Founded by Fumihiko Maki and Roger Montgomery, the Master of Urban Design (MUD) program is an innovative post-professional program that focuses on the design of metropolitan urban environments throughout the world. Centered around the design studio, this three-semester program allows students holding first professional degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, or planning with an emphasis on physical design of the built environment to pursue advanced independent design and research work while acquiring the theoretical and professional foundation for contemporary urban design practice. The program encourages students in the Master of Architecture program and the Master of Landscape Architecture program to enhance their professional education with a dual degree. The MArch/MUD and MLA/MUD option have become increasingly popular. To learn more, visit our Dual Degrees page.
The MUD program builds upon the diverse international student body, the interdisciplinary study opportunities, and the numerous international semester design studios of the School and the University to prepare participants for international practice in the private and public sectors, and for leadership roles in the design and development of the contemporary built environment. Recent graduates have found positions in major planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design practices, and the program has a large international network of alumni, many of whom hold important urban design positions around the world.
Urbanization is an increasing trend throughout the world that poses enormous opportunities for—and challenges to—creating healthy and sustainable urban environments, which are investigated through both course work and the design studio. The program addresses the multiplicity of urbanizing conditions and environments—the urban transect—occurring in local, national, and global cities both within the United States and internationally. These conditions and environments include: the transformations occurring in older, more traditional urban environments; the emergent vertical city; edge cities as part of the multi-nuclei city; suburban intensification and densification; the metropolitan periphery; new development related to urban infrastructure; and informal urbanism within the metropolitan landscape.
To this end, the program integrates concepts and principles of architecture, landscape, and infrastructure into a core sequence of urban design studios. At the same time, through a balance of required and elective course work, it provides an introduction to social, political, economic, and environmentally responsible principles of development, and the history and theory of contemporary urbanism. Course work and associated research serve as a base for the more speculative and exploratory nature of the design studio experience. During their course of study, students will be challenged to explore their role as active and informed participants in the transformation of cities.