Graduate Programs

Urban Design, Master of Urban Planning (MUP)

Eight students from MArch and BArch discussing their urban design project in a studio at the Spitzer School of Architecture.


Participatory Urbanism

Located in New York, New York, the Urban Design program (MUPUD) is centered on the premise that only a combination of leadership, technical, and design skills will lead to meaningful change in the way we think, plan, and construct our built environments. Faculty and students foster new conversations in response to our urbanized planetary crises and provide transformative alternatives that radically reimagine our cities as equitable, diverse, resourceful, and ecologically nimble.


MUPUD fuses research, design, advocacy and leadership in unique and trans disciplinary ways. Students and professors work together to define questions, propose solutions, and disseminate their findings by bringing together technology, practice and activism in different strengths and scales across the program’s year-long “design think tanks.” We have deep links and interests in both the Global North and Global South, as well as across the emerging economies of the East. The spring studio typically includes a study trip to a far-flung urban site to both learn from and tackle challenges in a different context.



Participatory Urbanism is a joint initiative between the J. Max Bond Center for Urban Futures and the school’s other graduate programs: architecture, landscape architecture, and sustainability in the urban environment – a program fusing engineering, sciences, and social sciences. Together, we provide a broad range of resources, engagement opportunities, and renowned faculty extending to the CUNY system. We aim to equip students to tackle deeply rooted biases and inefficiencies within our urban design and decision-making processes. Research in the program examines specific critical agendas in order to extrapolate alternatives and focuses on flash-point crises such as migrancy, urban interdependencies, social and spatial inequities, epidemiology, urban health, density, and ecology.


Students have access to a wealth of resources, engagement opportunities, and renowned faculty within the CUNY system, as well as local partners, critics, and collaborators, all of which are crucial for their success. Alumni go in many different directions after graduation, including working in design, city government, and real estate development; conducting academic research and teaching; working for NGOs; and more. Our school’s annual Architecture Career Fair, each February, helps students make connections.




This MUP in Urban Design program is listed within the U.S. government’s official STEM fields list, meaning graduates with F-1 visas may be eligible for U.S. work authorization for up to three years. See the STEM OPT Hub for more information.


Per-semester courseload: 15 credits

The program is designed to be completed in three full-time, sequential semesters (fall, spring, fall). For students who desire a longer course of study, it is possible to distribute the credits over up to two academic years/four semesters.


Applicants to the Urban Design program should hold a professional degree in either architecture or landscape architecture. Applicants from other backgrounds will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and on demonstration of a high level of design ability. Prospective students should embark on the program with a solid familiarity and comprehensive understanding of design, which includes proficiency in contemporary digital platforms. This involves some level of experience with computer-aided design applications for crafting and analyzing both three-dimensional constructed environments and two-dimensional graphic communication and design.



Fall Term 1

Spring Term 2

Fall Term 3

Banner image @agsandrew