In the two years since ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING magazine reported on the IALD Education Trust and its initiatives, including its survey of lighting education programs (See “Lighting Education: Who, What, and Where,” March 2005, p. 25), four new academic lighting design programs have been established and the Trust has embarked on several new activities. All signal the increased awareness of lighting design and the demand for substantive academic programs to educate and train the next generation of lighting design professionals. What follows is an overview of some of the Trust's latest endeavors and reviews the current listing of 11 academic lighting programs.

Established in 1999, the IALD Education Trust seeks to “increase awareness in the academic community of the importance of lighting design in the creation of beautiful and sustainable visual environments for the benefits of individuals and society.” Although the Trust shares part of its name—IALD—with the International Association of Lighting Designers, the organization responsible for the creation of the Trust, for tax and administrative purposes, the Trust is an independent entity overseeing its own fundraising initiatives and in turn deciding how those funds will be allocated. To date the IALD Education Trust has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships and grants to both students and educators.

The Trust's activities go well beyond just fundraising and awarding scholarships. Through its Teaching Tools program, and the generosity of Holophane and Lucifer Lighting, light meters and lighting equipment kits have been provided to lighting and architecture programs alike. The Outreach to Architecture School initiative promotes “awareness and education of lighting design in architecture schools by establishing relations and activities between the schools and the Trust.” In 2008 a group of lighting design “ambassadors” are scheduled to visit 20 architecture schools in the United States. The newest initiative, Learn2Light (, is a website-based guide that provides links to and information about schools that offer programs in architectural lighting design, engineering, or science. The website will be updated annually.

A word about the IALD Education Survey of lighting design programs. What this survey is:

  • An overview of schools with academic programs in architectural lighting design, engineering, or science.
  • An architectural lighting design program is defined by the Trust as having at least five courses in lighting design and at least one instructor or professor who dedicates the majority of his or her teaching time to lighting design. These types of programs are referred to by the Trust as Tier 1 schools. Tier 2 schools have programs with more than two course offerings, but do not have an established degree or certificate program, or a dedicated faculty member.
  • Programs should offer a degree or certificate, bachelor's or master's, or at least a major or minor in architectural lighting.
  • The survey functions as a starting point and a general guide to the basic information available for each program.

What this survey is not:
An in-depth and detailed overview of all lighting education offerings at the university level. Note that the names of degrees, degree requirements, quarters versus semesters, course descriptions, credit systems, and required and elective course offerings vary at each school.


Degree: Master of Science: Graduate Diploma Built Environment: Light and Lighting; Master of Philosophy Ph.D.
Department: Faculty of the Built Environment
Program overview: The MSc/Graduate Diploma Built Environment Light and Lighting program aims to provide a holistic approach to lighting design considering the human response to light and lighting, the science and technology of the subject, together with the design of lighting as an integrated part of architecture.
Curriculum:Compulsory Courses: Lighting Fundamentals; Lighting Sources; Lighting: Current Research Issues; Advanced Integrated Lighting Design; Elective Courses: Lighting: Applied Calculations; Building Solar; Design Lighting Practice; LL Report
Faculty/Contact: Kevin Mansfield, director,
Tuition: not available
Yearly graduates: not available

hawk university of applied sciences and arts, Fachhochschule Hildesheim/Holzminden/Gottingen, Hildersheim, Germany
Degree: Diplom Ingenieur (FH) Lighting Design. The school also is working toward a Master of Sciences (Lighting Design).
Department: Faculty of Design
Program overview: In Europe, Fachhochschule Hildesheim/Holzminden/Gottingen is the only institution that has developed and installed "Lighting Design" as a full-time undergraduate degree course. It is an interdisciplinary course, with more than 20 faculty members, which is taught in German and integrates and uses the competence of other existing faculties, such as interior design, architecture, product design, and economics, and art. The course contents are based on the recommendations by practicing lighting designers from the Professional Lighting Design Association (PLDA): Lighting design involves planning the lighting of spaces and objects to meet individual, public, and commercial requirements, taking into consideration aesthetic, ecological, and economic aspects.
Curriculum: Three-Dimensional Design; Lighting Design in Practice; CAD 1 + 2; CAD 3 + 4; History of Art and Culture; Office Management; Lighting Engineering; Special Lighting Design Fields; Daylighting Basics; Designing Three-dimensional; Product Design Basics Spaces; Interior Design Basics; Product Design; Thesis
Faculty/Contact: Iska Schonfeld, professor,; Andreas Schulz, professor,
Tuition: free
Yearly graduates: Average four to six

Hochschule Wismar, University of Technology, Business, and Design, Wismar, Germany
Degree: Master of Art in Architectural Lighting Design
Department: Faculty of Architecture and Design
Program overview: The aim of the course in architectural lighting design, taught in English, is to train students in the application of daylight in architecture as well as in electric lighting. Light is considered to be essential in the perception of architecture. Therefore, students will be trained in the physics of light and its application in architecture regarding interior climate and human comfort, as well as the development of the student's own lighting design concepts. By working on independent projects and practical experiments, students can deepen their knowledge achieved in theoretical lectures.
Curriculum: Lighting Design; Lighting Science; Lighting Design and Technology 1 and 2; Lighting and Economics; Design Project 1 and 2; Lighting and Sustainable Building 1; Lighting and Sustainable Building 2
Faculty/Contact: Thomas Romhild, professor,; Michael Rohde,
Tuition: Free
Yearly graduates: 20-30

KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Faculty School of Technology and Health, Handen, Sweden
Degree: Master of Science, Architectural Lighting Design (one year)
Department: Built Environment
Program overview: The profile for the English-taught program is based on a new approach for light and light planning. The learning process is a combination of visual- and technical-based experience and knowledge directed to design, technique, and health. The educational idea is built on a comprehensive view, where theoretical knowledge will be combined with practical applications in laboratory experiments, project work, and full-scale studies. The international profile of the program will offer a deepening discussion and understanding of cultural-based views and values.
Curriculum:Compulsory: Light and Humans; Light and Room l, Outdoor Lighting; Light and Theory; Light and Room ll, Indoor Lighting; Daylight and the Design Process; Thesis Project; Elective: Luminaire Design
Faculty/Contact: Jan Ejhed, professor,; Agneta Ejhed, program coordinator,
Tuition: Free
Yearly graduates: 25-30

Parsons The New School for Design, New York City
Degree: Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design or a dual degree option of Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design and Master of Architecture
Department: Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design
Program overview: The MFA Lighting Design program at Parsons offers a strong foundation in the intellectual, aesthetic, historical, and technical considerations of lighting design. The studio-based design curriculum reflects the concern that human experience is central to all projects, with socially responsible engagement in the built and natural environments. Students in lighting work with interior design and architecture students in an interdisciplinary manner with faculty who are considered to be some of highest-regarded practitioners in their respective disciplines. Because of the shared coursework, students have opportunities to gain dual degrees in an accelerated time period.
Curriculum: First Year: Studio 1: Vision and Representation; Luminaire Design; Architectural History and Theory; Principals of Light; Studio 2: Natural and Technological Light; Daylight and Sustainability; Light: Critical Issues; Light Perception and Culture 1; Department Elective
Second Year: Studio 3: Interdisciplinary Study; Luminaire and Systems Technology; Thesis Seminar; Department Elective; Studio 4: Thesis; Professional Practice; Light Perception and Culture 2; Department Elective
Faculty/Contact: Derek Porter, director, MFA Lighting Design Program, Department of Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting,
Tuition: $32,000 (2007)
Yearly graduates: 18 to 24

