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, and related disciplines.

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 Mānoa 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 UH Mānoa 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 Architecture (MArch)

The MArch program provides students the opportunity to engage in a critical investigation of theory and practice, architectural approaches, concepts, application, and practice. Students are challenged to:

  • frame architectural inquiries within social, cultural, and interdisciplinary contexts with an emphasis on Asia and the Pacific and tropical climates;
  • investigate local/global relations evidenced in theory and practice with an emphasis on the quality of the built and natural environment;
  • critically test and expand the definitions of and relationships between the academy and the profession;
  • use research as a basis for the grounding of design and as a primary means of expanding knowledge in the discipline;
  • participate with local and international partners in applied design research and community outreach projects; and
  • Investigate the unique Hawaiian sense of place and its applicability to other international locations.

The program culminates in a capstone project combining research and design. The school’s Asia-Pacific focus is integrated into the curriculum including studio, architectural history, and elective courses. The program therefore aims to prepare students to serve as future professional leaders able to address critical architectural issues specific to the region and beyond.

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

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.

Certificate Program

Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation

Candidates for the Certificate in Historic Preservation must possess a BA degree. The Certificate in Historic Preservation combines course work and applied experience.


Students must complete 15 credit hours of graduate course work:

  • 3 credit hours of ARCH/AMST/ANTH 645, Historic Preservation
  • 3 credit hours of ARCH 628/PLAN 675, Preservation: Theory and Practice
  • 3 credit hours of ARCH 686, Historic Preservation Practicum
  • 6 credit hours in field of specialization

A maximum of 6 credit hours may be applied to the Historic Preservation Certificate and to another degree, pursued concurrently, subject to approval from the director of the certificate program, the director of the concurrent graduate program, and Graduate Division. Internships are usually undertaken with local firms and organizations that have a preservation interest or with individuals who are qualified to direct independent work in preservation. The program concludes with a formal colloquium presentation. More information is available on the Historic Preservation Program’s website at

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 2023-2024 academic year is $500 per semester.

Certificate Program 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.

Other Requirements

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

Centers and Labs

Environmental Research & Design Lab

The mission of the Environmental Research and Design Laboratory (ERDL) is to enhance students’ educational experience through extracurricular applied research in sustainable buildings at UH Mānoa.

The ERDL is an interdisciplinary part of the School of Architecture and brings together students from architecture, environmental design, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and information and computer sciences to design and monitor buildings with the goal of dramatically and rapidly reducing fossil fuel use in building operation to mitigate climate change. The ERDL pursues research projects with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance student learning in building science, address underserved communities, and focus on subtropical and tropical climates.

We are associated with the Coastal Sustainability Initiative in Sea Grant and the Sea Grant Center for Sustainable Buildings and Community Design.

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: equity, health, housing, climate change, among others.

UHCDC projects offer applied learning opportunities for students through academic instruction, internship, symposiums, competitions, exhibitions, and post- graduate employment. Please visit for more information.

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.

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
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 Mānoa School of Architecture Practicum Fund
UHSAAA Scholarship Endowment