Today, the field of sustainable design is rapidly evolving and growing. Designers and owners concurrently are starting to measure benefits in terms of their impact on human health and environment, as well as cost implications.

As one of the few sustainable design programs in the United States, and the only program in the Washington metropolitan area, the sustainable design program provides graduates with knowledge and leadership skills required for a successful career in sustainable design.

Created to fully immerse students in the theory and application of sustainable design, the sustainable design concentration covers a wide range of sustainable design principles such as greenhouse gas emissions and zero energy design, embodied energy and life cycle analysis, national and international green rating systems, ethical design, facility performance evaluation, sustainable operations and maintenance, and water conservation and management. In addition, as a deepening of our commitment to the building stewardship of the social, natural and built environments, the sustainability design program stresses the interdependence of sustainability and stewardship.


 The M.S.S.D. program consists of 30 credit hours of coursework. Students can enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. The majority of courses are held after 6:30 p.m. to accommodate working professionals. There are no maximum or minimum time requirements to complete the program.

Joint Degree

Students may enroll simultaneously in the school's accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program and the Master of Science in Sustainable Design. This joint degree program allows students to obtain the two degrees at an accelerated rate. The M.S.S.D./M.Arch joint degree program requires a total of 79 semester hours of graduate credit, opposed to 91 hours to complete both degrees independently.