Work by Ke She for 711: Elements of Urban Design Studio, Fall 2018.

The MUD program is centered on a core sequence of three studios and seminars through which students develop the skills to make design proposals for a diverse range of urban conditions within the contemporary metropolitan landscape. Urban design is approached through a full range of scales: from the mega-region to the district, from the district to the street, and ultimately, to the design of the public realm as the place of lively and vibrant community life.

Degree Program + Curriculum Requirements

42 Credits / Two Semesters + Summer

Our program leads to a STEM-designated, post-professional Master of Urban Design degree, for individuals holding professional degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, or planning with an emphasis on physical design of the built environment who are interested in issues of the metropolitan landscape.
Download the MUD curriculum requirements>>

MUD students also have the opportunity to pursue a dual degree from either the Master of Architecture (MArch) program or the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program, or a joint degree from the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. These programs allow students to jointly complete two graduate degrees in less time than it would typically take to complete both degrees separately. Learn more>>

Studio Sequence

711: Elements of Urban Design Studio (Fall)
This studio explores contemporary, postindustrial metropolitan conditions in and around the Midwest and St. Louis region. Students focus on infrastructural urbanism at the regional scale and the natural and built systems of the postindustrial urban landscape. Issues of equity and access are critical. Students travel to U.S. cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh.

713: Metropolitan Design Elements Studio (Spring)
This studio engages the scale of the district and the design of public space, more fully considering the public policy, cultural, economic, and real estate conditions of cities. It involves travel to large North American cities such as Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. plus a spring break Lively Cities public life workshop in a major European city (past desitnations include Copenhagen, London, and Rotterdam).

714: Global Urbanism Studio (Summer)
This is an immersive, summer-long experience, typically based in a fast-growing city in Asia, Africa, or South America. These cities are marked by an active cultural scene, but a complex, challenging urban fabric. Recent studio locations include Accra, Cape Town, Dubai, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Kampala, Mexico City, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. For summer 2020, the Global Urbanism Studio was re-conceptualized to be run fully remotely in response to COVID-19, engaging an international network of designers across the globe, representing all of the continents plus the oceans, to understand how the pandemic, climate change, and other crises affect their regions. Learn more about the summer 2020 studio here>>


Students have the opportunity to establish areas of concentration through three urban design electives in related areas within the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, as well as through the schools of Law, Business, Engineering, and Social Work (which includes the Institute for Public Health). With faculty approval, students can craft an individualized experience according to their interests and needs through the combination of electives.

Studio Spotlight: IMPOSSIBLE STL

IMPOSSIBLE STL was an interdisciplinary, systems-based urban design studio that reimagined St. Louis as a laboratory for creative thinking around sustainable innovation in the food system. Working at the macro scale of the mega-region, students mapped resource interconnectivity that would make the Midwest a compelling home for relocating the Impossible Foods Headquarters, production, and distribution facility. Working at the micro scale of the franchise restaurant, students developed proposals to further catalyze these fast food prototypes into beneficial, local neighborhood amenities.

Addressing mutual benefits for the region, the city, and the company, this video makes the case that if Impossible Foods wants to meet its mission of saving the earth, the first step should be to relocate to the midwest, to St. Louis in particular. Using research and design solutions from the Fall 2019 Master of Urban Design studio, we present ten reasons why St. Louis is the ideal location and how design can support the goals of this ambitious company. The studio was led by associate professor Linda C. Samuels and lecturer L. Irene Compadre.

A paired macro and micro design proposal developed by Dongzhe Tao and Haihan Qu for the studio was named a Runner-Up for the 2020 APA Missouri Awards' Outstanding Student Project award. Learn more>>