Purpose: In times of growing complexity, the reasons for failure of built environments’ projects are diverse. A central but widely ignored issue is the insufficient qualification of staff members regardless of rank and discipline.  The focus is on producing specialists while neglecting the development of generalists that are able to handle broad and increasingly linked knowledge areas as well as to communicate, to connect, and to cooperate. 

Starting with requirements analysis and surveying existing degree/course options, the status quo needs to be challenged, considering a fundamentally new approach to higher education in the built environments areas like architecture or civil engineering. By reference to the renowned medical education system and the historic Bauhaus, such an approach has now been developed and its application, named ‘New Bauhaus Degree Program”, is described in this paper.

Design: Firstly, preexistent research discussing the industry’s HR needs and the need for generalists in addition to specialists has been evaluated and compared with the current degree offers in Germany accredited by the gif. For this, multi-dimensional clusters have been formed. Secondly, the system of medical education and the “Bauhaus Studium” by W. Gropius have been comprehensively characterized. All preceding findings have then been consolidated to a framework allowing both specialist and management education to emerge from one multidisciplinary entry path. This framework then served as the basis for the development of an idea for the ‘New Bauhaus Program Degree’.

Findings: The evaluation of preexistent research reveals that despite all graduates needing specific aspects of technical knowledge and (inter)personal skills, career paths should clearly differentiate between Specialist and Manager after broad basic training introducing the world of built environments. The study furthermore shows that both, personality formation and interdisciplinary training, are significantly underrepresented in most existing programs. The medical system with 6 years of basic training before specialization and a similar approach by Gropius suggest that multidisciplinary interfaculty training should be the basis for all students. Using these insights for  the design of a new integrative program resulted in a framework consisting of a 2-year module of Pre-Specialization and a 2-year module of Specialization with one specialization being Professional Management of Built Environments.