Graduate Certificate in Ecological Design

The Ecological Design Certificate is a design-based, interdisciplinary program focused on the development of a practical framework for the integration of the built environment with local and region specific natural systems.

This certificate is available to all graduate students within the College of Design.

Participating students are challenged to develop an in-depth understanding of the relationships between ecological processes, issues of cultural and social sustainability, and urban development and form, and how allied design and planning disciplines approach these relationships. Students will acquire a theoretical and pragmatic basis to carry these understandings into the world of practice.

The Ecological Design Certificate Program provides explicit curricular structure in ecologically sensitive design, encouraging students to develop an ecologically based design awareness, solidifying the commitment of the University to interdisciplinary inquiry, and upholding its capacity for leadership in the field.

A minimum of 24 credits is required. Twelve of the 24 credits may be used to fulfill master of architecture requirements. Due to resource availability, most of these courses must be completed at the Eugene campus.

All students pursuing graduate certificates along with their graduate degree programs must complete the Declaration of Graduate Certificate form. It must be submitted to the Graduate School within one term after admission to the certificate program. The School of Architecture & Environment Manager of Student Services can assist students in signing and sending this form to the Graduate School.

The Ecological Design Certificate will be re-launched in Fall 2020. Please complete the Ecological Design Certificate Interest Survey to receive more information.

Certificate Requirements (24 Credits)

Students working toward the Ecological Design Certificate must complete a minimum of 24 credits in approved ecological design subject courses.

Foundation Course series: 11–12 Credits
Students must take three Foundation Courses and cannot include the Foundation Course from their home department to satisfy this requirement.

Foundation courses include:


Course NumberCourse NameCredits
AAAP 510American Arch From a Preservation Perspective (I, II, III)4
AAAP 510Sustainable Preservation4
ARCH 530Architectural Context: Place and Culture4
LA 517Analyzing Land Systems4
LA 541Principles of Applied Ecology4
PPPM 542Sustainable Urban Development4


Course Electives: 12–13 additional credits must be completed from the Approved Course Electives, which provide a platform for a cohesive focus in ecological design. At least one elective course must be taken outside of the student’s home department. (Note: A course in the foundation list that is not used as such and is outside the student’s home department can be used as an elective.)

Seminar topics and Experimental courses (507 and 510) may change, and it is recognized that while some of the courses indicated as Electives below may not be offered every year, other relevant courses may be offered. The faculty advisor determines when a course not included in this proposal may be applied toward the completion of the certificate.

Elective courses include:

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
AAA 508HOPES Charrette1
AAA 508HOPES Conference1
AAAP 510Transporation and Preservation3
AAAP 545Preservation Economics3
ARCH 507High-Performance Buildings and Landscapes3
ARCH 510Passive Heating and Cooling3
ARCH 510Studio Plus1–2
ARCH 534Vernacular Building3
ARCH 538Housing Prototypes4
ARCH 593Solar Heating3
ARCH 594Passive Cooling3
ARCH 595Daylighting3
ARCH 597Case Studies in Sustainable Design3
ARCH 598Energy Scheming3
ARCH 620Environmental Design Research2–4
ARCH 633History of Sustainable Architecture4
BI 572Community Ecology4
BI 573Quantitative Ecology5
BI 574Marine Ecology5
BI 575Freshwater Ecology5
BI 576Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology4
GEOG 523Advanced Biogeography4
GEOG 525Hydrology and Water Issues4
GEOG 530Long-Term Environmental Change4
GEOG 531Vegetation History and Ecosystem Dynamics4
GEOG 532Climatological Aspects of Global Change4
GEOG 561Environmental Alteration4
GEOG 562Historical and Contemporary Views of the Environment4
GEOG 563Geography, Law, and the Environment4
ENVS 511Environmental Issues4
ENVS 520Perspectives in Nature and Society4
ENVS 535Environmental Justice4
ENVS 540Environmental Aesthetics4
ENVS 550Political Ecology4
ENVS 555Sustainability4
ENVS 565Wetland Ecology and Management4
LA 507Place–Form–Identity4
LA 508Fire Ecology4
LA 510Courthouse Garden4
LA 543Land and Landscape4
LA 565Advanced Landscape Ecology4
MGMT 610Energy and Ecosystem Fin3
MGMT 610Industrial Ecology3
MGMT 610Life Cycle Analysis4
PPPM 507Water and the Urban Environment4
PPPM 532Urban Revitalization4
PPPM 538Transportation Issues in Planning4
PPPM 543Natural Resource Policy4
PPPM 607Sustainable Transportation4
PPPM 611Introduction to Planning Principles and Practice4
PPPM 612Legal Issues in Planning4
PPPM 617Human Settlements4