Urban Design, MUD

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Learn to cocreate inclusive public places that represent a community's love of place, identity and future aspirations.

The MUD is a transdisciplinary post-professional graduate program in The Design School which provides students with actionable knowledge of urban systems that enables them to lead socially just urban transformations for community resilience.

Students study and apply newly emerging design knowledge from architecture, landscape architecture, creative placemaking and keeping, urban planning, community development, civil engineering and real estate development. Students also draw from critical works in nondesign disciplines including climate science, social justice, sustainability science, urban ecology, urban climate, smart city, law, and systems theory.

Program studio projects are run as service-learning studios whenever possible. This approach partners students with cities and communities to exchange knowledge and learn from each other. Recent studio topics have covered the climate crisis, urban watershed design, indigenous design knowledge and practice, social justice, community health, the integration of wildlife corridors in compact urban development, and smart city approaches to rapid technological change.

The Master of Urban Design curriculum is built around the analysis and understanding of these dynamic urban systems specific to rapidly urbanizing and arid regions of the world. The program leverages a number of local factors --- the rapidly expanding Phoenix metropolis, the arid climate and the area's cultural diversity --- in the development of responsible global initiatives and innovative design strategies for urban environments.

This program addresses the urban design transformations that are needed in order to build just, sustainable and resilient communities that can address a multitude of crises.

At A Glance

Urban Design, MUD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (10 credit hours)
MUD 521 Advanced Urban Design Studio I (5)
MUD 522 Advanced Urban Design Studio II (5)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Other Requirements (12 credit hours)
LAP 598 Topic: Smart City Sustainability and the Environment (3)
MUD 598 Topic: Great Cities (3)
MUD 598 Topic: Principles of Collaboration in Design (3)
MUD 598 Topic: Urban Issues (3)

Culminating Experience (5 credit hours)
MUD 593 Applied Project (5)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students should see the academic unit for an approved design professional elective list.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. portfolio
  4. letter of intent
  5. two references
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency through either the TOEFL or the IELTS regardless of current residency. The minimum score for admission to the program is 80 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS.

Other information for international applicants can be found at https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency.

Applicants who hold a studio-based four-year undergraduate design degree will be considered for the one-year MUD program. The Master of Urban Design is a postprofessional program.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university recognized by ASU in a studio-based design discipline.

The portfolio, letter of intent and contact information for three references need to be submitted to SlideRoom (https://asudesign.slideroom.com/#/Login). The Design School requires that these be submitted in addition to the graduate admission application requirements.

Admission to the program is selective. Admission cannot be deferred; students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted, otherwise they will need to go through the entire application process again for the year in which they are applying.

Applicants may be admitted to the one-year program with deficiencies if their previous coursework is not equivalent to the ASU undergraduate requirements and standards. Deficiencies must be completed prior to taking the required courses, if necessary. This may cause the student to take longer than one year to complete the program.

A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome, and the candidate should make arrangements by contacting the department.

Information about this program

Visit The Design School website for full details.