Taubman College


Welcome the University of Michigan's Master of Urban Design Program website. Please use it as a portal to our program and through its special features as an introduction to the discipline and discussion of urban design. The site describes program goals, courses, studios, admissions, student work, graduate placement, and student and alumni awards and publications. It also includes a list of essential readings in urban design; links to websites related to urban design and urban design firms around the country; and a filmography of urban-located films from around the world that are used in the program's analysis of cities. Please revisit our site because it is often updated. And if you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact me at granite@umich.edu.

The Master of Urban Design Program is a one-year post-professional degree program that seeks to develop professionals who can engage in the totality of designing cities—including architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning—and serve as the critical, catalytic link across those and other disciplines. Balancing concerns for place, culture, economics, ecology, public policy, infrastructure, history, and theory, the program capitalizes on the global experience of faculty and students, training its graduates to assume leadership roles in shaping urban environments across the world.

The program's objectives are to prepare urban designers who can:

  • Analyze urbanism in any location with appreciation for the nuances of place, culture and ecology.
  • Design cities based on this analysis and with concern for environmental sustainability, economics, policy, and social equity.
  • Design from knowledge and appreciation of urban design theory and the history of urban form.
  • Work collaboratively with urban planners, landscape architects, engineers, public officials, real-estate developers, the media, and community groups and organizations.
  • Communicate ideas in clear and compelling ways - visually, orally, and in writing - as is demanded by the urban designer's public role.

These capacities are developed in a rigorous sequence of studios that are integrated with academic courses in urban design theory, history, methodology, and practice, as well as real estate development. Students further enrich their preparation through the program's elective or by taking the international study option while the program's combination of elective and selective enables them to focus on issues of sustainability, housing, and economics.

The program welcomes applications from candidates holding professional degrees in architecture, urban planning, and/or landscape architecture. It also encourages students in the College's graduate programs in architecture and urban planning to apply for the dual degree with urban design.