Overview

More than half of the humans in the world now live in cities, driving a global interest in understanding, managing, and designing cities as environments.

The Master of Sustainable Urban Design (MSUD) program provides a resiliency-based curriculum for the development of urban design skills. It aims to equip candidates with the expertise needed to help resolve complex, 21st-century urban design and sustainability challenges.

Our Students

The MSUD program is for students with at least one professional design degree, as well as for mid-career professionals seeking new opportunities in urban design, planning/engineering firms, government agencies, or urban-based nonprofits. The curriculum provides a concise, affordable path for individuals who want to combine their previous degree and professional experience with the latest skills and knowledge related to sustainability and urban design.

Program Length

The 11-month program is completed in two semesters (fall and spring) plus one summer term, undertaken in that order. Matriculation is for fall semester only.

Curriculum

Fall Semester
• LA 537: Urban Design Studio
• LA 589: Sustainable Urban Design Theory
• Urban Design Elective *
• UP 475: Real Estate Development Fundamentals

Spring Semester
• LA 538: Urban Design Research Studio
• LA 446: Sustainable Planning Seminar
• Urban Systems Elective *
• LA 482: Advanced Communication in Urban Design

Summer Term
• LA 592: Urban Design Capstone Studio (traveling)

* Electives are related 400- or 500-level courses offered by any unit at the University of Illinois, including but not limited to Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Architecture, Business, Education, Law, Geography, Information Sciences, Labor and Employment Relations, Political Science, and Social Work.

Application Information

The Graduate College at the University of Illinois provides extensive information about the application process and an FAQ section where you may find the answer to any question not addressed below.

GPA
The minimum required undergraduate GPA for admission is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or a comparable GPA for international applicants. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA under 3.0 are rarely considered. ​Please include a cumulative GPA in your application materials following the scale used at your current or previous institution. The Graduate College at the University of Illinois will convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale. We do not accept World Education Services credentials.

English-Language Proficiency
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score as evidence of English proficiency except if one of the following criteria is met:

  • Completion of at least two years of post-secondary, full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois.
  • Completion of at least two years of professional work experience in a country where English is the primary language within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois.
  • Completion of a post-secondary degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.

The department minimum for admission is a score of 89 or higher on the TOEFL or a score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS. 

  • Applicants with TOEFL scores between 89-96 are strongly encouraged to complete an intensive English course prior to enrollment. 
  • For full status admission, applicants must receive a TOEFL score of 102 or higher or an IELTS score of 7.0 or higher. Students with a TOEFL score lower than 102 or an IELTS score lower than 7.0 are admitted on “limited status.” Limited status will require completion of the English Proficiency Test and, if indicated, one or more English as a Second Language courses during the first year in the program. These courses generally do not extend the time required to complete the program and do not increase tuition costs.

The Graduate College provides information about test score submission.Our institution code number is 1836. If asked to select a department code, please select the code for Landscape Architecture, if available, or for Architecture if not, but please note that all scores submitted using the University of Illinois’s institution code will be accessible to the Landscape Architecture graduate admissions committee. While waiting for official scores to be delivered to the University of Illinois, you may upload unofficial score reports along with your application materials, but official scores must be received before admission can be offered and accepted.

GRE
The GRE is not required for admission to the MSUD Program.

Application Fee Waiver

Click here for information about the Graduate College application fee waiver policy.

Application Deadline

The deadline for applications for matriculation in Fall 2020 is January 15, 2020.

To apply to the MSUD Program, please visit the Graduate College Admissions by clicking the link below.

Questions?

Contact Dr. Lori Davis, Academic Affairs Coordinator for the Department of Landscape Architecture, at drlori@illinois.edu.