This program is intended for students wanting to expand their professional or design-related backgrounds with advanced, interdisciplinary, practice-based research and study.
Blurring traditional disciplinary definitions, students undertake their research in one or more areas included in environmental design. Thesis documents may incorporate detailed design interventions, policy frameworks, neighbourhood guidelines, code research or combinations of these and other results. Students will work with faculty comprised of eminent design researchers and professionals, recognized internationally for their work. Students will develop knowledge and skills as individuals and in teams, synthesize related research findings, and communicate these findings for real world application.
Outcomes and next steps
Academia, government/civil service, municipalities, engineering, energy resources, natural resources, environmental management, planning, urban design, research institutions, private sector.
A PhD in environmental design is usually considered a final degree.
Off-campus field work and research may count towards fulfillment of the full-time study and research requirement.
Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.
May include topics such as design thinking, urban infrastructure, urban design, urban systems, special topics and others.
Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.
Admission requirements and information
Requirements for the Environmental Design Program
A minimum of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
A Master’s degree.
At least one example of the applicant’s previous academic or professional writing, such as a written essay, published research paper, major academic paper, design project or consulting report. A At least one example of the applicant’s previous academic or professional work, such as a written essay, published research paper, major academic paper, thesis, or consulting report.
A research proposal that describes the nature of the thesis research the applicant expects to undertake
A funding plan that demonstrates that financial resources are available for the entire program of study
CV; portfolio (optional)
English language proficiency
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
TOEFL score of at least 105 (Internet-based). Our institution code is 0813
All graduate students must pay general fees each year, as well as program fees.
Estimate for full-time students
Canadian and permanent resident
12 months of study
First 12 months of study
For first year of studies
General fees and program fees
General fees are annual and per-term fees. Annual fees are paid once per year, while per-term are paid each term (3 terms per year).
Program fees cover standard academic costs. Textbooks and other course material costs are not included.
What are annual continuing fees?
Domestic Continuing Fees: $1,627 CAD
International Continuing Fees: $3,693 CAD
Continuing fees apply in the first term following completion of candidacy requirements.
There are several awards and scholarships open to SAPL students. The majority are coordinated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and are open to all University of Calgary graduate students. For a complete list visit the graduate awards searchable database and search under "programs" for Environmental Design.
Fees listed here are estimates only, and have been rounded to the nearest dollar. These amounts should not be considered accurate. All amounts are in Canadian Dollars.
Fees are subject to change.
For more details and the most accurate information go to the Academic Calendar
For more general information, see our Fees and Funding Guide
Have you made your final decision and you’re ready to apply?