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College of Architecture + Planning

Whether it be Multi-disciplinary Design students innovating with their creations, Architecture students designing and building high performance structures, or City and Metropolitan Planning students leading campus sustainability efforts, our graduates emerge with a sense that they must be creative, critical, and caring in all that they do.

The Design Foundations Program for first-year students provides a platform for success in any of our college's degrees (architecture, multi-disciplinary design, or urban ecology) and a pathway to earn general education credits so that students progress toward their degree, regardless of their eventual choice of major.

In their first year, DF students work together in three courses—Design Contexts (DES 2630), Design Ecologies (CMP 2010), and Design Foundations Workshop (ARCH 2630). During their second year, students explore in greater depth one of the college’s three undergraduate streams of inquiry—architecture, urban ecology, or design.


The art or practice of designing and constructing buildings. The impact of thoughtful, well-designed built environments in the physical and emotional well-being of individuals and communities. Students take courses that are directed toward a strong foundation in the technical, graphic, and design areas of architecture: Structure Design, Site Design and Sustainability.

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Students in the Urban Ecology program engage with topics such as sustainability, ecological planning, land use and transportation, economics, law, housing, disaster resilience, dark skies, and community engagement. Many of the classes will take students out of the classroom and involve them in hands-on research and engagement in local communities and environments.

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This innovative program holistically explores physical, digital, and platform design. Students learn and apply skills in design strategy, thinking, and processes such as research, communications, making and collaboration. Our graduates are equipped to meet the needs of a rapidly changing professional world, and to tackle complex social and environmental problems by creating design solutions.

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