Certificate in Design for Health & Well-Being

As a growing body of research demonstrates the significant impacts of the built environment on health and well-being, new systems of building certifications and demands for evidence-based decision-making have expanded beyond the field of healthcare buildings to include the full spectrum of urban, institutional, commercial, and residential design. At the same time, the field of healthcare design is addressing fundamental change. As healthcare systems are in the midst of realignments with population health and community-based care, these realignments are moving beyond the walls of acute care facilities to encompass wellness beginning with behaviors, which research is showing to be highly influenced by the environment. 

The University of Miami Built Environment Behavior and Health Research Group, with faculty in the Department of Public Health Sciences and the School of Architecture, has conducted an ongoing program of funded research in this area of inquiry since 1999. In 2015, research group members Professor Joanna Lombard and Public Health Sciences Research Associate Professor Scott Brown were selected as Charter Members of one of eleven founding university teams selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), AIA Foundation, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture for the AIA Design + Health Research Consortium. The work of the research group has been widely disseminated to include informed public policy that has been integrated into both architecture and urban design studios in the School of Architecture.

Focusing more specifically on healthcare environments, in 2009, Professor Joanna Lombard initiated the School’s first Healthcare Design Studio and aligned with the School of Business, the first healthcare focused symposium, “Future Directions: Health Care and the Built Environment.” Over the last 9 years, subsequent studios and related colloquia have been associated with healthcare systems and urban environments, addressing the rapidly changing world of healthcare and engaging topical research in public health. Alumni from these studios have found positions around the United States working in this vanguard area of the intersection of health and well-being. Applying to building and healthcare design specifically, this intersection has extended to other larger issues of community design. 

Certificate requires a total of 15 credits of core courses and related electives.

*This program is not eligible for federal or state financial aid. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment for further assistance.

Admission Requirements

Applications start on November 1 until June 1 for entry in Fall and October 1 until December 1 for entry in Spring. Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program is subject to the rules, regulations and procedures of the Graduate School as stipulated in the University Graduate Bulletin. It is the responsibility of each student to understand these requirements and to ensure that they are met.

Applications will be reviewed by the Architecture Faculty Graduate Admissions Committee only after fulfilling the below requirements and all of the following documents have been received:

  1. Bachelor degree with a 3.0 cumulative point average (GPA)
  2. Completed application form with an application fee. This fee is mandatory.
  3. A letter or statement expressing your interest in the certificate and reasons for applying.
  4. Official transcripts of all college and university courses taken, indicating the date your professional or other undergraduate degree was awarded. All transcripts must be sent directly from the institution’s registrar. E-scripts to download are also accepted. See more information on international transcripts below.
  5. Three academic (and professional, if applicable) letters of recommendation. If you have waived your right for access to your letters, they may be sent directly from the recommender, or they may be included with your application in a signed and sealed envelope.
  6. Digital portfolio sent to email: SoAgradadmissions@miami.edu.                          

Please save the digital portfolio with your Lastname_Firstname. Digital portfolios must be no greater than 8 MB. You may also share a portfolio link to review your work..

Students applying must present a selection of their best architectural works during their pre-professional studies. Examples must emphasize comprehensive skills including sketches, plans, sections and elevations, and graphics that exhibit conceptual and diagramming abilities, understanding of structures and of urban context, as well as any other skills (computer modeling, models, photography and film abilities, etc.). Examples of professional work are encouraged but must clearly identify and describe work done independently and as part of a team.

Additional requirements for International Students:

  1. TOEFL of min. 80 or IELTS of min. 6.5 (please use University code 5815). 
  2. Graduate international transcripts will be reviewed by one of the approved Evaluation Services:

For application review purposes, English translated official transcripts are sufficient. Once the applicant gets admitted, the international evaluation report is required. 

Please visit our website at www.arc.miami.edu and refer to our latest admission and portfolio requirements here.

Curriculum Requirements

Certificate in Design for Health & Well-Being

ARC 608Architecture Design (Healthcare for Healthy Community Focus) or ARC 6016
Required Seminar Course 3
Electives 6
Total Credit Hours15

Required Seminar Course

Requires Seminar Course (choose one)
ARC 682Special Problems (Evidence-based Design Research Seminar)3
ARC 684Special Problems (Capstone Project)3
EPH 651Research Methods (Capstone Project)3


Electives (choose two)
ARC 681Special Problems (Interdisciplinary Course: Hospitals, Healthcare Services and Access)3
EPH 640Urban Environment and Public Health3
EPH 646Climate and Health3
EPH 647Community Based Participatory Research3
EPH 648Climate, Cool Cities, Healthy Communities3
MGT 684Analysis of Health Care Delivery and Policy3
MGT 687Health Care Organization, Economics, and Ethics3
BUS 655Public Policy and Health3

Other courses by approval


  • To prepare students for professional leadership and lifelong learning in architecture, urbanism, and related fields. 
  • To preserve and develop knowledge for the profession through research and practice. 
  • To share knowledge locally and internationally through community service. 
  • To promote building and community design goals of environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic sustainability. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively use basic architectural and environmental principles in design.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions, and test alternative outcomes against relevant criteria and standards.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to read, write, speak and listen effectively.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate representational media, such as traditional graphic and digital technology skills, to convey essential formal elements at each stage of the programming and design process.