Students in the first year of the Environmental Design program are introduced to the processes of design thinking, systems thinking, and professional communication skills, which they apply to their work in their first-year design education. Students develop an understanding and an ability to analyze ordering systems and abstract relationship. In addition, students undertake a wide-range of university core courses including the required mathematics and physics courses.

Major Courses

During the first year of the program students will take required architecture courses as well as core curriculum courses.

Fall Semester    Credits
ARCH 121IA Introduction to Design 3
ARCH 151RA Design Fundamentals I 4
M 151Q Precalculus 4
Univ. Core (W, US, D, CS, R/IH, R/IN, or R/IS) 3
Total   14
Spring Semester   Credits 
ARCH 152IA Design Fundamentals II 4
PHSX 205 College Physics I 4
Univ. Core (W, US, D, CS, R/IH, R/IN, or R/IS) 6 - 9
Total   14 - 17


Advising Notes First Year

Each semester preregistration occurs around the midterm for the upcoming semester. As a student in the Environmental Design program students receive group advising during either studio or a companion course. During this group advising session, Rachael Ortego, the Director of Student Services will discuss the registration process and distribute important advising information such as Registration PDF’s and Advising Notes. Each semester the Advising Notes will also be posted on Brightspace (D2L). Students will be notified of their group advising time prior to the second month of each semester.

Formal Admission

At the end of the first year of the program students are required to apply for formal admission to the Environmental Design program. Acceptance into the program is based on a minimum overall GPA of 2.7, a minimum Architecture GPA of 3.0 and a portfolio submission of work from the first year design studio courses. This review evaluates if students have achieved the necessary skills to continue in the program. Seventy-eight students are accepted each year into the second year of the Environmental Design program. Once admitted to the second year of the program, a student maintains the acceptance status through the remaining three years of the undergraduate program