The Master of Urban Design (M.U.D) degree can be taken as a stand-alone qualification, or may be combined with a Master of Architecture two-year degree for a dual M.Arch/M.U.D degree. Opportunities also exist for students to craft individually approved curricula combining the M.U.D degree with the M.A. in Geography /Community Planning for a dual urban design and planning graduate degree, or with the Master of Science in Real Estate (M.S.R.E.) for a dual degree in urban design and real estate development.
The stand-alone Master of Urban Design degree (M.U.D) serves two groups of students: (1) Students with an architecture or landscape architecture undergraduate or graduate degree (including a B.Arch five-year degree) and (2) those holding a B.A. or B.S. undergraduate degree or a master’s degree from disciplines other than architecture or landscape architecture. For those students with an architectural or landscape undergraduate or graduate qualifications, the courses within the program can be completed in one calendar year/three consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment from late August one year to early August the following year (Fall-Spring-Summer).
For students with undergraduate or graduate degrees in planning or other non-design disciplines, the program begins with an intensive second Summer semester experience in the July preceding enrollment in the Fall semester. Students with an interior design background will be evaluated on an individual basis regarding enrollment in this preparatory summer class.
The M.U.D Program prepares students and professionals to engage complex issues faced by towns and cities across America. The program uses the fast changing Charlotte metropolitan region as its laboratory to provide students with relevant design skills to influence urban life under the pressures of globalization, environmental change, and cultural diversification. To emphasize this global perspective, part of the final Summer semester will be based outside the USA, primarily in China, South America, or Europe, involving design problems in an international context and with input from faculty in those countries.
The first semester in the Fall focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of urban design; the second Spring semester foregrounds issues of urban sustainability, infrastructure, and urban open space, and the third semester during the summer months examines advanced topics of vertical urbanism through complex urban design problems in locations outside the USA. Each semester also includes two seminar courses, some of which comprise individual elective choices from a menu of topics in urban design and urban history and theory.
Students with an undergraduate degree from an accredited architectural program may also apply for a 3-year M.Arch/M.U.D dual degree, combining the two-year Master of Architecture program with the 12-month M.U.D program. Details of this dual degree program are noted below and also in the section regarding the Master of Architecture program.