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Environmental Design

The Bachelor of Environmental Design at Texas A&M University provides a design education through the lens of the built environment. You’ll be challenged to think critically and creatively to solve design problems. 

Our architecture-driven curriculum and studio-based experiences will develop your capacity for design thinking. You will leverage creative thinking as a tool in rapidly expanding fields.

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About the Program

We deliver a 21st century education by building on timeless principles while engaging with current trends. Design studio projects, semester away experiences, and innovative instruction taught from a global perspective will equip you to address modern problems in architecture and design. 

The curriculum requires all third-year undergraduate students to spend one semester studying away from the Texas A&M campus. Students can elect to participate in a study abroad program or an internship within the discipline of architecture.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Design thinking
  • Architectural history, theory and criticism
  • Representation
  • Building technology
  • Social, professional and community engagement

* Students interested in professional architecture registration must complete a National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) accredited Master of Architecture program after completing the four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Environmental Design degree.

** Salary ranges estimated from PayScale.


The Bachelor of Environmental Design is a 120-credit-hour degree organized over the course of eight semesters. Coursework encourages multidisciplinary and comparative perspectives, communication skills, and team-oriented methods of production. Knowledge gained in the core curriculum is complemented by learning by doing in the design studio sequences.

Students often supplement their degree plans with minors offered through the department, including art and architectural history; sustainable architecture and planning; architectural fabrication and product design; and architectural heritage conservation.

Degree Plan

All students are placed on the current catalog when they enter the Department of Architecture. Students can request to be moved forward into a newer catalog by contacting their academic adviser. 

Year 1 31 credit hours

Fall Semester – 14 credit hours

ARCH 249 Survey of World Architecture History I 3 credit hours
ARCH 281 Seminar in Contemporary Architecture 1 credit hour
ENDS 105 Design Foundations I 4 credit hours
ENDS 115 Design Communication Foundations 3 credit hours
MATH 140 or MATH 152 or MATH 168 Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences or Engineering Mathematics II or Finite Mathematics 3 credit hours

Spring Semester – 17 credit hours

ARCH 250 Survey of World Architecture History II 3 credit hours
ENDS 108 Design and Visual Communication Foundations II 5 credit hours
ENGL 104 Composition and Rhetoric 3 credit hours
MATH 142 or MATH 151 Business Calculus or Engineering Mathematics I 3 credit hours
Cultural discourse* 3 credit hours
Year 2 33 credit hours

Fall Semester – 17 credit hours

ARCH 205 Architecture Design I 4 credit hours
ARCH 212 Social and Behavioral Factors in Design 3 credit hours
ARCH 330 The Making of Architecture 3 credit hours
PHYS 201 College Physics 4 credit hours
Government/Political science 3 credit hours

Spring Semester – 16 credit hours

ARCH 206 Architecture Design II 5 credit hours
ARCH 213 Sustainable Architecture 3 credit hours
CARC 481 Seminar 1 credit hour
American history 3 credit hours
Life and physical sciences 4 credit hours
Year 3 27 credit hours

Fall Semester – 15 credit hours

ARCH 305 Architectural Design III 5 credit hours
ARCH 331 Architectural Structures 3 credit hours
ARCH 335 Architectural Systems 3 credit hours
Communication 3 credit hours
Life and physical sciences 1 credit hour

Spring Semester – 12 credit hours

ARCH 494 or CARC 301 Internship or Field Studies in Design Innovation
Study away elective**
Year 4 29 credit hours

Fall Semester – 15 credit hours

ARCH 405 Architectural Design IV 5 credit hours
ARCH 431 Integrated Structures 2 credit hours
ARCH 435 Integrated Systems 2 credit hours
American history 3 credit hours
Government/Political science 3 credit hours

Spring Semester – 14 credit hours

ARCH 350 History and Theory of Modern and Contemporary Architecture 3 credit hours
ARCH 406 Architectural Design V 5 credit hours
Directed elective*** 3 credit hours
Directed elective*** 3 credit hours

* To be selected from any of the 100–499 level courses designated as cultural discourse (CD) not used elsewhere (such as CARC 101).

** Study away electives will be selected with approval of the Assistant Dean for International Programs and Initiatives.

*** Select from ARCH 216, ARCH 246, ARCH 260, ARCH 317, ARCH 327, ARCH 328, ARCH 345, ARCH 421, ARCH 430, ARCH 433, ARCH 434, ARCH 438, ARCH 441, ARCH 458, ARCH 463, ARCH 481, ARCH 484; ARTS 330; COSC 253; GEOG 330; LAND 301; RENR 375; URPN 340, URPN 361, URPN 370, URPN 470.

All proposals for undergraduate independent study must be signed by the supervising faculty and submitted to the department for approval; forms are available from the Department of Architecture Undergraduate Advisor (in Langford ARCA 219) and on the department website.

A grade of C or better must be made in all College of Architecture courses (ARCH, ARTS, COSC, CARC, ENDS, LAND, LDEV, URPN, and VIST). Students must also make a grade of C or better in any course used as an equivalent substitution for College of Architecture courses satisfying degree requirements.

Past Degree Plans

FAQ about the Bachelor of Environmental Science

How can I prepare academically for the environmental design program?

Students hoping to prepare for the program while still in high school are encouraged to take courses in geometry, algebra, calculus, trigonometry, physics, art, 3D art, and design.

How long will this program take to complete?

This bachelor’s degree is organized into eight semesters with required studio sequences. There is no way to overlap to get ahead with studio courses as they are meant to be taken in sequential order. Your degree’s completion time will depend on your AP, transfer, or dual credits and overall academic performance, but typically takes at least four years.

Design Studios

The design studio sequence encourages individual exploration, research, and team-based collaboration through project-based learning and application. Students learn and develop skills through a variety of theoretical, experimental, and practical design projects. Design studio projects place a shared emphasis on the:

Read our studio culture philosophy

How to Apply

Admission to our environmental design program is offered to students seeking a bachelor’s degree and who meet the Texas A&M University’s entrance requirements.


FAQ about the admission process

Is a portfolio required to apply?


Do you accept transfer students?

Yes. However, it can take up to eight semesters (4 years) to complete the environmental design program after transferring because it requires a studio sequence. There is no way to overlap to get ahead with studio courses as they are meant to be taken in sequential order. Departments may offer summer studio courses to accelerate a program.

How does the admission process work?

Submit your application to Texas A&M University through ApplyTexas or Coalition. Select Environmental Design as your intended major in your application.

How much does it cost to attend?

The cost to attend varies depending on a variety of factors, including semester of admission, student type, how many hours you take per semester, and rate type. Use the Texas A&M Tuition Calculator to get the best estimate of your tuition cost per semester.

Additional costs to consider include course materials, housing, meal plans, parking, and fees.

What kinds of financial aid does the program offer?

Numerous scholarships and financial aid are available through Texas A&M University, the College of Architecture, and the Department of Architecture. Incoming freshmen applicants are considered for university scholarships through the ApplyTexas Application or the Coalition Application. Continuing students can apply for additional scholarships through the University Scholarship Application for Continuing Students or through our departmental scholarship application process. For more information about university scholarships, visit

Our Commitment to Our Students

We are committed to delivering a 21st-century, student-centered education to all of our students. We weave diversity, inclusivity and critical thinking throughout all of our courses. We view design, both as a process and a product, as the unifying force within our program.

Studio Culture Procedures

Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity statement