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Sustainable Built Environments

Bachelor of Science

Learn the principles and skills to make our communities, buildings and landscapes more sustainable.


Students looking to enter the new green economy have an extraordinary opportunity with Sustainable Built Environments program. This solutions-based, interdisciplinary undergraduate degree provides a comprehensive understanding of sustainability principles, including environmental design, planning and management challenges.

Within this fully online program, you’ll choose an emphasis in either Sustainable Buildings or Sustainable Real Estate Development. Both emphases prepare students to answer the unprecedented challenges facing our rapidly developing world. Graduates are currently working as architectural designers, renewable energy systems designers, environmental researchers, and leaders at sustainability-focused non-profits, government agencies and corporations.

Career Level: Undergraduate
Degree: Bachelor of Science
College: College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture

Cost & Eligibility

Per Unit Cost: $525
*Residents of some U.S. Territories may not be eligible. Please see our Eligibility & State Authorization page for more information.

Sustainable Buildings Emphasis

  • SBE 201: Sustainable Design & Planning – Sustainable design and planning is a framework for how we plan, build and live in our built environments in a way that better balances environmental, social and economic demands. The focus of this course is on developing an understanding of the complex issues associated with sustainability in the built environment and exploring the ways in which sustainable principles and working tools can be applied to address these issues with an interdisciplinary approach.
  • SBE 221: History of the Built Environment I – The study of the history of the built environment provides an understanding on how human societies have adapted the form of the built environment to their unique cultural, political, economic, climatic and environmental challenges across time. This course explores the history of the built environment through the lens of the global climatic zones, providing an opportunity to explore the built environment across the world and throughout various cultures.
  • ARC 461K: Energy & the Environment – This course fosters awareness and a thorough understanding of the qualitative and quantifiable environmental forces that contribute to the visual and thermal sensation and temperature change within the interior of buildings. The course introduces basics for understanding fundamentals of solar energy and light, daylight design, climate and microclimate factors, and principles of human thermal comfort as related to the built environment.

Real Estate Development

  • RED 401: Introduction to Real Estate Finance – Commercial real estate investment is rooted in techniques for problem analysis, projection, evaluation, and communication of this information in public discourse. This course examines capital formation and the tools investors use to make investment decisions. Students will analyze choices made by real estate developers and investors and learn to communicate about risk and return.
  • RED 410: Survey of Responsible Real Estate Development – Real estate development of the future will need to be more socially, environmentally, and economically responsible than it is today. Emerging research shows that responsible real estate development can produce competitive short-term and superior long-term financial returns.
  • RED 415: Construction & Project Management – Construction management is a vital component of the real estate development process. Students will learn the fundamentals of building construction, project budget estimation, project management, scheduling and project leadership. Industry experts will provide insight and guide the course as students analyze developer decisions and communicate about construction management and its role in mitigating risk and enhancing returns.
Student taking a UA Online course


Earning your Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments will build core skills, including:

  • climate adaption
  • construction management
  • design thinking
  • energy management
  • geographic information systems
  • heritage conservation
  • landscape design
  • professional communication
  • public policy
  • real estate development
  • sustainability management
  • urban design and planning

Explore career opportunities that graduates holding a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments have pursued

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Sustainable Buildings

In the Sustainable Buildings emphasis, you’ll gain insight into the theories and techniques behind analyzing building efficiency. Topics include net-zero energy design, energy conservation, passive solar and natural ventilation, and climate response. You will also have opportunities to analyze existing and planned structures for energy efficiency and create plans to make them more efficient.

Sustainable Real Estate Development

The Sustainable Real Estate Development emphasis prepares you for careers in responsible and sustainable development. Graduates work as community association managers, real estate brokers, construction managers, urban planners, and more. You may also pursue a Master of Real Estate Development degree; qualify for the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) to shorten the path to your degree.


Program Experience Overview

Gain the skills employers are looking for – and our planet needs – with a fully online bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Built Environments. Now featuring emphases in Sustainable Buildings and Sustainable Real Estate Development.

Student and professor working on a living wall


Student Spotlight

Benjamin White, an Arizona Online student earning his bachelor's in Sustainable Built Environments, shows how multiple detours need not derail your journey toward an online degree.

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