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 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.
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, 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, internships and independent study, capstone courses, and through Environmental Design workshops, also referred to as studios. Environmental design inquiry becomes planning and development concepts for neighborhoods and communities.
About Our Facilities
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 provides a range of the latest equipment dedicated to material research, model making, and digital fabrication.
The Architecture and Planning Materials and Methods Shop is a complete machine and assembly shop, contains 7,000 square feet of high-bay space and is supplied with full woodworking capabilities, welding and milling equipment, lathes, sheet-metal machines, a vacuum-forming machine for molding plastic, and a variety of hand tools.
The Visual Resources Center directly supports the curriculum with its ever-growing collection of slides, audiovisual equipment and an extensive image database. The center also produces video recordings of the school's lecture series and other events.
About Our Faculty
Senior faculty from University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning teach core courses in the undergraduate preprofessional environmental design program. Two faculty members 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. In academic year 2016-2017, University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning has 14 tenure/tenure track faculty, three clinical faculty, one visiting scholar, and eight adjunct faculty.
Faculty List Directory
Please visit the Urban and Regional Planning department website for additional information about our faculty.
Career outlook information for Environmental Designers is available online.
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:
- City, county, township, or village planning
- Community development
- Construction management
- Economic development
- Educational administration
- Environmental management
- Environmental restoration planners
- Geographic information systems
- Historic preservation
- Industrial development
- Market research
- Neighborhood development
- Property management
- Real estate development
- Rural planning and development
- Site planning and development
- Transportation analysis
- Urban development
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.
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 Undergraduate Education
126 Hayes Hall, South Campus
Phone: 716-829-3484 ext. 4
School of Architecture and Planning Website
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.