Prospective Students

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 savvy at working on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Be well prepared for working in sustainability or pursuing more specialized graduate study.

Information Sessions

Visit us during an information session and learn more about applying or transferring to the Sustainable Design program.

On-Campus Information Sessions

The FAA Admissions team coordinates with Sustainable Design to offer on-campus experiences for prospective students. Learn more about these programs.

Virtual Information Sessions




Joining the Program

Incoming First-Year Applicants

We accept students into Sustainable Design directly from high school (as first-year students). Students applying to the program from high school can access the review process and application information hosted by the Office of Admissions.


Intercollege Transfer


  • 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
  • No portfolio requirement
  • Sophomore-level transfer: 2.0 GPA minimum (Illinois and cumulative)
  • Junior-level transfer: 2.25 GPA minimum (Illinois and cumulative)
  • Junior-level transfer: strong applicants will have completed at least one of the following: ARCH 171, FAA 230, LA 101, UP 136, ARTH 211, ART 205, or ART 310


Fall term: rolling admissions until 8:00 a.m. on the fourth day of classes

Spring term: rolling admissions until 8:00 a.m. on the third day of classes

Apply Now


Off-Campus Transfer

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


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
Voice: 217.333.0302

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

Parkland Pathway

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. Download an example pathway.

Other Pathways to Illinois


International Students

International students are encouraged to apply for admission. 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.


First-year and transfer students are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships when they apply to Illinois.

You can earn a scholarship by participating in a Discover FAA High School Competition.

Learn about Illinois Commitment and other need-based scholarships.

Admitted Student Events

2023 Sustainable Design Admitted Events

There will be many opportunities and ways to engage with Sustainable Design at Illinois this spring. Sign up to attend on-campus or virtual events. We look forward to talking with you soon!

Learn More

Email with any questions.

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