Prospective Students

Architectural Plan by David Figueroa

A degree in sustainable design equips students to marshal their creativity, cross-disciplinary skills, and expertise in analysis and conceptualizing for products, buildings, cities, landscapes, and communities designed and built using principles of sustainability.

Why Study Sustainable Design?

Graduates of this program will:

  • Be prepared for a future in a sustainable world where ideas from many disciplines will be necessary to solve complex problems.
  • Have a deep level of understanding of the fundamentals of sustainability and their functional links to the built environment.
  • Have a strong understanding of design thinking and practice.
  • Be skilled in applying basic principles of visual and material communication, including sketching, drafting, model making, 2D and 3D design software, and geographic information systems. 
  • Be able to combine design theory and practice with sustainability principles to address environmental issues.
  • Be savvy at working on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Be well prepared for working in sustainability or pursuing more specialized graduate study.
Incoming Freshmen

The major in sustainable design will accept new first-year students for fall 2021. Interested applicants not affiliated with the University of Illinois can email sustaindesign@illinois.edu to receive periodic information and updates about the major or to get answers to any questions.

Intercollege Transfer
  • 2.0 GPA minimum (Illinois and cumulative)
  • Brief application with personal statement (500 words total)
    • Why do you think sustainability issues are important?
    • Describe a personal experience that highlights why society needs to include design in its efforts toward sustainability
  • Demonstrated initial progress toward campus general education requirements
  • Current first-year students and sophomores are eligible for fall 2020 transfer
  • No portfolio requirement

Apply Now

  1. Application review will begin March 1, 2020.
  2. Rolling admissions decisions will be made until September 3, 2020.

15 credit hours from any of the following:

  • UP 136: Urban Sustainability (required major course; Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • UP 210: Environmental Economics (recommended; Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • FAA 102: Design beyond Boundaries (recommended; Humanities: Literature and the Arts)
  • ART 310: Design Thinking (major elective option; Humanities: Literature and the Arts)
  • UP 205 (major elective option; Natural Sciences and Technology)
  • Composition I
  • LA 314 (major elective option; Advanced Composition; Humanities: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives; Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative Cultures)
  • Quantitative Reasoning I or II (consider UP 116 or UP 316)
  • Language other than English (if not complete through third level)
  • Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative Cultures or Non-Western Cultures or U.S. Minority Cultures (consider ARTD 209, ARTH 110, ARTH 260, DANC 100, DANC 340, LA 221, LA 242, MUS 130, MUS 133, THEA 110, THEA 260, UP 160, or UP 185)
  • Electives of interest

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Fall 2020  
ARTD 225: Design Drawing 3
ARCH 171: Concepts and Theories of Architectural Design 3
LA 101: Intro to Landscape Architecture 2
ARTH 211: Design History Survey 3
General Education or University Elective 3
Total Credit Hours 14
   
Spring 2021  
UP 136: Urban Sustainability 3
FAA 230: Sustainability of the Built Environment 3
FAA 330: Making Sustainable Design–Studio 5
General Education or University Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
Total Credit Hours 17
   
Fall 2021  
ARCH 231: Anatomy of Buildings 3
UP 426: Urban Design and Planning 4
Major Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
Total Credit Hours 16
   
Spring 2022 (or Abroad?)  
LA 270: Behavioral Factors in Design 3
ARTD 326: Sustainability and Manufacturing 3
Major Elective 4
General Education or University Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
Total Credit Hours 16
   
Fall 2022  
FAA 430: Capstone Seminar 3
Major Elective 4
Major Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
Total Credit Hours 16
   
Spring 2023  
FAA 431: Senior Capstone Workshop 5
Major Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
General Education or University Elective 3
Total Credit Hours 17
   
Required Major Courses 43
Major Electives 16
University Electives 24
General Education Credits 37
Total Credit Hours 120

 

NOTES

1. Electives are selected from a list of approved courses in architecture, art and design, landscape architecture, and urban planning.

2. ARTH 211 fulfills the Humanities and the Arts: Literature and the Arts general education requirement. UP 136 fulfills the Social and Behavioral Science: Social Science general education requirement.

3. The language requirement may be satisfied by:

  • Successfully completing a third-semester college-level course in a language other than English;
  • Successful completion, in high school, of the third year of a language other than English; or
  • Demonstrating proficiency at the third-semester level in a language proficiency examination approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the appropriate department

If you enter the university without credit in three years of language other than English in high school, you must take a language placement test to determine the courses in which you should enroll.

4. A total of 40 credit hours toward the degree must be 300- or 400-level courses.

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Off-Campus Transfer

The major in sustainable design will accept new off-campus transfer students for fall 2020.

Students wishing to transfer from another institution can find detailed information in the Illinois Transfer Handbook.

Students desiring to transfer from other institutions should follow the steps for applying to FAA through the online application system. For additional information, contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
901 W. Illinois St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Voice: 217.333.0302
Fax: 217.244.4614
admissions@illinois.edu

Incoming students should declare sustainable design as a major when applying.

The major in sustainable design is open to Parkland Pathway applicants, and all Illinois high school graduates and Illinois GED completers are welcome to apply. Additional information about the process is available from Illinois Undergraduate Admissions.

Complete the Parkland Pathway to Illinois application and the Parkland College application for admission.

International students are encouraged to apply for admission through any of the off-campus transfer application routes. The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design is a major on the STEM designated degree list (30.3301, Sustainability Studies), and international students on F-1 visas who meet the eligibility requirements are qualified for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extension. For questions about OPT, please review the website information or contact International Student and Scholar Services.