Sustainable Design, BS

for the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design

Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design
College of Fine and Applied Arts Office of Undergraduate Affairs
110 Architecture Building
608 East Lorado Taft Drive 

Faculty Program Administrator: Dr. Daniel Schneider
Program Administrator: Dr. Nicole Turner
Program Website:
Program Email: 
College Website:

The major in Sustainable Design offers an innovative, interdisciplinary course of study in design, with a focus on building sustainable communities through the intentional design of environmentally sensitive products, buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes and cities.

The program grounds concrete skills development with opportunities to move between disciplinary barriers, allowing students to prepare for the future in a sustainable world where ideas from many disciplines will be necessary to solve the complex problems of pollution reduction, energy conservation, and biodiversity protection in equitable, healthy, and thriving places.

Required introductory coursework provide a solid grounding in design thinking and skills, coupled with a broad understanding of the role of design in achieving sustainable results across scales. Students will apply their skills and knowledge in a required senior capstone project.

With expertise across disciplines, students in this program will be prepared to work in the public and private sector, or continue preparation in a variety of professional graduate programs such as Architecture, Industrial Design, Innovation Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Urban Planning.

for the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design

General Education Requirements
Composition I4
Advanced Composition (fulfilled by courses listed below)3
Humanities & the Arts: Literature & the Arts (fulfilled by required course listed below)3
Humanities & the Arts: Historical & Philosophical Perspectives (fulfilled by course listed below)3
Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative Culture(s) (fulfilled by course listed below)3
Cultural Studies: Non-Western Culture(s)3
Cultural Studies: US Minority Culture(s)3
Natural Sciences and Technology (fulfilled by courses listed below)6
Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 is fulfilled by required course listed below)6
Quantitative Reasoning I and II6
Language Other Than English requirements 0-12
Total Hours (with Language requirement fulfilled)34
Major Requirements
FAA 101Arts at Illinois1
LA 101Introduction to Landscape Arch2
UP 136Urban Sustainability (Gen Ed: Social & Behav Sci, Social Sciences)3
ARCH 171Concepts and Theories of Architectural Design3
ARTH 211Design History Survey (Gen Ed: Humanities & the Arts, Language Arts)3
ARTD 225Design Drawing3
or ARCH 172 Drawing and Modeling
FAA 230Sustainable Design of the Built Environment3
ARTD 326Sustainability & Manufacturing3
ARCH 321Environment, Architecture, and Global Health3
ARTD 451Ethics of a Designer in a Global Economy4
FAA 330Making Sustainable Design5
ARCH 273Strategies of Architectural Design3
FAA 430Capstone Seminar3
FAA 431Capstone Studio5
Total Hours44
Major Electives
Select 16 credit hours, with at least 10 hours at the 300 or 400-level, and with approval of advisor.
ARTD 230Design Thinking/Need-Finding3
ARTD 270Design Methods2
ART 205Experience & Meaning in Design (Gen Ed: Social & Beh Sci - Beh Sci + Cultural Studies: Western)3
ART 208Digital Art and Sustainability (Gen Ed: Humanities & the Arts- LA)3
ART 310Design Thinking (Gen Ed: Humanities & the Arts- LA)3
ARTD 426Product Innovation3
ARTS 321Sustainable Fashion Development and Branding3
UP 203Cities: Planning & Urban Life3
UP 204Chicago: Planning & Urban Life3
UP 205Ecology & Environmental Sustainability (Gen Ed: Natural Sci & Tech)3
UP 246International Environmental Planning and Governance3
UP 340Planning for Healthy Cities3
UP 405Watershed Ecology and Planning4
UP 406Urban Ecology4
UP 418GIS for Planners4
UP 420Plng for Historic Preservation4
UP 430Urban Transportation Planning4
UP 434Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning3
UP 437Public Transportation Planning3
UP 456Sustainable Planning Workshop4
UP 479Community Engagement in Planning3
UP 486Planning with Climate Change4
UP 494Special Topics in Planning (section SK Food Systems Planning or PC Planning Colloquium)1-4
ARCH 210Introduction to the History of World Architecture3
ARCH 231Anatomy of Buildings4
ARCH 416The Architecture of the United States, c.1650 to Present3
ARCH 417Modern and Contemporary Global Architecture3
LA 212Water and Society (Gen Ed: Humanities & the Arts -HP + Cultural Studies- West)3
LA 222Islamic Gardens & Architecture (Gen Ed: Humanities & the Arts -HP + Cultural Studies- Non-West)3
LA 314History of World Landscapes (Gen Ed: Advanced Composition + Humanities & the Arts-HP + Cultural Studies- West)4
LA 370Environmental Sustainability3
LA 446Sustainable Planning Seminar4
LA 466Energy & the Built Environment4
LA 480Sustainable Design Principles2
Other courses approved by advisor
Total Hours (minimum)16
College or University Electives
Select approximately 26 credit hours with approval of advisor to complete degree requirements.
Summary of Credits for Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design
General Education requirements34
Language Requirements0 - 12
Major Requirements44
Major Electives16
College or University Electives26
A minimum of 40 credits at the 300 or 400 course level are required
Total Hours for Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design120
First YearHours
FAA 1011
LA 1012
UP 1363
ARCH 1713
General Education courses18
University Electives3
Second YearHours
FAA 2303
ARTD 225 or ARCH 1723
FAA 330 (must be taken in spring of sophomore or junior year)5
ARTH 2113
BSSD Major Elective3
General Education courses6
University Electives/Undergraduate Minor7
Third YearHours
ARTD 3263
ARCH 2733
ARCH 3213
BSSD Major Electives7
General Education courses9
University Electives/Undergraduate Minor5
Fourth YearHours
FAA 4303
FAA 4315
ARTD 4514
BSSD Major Electives6
General Education courses3
University Electives/Undergraduate Minor9
Total Hours 120