Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Apr 20, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Design and Environmental Analysis

In the College of Human Ecology .

Course Offerings  

Design and Environmental Analysis (DEA) major combines innovative design thinking with insightful design research to understand how the built environment impacts our daily lives. Through multi-disciplinary training in human-centered design, environmental psychology, ergonomics, and facility strategy and management, we tackle problems from a systems view - people, process and place - to create strategic, sustainable healthy futures by design.

The program offers an integrative, flexible cur­riculum that is student-centric. In addition to the Human Ecology credits, undergraduate students complete a total of 65 DEA credits; 35 credits in common core foundation courses and then choose nine courses, three of which must be studios to build expertise within a focus area utilizing thematic courses within the major, as well as electives from the broad course offerings within Human Ecology and at Cornell. The undergraduate curriculum thematic courses are organized around the following three primary themes: Design, Innovation & Strategy, Sustainable Futures, and Health & Well-Being.  Students can also elect to complete a minor, honor’s thesis, or pursue an off-campus study experience.

Diverse faculty backgrounds and teaching approaches help students to develop multidisciplinary problem-solving and creative abilities, aesthetic judgment, and analytical thinking. Students explore innovative concepts for the design and management of physical environments of varying scales through courses, studios, laboratories, shop, field experience, and applied research. Examples of student class projects and faculty work are frequently on display in the MVR gallery. Our dLibrary includes books, journals, and materials collections for students to use as resources for their course work and research.


Y. Gowayed, Chair (HEB T57); N. Ahmadi, L. Beaman, J. Elliott, G. Evans, R. Gilmore, K. Green, Y. Hua, S. Kalantari, H. Kao, R. Leitao, J. Loebach, M. Shepley, N. Wells, J. Yoon, S. Yoon, R. Zadeh

Student Policies

The DEA student policies apply specifically to undergraduate students enrolled in the Design and Environmental Analysis major. DEA majors must also adhere to all Cornell University and College of Human Ecology (CHE) policies and requirements.

DEA Honors Program:

The honors program, which leads to a B.S. degree with honors in Design and Environmental Analysis, gives official recognition to undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in their academic work and their capacity for independent research. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for their major, students in the honors program prepare and orally defend an honors thesis. Honors students work with a research mentor in preparing for their thesis. Interested students should obtain a DEA Honors Program application form online. For more information, students should visit the DEA honors website or contact the DEA Honors Representative, Dr. Rana Zadeh.

Academic Advising:

By the beginning of their first semester, all DEA majors are assigned a faculty advisor by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Consultation with faculty advisors about future goals, graduation requirements, sequences of courses, and electives inside or outside the college helps students develop their academic programs. Students are free to request change of advisors. Although advisors should be consulted about students’ schedules during course enrollment each semester, it is the student’s responsibility to keep track of his or her courses and to make sure that they make good progress towards graduation requirements for their major and college.

DEA Major

DEA Major

In addition to college requirements , students in the DEA Major must complete specific requirements listed here.

The requirements listed below pertain to all students matriculating in August 2022 and January 2023.

DEA Thematic Courses

Letter grade only. Three out of the 9 must be studio thematic courses.
Note: Students must take at least one 2000-level studio. Students may not take more than 2 studios in one semester, this includes both DEA and non-DEA studios. Enrollment in 2 studios simultaneously requires approval from both studio instructors. DEA 4990  can fall under any of the three DEA Thematics.

Design Innovation & Strategy

DEA 2025 - Impactful Graphics: Visual Communication for Social Impact  
DEA 2200 - Art and Science: Sustainability, Multiculturalism and Transdisciplinarity  (formerly DEA 1200)
DEA 2201 - Magnifying Small Spaces Studio  
DEA 2203 - StudioSHIFT 
DEA 2750 - [Lighting Design: Light InForming Space] 
DEA 3050 - Construction Documentation: CAD and BIM 
DEA 3301 - Design UX with Technology Studio 
DEA 3302 - Sustainable Consumerism: The New Typologies Studio  
DEA 3306 - Generative Design Studio 
DEA 3530 - Planning and Managing the Workplace: Evidence-Based Design and Organizational Ecology 
DEA 4402 - Disruptive Design: Competitions Studio 
DEA 4500 - Policy Meets Design: High-Impact Facilities of the 21st Century 
DEA 4990 - Senior Honors Thesis 
DEA 5210 - Interaction Design Studio 
DEA 5520 - Virtual Experience of Designed Environments 
DEA 5540 - Workplace Strategy Studio  

Sustainable Futures

DEA 2020 - Introduction to Sustainable Design 
DEA 2422 - [Making Green: Sustainable Product Design Studio] 
DEA 3030 - Materials for Design and Sustainability 
DEA 3302 - Sustainable Consumerism: The New Typologies Studio  
DEA 3500 - The Ambient Environment 
DEA 4025 - Design for Change: Imagining Decolonial Futures 
DEA 4220 - Ecological Literacy and Design 
DEA 4401 - Adaptive Reuse Studio: Recycling the Built Environment  

Health & Well-Being

DEA 2700 - Healthy Places: Design, Planning and Public Health 
DEA 3308 - Positive Design Studio 
DEA 3510 - Human Factors and Inclusive Design 
DEA 4700 - Applied Ergonomic Methods 
DEA 5305 - [Health and Healing Studio] 
DEA 5500 - Designing Atmospheres 
DEA 5700 - Designing Age Friendly Environments  

Psychology Requirement

Psychology Requirement (3 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution social sciences requirement.

Choose one of the following courses:
HD 1150 - Human Development: Infancy and Childhood 
HD 1170 - Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood 
PSYCH 1101 - Introduction to Psychology *

*HD 1120  and PSYCH 1101  are forbidden overlaps.  You may only take one of these courses.

Introductory Economics

Introductory Economics  (3 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution social sciences requirement.

ECON 1110 - Introductory Microeconomics  


Statistics (4 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution quantitative and analytical courses requirement.
Must be taken at Cornell, AP Statistics is not accepted
Choose one of the following courses:
PAM 2100 - Introduction to Statistics 
AEM 2100 - Introductory Statistics  
ILRST 2100 - Introductory Statistics /STSCI 2100 - Introductory Statistics  
PSYCH 2500 - Statistics and Research Design 

Natural Science I and II

Natural Science I (3-4 credits)

This fulfills the college distribution natural sciences requirement.

One of the following:


BIOG 1140 - Foundations of Biology 
BIOG 1440 - Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology  or BIOG 1445 - Introduction to Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Individualized Instruction 
BIOMG 1350 - Introductory Biology: Cell and Developmental Biology 
BIOEE 1610 - Introductory Biology: Ecology and the Environment 
AP Biology score of 5


CHEM 1560 - Introduction to General Chemistry  or CHEM 2070 - General Chemistry I 
CHEM 2080 - General Chemistry II 
AP Chemistry score of 5


PHYS 1101 - General Physics I  or PHYS 2207 - Fundamentals of Physics I 
PHYS 1102 - General Physics II  or PHYS 2208 - Fundamentals of Physics II 
AP Physics score of 5

Note: If AP isn’t used to satisfy the requirement, then the course must be taken at Cornell.
Note: No lab is required.

Natural Science II (3-4 credits)

Choose any 3 credit course with a PBS, BIOLS-AG, or BIONLS-AG Course Distribution.

Note: No AP credit allowed, course must be taken at Cornell.

DEA Additional Distribution Coursework

Additional Distribution Coursework (6 credits)

Any course with the Course Distribution PBS, BIOLS-AG, BIONLS-AG, SBA, KCM, MQR, LA, CA, or HA. Language courses may count here.