Aug 14, 2020  
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog 
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Urban Design MUD

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Architecture and Planning

  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program


Program Information: Jeremy Németh
Telephone: 303-556-3688

The master of urban design (MUD) is an intensive, one-year, interdisciplinary postprofessional degree program intended for talented persons already holding a professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture or urban and regional planning (e.g. BArch, BLA, MArch, MLA, MURP/MUP or equivalents).

Urban design is an integrative activity focused on creating beautiful, vital, functional, environmentally sustainable and socially just public places. By contextualizing architecture while providing a means of implementation for planners and landscape architects, urban design occupies a realm supportive of these fields while simultaneously generating its own responses to the most pressing urban issues. Although urban designers often intervene on the neighborhood scale, the program fosters mastery of inclusive and participatory community design processes and the attendant means for effectively implementing physical plans at the metropolitan, neighborhood, district, corridor, street and block scale.

The MUD program focuses on creating sustainable urban infrastructure and interprets the city as a set of overlaid and integrated systems. The program views urban designers playing a vital role in the production of the built environment because of their dual responsibility to illustrate preferable design solutions and shape the regulatory patterns governing future development. The inherent interdisciplinarity of this approach brings students into frequent contact with professors, practitioners and experts in urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture, and encourages students to forge their own tailored degree by pursuing an independent study and a variety of electives in the college. Students relate their independent study projects to one of the college’s fields of expertise, such as participatory design in distressed communities, postindustrial landscapes, “green streets,” vernacular design or historic preservation.

Denver and the American West provide an exciting urban laboratory as we face a number of complex and difficult challenges (e.g. water scarcity, urban sprawl). Students undertake at least one studio in the Denver metropolitan region while remaining cognizant that similar systems and challenges exist in a variety of domestic and international contexts. As a capstone project during their final term, students enroll in an international studio course, preparing for this studio by taking a mandatory seminar in global design history and practice.

The MUD program is informed by innovations in practice. Tested techniques and methods are brought into classroom and studio settings to be evaluated, refined and disseminated in ways that prepare graduates for highly innovative work as critical, reflective urban designers employed in both the public and private sectors. In addition, each spring semester brings a visiting urban design fellow to the college. This practitioner-in-residence is selected from a highly competitive pool of designers from around the world. The selected practitioner teaches an advanced urban design studio and supervises independent study projects.


Students are required to hold a first professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture or urban and regional planning (e.g. BArch, BLA, MArch, MLA, MURP/MUP or equivalents).

Program Requirements

The requirements for the postprofessional master of urban design (MUD) degree depend on your current standing and educational background. The basic study plan is a 36-semester-hour plan that includes two elective courses. Students obtaining a first professional degree in University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning may receive up to 12 semester hours of advanced standing.

Total: 30 hours

Course Sequence

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Architecture and Planning