MDesSE On Campus

Sustainable Environments

Iowa State University

12 months
29124 USD/year
27428 USD/year
11882 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (MDesSE) at Iowa State University is an initial interdisciplinary degree that focuses on holistic design strategies for the production of sustainable, resilient environments and artifacts.


About this Degree

Master of Design in Sustainable Environments MDesSE students at Iowa State University and faculty constitute a highly interactive multi-disciplinary community that is deeply engaged in understanding, promoting and conceiving sustainable practices in design, planning and artistic production. Students engage in faculty-led research projects and are challenged to develop individual sustainable design strategies for issues of current relevance that conserve resources, ameliorate ecological problems and promote social, political and economic justice.

Coursework focuses on developing skills in modes of representation and information dissemination, foundational and emerging theoretical discourse, research methods and design interventions. The degree concludes with an integrated capstone experience through a student-defined thematic project. Capstone projects are situated in different parts of the world and include themes such as:

  • addressing the impact of climate change on communities and the built environment;
  • integrating informal economies within contemporary modes of urbanization;
  • developing strategies to reinvigorate waterways and enhance water quality;
  • integrating waste as a resource in contemporary infrastructures; and
  • rethinking disaster mitigation processes that promote resilience, social equity and expedited relief.

The Master of Design in Sustainable Environments consists of 35 credits, typically distributed over three semesters (fall, spring and summer); however, students may choose to distribute these credits over four or five semesters.

Programme Structure


  • Sustainable Design Colloquium
  • Foundation of Sustainable Design
  • Making Resilient Environments
  • Sustainable Design Studio
  • Human Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Methods for Sustainable Design

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines


35 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Academic Records, 
  • GPA, 
  • Statement of Purpose, 
  • Letters of Recommendation

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    29124 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 14562 USD per semester during 12 months.
  • National

    27428 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 13714 USD per semester during 12 months.
  • In-State

    11882 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 5941 USD per semester during 12 months.

Living costs for Ames

1158 - 1797 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Sustainable Environments
Iowa State University


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