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Residential Environments and Design Major

Residential Environments and Design

Our program prepares you with essential knowledge and skills to take your place in the ever-changing housing and design industry.









Total Credit Hours: 120

Residential Environments and Design Requirements (45 hours)

AHRM Core Requirements (19 hours)

General Education (42 hours)

Electives (14 hours)

What You'll Study

  • 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Science in Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, including Virginia Tech's Pathways 
  • 47 credits of residential environments and design courses, including:
    • Universal Design
    • House Planning
    • Advanced Kitchen and Bath Design
  • 15 credit hours (minimum) in a minor or in a supporting area of study developed on an individual basis with the approval of an advisor
  • 24 credits of AHRM core degree requirements including:
    • Housing: Energy and the Environment
    • Consumer Rights
  • 3 credit hours (minimum) of action learning through study abroad, field study, independent study, or undergraduate research (counts toward AHRM core degree requirements)

Curious how the degree requirements will fit into your experience at Virginia Tech? See the roadmaps below for a sample schedule of courses each year. Your academic advisor will help you create a personalized version based on your goals and other areas of interest. The individualized plan will also include your AP, IB, dual enrollment, or transfer credit.

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What Is a Major in Residential Environments and Design?

You will develop creative abilities, problem-solving skills, analytical abilities, and a foundation of knowledge of the residential design industry through lecture, laboratory, and studio classes. The program allows you to complete a minor or personally-designed cognate in a support area of study. Graduates become certified kitchen and bath designers, work in manufacturing and marketing of housing products, and support residential construction. 

Why Study Residential Environments and Design Here?

Our program is accredited by the National Association of Kitchen and Bath Design, allowing students to count their hours in class and internships toward the time they need to accrue to sit for certification exams. You will have access to our Center for Real Life Kitchen Design, a space where you can work toward making your ideas a reality. Our team of faculty mentors is dedicated to helping students succeed in their chosen areas of specialty.

Beyond the Classroom

Get Experience 

You will complete a field study with employers who often offer jobs to students after graduation.

Students who wish to graduate with a National Kitchen and Bath accreditation must complete their field study with a business that has a kitchen or bath emphasis.


Get Experience

Our major is accredited by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). You can count time in school and internship as qualifying work experience in preparing for certification exams. Once you complete the accredited program, you can sit for the Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) certification exam immediately after graduation. After two years of professional experience, you may pursue the Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) or Certified Bath Designer (CBD).

Kitchen and Bath Design Certification

In recent years, students have attended Design and Construction Week™ in Las Vegas to participate in the National Kitchen and Bath Association and National Association of Home Builders industry shows and conferences.

We offer a property management and housing study abroad every other year (2022:2024) with topics that include current and historic residential design, kitchen and bath product design, new ideas in housing technologies, energy and environmental issues impacting housing and communities, and multifamily and commercial property management.  Countries visited have included Germany, France, and Czech Republic.



Come With Us

Financial Awards 

You can receive awards and scholarships offered by our department and the Center for Real Life Kitchen Design Advisory Board. Design competitions and awards are also available by participating in the student activities of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.


Financial Awards

What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with a residential environments and design major?

Our graduates are working as certified kitchen and bath designers, showroom designers and managers, in the marketing and manufacturing of residential products such as appliances, cabinetry, tile, flooring, and home furnishings. They also work as housing designers for residential construction. You can find employment on the local, regional, or national level with business including:

  • American Kitchen and Bath
  • Classic Kitchens of Virginia
  • Design Solutions
  • Hatchett Design/Remodel
  • Lane Homes and Remodeling
  • Richards Construction
  • Tatari Design Center
  • Reico Kitchen and Bath
  • Ferguson Enterprises
  • Broadway Kitchens
  • Kohler
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Bed Bath and Beyond

Some graduates choose graduate study in design-related fields such as architecture, industrial design, and art.