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Master of Urban Design (M.U.D.)

The Master of Urban Design (M.U.D.) is a post-professional degree open to students with professional degrees in architecture, landscape architecture and urban and regional planning.

Important Dates & Information:

Application and Portfolio Deadline: January 15 annually

Enrollment Deposit and Intent to Enroll Deadline: April 15 annually


The Master of Urban Design (MUD) is a one-year and a half post-professional degree invested in the conceptualization of the complex global processes of urban transformation. The degree addresses a diverse range of urban design thought and experimentation informing the work in selected national and international settings.

Under the theme, "Detroit and the World," the degree positions the Great Lakes Region as a breeding ground for urban design experimentation and the advancement of global comparative studies in urbanism. The degree approaches urbanism through multiple scales of inquiry with studio projects prompting both analytical and speculative design work related to regional infrastructure and territory, urban housing, public-private development, urban governance, landscape processes, and civic space.

The MUD Program requires 45 academic credits distributed in three semesters:  two fall full terms (September–December) and a winter full term (January–April). The studio-based curriculum is comprised of a cohesive set of three urban design studios that articulate the centrality of design in any fundamental urban transformation. The studios are complemented by seminars on urban finance and development, theories and methods of urban design, policy and urban governance, and cultural humanities. Adding to the offerings in the Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning programs at Taubman College, students can advance their personal academic interests taking full advantage of courses in other units across campus as part of their electives’ selection.

The Master of Urban Design (MUD) degree involves travel to a variety of national and international metropolitan regions to bring students into direct contact with the communities for whom they will be designing. In their field studies, students exercise their critical thinking skills and cultivate cultural competency as well as a more nuanced examination of local conditions and building practices. Grounded in practice and globally-engaged, the degree builds upon academic and professional experiences to produce new urban design knowledge integrating real estate and public finance, urban governance, cultural humanities, and environmental stewardship.

MUD students are encouraged to engage in collaborations with faculty members and advance their own research interests during the time at Taubman College. Through the highly competitive MUD Fellowships, the degree supports this commitment by awarding students research stipends at their time to their admission to Taubman College. Through the support of student research, we offer direct insight into different models of scholarship and creative practice and direct mentorship guidance.

Access to our on-site, world-class facilities, including the Fabrication Lab and the Geo-Spatial and Numeric Lab enables students to engage in advanced technological platforms. Other available resources are the Detroit Center and the Liberty Research Annex supporting events in Detroit with local practitioners and community members and student’s collaboration in faculty-led research projects. Through the access to these resources and the expanded areas of expertise on campus, students gain exposure to a myriad of contemporary global practices and schools of urban thought and cultivate critical design experimentation advancing the agenda of urban sustainability.


The Master of Urban Design degree is an approved field of study within the U.S. government’s official STEM fields list. When a student earns a degree in a field on the STEM fields list, he/she may be eligible for the 24-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. OPT is defined as practical work experience in your field of study after completion of a degree. With a STEM degree, a student's "regular" OPT of 12 months may be extended for an additional 24 months. For further details regarding STEM extensions contact the International Center.



Gradient Papers are a series of publications you can download directly to delve deeper into the studio coursework at Taubman's architecture program. Here you will find detailed information about studio pedagogy, architectural discourse, and more. Gradient Journal is an online platform featuring conversation feeds on the topics of relevance to architecture and urbanism.

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Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning