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College of Environment and Design


Sonia Hirt headshot

Dean's Welcome


Dear students,

Welcome to the CED! This has been a very unusual year and it seems it will remain this way at least through the fall semester. I want to assure you that the CED staff and faculty, like the rest of UGA, have worked tirelessly to ensure that our modes of instruction and facilities meet the highest standards of safety. Amidst these challenging times, we remain focused on our core mission, which is YOU. We commit to delivering what you deserve—a world-class education—regardless of the complexities that surround us.

Joining the College of Environment + Design (CED) could be one of the most impactful decisions of your life. The world is constantly facing new opportunities and challenges—fast and uneven urbanization, growing but not always equitable economies, environmental degradation, increased international dependencies—to name just a few. Each of these aspects of dramatic social and natural change could be harnessed to make the world more resilient, beautiful, prosperous, and just. The fields in which our faculty, students and alumni share first-rate expertise—landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban planning and design, and environmental ethics—hold the key to a sustainable and healthy future.

Since 1928 we have been a growing intellectual, creative, and professional powerhouse in landscape architecture education. In 1969 we became UGA’s School of Environmental Design, focusing on landscape architecture. In 2001 we became the College of Environment and Design to reflect the broader scope of our courses of study. Our Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program (BLA) is one of the largest in the country. Both our BLA and our Master’s program (MLA) have consistently been ranked among the top 10 by Design Intelligence, the sole source of peer evaluation of design programs in the United States. Our Master of Historic Preservation (MHP) program is among the most respected by the National Trust and is, in fact, one of only a few preservation programs in the country to offer a joint Juris Doctorate. The Master of Urban Planning and Design (MUPD), accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board in 2016, and our new Doctoral Program, are increasingly attracting some of the best faculty and students in the country and beyond.

We offer unparalleled opportunities for world-class learning. Community outreach and international engagement are among our best-known trademarks (e.g., we have excellent programs in Croatia and Italy). Our graduates join the world of practice as visionary, thoughtful, and responsible leaders.

This year we will be making our commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus and our professions stronger than ever. Many of you have spoken passionately and eloquently to me on this topic over the last couple of months. We hear you! We are constituting a new committee that will look at our current climate and find ways to improve it so that all of you can feel at home. 

In joining the CED, you will be Prepared to Shape Our World in just and sustainable ways.

Sonia Hirt, PhD, FAICP
Dean and Hughes Professor in Landscape Architecture and Planning

Ashley Steffens headshotAssociate Dean

Ashley Steffens
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Jackson Street Building
285 S. Jackson Street
Email 706-542-4152











Deans Advisory Council

Meet the Dean’s Advisory Council

The CED Dean’s Advisory Council is a broadly representative forum with the primary purpose of assisting the College by supporting its achievements of strategic plans and goals including fundraising, cultivating a professional network across disciplines, sharing information and industry trends, and advising the Dean on innovations and opportunities.

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