Why study Environmental Design Minor at UB?
*Not a baccalaureate degree program
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
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. 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 available for school-wide projects and independent work.
The Visual Resources Centerdirectly supports the curriculum with its ever-growing collection of slides, audiovisual equipment and an extensive image database. The center also produces videorecordings of the school's lecture series and other events.
About Our Faculty
Senior faculty from University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning teach many 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 our 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
All architecture students have access to faculty mentors upon enrollment into the school. In addition, advisors with School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education are available for assistance. Students are encouraged to consult regularly with their advisors and faculty mentors in matters pertaining to 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 the university provides in the areas of academics, research and community and global engagement. Visit UB Undergraduate Academic Advisement for additional information.
Academic Advising Contact Information
School of Architecture Undergraduate Education
126 Hayes Hall, South Campus
Phone: 716-829-3484 ext. 4
University at Buffalo Environmental Design students have the opportunity to work in urban or regional agencies in such areas as housing development, local government, historic preservation, neighborhood planning, transportation, community development, environmental affairs, land use and urban design. Environmental design internships (END 496) may be available with:
Interested students should contact each research center for more information about available opportunities.
Traveling can enhance students' awareness of the world, bringing them closer to understanding global diversity, and appreciating what is universal and unique to a culture.
Study abroad programs, such as Estonia, Newcastle, England, Havana, Cuba, Aruba, Dutch Antilles, and Greater Toronto, Canada will be offered on an ad-hoc basis by University at Buffalo Environmental Design and the UB Office of Study Abroad based upon faculty and student interest.
Extracurricular information is available on the School of Architecture and Planning website. These include the Graduate Planning Student Association, Alpha Rho Chi, and the Environmental Design Student Association.
See the UB Student Association.
Honors and Awards
Departmental distinctions are awarded to graduating environmental design students who achieve a high level of academic excellence, creativity and ingenuity within University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning.
Becoming a(n) Environmental Design Minor Student
Acceptance Criteria - Environmental Design Minor
Minimum GPA of 2.0.
Minimum B- in PD 120 or PD 212.
The Environmental Design Minor is typically completed within 5-6 semesters.
The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning has an admission policy that actively encourages applicants from protected groups and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or veteran status. Admission is competitive, and applicants are reviewed according to the admission criteria. Acceptance of students in the preprofessional, professional, and advanced graduate programs is determined on the basis of the applicants' qualifications and experience. However, since the school's size is limited, the programs may exercise discretionary powers of selection. Courses and programs offered by the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning may include an instructional support services fee.
Becoming a University at Buffalo Student
Admission to UB is highly competitive. For the 2016 incoming freshman class, UB reported an average ACT score of 24-30 and an average SAT (CR+M) score of 1100-1300. 90 percent of admitted students are in the top 50 percent of their class.
Admission to UB is based on a holistic review. We consider high school average, class rank, SAT (critical reading and math) or ACT scores, and strength of the high school academic record. A personal essay, recommendations, documented creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service and special circumstances are also considered.
The following is not required for admission, but is suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:
- Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
- Four years of social studies
- Three years of college-preparatory science
- Three years of a second language
- Three years of college-preparatory mathematics
Visit Undergraduate Admissions to learn more.
Current UB Students Applying to the Program
Students are admitted to the environmental design minor by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning upon earning an overall minimum GPA of 2.0 and completing either PD/END 120 or PD/END 212 with a minimum grade of B- (GPA of 2.67 on a 4.0 scale) or higher.
The Environmental Design Minor is typically completed within 5-6 semesters. Contact School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education for academic advisement.
Suggested Introductory Courses
PD/END 120 Introduction to Urban Environments
PD/END 212 Urban and Environmental Planning
END 275 Environmental and Landscape: Discovering Landscapes
END 279 Exploring the Design of Buffalo Niagara
END 285 Transportation and Urban Life
Completing the Environmental Design Minor Program
Minimum GPA of 2.0.
Minimum B- in PD/END 120 or PD/END 212.
Minimum cumulative urban planning and environmental design (PD-prefixed/END-prefixed) GPA of 2.5 is required for successful completion of the environmental design minor.
No more than 6 credits of transfer coursework may be applied toward minor requirements.
No more than 3 credits of PD/END 496 Environmental Design Internship and 3 credits of PD/END 499 Independent Study may be applied toward environmental design minor requirements.
For undergraduate information, or for an admission application to the minor in environmental design Environmental Design Minor, contact School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education.
Transfer Credit Policy
Courses completed at other colleges and universities are not automatically accepted by University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning as fulfilling undergraduate requirements. While select courses taken elsewhere may be accepted, determination is made by an evaluation of the student's transcripts, course content, contact hours, and grades earned. A minimum passing grade on a 4.0 scale is required in each course for possible articulation to courses offered by the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning in accordance with SUNY policy. Student transcript evaluations are conducted by School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education. Actual placement in the undergraduate preprofessional environmental design program is made after this evaluation is completed. Student transcript evaluations are conducted by School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education.
No more than 6 credits of transfer coursework may be applied toward Environmental Design minor requirements. Student transcript evaluations are conducted by School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education.
PD/END 120 Introduction to Urban Environments or PD/END 212 Urban and Environmental Planning
PD/END 120 Introduction to Urban Environments and PD/END 212 Urban and Environmental Planning
Minimum of four department electives and 12 credits at the 270 level or higher.
Departmental Honors Requirements
University at Buffalo Environmental Design offers the designations “with distinction,” “with high distinction,” and “with highest distinction” to students who achieve a certain level of academic excellence in the major or minor upon graduation.
The award of Program Distinction is based on the UB GPA for the program. A minimum of 50% of credits for the major or minor program must be completed at UB. University at Buffalo Environmental Design requires a minimum of 3.25 for “with distinction”; 3.50 for “with high distinction”; and 3.75 for “with highest distinction.”
Total Credit Hours Required
Total Credits Required for Minor/Certificate: 18
Minors and certificates must be completed in conjunction with a major and all university degree requirements must be met.
Students should consult with an academic advisor to determine how any transfer or exam credit might be utilized in meeting general education, prerequisite or major requirements.