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
Department: Architectural Engineering
Degrees: Bachelor of Architectural Engineering (BAE); Master of Engineering (MEng) in Architectural Engineering; Master of Architectural Engineering (MAE) integrated with the BAE degree; Master of Science (MS) in Architectural Engineering; Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architectural Engineering
Program overview: Penn State offers a five-year undergraduate architectural engineering degree with an option in lighting and electrical systems that focuses on lighting design. The graduate program in lighting admits students from backgrounds in architecture, engineering, or science. Graduates are employed by top lighting design and A/E firms, lighting product manufacturers, and academic institutions.
Curriculum: Fund. of Elec. and Illumination Systems; Basic Theory of Bldg. Illumination; Advanced Architectural Illumination; Computer Aided Lighting Design and Analysis; Senior Design Project I and II; Daylighting; Luminous Flux Transfer; Luminaire Optics; Lighting Design for Visual Appearance; Stage Lighting Design; Sensation and Perception; Exptl. Psychology of Visual Perception
Faculty/Contact: Richard Mistrick,; Kevin Houser,
Tuition: Approximately $23,000; $29,000 non-Pennsylvania resident (2007)
Yearly graduates: Approximately 16 students in the lighting/electrical option graduate with a BAE each year. Typically, about six of these students also receive the integrated MAE Degree. Additionally, four to seven full-time MEng., MS and Ph.D. students typically study lighting at the graduate level each year. A limited number of graduate teaching and research assistantships are available.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lighting Research Center, Troy, New York
Degrees: MS in Lighting - two year, 48-credit research-based program; MS in Architectural Sciences with a concentration in Lighting - nine-month, 30-credit design-focused degree; Ph.D. in Lighting
Department: Lighting Research Center, School of Architecture
Program overview: The graduate programs in lighting at RPI are housed with the Lighting Research Center (LRC). The LRC's mission is to advance the effective use of light and create a positive legacy of change for society and the environment. The LRC is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. LRC research programs cover a range of activities, including laboratory testing of lighting products and real-world demonstration and evaluation of lighting products and designs.
Curriculum: MS in Lighting: The Physics of Light; Lighting Design; Human Factors in Lighting; Lighting Technology and Applications; Light and Health; Lighting Research Design; Lighting Workshop; Lighting Leadership Seminar; Masters Thesis; MS in Architectural Sciences with a Concentration in Lighting: The Physics of Light; Lighting Design; Human Factors in Lighting; Lighting Technology and Applications; Light and Health; Lighting Workshop; Masters Project
Faculty/Contact: Dan Frering, manager of education, head, Graduate Programs in Lighting,; Russ Leslie, chair, Graduate Programs in Lighting,; Mark Rea, LRC director,; Andrew Bierman,; Jennifer Brons,; John Bullough,; Mariana Figueiro,; Jean Paul Freyssinier,; Peter Morante,; Nadarajah Narendran,; Patricia Rizzo,
Tuition: $34,900 (2007-08)
Yearly graduates: Average of eight to 10

Ryerson University, G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Program: Certificate in Lighting Design
Department: Communication and Design
Program overview: This multidisciplinary certificate is designed to provide students with the broad knowledge base and wide range of skills required as professionals in the lighting industry. Because of changes in the lighting industry, largely centered around increased legislative acts limiting energy budgets, there is a need for skilled lighting designers. Graduates of this program are working to design environmentally responsible and ergonomically sound buildings with enhanced vision for health and safety.
Curriculum: Seven credits are required for the certificate. Six required courses: Lighting Fundamentals; Human Factors in Lighting; Introduction to Lighting Design; Lighting Energy Management; Introduction to Daylighting Design; and Advanced Lighting Design; One elective course in needed from the following: Entertainment Lighting Design; Lighting Design Practicum; or Lighting Research Practicum
Faculty/Contact: Gerry Cornwell,
Tuition: $630.00 CD per 1-semester course
Yearly graduates: Eight to 12

Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
Degree: BS in Interior Design with a Lighting minor
Department: Design, Merchandising, and Textiles
Program overview: TCU offers an accredited Interior Design program with six studio design courses. The Lighting minor is intended to enhance the design program by offering an interdisciplinary series of lighting courses that provide lighting education across the complete spectrum of experiences that a practicing interior designer might encounter in professional practice. Additionally, the Lighting minor strengthens the studio design experience by adding lighting knowledge throughout the curriculum. Finally, the Lighting minor emphasizes actual hands-on lighting experiences through theater courses and the Lighting for Visual Presentation class, which includes the Lighting Designer in Residence series.
Curriculum: Lighting Fundamentals (3 credits, Freshman level, offered both fall and spring semester); Lighting for Visual Presentation (3 credits, Senior level, yearly); Lighting Thesis (Arranged, 3 credits, Senior level, yearly); Intro. to Stage Lighting (3 credits, Sophomore level, yearly); Advanced Stage Lighting (3 credits, Junior level, yearly); Dance Lighting (3 credits, Junior level, yearly); Behavioral Psychology (3 credits, Junior level, yearly); Basic Photography (3 credits, Sophomore level, offered both fall and spring semesters; Light, Color and Space (3 credits, Graduate level, every other year); Light and Health (3 credits, Graduate level, every other year)
Contact/Faculty: Fred Oberkircher,; Laura Prestwood,
Tuition: $19,700 per year
Yearly graduates: Average of four to six

University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
Degrees: BS in Architectural Engineering, BS in Civil Engineering, MS Civil Engineering Ph.D. Civil Engineering
Department: College of Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
Program overview: The goal of the lighting program is to maintain integration with design, human factors, and technical aspects of lighting. Students following the lighting and electrical option in the architectural engineering undergraduate curriculum take a minimum of five lighting courses that help them acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for professional practice in the lighting industry. The lecture and laboratory course work helps students learn the theory of light, vision, and computations. The design and studio course work helps students learn design principles, apply theory, and solve lighting design problems. Lighting students have a paid summer internship after their third year, which provides near-professional experience in the application of what they have learned.
Curriculum: Illumination 1 (basic lighting engineering and design); Illumination 2 (lighting design); Lighting Engineering Laboratory; Luminous Radiative Transfer; Exterior Lighting Systems; Architectural Daylighting; Computer Graphics in Lighting Lighting; Systems Engineering; Lighting Equipment Design; Psychology of Visual Perception; Theater Lighting 1; Advanced Radiative Transfer; Senior Design Course
Faculty/Contact: Brent Protzman,
Tuition: $10,900 non-Colorado resident (2004)
Yearly graduates: Approximately 15 students per year graduate with the BS in Architectural Engineering in the lighting and electrical option. In addition, approximately two students per year graduate with the MS who have focused on lighting.

University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska
Department: The Peter Kiewit Institute for Information Science, Technology and Engineering
Degrees: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architectural Engineering; Master of Architectural Engineering (M.A.E.); Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Architectural Engineering; Master of Science (M.S.); Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering
Program: Architectural Engineering
Program overview: Architectural engineering is the engineering design of buildings. Students have the option to specialize in either the design of building structural systems, building mechanical and acoustical systems, or building lighting and electrical systems. The first two years are common to all three and include the same math and science courses common to all engineering programs. Students specializing in lighting take a minimum of 26 credits of specialty lighting courses. This includes three courses in lighting fundamentals and design, and electives such as Daylighting, or Psychological Aspects of Lighting. Our goal is that graduates will be able to follow a creative design process, while having the technical competence to apply engineering concepts and quantitative techniques to lighting problems.
Curriculum: Lighting I: Fundamentals for Design; Lighting II: Theory, Design and Application Daylighting; Interdisciplinary Team Design Project; Lighting Metrics; Behavioral Sciences for Lighting Research; Psychological Aspects of Lighting; Current Research in Illuminating Engineering
Faculty/Contact: Dale K. Tiller,; Clarence E. Waters,
Yearly graduates: Average of four to six