Bachelor of Sustainable Built Environments Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments is a 4-year, 121-credit, interdisciplinary undergraduate degree. View the curriculum sheet for the recommended sequence of courses. 


  • 2.7 Core GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • 1110 SAT Math and Critical Reading composites score, and/or
  • 24 ACT composite score

Students who have earned a GPA below 2.7 but are admissible to The University of Arizona may be evaluated on an individual basis for admission to the Sustainable Built Environments program.

Undergraduate admissions occur through The University of Arizona Undergraduate Admissions Office. Within the application, you will be able to select Sustainable Built Environments as a major from the drop-down menu.


Students declare an emphasis area in within the B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments their junior year. Each emphasis area is specifically designed to prepare students with both a theoretical understanding and practical skills in the chosen area of study.

Students who choose the Sustainable Communities emphasis area will gain insight on how local and regional planning influence community design. Students will learn planning theory, transportation planning, and urban development. Students will understand comprehensive city plans, how planning impacts and is influenced by the environment, and how to make cities more sustainable through smart planning.

Students who choose the Sustainable Buildings emphasis area will gain insight on the theories and techniques behind analyzing building efficiency. Students will study topics such as: net-zero energy design, energy conservation, passive solar and natural ventilation, and climate response. Students will be able to analyze existing and planned structures for energy efficiency and create plans to make them more efficient.

Students who choose the Sustainable Landscapes emphasis area will gain insight and skills on the importance of landscapes in the built environment. Students will study various topics such as: water harvesting, passive cooling, and heat island mitigation, climate adaptability, and how the built environment impacts health. Students will be able to understand how landscapes play a pivotal role in a community and ways to make them more sustainable and useful.

Students who choose the Sustainable Real Estate Development emphasis area will gain insight into sustainable and responsible real estate development. Topics students learn include sustainable practices, urban design, real estate finance, site development, and construction.

Students who choose the Heritage Conservation emphasis area will understand the importance behind saving our historic structures. Preserving historic structures allows us to understand the environmental, cultural, and economic impacts of the structure. Students will learn how the process behind conservation, issues in conservation, and resource management.

From The Studio
Downtown Tucson and Sentinel Peak at sunset

CAPLA Students and Faculty Partner with Local First Arizona to Help Organizations Develop Sustainability Plans

Assistant Professor of Architecture Altaf Engineer and Lecturer in Architecture Sandra Bernal-Cordova helped build the SCALE UP curriculum and train its facilitators, and are now preparing to engage CAPLA students and recent graduates in the award-winning, community-oriented program.

Green infrastructure work at Star Academic High School in Tucson

Sustainable Built Environments Faculty Provide Insight on New Study of Urban Heat Disparities in Tucson and Other Western Cities

New research on neighborhood-by-neighborhood heat differences across Tucson—and 19 other cities in the West—has garnered additional insight by Assistant Professor of Planning and Sustainable Built Environments Ladd Keith and Assistant Research Scientist Adriana Zuniga.

Lecture Recap and Video: Richard Johnson on the Age of Climate Action

In this "lightning talk," CAPLA Futures Council Chair Richard Johnson addresses the current unprecedented surge in climate action and facilitates a conversation about what this means for the future of the built environment and for CAPLA.

THRIVE Training Program screen

CAPLA, Mrs. Green’s World and Pima County Team Up to Increase Participation in County’s Sustainable Action Plan

CAPLA Lecturer in Architecture Sandra Bernal-Cordova is collaborating with Mrs. Green's World and Pima County to design, implement and evaluate a new "Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations" engagement program for county employees.

Former 7-Eleven on Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas, Texas, following October 2019 tornado.

Dallas, Texas Turns to CAPLA Planning and Sustainable Built Environments Professor and ULI for Guidance Following Natural Disasters

Ladd Keith, assistant professor of planning and sustainable built environments, chaired the Urban Land Institute Advisory Services Panel that evaluated and made recommendations on rebuilding a Dallas neighborhood following a devastating tornado. Keith also provided insight into the recent Texas power grid failure.

Carla A. Campos

Designing a Resilient Future: Carla A. Campos '22 BS SBE UArizona, B Arch UPC Lima

Carla A. Campos is a fourth-year architecture undergraduate student at UPC Lima in Peru. Through CAPLA’s innovative microcampus program, she’s also pursuing her BS in Sustainable Built Environments program at the University of Arizona.