About the Program
The Environmental Design & Planning Ph.D. at the College of Architecture, Planning & Design at Kansas State University is an interdisciplinary research-based degree program. Our doctoral students are members of the College at-large, rather than a particular department, allowing students to draw from the sizeable and wide-ranging knowledge of faculty from the university and all three of our departments:
- Interior Architecture & Product Design, and
- Landscape Architecture/Regional & Community Planning.
The program can be completed in four years and funding is provided for four years through Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) and/or Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA). Students are expected to be on campus during those four years.
Students work closely with their major professor who must be a PhD certified faculty member.
As the K-State Graduate School Handbook states: “A Ph.D. is a research-based degree and is awarded to candidates who have demonstrated unique ability as scholars and researchers as well as proficiency in communication. The degree also certifies that the candidate has displayed familiarity and understanding of the subject matter in the discipline and possesses the ability to make original contributions to knowledge.” [Source: https://www.k-state.edu/grad/graduate-handbook/chapter3.html]
This program is designed to prepare graduates to teach at the graduate level and/or conduct research. In addition to teaching, our graduates also are well-equipped to undertake research to inform design and/or planning for governmental, environmental and planning agencies; developers; professional design firms; and international corporations that focus on environmental stewardship.
Our PhD students undertake a wide range of research, but most topics are in one of the following interconnected areas:
- Design emphasizes the role of the designed environment in contributing to human well-being and provides opportunities, through practice and research, to explore issues that include pedagogy, neuroscience, perception, sustainability, history, and theory.
- Planning considers the theory and methods of public decision-making and the development of models and tools to understand and improve decision-making processes, both public and private.
- Sustainability explores ways by which the design and planning professions can better provide for the environmental and resource needs of people without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
- Place Making explores the importance of place in human life and considers ways by which design and policy might better make physical environments that work as robust human places and evoke a powerful sense of place.