Sustainable and Healthy Environments (SHE)
Studies in SHE are concerned with the design making by public agencies to guide the pattern and timing of land development that advance goals of Sustainable and Healthy Environments. Sub-fields include land use planning, growth management, transportation, urban design, housing and community development, environmental planning and management of urban, rural and natural areas. Primary work in this area focuses on land use controls, design review processes, and the development of models and tools to understand and support decision processes and design practices. Please see faculty expertise for more information.
Our Ph.D. Program, More Generally
The area of study in Sustainable and Healthy Environments (SHE), together with it's counterpart in History of Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism (HALU), form the Ph.D. program in Design and Planning. The Ph.D. program serves as the intellectual driver of the College of Architecture and Planning; its mission is to provide a scientific foundation for planning and design. Unique and distinguishing characteristics include the physical environment as the domain of interest, the interdisciplinary and integrative orientation of study, and the applied nature of prescriptions. Being broad in its offerings, available study covers issues ranging from highly technical urban modeling to the history of architecture. Students work on diverse topics, advancing the intellectual environment of the College by participating in a common colloquia, organizing workshops, presenting at conferences, and writing publications.
Description and Objectives
The Ph.D. in Design and Planning from University of Colorado Denver trains scholars for careers in higher education, research, and high-level policy positions. It is a research-oriented doctoral degree with a flexible, interdisciplinary focus. Students actively draw from the rich intellectual resources of the University of Colorado campuses in both Denver and Boulder for classes, personalized instruction, teaching opportunities, and research appointments. Graduates of the program work in universities, government, non-profits and the private sector, both in the U.S. and around the world.
Planning and design form a well-established and expanding field of knowledge and practice regarding the relationships of natural, behavioral, technological, political, economic, and cultural factors to the organization of physical space, and their combined influence on the quality of life in general. Housed within the College, the Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Planning and Design share the idea that the complex problems of the built environment are best addressed through collaboration among the various design and planning disciplines. As a result of this collaboration, the departments jointly offer the advanced research degree, a Ph.D. in Design and Planning.
Program/Student Learning Outcomes
The Program has a number of expectations of PhD students; these are skills to develop by PhD students by the end of their tenure in the program. Students are expected to be proficient or above in each of four areas by the time they graduate from the Program.
Generating Researchable Questions:
Students will be able to formulate research questions. In particular, they should be able to:
- delve into a specific area of research that is significant, original, and of intense personal interest, perhaps as a precursor for a dissertation topic
- demonstrate intimate familiarity with the existing literature surrounding their precise area of interest
- craft an original and researchable question (or set of questions) that is placed in the context of the available knowledge of the subject
Students will be able to speak, write, create and employ appropriate representational media to effectively convey scholarly ideas to the research community in the form of articles appropriate for publication in peer-reviewed research journals.
Students will be able to develop a critical understanding and application of the histories, theories and practices of their broadly framed field of doctoral study. Students should be able to:
- demonstrate a thorough grasp of past research that forms the foundation and context for their proposed dissertation topic, broadly speaking
- demonstrate expertise in several subareas within the whole of “competency” areas as determined between the committee and the student; they are not to be restricted to the purview of the dissertation topic alone
- assess how a dissertation topic and the students’ own research form an original and important contribution
Students will be proficient in a variety of different research methods that would be appropriate and specific to their chosen field of scholarship.