The Washington State University Pullman Catalog

School of Design and Construction

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

School of Design and Construction
Carpenter Hall 118

Director and Associate Professor, J. Peschel (CT); Professors, J. P. Gruen, J. Kaytes, T. Miyasaka, A. Rahmani; Associate Professors, J. Abell, S. Austin (CT), R. Cherf (CT), J. Day, M. Ghandi, R. Krikac, M. Melcher, T. Tafazzoli; J. Theodorson, C. Vielle (CT); Assistant Professors, O. Al-Hassawi, K. Borrman, S. Call, M. Cerruti, M. Cowan (CT), H. Dang, D. Drake (CT), D. Edwards (CT), K. Kraszewska, M. Mansoori (CT), A. Pulay, J. L. Rice (CT), M. Sánchez (CT), K. Shrestha, V. Vahdat.

The School of Design and Construction (SDC) offers collaborative learning experiences for students in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, construction management, and construction engineering to design and construct places in our environment.  The integrated model teaches students the skill sets required for their chosen design major while giving students a substantial advantage when entering the job market.

Programs of study in the SDC lead to the following degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (a four-year pre-professional degree) followed by a one-, two-, or three-year professional Master of Architecture degree that is accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB); a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and a Master of Arts in Interior Design ; a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) ; and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management (a four-year degree) that is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering in conjunction with Civil Engineering.

It is crucial that students in the design and construction professions learn about a range of built environments, places, ideas, cultures, and experiences that are not readily available in the Palouse—and difficult to teach in the classroom. When possible, travel experiences are incorporated through courses labeled as “study tours” where travel is integral to the course, woven throughout other courses in the curriculum, and included as professional development activities.

Study abroad may be incorporated into the fourth year of study or during the summer. Foreign studies options include WSU sponsored programs, and programs offered by other institutions. Coordination is through the Office of International Programs—Global Learning. 

Students in the SDC also participate in a senior portfolio review and/or capstone project presentation prior to graduation. These experiences are unique networking opportunities for graduating students to interact with design and construction professionals, and to receive feedback on their existing portfolios or projects.

A variety of student clubs and organizations provide students with linkages to their professional counterparts.  Student organizations with chapters at the SDC include the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS); Alpha Rho Chi; American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); Associated Students of Construction Management (ASCM); Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA); and Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA).


The four-year, pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies degree at WSU provides a thorough foundation in the field of architecture as preparation for continued education in a professional degree program; employment in the architecture profession; and employment options in fields related to architecture.

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree is the professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Completion of this degree satisfies the educational requirement of the pathway to architectural licensure in all U.S. Jurisdictions. Students must successfully complete a four-year undergraduate degree in architecture or a previous five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree to be eligible for the one- or two-year M.Arch. program. Students with baccalaureate degrees in disciplines other than architecture are eligible to apply for the three-year M.Arch. program. Please consult the WSU Graduate Catalog and/or for specific information regarding this degree, as well as admission requirements and course descriptions.

 Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating in architecture are able to: 1) understand the role of architecture within current cultural and global conditions, 2) understand the role of architecture in the enhancement and preservation of natural resources, 3) understand the role of history and its transformations over time, 4) develop a desire and passion for life-long learning, and 5) develop intellectual and analytical skills that will be the foundation for future leaders. It is the intent of the program to graduate future professionals who are committed to excellence in the built environment through the incorporation of intellectual, analytical, and artful aspects of architecture. Within this context, students and faculty seek to investigate issues within diverse contexts in order to creatively advance the built environment.

 Transfer Students

Students planning to transfer into the architecture program at Washington State University should contact an advisor for more information.


The management of construction projects has become more complex due to the shortage of resources, specialized materials, sophisticated delivery methods and the financial and legal responsibilities encountered during the project life cycle. From construction management to project management and program management, the needs of the industry and the built environment are expanding at an unprecedented rate. At the heart of the building process is the construction professional.

