Environmental Design

Master of Environmental Design (MEDes)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

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.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Conceptual Bases of Environmental Design and Research Skills and Critical Thinking.
  • Thesis Proposal: A thesis proposal approved by the supervisor.
  • Progress Reports: Student progress reports must be submitted annually by the student and the supervisor.
  • Additional Courses: May include topics such as design thinking, urban infrastructure, urban design, urban systems, special topics and others.
  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.


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.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Two core courses and two electives

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Marc Boutin

    Marc Boutin

    Accepting Inquiries
    Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Design
  2. Enrica Dall'Ara

    Enrica Dall'Ara

    Accepting Inquiries
    Landscape Architecture
  3. Paul Galpern

    Paul Galpern

    Accepting Inquiries
    Conservation in prairie agroecosystems, Landscape connectivity and spatial genetics, Pollinator status, Urban informatics
  4. Caroline H-Vermette

    Caroline H-Vermette

    Accepting Inquiries
    Energy efficent/ energy producing buildings and neighborhoods
  5. Tawab Hlimi

    Tawab Hlimi

    Accepting Inquiries
  6. Thomas P Tom Keenan

    Thomas P, (Tom) Keenan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Social Implications of Technology, Privacy and Security, Smart Communities, Technocreepiness, Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare, Non-financial Applications of the Blockchain
  7. Noel Keough

    Noel Keough

    Accepting Inquiries
  8. David Monteyne

    David Monteyne

    Accepting Inquiries
    architectural history, history of architecture, urban history, urban studies, environmental design theory
  9. Dr Alicia Nahmad

    Alicia Nahmad Vazquez

    Seeking Students
    Computational Design, Robotic Fabrication, Human-Robot Collaboration, Machine Learning, Digital Design and Fabrication
  10. Brian Sinclair

    Brian Sinclair

    Accepting Inquiries

Admission requirements


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.

Minimum education

A four year baccalaureate degree, or equivalent from a recognized institution.

Work samples

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
  • A C.V

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Feb. 1 application deadline
  • International students: Feb. 1 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

Professional Faculties Building, Room 2182
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit their website