The Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS) offers master's degrees in three program areas, as well as a thesis based PhD.
The MArch program was established at the university over 40 years ago. As a response to changing societal, professional and institutional transitions, the program has evolved to develop a distinctive approach to architectural education, research and practice.
More recently we have repositioned ourselves to seriously address the contemporary challenges facing the discipline of architecture. This has involved a renewed commitment to sustainable design by examining design as an ecological discipline. Beyond innovation, there is a pressing need for advocacy in architecture for better design, advanced performance, higher standards, and greater responsiveness. To this end, we are also beginning to expand our education into leadership training.
In 1971, the University of Calgary broke new academic ground by launching Canada's first interdisciplinary design faculty. Since then the MEDes program has consistently emphasized the importance of design, planning and management, in human interaction among the built and natural environments. Those principles, and this rich interdisciplinary approach, are now more relevant and important than ever before.
The built, natural and social environments are becoming increasingly more intertwined, interdependent and indeterminate. This requires a new breed of professional, able to effectively design and manage change in an evolving world.
MEDes has over 35 years of experience delivering an innovative, interdisciplinary, design-based, graduate planning program. The fall of 2011 marks the commencement of a new, two-year, course-based master's program designed to provide the competencies required by professional planners in a rapidly changing world. As the only graduate professional planning degree offered in Alberta, the program is uniquely positioned to provide relevant education rooted in sustainability and the design of innovative, workable solutions to current and future planning problems. With our recent name change to Master of Planning, our degree now has increased visibility and a clear identity.
The MPlan degree combines a common core curriculum with the opportunity to specialize in one of three streams: 1) Regional and Environmental Planning, 2) City and Community Planning, and 3) Urban Design and Development.
All of the streams provide graduates with the analytical, critical thinking and professional communication skills in high demand in the evolving world of professional planning.
In 2001, three decades after the launch of the innovative Master of Environmental Design degree, the first class of doctoral students joined EVDS. The PhD program offers an internationally unique opportunity for advanced, interdisciplinary research across the breadth of environmental design. Research emphasizes the development of leading-edge theory and the improvement of professional practice.
Interdisciplinary, design research influences a myriad of interactions between humans and both the built and natural environments. The program encourages thought about complex systems in entirely new and creative ways. The intention is to prepare thoughtful practitioners, academics and change leaders for a sustainable future.