The B.A. – M.A. Design Path

In a highly competitive economy where the success of a building such as a stadium, restaurant, retail boutique, museum or theater rests as much on the user’s experience as it does on a building’s performance, cost or look, the successful design of interior environments is critical.  Traditional approaches in interior design and interior architecture lack the specialized and technology-based focus on individual experience that an environmental design degree path offers through the special fusion of course work in architecture, interior design and interaction design.

The B.A. –M.A. Environmental Design degree path is offered by the School’s Architecture and Design departments.  It allows architecture students to combine the skills and knowledge obtained in the Architectural Studies degree core with basic interior design and interior architecture skills and techniques offered in professional enrichment classes.

Students complete a rigorous sequence of courses in interaction design that includes the research skills needed to design extraordinary spaces that respond to the needs and perceptions of different individuals.  In addition, they are trained to use emerging technologies to customize environments for different purposes.

Students in this degree path also have the opportunity to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills in one of KU’s Undergraduate Certificate Programs and, more importantly, they go well beyond the basic professional practice training found in a traditional interior design or interior architecture degree with specialized course work in design management.

In addition to the challenges offered by this rigorous sequence of courses, students can participate in professional internships and they have the opportunity to engage in research projects conducted within the School’s highly recognized Center for Design Research.  Within this 154-credit degree path, the B.A. is awarded by the Architecture Department and the NASAD-accredited M.A. in Environmental Design is awarded by the Department of Design.

Undergraduate Admission

First-year and transfer students may be admitted to the B.A. in architectural studies degree program. Contact:

University of Kansas
Michael Swann, Associate Dean,
School of Architecture, Design and Planning
Marvin Hall
1465 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 206
Lawrence, KS 66045-7626

For undergraduate applications, write to:

KU Office of Admissions
KU Visitor Center
1502 Iowa St.
Lawrence, KS 66044-7576


Applications for fall semester should be submitted during the student’s senior year in high school. The priority application deadline is November 1, and the final application deadline is February 1. Completed applications are reviewed, and applicants are notified of their admission status. A complete application includes sixth-semester transcript, rank in class, ACT scores, and a list of courses in progress. Applications received after February 1 are considered but are less likely to be accepted due to space limitations.

Transfer students should apply by October 1 for the spring semester and by the priority deadline of November 1 for the summer and fall terms. The final application deadline is February 1. Space limitations apply to transfer students. Transfer applications received after February 1 are likely to be denied for reasons not connected with the applicant’s academic qualifications. The School of Architecture, Design and Planning encourages applications from women and members of minority groups.

High School Students

High school students are encouraged to apply for admission if they have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and have a minimum ACT of 23 or a minimum SAT of 1050 and if they will meet the following preparation thresholds by the time they graduate:

  • 3 or more years of math ending with calculus (preferred),
  • 3 or more years of natural science including physics,
  • 3 or more art/drawing classes. Art/drawing classes are preferred over additional drafting or technical courses (1 semester of drafting is adequate),
  • 2 or more years of foreign language (recommended).

Although students who do not meet these minimum thresholds may apply to the Department of Architecture, they are encouraged to enroll in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for a preliminary year of study.

During the first semester of this preliminary year, students should complete:

MATH 105Introduction to Topics in Mathematics3
or MATH 115 Calculus I
or MATH 365 Elementary Statistics
ENGL 101Composition3
ARCH 103Introduction to Architecture3

During the second semester, students should complete:

PHSX 114College Physics I1-4
ENGL 102Critical Reading and Writing3

Students already at the University of Kansas may apply to the B.A. in Architectural Studies program by February 1 for admission the following fall. Students must have a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 or higherand space must be available to be admitted to the B.A. in Architectural Studies program.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may be admitted, if space is available, if they have an overall grade-point average of 3.0.

International Students

The School of Architecture, Design and Planning admits only exceptional students from other countries. Standards for admission are set according to the traditions and grading policies of those countries. In some countries, for example, the grade of A is almost never given, while in other countries the A grade is more frequently seen. The number of students admitted depends on the space available on February 1.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

ARCH 1033ARCH 1043
ARCH 1086ENGL 102 or 1053
ENGL 1013ARCH 1096
MATH 1053KU Core Class, Goal 2, Learning Outcome 23
 KU Core Goal Nat. Science (recommend PHSX 114)3-4
 15 18-19
ARCH 3803ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
ARCH 5403ARCH 5413
ARCH Urban Dsgn/Sustainability Elective3ARCH Materials & Sustainability3
ADS 3403ARCH Environmental3
Free Elective 13Free Elective 33
Free Elective 21-3 
 16-18 15
ARCH 4006ARCH 5096
ARCH 5303ARCH 5313
ARCH 6263DSGN Elective3
ARCH 6583KU Core Class, Goal 4.1 Elective3
Complete GRE. Submit Graduate Studies form. Make sure GPA is 3.00  
 15 15
ARCH 4016ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
KU Class Core Social Science Elective3DSGN Elective3
ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3DSGN Elective3
Free Elective 43KU Core Class, Goal 6.1 Elective3
 Free Elective 63
 15 15
Total Hours: 124-127

* Recommended Courses (see advisor for substitutions)

B.A. Architectural Studies and Undergradaute Certificate Conferred.

Year 5
ENVD XXX Advanced Research & Programming3ENVD XXX Integrated Experience in Space, Graphics & Arch3
ADS 7123ADS 7143
ADS 8601ADS 890 Thesis3
ADS 8611Graduate Elective in Design3
ADS 8901Open Elective3
Graduate Elective in Design3 
Graduate Elective in Design3 
 15 15
Total Hours: 30

M.A. Design (Environmental Design) conferred.