The two-semester program provides students with an opportunity for full immersion into the theory and application of sustainable design and provides graduates with leadership skills in the field of sustainable design. Courses cover topical concerns such as sustainable design strategies, energy conservation and zero-energy design, embodied energy, material toxicity and life-cycle analysis, water conservation and management, as well as environmental ethics. Two courses in systems and simulation define the core of the program in which students are introduced to a variety of simulation software that allow energy, light, and humidity to be modeled, analyzed, and adjusted as an integrated component of the design process. A range of elective courses within the School of Architecture and Planning and across the Catholic University campus are offered. The culmination of the program of studies is a thesis, in which students may investigate through either a design studio or a more conventional written dissertation. In addition to the regular faculty at the School of Architecture and Planning, a number of national and international practitioners, consultants, and experts in the field of sustainable design are invited to lecture and review student work on a regular basis. The Master of Science in Sustainable Design is a post-professional degree and, as such, does not contribute to professional licensure.

Year One - Fall

ARPL537 Sustainable Design Strategies and Synergies 3 credits
ARPL734 Systems and Simulation 1 3 credits
ARPL761 M.C.R.P./M.S.S.D. Thesis Prep 3 credits
ARPL M.S.S.D. Elective 1 3 credits
ARPL M.S.S.D. Elective 2 3 credits

Year One - Spring

ARPL704 Written Thesis 6 credits
ARPL735 Materials and Assemblies 3 credits
ARPL736 Systems and Simulation 2 3 credits
ARPL783 Ethics and Stewardship OR
ARPL 586B Healthy Cities, Livable Places 3 credits
Year One: Total Credit Hours 30

Joint Degree

Master of Science in Sustainable Design / Master of Architecture students may enroll simultaneously in the school’s accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch. 2 or 3) program and the M.S.S.D. This allows students to obtain the two degrees sooner than they could acquire each independently. Students interested in pursuing the joint M.Arch./M.S.S.D. program should consult the appropriate program of study for tracking through the programs.