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2017-18 Curriculum

Degree Requirements

The M.U.D. Program requires 52 academic credits. The program is 12 months in length consisting of a fall full term 2018 (September–December), winter full term 2019 (January–April), and fall full term 2019 (September-December).


The year-long curriculum is comprised of a cohesive set of urban design studios that insist upon the centrality of design in any fundamental transformation of cities — with a studio-based design-centered curriculum and complementary extracurricular activities. The studios are complemented by seminars on urban real estate development, project development, theories and methods of urban design, law, and cultural humanities.

Summer Term Credit Hours
UD 712 Territories/Constituencies  6
UD 714 Representation  2
UD 715 Integrative City Cultures Seminar 2
Total 10
Fall Term Credit Hours
UD 722 Studio II  6
UD 716 Urban Economics, Finance, and City Making I 1.5
UD 713 History of Urban Form  3
UD 719 The City and Urban Design: History, Movements, Policies and Outcomes 3
  Open or Directed Elective* 3
Total 16.5
Winter Term Credit Hours
UD 732 Studio III 6
UD 717 Urban Economics, Finance, and City Making II 1.5
UD 718 Theories and Methods of Urban Design 3
  Open or Directed Elective* 3
  Open or Directed Elective* 3
Total 16.5
Spring Term Credit Hours
UD 742 Urban Design Capstone /Thesis 9
Total 9

* Directed Electives (minimum one from each category): 1) Ecology, Landscape, Sustainability, 2) Policy, Law, Institutions 

Students may take additional classes for which they are qualified during any term in the program, including courses in architecture, planning, landscape architecture (at the School for Environment and Sustainability), and other departments within the university.

Students holding MURP degrees, at the discretion of the M.U.D. Admissions Committee, may be required to take an additional design or design skills course during the spring term before the program's first summer term or during the summer term.

According to University of Michigan regulations, students in the program are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of B to maintain their academic standing. Grade point averages below B during any term result in academic probation. If a student does not raise his or her program cumulative average above B before graduation, he or she will be denied a degree.


María Arquero de Alarcón; McLain Clutter; Robert Fishman; El Hadi Jazairy; Kit McCulloughJohn McMorrough; Anya Sirota; Roy Strickland; Geoffrey Thün

Additonal faculty members

CORE Course Descriptions

UD 712: Territories and Constituencies: Introduction to complex metropolitan system of the selected city of study for three consecutive Core Studios. The course develops fundamental skills in city-scale and regional-scale analysis, graphical representation, and familiarity with current tools such as GIS, digital video and other technologies. Participants will engage in examining diverse territories and constituencies related to a design project. Participants will travel to the select city and engage with local practitioners, designers, and policymakers. 

UD 722: Urban Housing: The studio focuses on aspects of formal and informal residential settlement as a catalyst of vibrant urban cultural life. Participants will engage in the conceptualization, planning and design of a housing-anchored development project. Design work is expected to build upon intelligence gained from the previous semester’s work. Participants will travel to the select city and engage with local practitioners, designers, and policymakers.

UD 732: Public + Private Spheres: The final studio focuses on the intersection of public and private spheres within the city. Design projects will examine a complex mixed-use project that requires public and private partnership for its implementation. The logics of ownership, land use, and economic validation are framed as opportunities for design speculation and innovation. Participants will travel to the select city and engage with local practitioners, designers, and policymakers. 

UD 742:Studio Capstone: The Capstone is the culmination of the academic course of study and will draw upon the research, cultural investigations, technical study and design work initiated during the first three terms. Participants will engage in a faculty-led project structured to focus on a specific research subject that is implicated by the OneCity program and developed for dissemination to a broad audience. The specific vehicle for project dissemination will vary annually and with the subject of focus, and may include a publication, exhibition; colloquia and symposia with invited thought-leaders from relevant disciplinary domains. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of UD 732.  

