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Urban Design - M.U.D.

Looking to shape the future of cities and communities? The Master of Urban Design degree will equip you with the tools and knowledge necessary to tackle the challenges of sustainable design, social equity and community engagement. From design studios to field experiences, the Urban Design program offers an immersive and hands-on educational experience. Pair this degree with the M.Arch. degree in Architecture for additional opportunities.

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About the Master of Urban Design Program

The Master of Urban Design (M.U.D) is open to those holding a bachelor’s degree in architecture, landscape architecture, architectural studies, planning or other allied disciplines. The Master of Urban design professionally directed coursework with a focus on issues of urban or regional scale. A foundation in studio design is reinforced with the history and theory of urban design, real state and urban development, and planning and urban systems courses. The program focuses on the student’s capacity to engage critically with the future of the discipline. Students in the Master of Urban Design program complete independent research (capstone) project of their own definition.

Urban Design at Kent State University graduates knowledgeable specialists who engage the complex challenges of demographic change, sustainability and equity in the development of cities.

Did You Know? The GRE scores are not required for the Fall 2024 admission cycle.

 

Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Master of Urban Design degree expands on traditional architectural, landscape architecture and planning education with an understanding of the processes of urban development, and with the skills required to the physical shaping of urban places. The degree seeks to develop knowledgeable specialists who possess significant ability to identify opportunities in the urban environment an the sensibility to provide for design solutions to the most complex problems encountered.

Faculty work in close collaboration with students through rigorous curricula focused on the application of research in the design of layered and mutually reinforcing systems and public spaces.

Projects range from neighborhood plans to large-scale urban and regional initiatives engaging cultural and environmental concerns. Project locations are often in Cleveland and similar regional cities, but they address far-reaching global concerns. Students can engage in applied research in the re-design of “Cities Growing Smaller” systemic approaches to the development of urban environments, considerations of place and identity and the place-making potential of infrastructure. Further directions include the design of cities and neighborhoods that promote physical and mental health; studies of sustainable infrastructures that support sustainable ecological systems; the adaptation of traditional models of urbanism to changing conditions; and the future of urban economies as it relates to physical place-making.

Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • GRE scores
  • Goal statement (include intent and background information)
  • Portfolio (design work should clearly indicate role in group projects)
  • Three letters of recommendation, with one letter from a non-academic source
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions to waive) by earning one of the following:1
    • Minimum 79 TOEFL iBT score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 58 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 DET score
1

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores will not be considered for admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Application deadline: February 1

Applications submitted after this deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to build abstract relationships and understand the impact of ideas based on research and analysis of multiple theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental contexts. This includes the wider range of media used to think about urban and regional design, including writing, investigative skills, speaking, drawing and model making.
  2. Develop an ability to utilize the technical instruments of the urban design field, including legal instruments, urban systems and their organization; and the role of these varied elements in the implementation of design and their impact on the environment. This is inclusive of understanding and abilities at a range of scales from local to regional design and the implications of policy and design decision-making at these ranges of scale.
  3. Manage, advocate and act legally, ethically and critically for the good of society and the public. This includes collaborative, professional and leadership skills, especially in the public arena.
Dual Degree

Dual Degree with M.Arch. in Architecture

Student have the opportunity to complete a dual degree program with the M.U.D. degree in Urban Design and the M.Arch. degree in Architecture. A separate application must be submitted for each program. Students can view admission requirements for each program on their respective catalog page.

This dual degree program prepares students to enter the profession of architecture by stimulating the growth of technical knowledge and design creativity. It fosters the refinement of design skills acquired in undergraduate programs and offers a broad exposure to professional issues and knowledge related to urban design.

Dual Degree Requirements

Major Requirements
ARCH 60101GRADUATE DESIGN STUDIO I 6
ARCH 60102GRADUATE DESIGN STUDIO II 4
ARCH 60103GRADUATE DESIGN STUDIO III 9
ARCH 60150PROJECT PROGRAMMING 3
ARCH 60301THEORIES OF ARCHITECTURE 3
ARCH 60922METHODS OF INQUIRY IN ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES 2
ARCH 65001PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: REAL ESTATE AND DEVELOPMENT 2
ARCH 65002PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: CONTRACT AND PLANNING LAW 2
ARCH 65003PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: LEADERSHIP, ETHICS AND OFFICE MANAGEMENT 3
ARCH 66995SPECIAL TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURE 11
UD 55705FORCES THAT SHAPE CITIES 3
UD 60703URBAN DESIGN STUDIO III 6
UD 60705MASTER PROJECT IN URBAN DESIGN PREPARATION 3
UD 65101COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 1
UD 65102URBAN SYSTEMS 3
UD 65632URBAN ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS 3
UD 66995SPECIAL TOPICS IN URBAN DESIGN 1
UST 623 Urban Development Finance (Cleveland State University) 24
Electives 311
Minimum Total Credit Hours:70
1

Special topics course in professional practice.