The WSU Construction Management (CM) program provides students with the tools and skills necessary to develop strong administrative, leadership and management expertise to be successful in today’s construction industry. Students pursuing a degree in construction management will be expected to understand a wide variety of topics that make up the built environment. This expertise includes understanding properties of materials and construction systems required for the construction professional. Concepts regarding contract administration, sustainability, risk management, estimating and scheduling are critical skills.

Students in this program are encouraged to develop an inquisitive and inventive mind to understand management techniques, methods, and sequencing. It is also important that the graduate in construction management be knowledgeable in the field of business. Courses offered in a variety of departments are required to assure this breadth of understanding. The Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree program is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE).

Student Learning Outcomes

The mission of WSU-CM is to educate, prepare and provide opportunities for students to become valuable resources to our economy, the construction management profession, and the built environment. ACCE requirements establish seventeen (17) pre-defined student learning outcomes that are comprehensive in nature.  These measurable outcomes are introduced, reinforced, and assessed throughout the CM curriculum in an effort to ensure students are entering the construction industry with appropriate foundational knowledge and requisite skills to be work ready, day one.  Upon graduating from an accredited ACCE bachelor’s degree program, a graduate shall be able to:

  1. Create written communications appropriate to the construction discipline.
  2. Create oral presentations appropriate to the construction discipline.
  3. Create a construction project safety plan.
  4. Create construction project cost estimates.
  5. Create construction project schedules.
  6. Analyze professional decisions based on ethical principles.
  7. Analyze methods, materials, and equipment used to construct projects.
  8. Apply electronic-based technology to manage the construction process.
  9. Apply basic surveying techniques for construction layout and control.
  10. Understand different methods of project delivery and the roles and responsibilities of all constituencies involved in the design and construction process.
  11. Understand construction accounting and cost control.
  12. Understand construction quality assurance and control.
  13. Understand construction project control processes.
  14. Understand the legal implications of contract, common, and regulatory law to manage a construction project.
  15. Understand the basic principles of sustainable construction.
  16. Understand the basic principles of structural behavior.
  17. Understand the basic principles of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

 Transfer Students

Students planning to transfer into the construction management program at Washington State University should contact an advisor for more information.


Accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design is a professional degree program that provides the common body of knowledge related to interior design as recognized by CIDA. The interior design program is based on a concern for human beings and the creation of interior settings that support human activities and values. The curriculum is structured to create unique learning experiences each semester. Studios focus on a multitude of design theories rooted in a variety of relevant disciplines. Lecture course content is integrated into the studio experience to reinforce specified skills and knowledge. With increasing challenge and complexity, multidisciplinary exposure and experiences continue throughout the curriculum to inform design solutions as well as prepare students to work with a myriad of professionals upon graduation.

Professional/Global Experience

The WSU Interior Design program values experiential learning as an important component of a student’s education. In addition to travel experiences throughout the curriculum, all fourth-year students must present their portfolio of creative work at an off-campus review to graduate.

In the fall semester of the fourth year, students will participate in a professional, interdisciplinary, and/or global experience, choosing one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Internship—students can choose to complete a 5-credit internship and are encouraged to seek opportunities beyond the region.
  • Option 2: Study Abroad—students can choose to participate in the department’s study abroad program providing them an opportunity to experience design within the context of another culture.
  • Option 3: Community Studio—students can work with faculty on community-based projects often times in interdisciplinary teams.

Student Learning Outcomes

A graduate of the interior design program is a creative thinker and problem solver. An education in interior design develops intellectual curiosity, which supports continued professional development throughout life. Students develop skills that allow them to analyze information, evaluate issues, and set priorities while generating creative design solutions for projects of a complex scale. As graduates of WSU’s Interior Design program, students can take the initiative, make critical judgments of their own designs, as well as others, and operate within a team context; all of which contributes to their future success as professionals.

Transfer Students

Students wishing to transfer from another institution into the interior design program should contact an advisor for more information.

