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School of Architecture + Planning


College Values Online ranks UNM undergraduate program #1

February 17, 2017 - Carolyn Gonzales

College Values Online recently ranked “Bachelor’s in Environmental Design,” noting the top 20 values of 2017. The University of New Mexico School of Architecture & Planning’s bachelor of environmental planning and design (BAEPD) program ranks #1 for 2017.

They wrote, “The University of New Mexico offers a bachelor’s in environmental design program with concentrations in Community and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture. Both of these concentrations address the social, economic, environmental, physical and cultural needs of communities by creatively responding to changes in the natural and man-made environment. However, the Community and Regional Planning concentration prepares students to work on a larger scale, whereas the Landscape Architecture concentration prepares bachelor of environmental design students to work on a smaller scale.”

Renia Ehrenfeuct, professor and director, community and regional planning, said, “Our alums are doing amazing work. They hold positions in all levels of government, from the local and state to national and tribal. They work in numerous areas, including planning and design firms, housing and economic development organizations and agencies such as the National Park Service, The U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Others have joined Peace Corps or continued in graduate programs. This is truly a place for cutting edge thinkers who passionately want to shape the world we live in, make it more just, more environmentally sustainable and to preserve its cultural richness.”

The ranking was compiled “to assist those prospective students interested in earning a bachelor’s in environmental design for 2017.” The degree is often pursued by people who later continue for a professional master’s degree in community, regional or urban planning or intend to pursue a master’s degree in landscape architecture. The degree also prepares students for entry level jobs in governmental agencies, non-profit and community-based organizations and private firms.

Alf Simon, professor and director, landscape architecture program, said, “The students entering the BAEPD program are dedicated to understanding issues surrounding the relationship of culture and environment.  Some of them choose to apply their knowledge by developing skills in designing the environments in which we live, applying principles of environment, ecology and social practices to make great and inspiring places.”

The way College Values Online determined the top 20 programs included having their editors search the web for colleges and universities offering this distance degree. “We visited the program websites of all 35 schools in our initial pool to gather information about the flexibility of the program as well as any content customization options available to students. We also considered the school’s tuition and percent of students receiving financial aid—as reported by College Navigator. After applying the methodology outlined above, we narrowed our list to 20 schools and ranked them according to the number of points awarded. In cases of a tie, the most affordable school was listed higher in the ranking.”