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Student work by 2014 Medal Winner Sanaz Mianji.
Environmental design is creating environments for people including architecture, urban planning, retail spaces, landscape and interior design.

In this program you will learn research, analysis, design and presentation. You’ll learn how to take your ideas and turn them into real plans and designs. Many graduates go on to graduate studies in architecture and environmental sciences.

Program Highlights

At the End of this Program...

At the end of this four-year program, you will earn a Bachelor of Design (BDes) degree. 

Admissions Requirements

Jobs You Can Get

Graduates of the program go on to:

  • Study architecture, urban planning or environmental sciences in graduate school
  • Landscape architecture
  • Interior design
  • Urban design and planning

Internships & Experiential learning

OCAD U offers so much more than co-ops because creative careers take many forms. Our career services help you build a professional community, valuable experience and skills you need for a meaningful career. Get access to:

  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Exclusive summer internships
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Freelance creative opportunities
  • Jobs after graduation

What You'll Do in the Program

In first year, you’ll take intro classes in topics such as:

  • Colour and 2D Design
  • Environmental Design intro
  • Materials and Methods
  • Concept Drawing
  • Digital Design

In second year, you will study topics in more depth, such as:

  • Personal Space
  • Colour, Light and Environment
  • Structure
  • Presentation Drawing
  • History of Modern Design
  • History of Modern Architecture
  • Social Space and Diversity

Third year will feature classes in your interest and more advanced courses, such as:

  • Residential and Inclusivity
  • Introduction to Lighting
  • Accessible Design
  • Residential Systems and Materials
  • Retail and Hospitality
  • Research
  • Commercial Systems and Materials

In fourth year, you will focus on a major year-long thesis project. You’ll also choose courses that interest you such as:

  • Professional Practice
  • Office Interior Design
  • Architectural Design Studio
  • Urban Life: Art, Design, City
  • Contemporary Studies in Architecture and Design

You’ll showcase your work at GradEx - OCAD U’s GradEx, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with more than 40,000 visitors.

In the Interior Design specialization, you’ll take Environmental Design courses plus four specific classes focused on interior design. Learn more here.


In all undergraduate programs you can choose to take a minor alongside your major to explore and expand your practice. Minors give you the opportunity to pursue a focused secondary field of study in addition to or sometimes instead of taking electives in your program and can help you look better for employers or in grants or grad school applications.  You don’t need to choose a minor on your application – rather once you start at OCAD U, you’ll be able to choose from over 90 electives that can build towards one of our 25 focused minors. Learn more about Minor Programs here.

Environmental Design
Degree earned
Bachelor of Design (Honours) (BDes)
Faculty of Design
4 years
Portfolio required