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Urban Design

Degree

The Master of Urban Design
The Master of Urban Design (MUD) is an initial, interdisciplinary program of study that focuses on contemporary challenges of urbanism at the local, regional and global scales. Courses are taught by faculty from architecture, community and regional planning and landscape architecture, with an understanding that urban environments should be engaged through an integrated design process that includes ecological, social, material, economic and urban-policy factors.

The urban design degree reflects a deep commitment to resilient and just urban environments within the context of an increasingly concentrated, connected and diverse urban world. Accordingly, the coursework engages emerging urbanization topics, including:

  • the formation of more adaptable, flexible and resilient cities;
  • the exponential growth of megacities and steady decline of investments in traditional urban economies in the 21st century;
  • the transformation of industrial landscapes, particularly within the Midwestern context, and the global impact of transnational economic operations;
  • the spatialization of informal economies, practices and services across the south-north global divide; and
  • a reexamination of the potentials of hard and soft infrastructures, principles of the circular economy and a reframing of the urban-rural divide.

The program consists of 30 credits, typically distributed over three semesters (fall, spring and summer); however, students may choose to distribute these credits over four or five semesters. The degree is geared toward students with professional degrees in architecture (BArch, MArch), landscape architecture (BLA, MLA) or planning (BSCRP, MCRP, MUP). Applicants are welcomed from other related disciplines. Graduate students can also pursue the following double degrees in the College of Design: MArch/MUD, MCRP/MUD and MLA/MUD. Current undergraduate students can apply to pursue this degree, concurrently.

Admission Requirements

We have a two-phase application process. The priority application consideration date for fall admission is February 1. Please submit your pre-application by this date to receive first consideration for admission. Applications will continually be accepted and evaluated until the cohort is full. While typical admission is in the fall, we will accept applications for spring or summer semester admission.

  • Phase 1 – Pre-application: Please apply for pre-admission review at www.iastate.edu/apply. When you select “Urban Design,” you will be automatically directed to complete the pre-application. We require the following during the pre-application phase:
    • Completed pre-application
    • Digital portfolio (upload PDF into pre-application)
    • Unofficial transcripts (upload PDF into pre-application)
  • Phase 2 – Full application: If you are accepted through phase 1, you will be invited to complete the rest of your admission application. It will be at this time we require submission of the following additional materials, in addition to completing the admission application:
    • Official transcripts
    • 3 letters of recommendation (please use the electronic recommendation process offered through the admission application)
    • Statement of Purpose (500 words; upload PDF into application)

The MUD program is open to students from any undergraduate disciplinary background. We do not require a bachelor’s degree in a design discipline.

Additional information about our program and application instructions can be obtained online from the Grad College site, or send an email directly to Meredith Foley, graduate student services specialist, at merfoley@iastate.edu.

List of courses:

A total of 30 credits are required to complete the Master of Urban Design (MUD).

 

List of Courses:

Curriculum

Urban Design Local Studio – 6 credits. Choose from:

  • URB D 501
  • L A 402 (offered each fall)
  • DSN S 546 (offered each spring)

Urban Design Global Studio – 6 credits. Choose from:

  • URB D 502
  • L A 402 (offered each fall)

Urban Design Local Studio (URB D 501) – 6 credits
Urban Design Global Studio (URB D 502) – 6 credits
History/Theory/Criticism – 6 credits from the following list
Technology/Methods – 12 credits from the following list

History/Theory/Criticism – 6 credits from the list below:

History, Theory, Culture

Art and Architecture of India. (ART H 581)
Art and Theory Since 1945 (ART H 595)
Art History in Europe (ART H 592)
Contemp. Urban Design Theory (ARCH 575)
Foundations of Urban Design (URB D 521)
Green Art: Earthworks and Beyond (ART H 597)
History of Chinese Architecture. F. (ARCH 527)
History of Photography (ART H 596)
History of Urban Design (URB D 511)
Issues in Visual and Material Culture Seminar (ART H 501)
Methods of Urban Design Workshop (URB D 531)
Middle Eastern Cities (Arch 519)
Modern Art and Theory (ART H 588)
Nineteenth Century Art (ART H 587)
Planning in Developing Countries (CRP 529)
Planning the American Metropolis (CRP 563)
Planning Theory (CRP 561)
Seminar on the Built Environment III: Theory (ARCH 597)
Seminar on the Built Environment IV: Topical Study (ARCH 598)
Spatial Dialectics in the American Midwest (ARCH 529)
Studies in Architecture: Culture (ARCH 528A)
Theory of Urban Design (URB D 522)
Topical Studies in Landscape Architecture (LA  578)
U.S. Environmental History (ENV S 472)
Urban Design Media Workshop (URB D 532)
Urban Design Methods (URB D 533)
Women/Gender in Art (ART H 594)

