Natural, built and social environments are increasingly seen as intertwined, interdependent, and indeterminate, creating challenging conditions which must be addressed to achieve a sustainable future.
Meeting this challenge requires environmental designers who are strong leaders and visionaries. This unique, thesis-based degree is designed to train and nurture these leaders. In order to understand and solve complex spatial issues, thesis students in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape mobilize a range of methods from different disciplines, including: design explorations, participatory planning exercises, ethnography, surveys, statistics, laboratory science, fieldwork, and archival, visual, and textual studies.
Outcomes and next steps
Consultancy, civil service, government (e.g. Natural Resources), municipalities, planning, architecture, landscape architecture, academia, research institutions, real estate development, engineering, industrial design, product design.
A master’s degree in environmental design will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.
Conceptual Bases of Environmental Design and Research Skills and Critical Thinking.
A thesis proposal approved by the supervisor.
Student progress reports must be submitted annually by the student and the supervisor.
May include topics such as design thinking, urban infrastructure, urban design, urban systems, special topics and others.
Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.
Admission requirements and information
Requirements for the Environmental Design Program
A minimum of 3.0 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 four year baccalaureate degree, or equivalent from a recognized institution.
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, design project, or consulting report. In addition, applicants may submit a portfolio that provides examples of or illustrates the applicant’s design work, professional work, research, creative thinking, community action, planning products, or graphics and visual communication. If any of the work submitted involved collaboration with others, the applicant should clearly identify their individual contributions. The examples of work and (if applicable) portfolio should be submitted in digital form (portable document .PDF files), uploaded by the applicant to their Student Centre, upon submission of their online application.
A clear, concise and substantive statement of interest (1,000 to 1,500 words), which informs the Admissions Committee of the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the MEDes degree
A funding plan that demonstrates that financial resources are available for the entire program of study
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 after the first full year of studies.
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?