Graduate Studies

The Master of Arts in Interior Design (MA) program increases students’ understanding of the relationship between human behavior and interior environments through advanced study and hands-on research. Students gain knowledge and skills that prepare them to analyze information and relationships, evaluate issues, and set priorities, while creating functional and high-quality design solutions for complex projects. The degree is offered in three tracks depending on prior academic and professional background. Please consult the WSU Graduate catalog and/or for specific information regarding this degree, as well as admission requirements and course descriptions.


Landscape architecture involves designing and implementing opportunities for people to engage with their environment. It is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to crafting meaningful places across diverse scales and contexts.

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) is a professional degree program that prepares students to enter and advance the diverse profession of landscape architecture, address complex societal issues, and envision solutions that optimize the physical environments where people work, live, and recreate.

The BLA curriculum is structured to create unique learning experiences each semester.  Broadly speaking, the curriculum emphasizes practical and applied experiential learning, draws from courses across campus, and provides students with opportunities to think critically and integrate diverse bodies of knowledge. The professional course of study is divided into two segments:  pre-landscape architecture and the second – fourth year professional landscape architecture program (BLA). Completion of the program leads to the degree of Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and allows the graduate to enter the profession. At least three additional years of professional experience and successful completion of the landscape architectural license examination (LARE) are necessary for registration as a licensed landscape architect in most states.

The core component of the landscape architecture curriculum is the studio experience. The studios are structured to facilitate understanding of the web of relationships among physical, biological, and social systems. Through the studio curriculum students learn habits of linking ecological processes with space making and necessarily consider interdependence, reciprocity, and change.

First year projects focus on the basic elements and principles of design and design process. The second year emphasizes the concept of site and the methods for and consequences of manipulating the ground and vegetation. Coursework includes site design, site engineering, plant materials, and design history. The third year reinforces and extends students' understanding of the field of landscape architecture and emphasizes integration of theory, practice, and construction. Studios focus on design for communities in the broadest sense. In the fourth year, coursework emphasizes design in the context of landscape complexity, systems thinking, and the overlap of global and local issues. Students develop independent projects. In the projects they are encouraged to think of design as an answer to a question and regard their work as an opportunity to develop, test, and challenge what they have learned in the first three years of their design education. Computer visualization and freehand drawing skills are threaded throughout the curriculum.

In addition to travel experiences throughout the curriculum, all fourth-year students must present their capstone project and a portfolio of creative work at an off-campus review to graduate.

Student Learning Outcomes

The program has identified four themes that include 12 critical student learning outcomes (SLO) essential for students to achieve the LA program goals. The outcomes are multifaceted and interrelated.

Theme One: Define and refine design problems and questions

Upon successful completion of the BLA at WSU, students will be able to

1. Identify and characterize the complex nature of problems and questions associated with human/ landscape interactions across a broad range of scales

2. Articulate an understanding of identified problems and questions within the theoretical and historical context of the profession of landscape architecture

Theme Two: Discover and determine appropriate design processes

Upon successful completion of the BLA at WSU, students will be able to

3. Identify appropriate methods of design inquiry and problem-solving processes to produce creative solutions to identified problems and questions

4. Identify, collect, and analyze necessary information using appropriate technologies and analytical techniques as they relate to the identified problem or question.

5. Explore and critically analyze alternative design or planning solutions to the identified problem or question

6. Engage in assessment and evaluation practices throughout the entire design process

Theme Three: Explore and develop communication skills

Upon successful completion of the BLA at WSU, students will be able to

7. Justify and defend the proposed design or planning solution within the context of aesthetic, social, political, economic, and environmental conditions.

8. Communicate the entire problem-solving process or method of inquiry in written, oral, and graphic ways using appropriate media

Theme Four: Cultivate awareness of professional practices 

Upon successful completion of the BLA at WSU, students will be able to

9. Understand multiple aspects of practice

10. Show a capacity for collaboration 

11. Integrate and apply diverse perspectives to design solutions

12. Possess knowledge and understanding about allied fields and the value of interdisciplinary design

Transfer Students

Transfer students who have completed the equivalent of the pre-LA curriculum may apply to the professional program by submitting a portfolio and academic transcripts. Contact the landscape architecture program for more information.

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