Jul 21, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 Previous Edition

Urban Design, M.U.D.

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The Master of Urban Design (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 is based outside the U.S., framing Charlotte’s design problems within a global 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 integrated networks, systems, and datascapes that affect urban life.  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.

The Master of Urban Design (M.U.D) degree 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 class.

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 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 concentration) or with the Master of Science in Real Estate (M.S.R.E.) .  These dual degrees typically add two or more calendar years to a student’s course of study.

Admission Requirements

Online applications must be made to the UNC Charlotte Graduate School.  The following requirements are expected of applicants to the M.U.D. program:

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • UNC Charlotte Graduate School application requirements, including a statement of purpose describing objectives relative to graduate study in urban design, a current curriculum vitae (CV), transcripts from all other colleges and universities attended, GRE scores (where applicable), and three letters of recommendation
  • School of Architecture application requirements, including a portfolio of creative work. Applicants 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.

Automatic Recommendation for Admission

The School of Architecture Graduate Admissions Committee automatically endorses applications from UNC Charlotte four-year B.A. in Architecture degree holders with a GPA of 3.5 or above for courses in the major for acceptance to the M.U.D program.  UNC Charlotte B.A. in Architecture students with a GPA of 3.5 do not need to submit the full application; however, must still apply to and be accepted by the UNC Charlotte Graduate School.

Dual Degree Admission

Students wishing to pursue a dual degree in a related field such as Architecture, Geography, or Real Estate should submit separate applications to those second degree programs, including the M.Arch., M.A. in Geography, or M.S.R.E.  Applicants should be sure to meet all submission requirements of each program and are encouraged to reach out to the Graduate Program Directors of the second degree programs in which they are interested.

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

Fall (6 Credit hours)

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

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