Bachelor of Environmental Design
The Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvD) is a four-year, pre-professional undergraduate degree centered on the design of built environments. This program offers a foundation for students who intend to pursue careers and/or graduate studies in design and building professions, including Architecture, Landscape Architecture and related disciplines. As a pre-professional degree, the BEnvD prepares students to enter two-year professional programs such as the Master of Architecture (MArch) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), either at UHM or at other institutions. The BEnvD also lays a foundation for the three-year Doctor of Architecture (DArch) at the University of Hawai‘i.
The BEnvD follows a problem-based approach, grounded in systemic realities with a special focus on issues of sustainability and community resilience.
The undergraduate studio sequence offers a broad introduction to design skills and methodologies that prepare students to address contemporary challenges related to architectural, landscape and urban design at multiple scales. Select studios are integrated into research projects through the University of Hawai‘i Community Design Center and other partnerships, offering students the opportunity to participate in real world public interest design in collaboration with agencies, organizations and community partners. The first semester of the senior year offers students flexibility for participation in immersive placed-based projects locally or abroad. The studio sequence culminates with a capstone project integrating all major aspects of environmental design education.
In addition to design studios, students complete a wide variety of coursework that includes design communication, design technology, history and theory of world architecture and urbanism, environmental systems, and professional practice, in addition to UH Mānoa General Education requirements. The school also offers a variety of upper-division architecture and open electives including advanced courses in visual representation, architectural history/theory, computational design, and other special topics related to the unique contexts of Hawai’i, Asia and the Pacific.
BEnvD PROGRAM CHART BEnvD Student Learning Objectives
Accreditation / Licensure
To practice architecture in the State of Hawai’i only, BEnvD graduates are able to pursue architecture licensure pending 5 years full-time lawful experience and examination provisions established by Hawai‘i’s DCCA Professional and Vocational Licensing Division (PVL). Students intending to pursue architecture licensure in the majority of other U.S. jurisdictions will require an additional graduate professional degree from a program accredited by the National Accreditation Board (NAAB) to meet educational requirements. Please visit the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) for specific requirements.
For registration, advising and student transfer questions, please contact:
Director of Student and Academic Services
For additional BEnvD program information, please contact:
Karla Sierralta, AIA
Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies
Follow our BEnvD activities on Instagram:
Admission to the Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvD) program is handled by the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) undergraduate admissions office. Please visit UHM Office of Admissions to apply.
In addition to UHM tuition and fees, all UHM School of Architecture students are assessed a professional fee of $500 per semester. These fees help pay for the operational costs of the school’s IT Lab and Fabrication Lab. Students pay additionally for materials which are provided at cost.
BEnvD Program Instructors
- Christian Bergum, PhD, AIA; Associate Professor
- Simon Bussiere, ASLA, AILA; Assistant Professor
- Martin Despang, Dipl. Ing. Architekt; Professor
- Cathi Ho Schar, FAIA; Assistant Professor
- Yasuhi Ishida, RA; Assistant Professor
- Bundit Kanisthakon; Assistant Professor
- Laura McGuire, PhD; Assistant Professor
- Wendy Meguro, AIA, LEED AP B+C; Associate Professor
- Kevin Nute, PhD; Professor
- Hyoung-June Park, PhD; Associate Professor
- Eric Peterson, PhD; Assistant Professor, Coordinator
- Karla Sierralta, AIA; Associate Professor, Coordinator
- Lance Walters, RA, LEED AP; Associate Professor, Coordinator
- Phoebe White, ASLA; Assistant Professor
Part-time faculty Fall 23:
- Andrea Aegerter, AIA, CDT, LEED GA, USGBC; Lecturer
- Vincent Au, Assoc. AIA, CDT; Lecturer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Graham Hart, AIA; Lecturer (email@example.com)
- Matt Loudermilk, Assoc. AIA, Lecturer
- My Tran; Lecturer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Willa Trimble, AIA; Lecturer (email@example.com)
- Bruce White, Associate AIA; Lecturer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jing J. Zheng, Lecturer