Urban Design-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Master of Urban Design (MUD)

The Master of Urban Design (MUD) program is a post-professional degree, intended to prepare graduates for careers using design to critically address environmental, economic, social and cultural issues affecting the contemporary metropolis. The studio-based curriculum allows students to explore strategies for development in a variety of scales and settings, including the post-industrial city, the suburban periphery, and the rapidly urbanizing region. This intensive 12-month program is open to recent graduates and practicing professionals with a previous bachelor degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or city planning.

Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture has a long-standing tradition and legacy in urban design. Our Urban Laboratory Studio was founded in 1963 by distinguished urban designer and scholar, David Lewis, FAIA. The program emerged during a period of heightened social activism within design professions and awareness of the failures of top-down urban planning projects of the time. It was one of the first initiatives by any university to enfranchise local citizens by initiating public forums for collectively addressing community development issues.

Building on our legacy of urban design, and in partnership with the Remaking Cities Institute (RCI), our MUD program's Pittsburgh-based studios in the fall and spring semesters emphasize citizen engagement and participatory design, exploring real problems of urban neighborhood revitalization, infrastructure development, and suburban transformation in local communities. Likewise, students engage with real clients (e.g. community groups, residents, business owners or other parties) to whom they are responsible, and from whom they are able to solicit communication and feedback. The culminating summer studio provides a geographic shift, providing each class a research trip to a city abroad. Recent summer international studios have included projects in and travel to Toronto, Canada and Doha, Qatar. All international travel costs are included in the summer studio tuition.

Comprised of experienced practicing professionals, researchers, and educators, the MUD program faculty spans the fields of architecture, urban design, history, planning, and public policy. Through collaboration with the Heinz College School of Public Policy & Management, and in keeping with the long-standing traditions of both Carnegie Mellon and the School of Architecture, we strive to emphasize methods and means for sustainable development by offering a variety of required and selective courses from environmental policy and history, to sustainable land-use, development and construction practices.

We are looking for design-oriented students with a passion for cities, who are self-motivated, who thrive in multi-disciplinary teams, who are committed to participatory planning, and who want to further the practice of sustainable design throughout the developed and developing world. Graduates of the Master of Urban Design program will be qualified for careers with urban design and architectural firms, government planning and redevelopment agencies, for-profit and not-for-profit developers, design and facilities departments of universities and other institutions, urban policy think tanks, philanthropies with urban grant programs, and international aid agencies.