Why study environmental design here?


Tradition of excellence

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Our school is recognized for its commitment to sustainable research ranking 20th in the 2015 and 27th in the 2016 QS World University Rankings, the highest of all Canadian architecture schools.

The place

Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for liveability and quality of life. With diverse geographic regions and climates, a rich, multi-cultural history, and a dynamic arts and culture scene, Vancouver is an amazing place to work and study. 

Award-winning faculty

Our faculty are internationally renowned experts in their fields and have chosen to teach here in part because of our school’s reputation for excellence in research. Join us and you will learn from the people who are changing the way we think about design.

Mentor program

You will have the opportunity to be paired with an alumni mentor. Our mentors come from a variety of professional backgrounds and are there to offer you guidance as you navigate your way through the program.

Tight-knit community

With low student-faculty ratios, we get to know you by name. We are proud of our small studios, intimate seminars, and personalized learning opportunities. You will have your own dedicated space in studio, and your classmates will feel like a team. 

Hands-on experience

You will have access to 3D printers, a CNC machine, laser cutters, and the wood shop. You will also have the opportunity to enrol in a design build elective where you will take a real world problem, find a design solution, and then follow through with creation. Past design builds have included produce stands in the Okanagan, garden sheds for local community gardens, warming huts for TED Talks, and chair prototyping.

Interdisciplinary opportunities

Our environmental design curriculum integrates architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design, making it the only program in Canada to do so. You will learn side by side with students from our graduate professional program and gain a unique insight that spans across the design discipline.

International experiences

You will be able attend summer electives and studios set abroad. These courses range from three weeks to a full semester. In recent years we have taken students to Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, and the Netherlands. For a more immersive experience, you can also spend up to a year at one of our partner universities.

Employment opportunities

We have a wide variety of employment opportunities. We currently offer 90 annual teaching assistantships and nearly as many research, administrative, and technical positions. Whether it is analyzing data in the lab or assisting in the workshop, you will find a position that is right for you.

Our students get involved 

Our students organize lunchtime lectures, host weekly social events, and curate gallery exhibitions of their work. They create public art on campus, organize design builds, and attend conferences around the world. They are passionate about what they do, and we hope you will be too.