Welcome to the Environmental Design Program
The School of Architecture's Bachelor of Environmental Design is a pre-professional degree program that prepares students for our NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture professional graduate degree program. With open enrollment into the first year of the Environmental Design program, students acquire fundamental design, math, science and systems-thinking skills that provide the foundation for their design education. In the second and third years of the Environmental Design program, students gain knowledge and skills in architectural design, history, architectural graphics (hand and digital), structures, building construction and environmental controls. During the fourth year of the program, students undertake issues in sustainability, professional practice and research methods combined with option studios and a senior capstone studio. All of these studies are undertaken with a goal toward students' developing a critical position in regard to the environment and architecture.
Licensing & Careers
Students with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design (BA ENVD) work in a wide-range of design fields ranging from architecture, construction, planning, and furniture design. As a pre-professional degree, the BA ENVD prepares students to apply for MSU's Master of Architecture--a NAAB-accredited professional degree. In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. In addition, licensure requires a period of internship and the successful completion of the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE). For additional information on the process for obtaining an architecture license, please visit the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards website.
The first year of classes are considered open enrollment, which means any student may apply to Montana State University and pursue the first year of the Architecture curriculum by declaring Environmental Design as their major, without any additional application to the School of Architecture. Admission Requirements for Freshman Students.
Formal Admission to Second-Year
At the end of the first year of the Environmental Design program, students apply for formal admission into the second year of the Environmental Design program. This review determines their preparedness for the second year of the program. This review takes into account a student's cumulative GPA, their design studio GPA, their portfolio of first-year design studio work, and completion of required first-year architecture, math and science courses.
Seventy-eight students are accepted each year into the second year of the Environmental Design program. Once a student has been admitted to the second year of the program, they maintain the acceptance status through the remaining three years of the undergraduate program.
Required Course Work
To apply for formal admission into the second year of the Environmental Design program, a student must have completed the five required courses listed below prior to the start of the second year:
- ARCH 121IA - Intro to Design
- ARCH 151RA - Design Fundamentals I
- ARCH 152IA - Design Fundamentals II
- PHSX 205 - College Physics I or higher
- M151Q - Precalculus or M171Q Calculus (Math and Physics requirements can be met through transfer equivalencies, Advanced Placement tests, and International Baccalaureate® courses.)
Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
- 2.7 Overall GPA
- 3.0 Design Fundamentals studio GPA
Portfolio of First-year work
In addition to completing the required first year courses, a student must submit a portfolio of their first-year design studio work. Portfolios are reviewed each May. The review process is undertaken by the Second Year Admissions Committee, which is made up of five faculty members who did not teach first-year studio courses. Each portfolio is reviewed by these five faculty members and scored on a 1 to 12 point system, with a score of 12 being the highest score. To be considered for the second year of the program, a student's portfolio score should be a minimum of six points. A student’s portfolio score is determined by averaging the five faculty members' scores.
Estimated costs for attending Montana State University include tuition, university fees, room and board, books/supplies and miscellaneous costs are shown in the estimated costs for attending Montana State University.
School of Architecture Costs
The Environmental Design curriculum relies extensively on the design studio learning model, which includes extensive model building and drawing, requiring additional supplies. The studios, and many non-studio courses, rely heavily on the use of high-end digital fabrication equipment, printing, and shop facilities. The School established an Architecture Program Fee that is assessed only on the design studio courses with 100% of the program fees being distributed to the School of Architecture for use on students courses, software, field trips, activities and events. Read here for a list of the additional architecture costs in the Environmental Design program.
The only scholarship money available to a student entering the first year of the Environmental Design undergraduate program is scholarship money available from the Office of Admissions. Read here for more information on MSU Undergraduate Scholarships.
For information on, and application forms for, financial aid to attend Montana State University, visit the website of the Office of Financial Aid.
Read here for additional financial guidance information on how to pay for school.