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Environmental Design BA

(HEGIS: 02.01 ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN-GEN, CIP: 04.0401 Environmental Design/Architecture)

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

126 Hayes Hall
South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214-8030

Daniel B. Hess
Professor and Chair of Urban Planning

Norma Everett
Graduate Program Administrator

Christy Krawczyk
Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study Environmental Design BA at UB?

University at Buffalo Environmental Design addresses the arrangement, appearance, and functionality of neighborhoods, towns, and communities. In addition, environmental design is concerned with the way these places are experienced and used, as well as other aesthetic elements that contribute to the quality of community environments. Environmental design promotes the best use of a community's land and physical resources for residential, commercial, institutional, and recreational purposes.

Environmental Design provides students with the skills to understand, analyze, and solve development problems with a view toward community planning and the design of sustainable urban environments. The purpose of environmental design is to gain a better understanding of community environments, and then apply that knowledge to improve physical surroundings.

University at Buffalo Environmental Design addresses issues in the dynamic bi-national Buffalo-Niagara region as a laboratory for planning, design, and development.

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.

The Learning Environment

Environmental designers plan and develop physical environments with which people interact every day. Direct, tangible engagement with the environment – whether it be neighborhoods, communities, urban streetscapes, or citizen activists – is fundamental to the aspiring environmental designer. University at Buffalo Environmental Design is distinctive by engaging our students in the dynamic binational Buffalo-Niagara region. In Environmental Design, students become involved with municipal governments and neighborhood groups, urban and rural environments, citizens and leaders, and the challenges they face: both complex problems and creative opportunities. This is done through in-class exercises, site visits, field work, directed research, capstone courses, and through Environmental Design studio workshops. Through Environmental Design, we prepare students for careers in which they can make positive change in communities.

About Our Facilities

The School of Architecture and Planning's historic home in Hayes Hall reopened in 2016 after a $45 million restoration that has revived an iconic landmark for UB and created a flexible, dynamic learning environment for future architects, developers, environmental designers, preservationists, and urban planners.

The Architecture and Planning Library, located in Abbot Hall, is one of ten libraries within the University at Buffalo.

University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning IT Services comprise two sets of facilities: a central collection of laboratories and computing classrooms, and a collection of distributed facilities located in the graduate and undergraduate architecture and urban planning studios.

The Digital Fabrication Workshop, one of the premier fabrication facilities in the Buffalo Niagara region, is the hub of our learning-through-making curriculum. Equipped for fabrication of all types, the shop serves both as a space to execute coursework and as a think-tank and makerspace for collaborative research with practice and industry.

About Our Faculty

Senior faculty from University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning teach core courses in the undergraduate preprofessional environmental design program. Faculty from Urban and Regional Planning have been recognized with the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, some courses are taught by professional urban planners, public administrators, environmental educators, historic preservationists, architects, designers, and real estate developers. Urban Planning faculty research is catalyzed by diverse partnerships with public, nonprofit, private, and industry funding sources. Outcomes include peer-reviewed publications, books and evidence-based action in new plans, policies, designs, and programs in Buffalo and beyond.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the School of Architecture and Planning faculty webpage for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Career outlook information for Environmental Designers is available online. In addition, University at Buffalo Design Center provides services needed for a successful career, and coaches students through the process of finding the right job.

Sample career activities include:

  • Participate in and support team planning, design, and development efforts.
  • Prepare reports, using statistics, charts, visual design, and graphs, to illustrate planning and development studies in areas such as population, land use, or zoning.
  • Research, compile, analyze and organize information from maps, reports, investigations, images, and books for use in reports and special projects.
  • Provide and process zoning and project permits and applications.
  • Inspect site plans and designs for development proposals.

Alumni in Environmental Design have found employment in the following fields:

Salaries range greatly from one occupation, position, and work setting to another. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's 2014-2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median wages for Environmental Designers was $ 20.42 hourly / $ 42,480 annually. Visit O*Net Online for more information, and contact University at Buffalo Career Design Center for internship opportunities, job coaching, career connections network, and career advising.

Academic Advising

All students in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning have access to faculty mentors upon enrollment. In addition, advisors with School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education are available for assistance. Students are encouraged to consult regularly with advisors and faculty mentors for academic options, course selection, graduate studies, and career opportunities. Students meet with advisors and faculty mentors as often as they choose to explore educational opportunities available within the department to plan a course of study that is consistent with their abilities, achievements, interests, and expectations. The ultimate goal of advisement is to empower students to be active, responsible learners who take full advantage of the many opportunities UB provides in the areas of academics, research, and community and global engagement. Visit the Undergraduate Academic Advisement website for additional information on academic advisement.

Academic Advising Contact Information

School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education
126 Hayes Hall, South Campus
Phone: 716-829-2133 ext.4
FAX: 716-829-3256
School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education Website

University at Buffalo students may schedule an advising appointment via the Navigate Student App.

Scholarships and Financial Support

The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning in partnership with the university, our alumni, our faculty and staff, and our philanthropic supporters, provides support to our undergraduate students. In addition to tuition scholarships, stipends for travel and supplies, and support for study abroad, our students, like our faculty, are actively engaged in teaching, research and service — and are rewarded for their hard work. Visit the School of Architecture and Planning website for more information.

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Feb 01, 2023 08:50:00