The Master of Urban Design (MUD) is an intensive 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.
To be admitted to the MUD program, an individual must hold an accredited master’s degree in architecture, urban planning, or landscape architecture, or an accredited professional undergraduate degree in architecture, urban planning, or landscape architecture. Students may apply to the program in anticipation of earning the prerequisite degree prior to the start of their MUD studies. See the Admissions Requirement section below for more information.
To earn the MUD degree, a student must complete nine courses totaling 36 credits, which consist of a mix of lecture courses, studios, and a final capstone or travel studio requirement. 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 may receive permission to complete the program over a longer timeframe. See the Curriculum Overview section below for details.
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.
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.
Urban Design Studio I
City Design Fundamentals
Design Policy, Process, and Regulation
Advanced Visualization for Urban Design
|Course #||Course Name||Course Type||Credit Hours|
|URBN 6600||Urban Design Studio II||Studio||6|
|URBN 6625||Urban Design Economics and Equity||Lecture||3|
|URBN 6650||Urban Design and the Environment||Lecture||3|
|URBN 6675||Design Practice and Leadership||Lecture||3|
Summer Semester - Student’s choice of one of the following:
|Course #||Course Name||Course Type||6 Credit Hours|
Urban Design Advanced Travel Studio
Urban Design Capstone
Total Required Credits
Expand the sections below to read the course descriptions for the MUD curriculum:
Fall Semester Course Descriptions
Spring Semester Course Descriptions
Summer Semester Course Descriptions
The Master of Urban Design program seeks exceptional, engaged applicants who:
The Master of Urban Design at CU Denver is a post-professional degree. In order to be admitted to the program, an individual must hold (or will hold by the start of their MUD studies) a professional degree in architecture, urban planning, or landscape architecture from an accredited program. Professional degrees in architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture can be obtained at either the undergraduate or graduate levels.
Qualifying Architecture Degrees:
Degree must be accredited through the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) for programs in the United States. For international applicants, please contact us for more information.
Qualifying Urban Planning Degrees:
(MUP, MURP, MCP or similar)
(BSUP, BSURP or similar)
Degree must be accredited through the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) for programs in the United States. For international applicants, please contact us for more information.
Qualifying Landscape Architecture Degrees:
(BLA or BSLA)
Degree must be accredited through the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) for programs in the United States. For international applicants, please contact us for more information.
Program Start: Fall 2021Application Opens: October 15, 2020