2

This course is offered at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

3

These credits may be taken from the course offerings in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design; or from another Kent State college, school or department; or from at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
ARCH 65001PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: REAL ESTATE AND DEVELOPMENT 2
UD 55705FORCES THAT SHAPE CITIES 3
UD 60703URBAN DESIGN STUDIO III 6
UD 60705MASTER PROJECT IN URBAN DESIGN PREPARATION 3
UD 60798MASTERS PROJECT IN URBAN DESIGN 9
UD 65101COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 1
UD 65102URBAN SYSTEMS 3
UD 65632URBAN ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS 3
UD 66995SPECIAL TOPICS IN URBAN DESIGN 1
Electives 13
Minimum Total Credit Hours:34
1

Elective credits may be taken from offerings in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design; other Kent State colleges, schools or departments; or the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Cleveland
Program Layout

M.U.D Curriculum

The curriculum focuses on research and knowledge applied to the design of layered and mutually reinforcing urban systems of infrastructures and public spaces. In projects ranging from urban spaces to large-scale infrastructural and regional initiatives, students learn to design urban form while innovatively addressing cultural and environmental concerns. Faculty collaborates to integrate studio work with rigorous seminars that provide a thorough grounding in urban history and contemporary theory. Courses in real estate and community development provide a practical grounding in the economic and social realities of the production of urban space. In advanced studios and associated workshops, students apply geographic information system (GIS) and digital modeling techniques to the analysis of urban design and planning problems.

Final Project

The last part of the Master of Urban Design curriculum allows students to explore an individualized masters project based on what they have gained from studios, seminars, travel, and community engagement. Elective courses allow for the development of expertise relevant to research interests. Recent projects have explored topics ranging from heritage and public memory in cities with large-scale vacancy, techniques for making sports facilities more engaged with the urban fabric, and the twenty-first-century implications of the 1970s urban projects of Rem Koolhaas and O. M. Ungers.

Annual Events

Two annual events allow students to test their skills in a professional context. In the Community Design Charrette, students join the professional staff of Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative for an intensive workshop addressing the challenges of a community in the Great Lakes region. In preparing entries for the Urban Land Institute’s Hines Student Competition, students work with faculty, the CUDC staff, and visiting professionals to develop financially, environmentally, and socially sound proposals for a challenge in a North American city. In recent years, several Kent State entries have received honorable mention in the competition.

About the Cleveland Studio

The Urban Design program is based in the CAED’s Cleveland Studio, which also houses the Master of Landscape Architecture program, select students from the Master of Architecture program, and the award-winning Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC). The facility is located at Playhouse Square in Downtown Cleveland, where students can take advantage of a range of cultural and recreational opportunities. The programs at the Cleveland site benefit from proximity to numerous institutional and educational partners, including Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. Thanks to the program’s convenient location, it is easy for students to benefit from regular contact with community members, activists, public officials, and design professionals. In many cases, Kent State’s Cleveland site has fostered early speculation and dialogue about design and planning problems in Cleveland, and student work often plays a central role in influencing the civic agenda. Learn more about Cleveland and its resources in the Cleveland Welcome Guide

Working in Cleveland and Beyond

Urban design students work in Cleveland, an industrial city that provides endless opportunities to study the formal and social changes created by economic restructuring. With the Cleveland experience as a base, students also look comparatively at the challenges of very different cities, particularly in emerging and developing economies. In recent years, students have visited Havana, Cuba, and future workshops will travel to Beirut and Medellin.

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Architectural and engineering managers

2.6%

slower than the average

198,100

number of jobs

$149,530

potential earnings

Architecture teachers, postsecondary

5.1%

faster than the average

8,500

number of jobs

$90,880

potential earnings

Designers, all other

-1.9%

decline

13,600

number of jobs

$63,750

potential earnings

Urban and regional planners

11.0%

much faster than the average

39,700

number of jobs

$75,950

potential earnings

Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

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