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Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Design and Planning

Bolanle Ogunseiju (center front), a doctoral student in the environmental design and planning program, is working with Akanmu to make the project’s virtual environments both realistic and accessible for students. Chiravi Patel for Virginia Tech.

Students wearing PPE on a work site.

Shape the future of the built environment and unlock infinite research possibilities.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Design and Planning (EDP) at Virginia Tech's Myers-Lawson School of Construction equips students with the professional and academic skills needed to tackle the challenges of designing, constructing, and maintaining tomorrow's built environment, preparing them for successful careers in both industry and academia. Unleash your potential and explore diverse research areas, from building design and construction to operations and end-of-life-cycle. The EDP degree encourages cross-disciplinary research, fostering innovation and collaboration to address real-world problems. With a total of 90 credit hours required, the program is accessible to students from various backgrounds, experiences, and affiliations.


Of students are fully funded


Required credit hours for core courses and research credits


Faculty, student mentorship

For more information on the application process for Virginia Tech's graduate school please visit:

About our Program

In the classroom, Akanmu (far right) teaches the fundamentals of digitally mapping job sites for futuristic worker training and assessing hazardous conditions in a safe setting. Chiravi Patel for Virginia Tech.

Students sit in a class while the professor lectures from a podium.

Through the diverse and comprehensive coursework of EDP, students will study a robust curriculum, spanning from core courses to cross-disciplinary research that bridges different disciplines. This multidimensional approach to education allows students to develop a deep understanding of the built environment and fosters creative problem-solving skills. Students have the flexibility to design their plan of study, working closely with faculty experts who provide guidance and mentorship.

Core Benefits of Our Degree Program

Spot, the autonomous robot dog, in action during a demonstration at Virginia Tech. Photo by Sarah Myers for Virginia Tech.

Spot, a yellow and black autonomous robot dog.

World-Class Faculty and Cutting-Edge Research

Faculty in EDP program are involved in research areas such as building information modeling (BIM), energy-efficient design, green building materials, construction waste management, and resilience planning in urban environments. The diverse research conducted by Environmental Design and Planning faculty not only enhances the educational experience for students but also contributes to the advancement of knowledge and best practices within the construction industry and related fields.

A person takes a photo of a group of graduates.

High Demand for Our Graduates

Graduates of Environmental Design and Planning stand out as leaders capable of delivering innovative solutions and driving transformative change in the industry — thanks to the comprehensive foundation they receive from our expert faculty, mentorship from leading construction firms, and a valuable network of peers. Our program's emphasis on cross-disciplinary research and collaboration equips graduates with the skills to address complex challenges and make a meaningful impact on the construction industry and beyond.

A student wears a smart vest and a VT headset.

Immersing in the Multidisciplinary Culture of Construction

Experience the multidisciplinary culture of the construction industry, engage in practical projects, and seize opportunities for internships, shadowing, and study abroad. Embark on a transformative journey that will help you realize your full potential and become an agent of change within the construction industry or academia.

Embarking on the Environmental Design and Planning program offers a life-changing opportunity to become a leader in the rapidly evolving construction industry and academia.

By focusing on sustainability, resilience, and cutting-edge technologies, graduates can make a meaningful impact on the built environment, shaping a brighter future in urban development, infrastructure planning, and environmental stewardship. With expert faculty, valuable mentorship, and a strong network of peers, pursuing the EDP program is an investment in a fulfilling and influential career, where you can leave a lasting legacy on the world around you.

Innovative Learning Through Cutting-Edge Research

Our faculty conduct groundbreaking, impactful research — which translates to innovative teaching practices in the classroom. This includes faculty like Abiola Akanmu, who uses augmented reality and holograms to create teachable virtual construction scenarios that engage students' hands and minds. This research aims to improve worksite safety, mitigate risks, and tailor learning experiences to meet the needs of industry partners.

Abiola Akanmu (third from right) and Myers-Lawson School of Construction graduate students set up an array of sensors to digitally map a practice worksite on the Virginia Tech campus. The research is part of a National Science Foundation study to create student training programs using virtual and augmented reality. Chiravi Patel for Virginia Tech.

A SPOT Robot Dog examines a work site.

Graduate Advising and Resources

Find information on policies, coursework, expectations, advisor contact information, forms, and more on our Graduate Advising and Resources page.

Construction site