Mar 03, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2021-2022 
Graduate Catalog | 2021-2022 Previous Edition

Urban Design, M.U.D.

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 U.S., involving design problems in an international context.

The first semester in the Fall focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of urban design.  The second semester in the Spring foregrounds issues of urban sustainability, infrastructure, and urban open space.  The third semester during the Summer examines advanced topics through complex urban design problems in locations outside the U.S.  Each semester also includes 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.

Admission Requirements

Online applications must be made to the UNC Charlotte Graduate School, either for the stand-alone M.U.D degree or the dual M.Arch/M.U.D  degree. This dual degree has its own application option within the online system. Students seeking other dual degree opportunities with programs in other colleges (M.U.D/M.S.R.E.  and M.U.D/M.A. in Geography  [Community Planning]) should initiate individual counseling with the appropriate Program Directors prior to application and complete separate applications for each degree program. Applicants should study all the varying requirements carefully and should comply with the all the application mandates of the other programs.

In addition to the admissions materials required by the Graduate School, the School of Architecture requires the submission of a portfolio of creative work. Applicants to the M.U.D program should submit examples of work that offer evidence of creativity, self-motivation and critical appraisal. Such examples do not have to be solely urban design-related, but may also include visual work such as painting, sculpture, furniture making, photography, writing, and other reasonable evidence of their creative abilities. However, the portfolio must include some clear visual and/or written evidence of an interest in urban settings and conditions. Specific admission requirements by the School include:

  1. An undergraduate degree with a 2.75 grade point average (GPA) overall, and a junior/senior grade point average of 3.0 overall
  2. A Statement of Purpose describing the objectives relative to graduate study
  3. Fulfillment of the University’s Graduate School application requirements in effect at the time of application
  4. The GRE, which is a requirement of the Graduate School, is optional except in cases where a candidate’s undergraduate GPA is below 3.25

Students who do not meet the GPA requirements noted above may still submit an application for admission; however, this will be weighed against those meeting these requirements.

Recommendation for Automatic Admission

Students applying to the M.U.D program who have completed the four-year B.A. in Architecture from UNC Charlotte must have an undergraduate degree GPA of 3.25 or above to receive a recommendation to the Graduate School for automatic admission.

Degree Requirements

The M.U.D program requires a minimum of 36 hours to be completed (39 hours for non-design based applicants). There are two study options: (1) a full-time program that can be completed in three consecutive semesters (Fall-Spring-Summer), or (2) a part-time option for working professionals that may be completed generally within two years. However, part-time students should note that the foreign-based Summer studio has to be taken as a full-time commitment.

Students enrolled in the dual degree MArchII/M.U.D program complete their extended program in three calendar years of full-time study, including the Summer semester spent abroad in either China, Europe, or South America, according to program rotation. The dual degree option is only available to full-time students.

A) Full-Time M.U.D Option

Year One

Second Summer Session (3 credit hours)

Foreign-Based First Summer Session (6 Credit hours)

Charlotte-Based Second Summer Session (6 Credit hours)

B) Part-Time M.U.D Option

Year One

Summer (3 Credit hours)

Year Two

Spring (6 Credit hours)

Foreign-Based First Summer Session (6 Credit hours)

Charlotte-Based Second Summer Session (6 Credit hours)

Urban Design Elective Courses

Urban Design Elective Courses are available in a wide variety of topical subjects, and are listed under the general course number MUDD 6050 .  These courses complement the core courses and studios and allow students to pursue their specific interests.  These may be repeated for credit with change of topic.  Topics include: Computation, Theory, Representation, Making, Urbanism, and Technology.  Current elective offerings can be viewed in the Schedule of Classes or the School of Architecture website.  


Degree Total = 36-39 Credit Hours