Our sense of sight is responsible for much of our perception of the world around us. Through the proper application of light, whether indoors or outdoors, we can shape a viewer’s understanding of architecture and influence the outcome of our architectural designs.

The undergraduate certificate in Lighting Design is offered to non-engineering students, in particular those majoring in environmental design, theater and film, to expose them to the basics of architectural interior, exterior and landscape lighting design. Topics include:

  • Metrics of light
  • Vision and color vision
  • Proper use of light sources, lighting fixtures and controls
  • Lighting effects on perception of architecture and how it fits into the architectural design process
  • Lighting design techniques and specification
  • Quantification of light to ensure visual comfort and limit energy use
  • Light at night and its correct application in exterior architecture and landscape

The certificate prepares students for entry-level jobs in lighting design firms. A combination of lighting design with architecture, landscape architecture, or design studies could also open doors in architecture and interior design firms.


Admission Requirements

A cumulative GPA of 2.500 or higher is required to enroll. This certificate is not open to students rostered in the College of Engineering & Applied Science. First-year students are not eligible to take certificate courses - students may sign up for the certificate in the spring of their freshman year, and start taking classes in their sophomore year.

To enroll, students should complete the Lighting Certificate Declaration Form.

Program Requirements

Grade Requirements

A cumulative GPA of 2.500 for all certificate courses is required. A grade of C or higher is required for AREN 4440 Lighting Design Capstone. For all other certificate courses, a grade of C- or higher is required. A course not passed with the minimum grade may be repeated one time.

Course Requirements

The certificate is achieved through completion of four lighting courses: two required courses, one technical elective, and a capstone course. Courses listed below represent current offerings and are subject to change.

Required Courses
AREN 3430Architectural (Interior) Lighting Design3
AREN 4540Architectural Exterior and Landscape Lighting Design3
Technical Elective
Choose one:3
Advanced Lighting Design
Adaptive Lighting Systems
Stage Lighting Design 1
AREN 4440Lighting Design Capstone3
Total Credit Hours12