Master of Urban Design

The Master of Urban Design (MUD) is an advanced post-professional degree program for individuals who seek a career in urban design practice or for current planning and design professionals who want to enhance and expand their existing practice with urban design knowledge and expertise.

Program Overview


The MUD program consists of nine courses: one studio and three lecture courses in the fall, one studio and three lecture courses in the spring, and either a travel studio or capstone project in the summer. To earn the MUD degree, a student must complete all nine courses totaling 36 credits.

The MUD program is designed to be accomplished in a single calendar year (fall, spring, and summer semesters) as a full-time, immersive experience; however, students with qualifying circumstances or students admitted through a MUD Overlapping Dual Degree option may complete the program over a longer timeframe. 

To be accepted into the MUD program, an individual must hold a master’s degree in architecture, urban planning, or landscape architecture, or an accredited professional bachelor's degree in architecture, urban planning, or landscape architecture unless they are a current CAP student.

Students in CU Denver’s M Arch, MLA, and MURP programs may apply to the MUD program and begin earning MUD credits before they have completed their M Arch, MLA, or MURP program requirements through the MUD Overlapping Dual Degree option.

Using Colorado’s diverse urban landscapes as a laboratory for real-world learning experiences, our MUD program teaches and trains students to become exceptional urban design thinkers, practitioners, and leaders in their communities; collaborates with urban designers to advance the profession and position it at the intersection of the city-building disciplines; and engages with the community to create great places that are sustainable, inclusive, equitable, healthy, and inspiring.

Learn more about our urban design vision and mission at the College of Architecture and Planning.

denver downtown
Students working

Program Hallmarks


Curriculum


The MUD curriculum features a mix of lecture and studio courses that comprehensively cover the spectrum of urban design theory and practice and emphasizes hands-on experiential learning and skills development. At the heart of our curriculum are our four Program Hallmarks, which are present in all courses as common themes.

The curriculum consists of nine courses: one studio and three lecture courses taken in the fall semester, one studio and three lecture courses taken in the spring semester, and the final requirement—a capstone project or travel studio (student’s choice)—taken during the summer.  To earn the MUD degree, a student must successfully complete all nine courses totaling 36 credits.

Students entering the MUD program who lack certain design knowledge or skills may be required to take the program’s Design Skills Workshop before the start of the Fall semester, as determined by the program’s admissions review committee.

The table below shows the required courses in the MUD curriculum, effective Fall 2021.

Fall Semester:

Course #

Course Name

Course Type

Credit Hours

URBN 6500

Urban Design Studio I

Studio

6

URBN 6525

City Design Fundamentals

Lecture

3

URBN 6550

Design Policy, Process, and Regulation

Lecture

3

URBN 6575

Advanced Visualization for Urban Design

Lecture/Lab

3

 

Spring Semester:

Course #Course NameCourse Type
Credit Hours
URBN 6600
Urban Design Studio IIStudio6
URBN 6625Urban Design Economics and EquityLecture3
URBN 6650Urban Design and the EnvironmentLecture3
URBN 6675Design Practice and LeadershipLecture
3

 

Summer Semester - Student’s choice of one of the following: 

Course #Course NameCourse Type
6 Credit Hours
URBN 6700

Urban Design Advanced Travel Studio

Studio
URBN 6725

Urban Design Capstone

Individual Project

 

 

Total Required Credits

36

Course Descriptions


Fall Semester Course Descriptions

Spring Semester Course Descriptions

Summer Semester Course Descriptions

Travel Study Opportunities


Travel allows us to see and experience design perspectives from around the world. The College of Architecture and Planning offers a variety of study abroad opportunities each year. Additionally, CU Denver offers study abroad opportunities to students of all majors. 

MUD Overlapping Dual Degrees


The MUD Overlapping Dual Degree gives students in the M Arch, MLA, and MURP programs at CU Denver the opportunity to apply to the MUD program and begin earning MUD credits before they have completed their M Arch, MLA, or MURP program requirements. By taking MUD lecture courses that qualify as open or cross-listed electives toward their M Arch, MLA, or MURP degree, students can reduce the total number of credits required to earn both degrees, saving time and money. Select a tab below to view the details about the MUD Overlapping Dual Degree option for each of the three programs.  

CU Denver MURP students may apply to the MUD program after they have completed at least 12 MURP credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Students can then take MUD lecture courses and apply them to both their MURP and MUD degrees. After completing the MURP degree requirements, students conclude the MUD program by taking the two MUD studios, any remaining MUD lecture courses, and the final MUD studio/capstone. Upon completing the MUD degree requirements, students are eligible to graduate and receive both their MURP and MUD degrees. 

MURP students are allowed to take up to 6 credits of open electives offered by other programs, plus four of the MUD lecture courses—City Design Fundamentals; Design Policy, Process, and Regulation; Urban Design Economics and Equity; Urban Design and the Environment—are cross-listed as URPL electives. Therefore, MURP students could potentially take all six of the MUD required lecture courses as MURP electives, reducing the total credits required for both degrees by 18. How many of these six overlapping MUD lecture courses a student takes, and which ones, is up to the student.

For more information, please review the MURP + MUD Overlapping Dual Degree guide or contact your academic advisor.  

Tuition & Fees


The University of Colorado Denver has one of the most affordable tuition rates in Colorado.  Our tuition and fees are set by the Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Colorado.  Tuition is based on student classification (undergraduate, graduate, academic program, resident or nonresident) and you can find out what rates will apply to your situation here.
All CAP Graduate Programs have WICHE-WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program) status, which grants in-state resident tuition to students from 15 western states including California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

Living in Denver


Urban Design Contacts


Ken Schroeppel

Kenneth Schroeppel

Director of Urban Design, Assistant Professor CTT
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Jodi Stock

Admissions Coordinator