The Master of Urban Design is a non-professional degree jointly offered by the Department of Architecture and the Department of Urban Planning. The 30-credit, studio-based curriculum can be completed in a 12-month period.

The degree program provides students with high quality and diverse urban design skills that can be immediately practiced after graduation. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge and skills to create sustainable, equitable, and prosperous urban spaces in rapidly changing urban environments, such as preparing design guidelines for different levels of public agencies; designing new or infilled urban neighborhoods and public spaces; planning infrastructure such as streets, pedestrian and bicycle networks, and public transit facilities; and addressing environmental concerns through ecological design.

Stem-Designated Degree Program

The Master of Urban Design is an approved field of study within the U.S. government’s official STEM fields list.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements in addition to the following requirements to be considered for admission to the program:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in architecture, landscape architecture, design-focused urban planning, interior design, or other disciplines approved by the MUD faculty.
  • A background in design studios from the above disciplines and cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale).
  • All applicants are required to submit three recommendation letters from three previous faculty and/or professionals.
  • All applicants need to submit an electronic portfolio. The portfolio should show evidence of interest in design, and it should be carefully conceived, well designed, neatly prepared, and easily readable digitally. 
  • International students are required to submit test results from the TOEFL [minimum score: 100 (iBT) or IELTS (minimum score: 7.0)].

Credits and Courses

The program requirements are comprised of 30 credits, of which at least 12 credits are taken from the Department of Architecture and 12 credits from the Department of Urban Planning. In the 30 credits, 15 are required, and 15 credits will be taken from accepted urban design-related elective courses. Up to 6 credits can be taken from an internship or an independent study, including summer study abroad.

ARCH 800Design Elective: (Urban Design-related topic)6
URBPLAN 857Urban Design as Public Policy3
or URBPLAN 751 Introduction to Urban Design and Physical Planning
URBPLAN 858Studio in Urban Design and Physical Planning6
Complete 15 credits from the following list:15
Seminar in Building Types and Settings
Introduction to Historic Preservation
Emerging Digital Technology: (VR: Visualization, Interaction and Collaboration)
Urban Landscape Architecture
Fundamentals of Ecological Architecture
Survey of Architectural History & Theory
History & Theory III
History of Building Technology
The Built Environment and Real Estate Development
Green Building Seminar
Master's Level Directed Research 1
Master's Level Independent Studies and Research 1
Study Abroad: 1
Special Topics: (3D Scanning)
Topics in Architectural History & Theory:
Land Use Planning Practice
Public Sector Influence on Real Estate Development
Special Topics in Urban Planning: (Physical Planning and Municipal Engineering)
Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation
Study Abroad: 1
Legislative/Administrative Agency Internship 1
Independent Study 1
Total Credits30

Up to 6 credits of an internship, independent study, or study abroad course may be applied to a student's degree requirements.

Additional Requirements

Time Limit 

Full-time students without deficiencies are expected to complete all degree requirements within twelve months of first enrollment. All degree requirements must be completed within three years of first enrollment.