Urban Design in the College of Architecture


As the name suggests, urban design is focused on the design of urban projects, cities and urban regions, including the two and three-dimensional physical arrangements of land subdivision and land uses, infrastructure, streets, highways, landscapes and buildings, in both public and private ownerships.

Ultimately, urban design aims to design and build places that are environmentally, socially, and culturally sustainable, and that evolve over time to accommodate new people, new uses and new buildings. Although it is a specialized discipline, Urban Design shares academic and professional ties with Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering.

As the globally connected intellectual and geographic center of an expanding metropolis of almost six million, Georgia Tech and Atlanta provide a laboratory for debating the present and envisioning the future of Atlanta and contemporary cities across the globe.

An accomplished and diverse faculty in School of Architecture and School of City and Regional Planning supports urban design studies at Georgia Tech. International programs, including Modern Architecture and the Modern City and the International Urban Design Workshop, provide global perspectives and global opportunities for study, research and practice. The Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development and the Center for Geographic Information Systems provide supporting interdisciplinary platforms for urban design research.

The College of Architecture at Georgia Tech offers several paths to study urban design in the School of Architecture and the School of City and Regional Planning:

  • Master of Science in Urban Design: MSUD. The MSUD is a post-professional studio-focused degree program for acquisition of the skills of a practicing urban designer. A prior professional degree is required in either Architecture (B.ARCH or M.ARCH), Landscape Architecture (BLA or MLA), City and Regional Planning (MCRP or equivalent) or Civil Engineering (BSCE). The ability to draw plans and places is necessary and assessed through portfolio submission. The MSUD is intended to be a twelve-month program with Fall and Spring semesters in Atlanta plus an international summer travel semester.
  • Dual M. ARCH & MCRP - Urban Design Concentration. The Dual Degree program qualifies graduates for professional practice in both Architecture and City and Regional Planning and links the two fields through concentrated coursework in the area of urban design, one of several possible concentrations. The program can be completed in a minimum of six semesters by those who (1) hold a four-year pre-professional degree in architecture or (2) hold a degree in a discipline other than architecture and who have completed the initial three semesters of the M.ARCH at Georgia Tech.
  • City and Regional Planning Specialization: MCRP. The Urban Design Specialization is available for students in the two-year Master of City and Regional Planning Program, who wish to engage effectively with the many groups who contribute to the design of cities  -- neighborhood residents and organizations, city governments, developers, architects, landscape architects, engineers and many others. Read more about the MCRP specialization in urban design at the School of City and Regional Planning website.
  • Urban Design Courses in the College of Architecture. The School of Architecture and the School of City and Regional Planning offer several urban design courses and elective studios. Most of these courses are open to all graduate students in the College of Architecture, especially those enrolled in the Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning Programs.