Prospective Students

Plan by Emily Greibe

A degree in sustainable design equips students to marshal their creativity, cross-disciplinary skills, and expertise in analysis and conceptualizing for products, buildings, cities, landscapes, and communities designed and built using principles of sustainability.

Why Study Sustainable Design?

Graduates of this program will:

  • Be prepared for a future in a sustainable world where ideas from many disciplines will be necessary to solve complex problems.
  • Have a deep level of understanding of the fundamentals of sustainability and their functional links to the built environment.
  • Have a strong understanding of design thinking and practice.
  • Be skilled in applying basic principles of visual and material communication, including sketching, drafting, model making, 2D and 3D design software, and geographic information systems. 
  • Be able to combine design theory and practice with sustainability principles to address environmental issues.
  • Be savvy at working on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Be well prepared for working in sustainability or pursuing more specialized graduate study.

Virtual Information Sessions

Hear from program faculty, learn more about the major, and ask any questions you may have! Join us on Zoom for a live session.

Zoom meeting link

Zoom password: SD

Wednesday, December 1, 4:00–4:30 p.m. CST

Thursday, December 16, 4:00–4:30 p.m. CST

Are you unable to join an information session? Access the slides and videos.

Incoming First-Year Applicants

We accept students into Sustainable Design directly from high school (as first-year students). Students applying to the program from high school can access the review process and application information hosted by the Office of Admissions.

Intercollege Transfer
  • 2.0 GPA minimum (Illinois and cumulative)
  • Brief application with personal statement (500 words total)
    • Why do you think sustainability issues are important?
    • Describe a personal experience that highlights why society needs to include design in its efforts toward sustainability
  • Demonstrated initial progress toward campus general education requirements
  • No portfolio requirement

Fall term: rolling admissions until 8:00 a.m. on the fourth day of classes

Spring term: rolling admissions until 8:00 a.m. on the third day of classes

Apply Now

Off-Campus Transfer

The major in sustainable design will accept new off-campus transfer students for fall and spring semesters.

Students wishing to transfer from another institution can find detailed information in the Illinois Transfer Handbook.

Students desiring to transfer from other institutions should follow the steps for applying to FAA through the online application system. For additional information, contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
901 W. Illinois St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Voice: 217.333.0302
Fax: 217.244.4614

Incoming students should declare sustainable design as a major when applying.

The major in sustainable design is open to Parkland Pathway applicants, and all Illinois high school graduates and Illinois GED completers are welcome to apply. Additional information about the process is available from Illinois Undergraduate Admissions.

Complete the Parkland Pathway to Illinois application and the Parkland College application for admission. Download an example pathway.

International Students

International students are encouraged to apply for admission. The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design is a major on the STEM designated degree list (30.3301, Sustainability Studies), and international students on F-1 visas who meet the eligibility requirements are qualified for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extension. For questions about OPT, please review the website information or contact International Student and Scholar Services.


First-year and transfer students are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships when they apply to Illinois.

You can earn a scholarship by participating in a Discover FAA High School Competition.

Learn about Illinois Commitment and other need-based scholarships.

Email with any questions.