PhD in Environmental Design

PhD in Environmental Design

The PhD in Environmental Design challenges master’s degree holders to become scholars and through quantitative and qualitative research at an advanced level. Students develop and demonstrate knowledge and skills, synthesize related research findings to create new knowledge in the field, and communicate these findings to those inside and outside the field who will use and apply them.

Program Structure

The PhD program consists of required coursework tailored to the individual's need, followed by a thesis proposal, candidacy exams, thesis research and writing, and, ultimately, an oral examination of the doctoral thesis. The degree is intended for those who are capable of carrying out original research under the guidance of a suitable faculty member and supervisory committee. The PhD typically takes four years to complete. Students must maintain full-time registration status throughout the program.


A supervisor drawn from regular full-time faculty cohort in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

Course Work

The PhD in Environmental Design is a thesis-based program designed for students who wish to pursue a research or scholarly career. Courses are generally completed in the first year of the program.

  • APLA 670 Design Research Methods
  • APLA 672 Design Research Writing
  • APLA 674 Design Innovation
  • Minimum 3 units of elective credit, course(s) selected in consultation with the supervisor

Candidacy and Thesis Details:

  • Thesis proposal approved by the Supervisory Committee
  • Written Field of Study Examination
  • Oral Field of Study Examination
  • Submission of a thesis document describing the research
  • Satisfactory completion of the Thesis Oral Examination

Student spotlight:

Courtesy Mohamed Imam

Class of 2019: Mohamed Imam studies how 'super tall' buildings yield super resources

PhD grad climbs new heights over resource generative skyscrapers

Explore student work

PhD Research Image

PhD Research

Learn more about the research of our PhD students engage in.

Message from the Graduate Programs Director

The PhD in Environmental Design is intended for students looking to undertake full-time doctoral research on a specific topic in the fields of architecture, planning or landscape architecture, typically as preparation for an academic career. Students work with faculty researchers in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape to develop and demonstrate knowledge and skills, synthesize related research findings, create new knowledge, and communicate these findings for real world application.

The PhD in Environmental Design intakes students once a year in the fall semester. 

Barry Wylant, Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director

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