The following list of courses offers some examples of courses meeting the directed electives in the required areas of focus, and taught at Taubman College. Apart from these courses, you can also enroll in other schools on campus. As offerings change every year, prepare in advance and discuss with your advisors a good strategy to meet your interests.

UD 713: History of Urban Form - The course offers a study of the historical development of the physical form of western cities from ancient times to the present. The course will deal primarily with European and North American cities under the following headings: Ancient and Classic, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, and Modern (nineteenth and twentieth centuries). Cities of Asia, Africa, and Latin America will be included where possible and applicable.

UD 714: Representation - This course focuses on the conceptualization and development of techniques of representation in urban design. Covering a wide range of techniques employed to capture the multi-faceted and transient qualities of the built environment, representation is predicated as a mode of inquiry and spatial thinking in the generation of urban imaginaries.  The course includes two interrelated components, one more discursive and the other lab-based.

UD 715: Integrative City Cultures Seminar - Humanities seminar that engages humanities-related scholarship and creative work on issues related to contemporary urbanization, urbanization in specific contexts (post-industrial, megacities), and/or in different geographical locations (Western, non-Western, continent-specific, etc.). Participants will engage textual and visual materials, and writing as a form of communication. The course seeks to combine contemporary humanities scholarship with problems and challenges of the contemporary city.

UD 716: Urban Economics, Finance, and City Making I - This seminar sequence covers urban economics and real estate finance concepts through the study of integrated approaches to project development. The seminars provide an overview of public and private development strategies in contemporary urbanization logics. Private investment issues include market feasibility, valuation and risk, and project financing and complex deal structuring. Public investment issues include community benefits agreements, social housing, pricing of urban infrastructure and public transport, public sector development, legal, policy, planning and inclusionary zoning issues. The course seeks to build proficiency in a cohesive model of project development that accounts for multiple perspectives in city making.

UD 717: Urban Economics, Finance, and City Making II - Same description as that listed for UD 716.

UD 718: Theories and Methods in Urban Design - This seminar explores contemporary theories of urbanism as a lens for understanding urban design practice. Cities are both participants in, and resultants of, systems of economy and power. As such, they evince design relationships between their public and the prevailing economic and political systems. Drawing from architecture, planning, urban design, cultural theory, geography, sociology, political science, and ecology, the course presents an interdisciplinary cross-section of theories of urbanization that will be used to examine the methods that have been and are being used to design cities today, globally.

UD 719: The City and Urban Design: History, Movements, Policies and Outcomes - This seminar provides a review of urban design methodologies by focusing on one of the world’s great laboratories of city design, New York City, and by relating its experience to that of other major cities around the world. The seminar is an adjunct to the MUD fall term studio and in part informs and is informed by the studio’s work.
The seminar is divided into three sections: (1) Bibliographical readings and discussions led by instructor and participants, including tour of New York City; (2) Research into major examples of urban design and design exercises related to methods revealed by research; and (3) Development of implementation materials for fall term MUD studio.

Potential courses to fulfill directed elective in Ecology, Landscape, Sustainability

Arch 555 Building Systems and Energy Conservation
Arch 605 Environmental Design Simulation
URP 542 Environmental Planning: Issues and Concepts
URP 527 Sustainable Food Systems
URP 532 Sustainability and Social Change
URP 533/Arch 506 Sustainable Urbanism and Architecture
URP 552 Healthy Cities: Planning and Design
EAS 534 Urban Sustainability
Arch 515 Sustainable Systems

Potential courses to fulfill directed elective in Policy, Law, Institutions

Arch 509 The Zoning of Things
URP 542 Environmental Planning
URP 502 or URP 503Legal Aspects of the Planning Process
URP 543 State and Local Land Management
URP 525 Regional Planning
URP 581 Housing Policy and Economics
URP 560 Transportation and Land Use Planning
URP 591 Comparative Urban Policy
URP 582 Neighborhood Planning
URP 570 Urban and Regional Planning in Developing Countries
URP 561 Public Policy and Transportation
URP 572 Comparative Housing, Property, and Law

Please let Meghan Lee know if you have any questions.