Taubman College

The Urban Design Program

Welcome the University of Michigan's Master of Urban Design Program website which can be used as a portal to our program and as an introduction to the discipline, practice and discussion of urban design.

Please use the following links to navigate our site:

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 sustainability. Students further enrich their preparation through the program's elective or by taking the international study option. By combining selectives and electives, students may focus on issues such as sustainable design, housing, economics and real estate development.

Recently, the program has increased its offerings in sustainable design to make this universally-important issue one of its core foci. It has also welcomed Douglas Kelbaugh, former dean of the College and one of America's most important urban design practitioners and theorists, to its studio faculty. These additions deepen the program's strengths while expanding its reach into real-world conditions, helping to achieve the program's goal of teaching urban design as both a discipline and a profession.

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.