Technology/Methods – 12 credits from the list below:

Technology/Methods

Advanced Computer Lighting and Rendering (ARCH 432)
Advanced Computer-aided Architectural Design (ARCH 534)
Advanced Design Media (ARCH 436)
Advanced GIS Modeling (LA 567)
Advanced GIS Modeling (LA 567)
Advanced Three-Dimensional Studio (ARCH 535)
Analytical Planning/GIS (CRP 553)
Building Science and Technology V (ARCH 445)
Community and Regional Planning
Computer Aided Animation and Visualization (ARTIS 508)
Computer Aided Industrial Design (IND D 541)
Computer-aided Arch. and Enviro. Design (ARCH 434)
Computer/Video Game Design and Development (ARTIS 409)
Computer/Video Game Design and Development (ARTIS 509)
Design for E-Commerce/Graphic Applications (ARTGR 478)
Digital Textile Design (ARTIS 548)
File to Fabrication (ARCH 433)
Geog. Data Management and Planning Analysis (CRP 552)
Geographic Data Management and Planning Analysis (CRP 452)
GIS Programming and Automation (CRP 456)
GIS Programming and Automation (CRP 556)
Intaglio & Monotype Printmaking: Dig/Traditional (ARTIS 557)
Introduction to Web Mapping (LA 558)
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (CRP 551)
Lithography: Digital / Traditional (ARTIS 558)
Multimedia Design (ARTGR 473)
Principles of 3D Animation (ARTIS 408)
Principles of 3D Character Animation (ARTIS 407)
Principles of 3D Character Animation (ARTIS 507)
Product Realization for Industrial Design (IND D 534)
Relief Printmaking: Digital/Traditional (ARTIS 556)
Science and Technology for Architects I (ARCH 541)
Seminar in GIS Applications/Research (CRP 595)
Sustainability and Green Architecture (ARCH 558)
Topical Studies in Landscape Architecture (LA  578G-K-L)
Urban/Periurban Watersheds (LA 517)
Wayfinding Design (ARTGR 479)
Workshop: Computer Art and Design (ARTIS 493C)

MUD Program of Study

3-semester example:

Fall:

  • Course selected from Technology/Methods list (3 credits)
  • 2 courses selected from History, Theory, Culture list (6 total credits)
  • DSN S 501X: Research Methods (3 credits) (counts toward Technology/Methods)

Spring:

  • URB D 501: Urban Design Local Studio or DSN S 546: Options Studio (6 credits)
  • 2 courses selected from Technology/Methods list (6 total credits)

Summer:

  • URB D 502: Urban Design Global Studio (6 credits)

2-semester example:

Fall:

  • L A 402: Urban Design (6 credits)
  • 2 courses selected from History, Theory, Culture list (6 total credits)
  • DSN S 501X: Research Methods (3 credits) (counts toward Technology/Methods)

Spring:

  • URB D 501: Urban Design Local Studio or DSN S 546: Options Studio (6 credits)
  • 2 courses selected from Technology/Methods list (6 total credits)
  • Course selected from History, Theory, Culture list (3 total credits)
Graduate Minor in Urban Design
The graduate minor in Urban Design consists of 12 credits:
  • 6 credit Urban Design Studio (URB D 501 or 502)
  • 3 credit course from History/Theory/Culture
  • 3 credit course from Technology/Methods

Studio

1 studio (either 501/502)

1 course from HTC

1 course TM

MUD learning goals
  • gain knowledge of new practices, technologies and methods of urban design,
  • learn advanced thinking skills and integrate concepts, ideas and approaches in a team-based, interdisciplinary design process, and
  • acquire knowledge and skills that support professional leadership in research and design work focused on local, regional and global issues in the contemporary built environment.

More Information:

Seda McKilligan, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Interim Program Director

Graduate Recruitment Coordinator

Meredith Foley
295 Design
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-3091
(515) 294-0816
merfoley@iastate.edu