Master of City Design

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program admission criteria:

  • Baccalaureate Field Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Studies, Urban Planning, and other creative fields. Relevant professional experience of two or more years strongly recommended.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required None required for admission. 
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Personal Statement Required. The statement must address the applicant’s educational and career goals and previous pertinent work, volunteer, and/or academic experience.
  • Other Requirements Applicants must submit a portfolio comprising their most important and representative visual arts, design, research, and/or professional work such as an essay, academic paper or policy report, newspaper article, photographs, handmade sketches, computer generated graphics, design proposal, or project of which they are the sole author or designer. This material may be of an academic, professional, or personal nature, and must be submitted in a PDF format and include a description of the project as well as supporting documentation, which may include images or a video. Applicants must submit a resume as well.
  • Deadlines The number of students admitted is limited. Admissions are selective and competitive. Fall semester start only. Early submissions are encouraged in order to receive fullest consideration.The application deadline for this program is earlier than the Graduate College deadline; application deadlines for this program are listed on the Graduate College website.

Degree Requirements

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 36.
  • Course Work
    Required Core Courses
    Urban Spatial Analysis & Visualization
    Theories of Urban Design
    Urban Edge Studio
    Great Cities Studio
    Chicago Charette I
    Chicago Charette II
    Global Urbanization and Planning
    Selective courses
    Select any course from the following list with advisor's approval:
    Spatial Planning: Theoretical Foundations
    Topics in Urban Planning and Policy
    Transportation: Special Topics
    Metropolitan Housing Planning
    Planning for Healthy Cities
    Economic Development: Special Topics
    Urban Revitailization and Gentrification
    Globalization and International Planning: Special Topics
    Land Use Law
    Land Use Regulation and Planning
    Development Finance Analysis
    Public Transit Management
  • A minimum 3.00/4.00 GPA is required in all work taken in the major field, and in all work accepted by the university.
  • Comprehensive Examination None.
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options: Course work only. No other options available.