Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvD)

A pre-professional 4-year undergraduate degree program, the Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvD) emphasizes the study of built and natural environments and provides a solid foundation for graduate education and/or careers in the design and building professions, including architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and construction management.

Graduate Programs

Doctor of Architecture (DArch)

The School of Architecture offers the only NAAB-accredited Doctor of Architecture (DArch) degree in the country and Hawai‘i’s only professional degree in architecture. The three-year DArch program, recognized for its Asia-Pacific, Hawai‘i and urban ecological research focus, emphasizes architectural inquiry within social, cultural, and interdisciplinary studies. The program places emphasis on both theory and practice among its strategic priorities, which address the distinct requirements and challenges of tropical environments, regional issues, and Hawai‘i’s rich cultural heritage as instructive models for complex global problems. The DArch program is strongly committed to design excellence, sustainability, applied research, and community.

Doctor of Architecture (DArch) Global Track (China Focus)

In partnership with Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning (Shanghai, China), the UH Mânoa School of Architecture has implemented a Global Track (China Focus) of its Doctor of Architecture degree. Students who successfully complete this track will have the option to obtain Tongji University’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning NBAA accredited Masters of Architecture degree along with the UHM Mânoa School of Architecture NAAB accredited Doctor of Architecture degree. Nowhere else in the world can a student enroll in a single track and graduate with two accredited architecture degrees from the world’s two largest construction economies.

Master of Landscape Architecture

The field of landscape architecture comprises the analysis, planning, design, and management of natural and built environments. Landscape architectural practice presupposes a deep understanding of environmental systems and a commitment to the highest standards of design. A professional license is required to practice landscape architecture. An accredited degree in landscape architecture is needed for licensure. The MLA is a professional degree recognized by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

Focused on ecological and social sustainability by design, the School of Architecture’s MLA program uniquely positions its graduates to make essential professional contributions needed to maintain and enhance a beautiful, resilient, healthy, and prosperous Hawai‘i within its complex Asia-Pacific and global context. Its focus on contemporary, sustainable urban/landscape planning and design in tropical Asia-Pacific regions, where the majority of growth will occur in the upcoming decades, distinguishes this MLA from other North American landscape architecture programs. Hawai‘i, with its rich natural and cultural history and manifold environmental and social challenges, provides a unique place of learning and opportunity for cutting-edge landscape architectural research, teaching, and practice. There is no other place in the U.S. where the aspirations of twenty-first century landscape architectural practice converge so seamlessly with the philosophy and culture of the local ancient, indigenous community.

To accommodate applicants’ varying levels of preparedness through their undergraduate education, the MLA program includes three closely intertwined tracks:

  1. First-professional MLA Track (MLA I)
    This three-year track is open to applicants with four-year bachelor degrees with majors in any field of study.
  2. First-professional MLA Advanced Placement Track (MLA I AP)
    In the MLA I AP track applicants with professional degrees in architecture or pre-professional undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture, architecture, or environmental design may be granted advanced standing of up to two semesters.
  3. Two-year post-professional MLA Track (MLA II)
    This post-professional track is open to applicants with professional undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture (BLA, BSLA, or equivalent) that fulfill the requirement for landscape architectural licensure.

Special Requirements

All students are required to have their own personal computer for completion of required course work. A laptop computer is strongly recommended. Software may be required to be purchased by students for the successful completion of courses and to use the school’s advanced graphic and digital fabrication equipment.

Additional Information

For information about the school or degree programs, contact the Student Services Office at

For information regarding student loans and scholarships, contact the UH Financial Aid Services Office.

Professional Fee

All school students are assessed a professional fee each semester at the time tuition is paid. The professional fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is $500 per semester.

Other Requirements

Waiver or substitution of any required course must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, or the Director of Graduate Studies.

Design Futures Lab

The Design Futures Lab has been established since August 2008. Students and faculty affiliated with the Hawai‘i Research Center for Futures Studies, and students and faculty affiliated with the School of Architecture of UH Manoa have been engaged in a project called “Campuses 2060.” The project explores the history, present situation, and alternative futures of institutions of higher education worldwide according to the overall “future” these institutions find themselves in, and the specific mission, participants, resources, pedagogy, and physical campus that they develop in response to each future. There have been three public presentations of their ongoing work so far. While the initial focus has been on UH Manoa, it is the intention of the project, still ongoing, to become a global resource for ideas and information about the futures of higher education anywhere.

Environmental Research & Design Lab

The Environmental Research and Design Laboratory, an inter-disciplinary research laboratory located in the School of Architecture, was formed to advance sustainable design through research, education, and community outreach, with the aim of improving the dynamic interaction among the built, natural, and human environments. The laboratory not only directly supports the teaching mission of the school, but regularly provides exceptional research and design assistance to the university, the local community, the State of Hawai‘i, and the greater professional community. In their positions supported by the Lab, student researchers learn to use quantitative building performance simulation tools to estimate energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and thermal comfort in buildings.

Student Organizations

The school houses a chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), as well as a student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SCASLA). These organizations engage in a number of social and community service activities. AIAS and has won numerous national awards.

The Gamma Mu Chapter of the Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society is open to DArch students who maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA and are at the top twenty percent of their class at the end of year two.

University of Hawai‘i Community Design Center (UHCDC)

The University of Hawai‘i Community Design Center is a teaching practice and outreach initiative led by the School of Architecture that provides a new platform for students, staff, faculty, and partnered professionals to collaborate on interdisciplinary applied research, planning, and design projects that serve the public interest. The center provides proof-of-concept services for the university, state, city, and non-profit organizations, which address the critical issues facing our communities. These projects offer service learning, opportunities across departments for students through academic instruction, internship, and post-graduate employment.

Scholarships and Awards

King Student Medal for Excellence in Architectural + Environmental Research, Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC)
Alpha Rho Chi Medal, National Professional Fraternity for Architecture and the Allied Arts
Henry Adams Medal and Certificate, American Institute of Architects Award
Allen R. Johnson-Roy C. Kelley Architectural Travel Award
Architects Pacific Inc. Endowed Scholarship
AIA Honolulu Scholarship
Barry John Baker Scholarship
Bergum Scholarship
Donald G. Deer Memorial Scholarship
Gilman Hu Honolulu Chapter CSI Endowed Scholarship
HONBLUE Student Support Fund
Leighton Liu Endowed Scholarship
PBR Hawai‘i Scholarship
R. Richard Morris Memorial Scholarship
UH Manoa School of Architecture Practicum Fund
UHSAAA Scholarship Endowment