because they can advantageously leverage their first five semesters to help determine which specialization matches their strengths and aspirations. Others are attracted to ENVD because they can declare a specialization at the outset of their studies. Even more will choose ENVD because there is the opportunity to change their mind towards the end of the core and pursue a specialization to reflect their changing interests without a loss of credit or time towards graduation.

The specialization—upper division coursework in the final three semesters—allows students to pursue in-depth projects and gain more specialized skills necessary for pre-professional work or further study. The semester prior to the senior year (a.k.a., PRAXIS) offers options and opportunities for students to experiment and explore personal interests. Alternatively, students can pursue approved international study abroad options as part of the curriculum as well. The final year culminates into the specific requirements for the chosen specialization.

Areas of Specialization

Architecture Specialization

Students develop design solutions for buildings and sites that are environmentally responsible, sustainable and ethical using conventional and experimental construction methods including design-build and digital fabrication that are aesthetically pleasing, functional and culturally relevant.

Planning Specialization

Students focus on problems of sustainability in urban environments and the integration of urban design with other planning practices to address sustainability issues.

Landscape Specialization

Students develop design solutions in all scales of sites from gardens, to neighborhoods, to district, to parks, to campuses, to watershed and regions that work in concert with natural systems and reflect both the art and science of design.

Design Studies Specialization

The design studies sequence provides students the opportunity to build interdisciplinary, flexible and specialized courses of study. Students must submit a program of study for approval by both a faculty advisor and an academic advisor prior to beginning the specialization.

Which department am I in?

Program in Environmental Design

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$39,104.00 per year
Start date

26 August 2019


Program in Environmental Design

314 UCB,

1060 18th Street,



80309, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have high school GPA of 3.33–3.94. International students required to meet English proficiency. CU-Boulder requires all freshman and transfer students (including U.S. citizens attending high school or college outside of the U.S) with fewer than 24 credits completed to submit an official score report for either the SAT I or the ACT. International students only need to submit an SAT or ACT if they are graduating from a U.S. high school. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirement set by CU-Boulder may still receive consideration for their application. Our holistic review process takes several primary and secondary factors into consideration, so it is important to submit a clear and detailed application.

For international students

Undergraduate international students are students who have completed a secondary school and are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, and who have or will be applying for a temporary U.S. Visa, such as an F-1 or J-1. Since there are many different grading scales and weighting methods, we use the total weighted GPA provided by your graduating high school, using a standard 4.00 scale. GPAs that are not on a 4.00 scale are converted accordingly.

In addition to our general admission requirements, all international applicants are also required to meet a minimum standard of English proficiency.


IELTS: 6.5

Total scores must include a TOEFL writing sub score of 19 or higher or an IELTS writing sub score of 5.5 or higher. Scores may not be combined.

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.