Graduate Urban Design

Master of Urban Design Curriculum and Course Experience

Our master of urban design (MUD) degree focuses on an integrative studio experience at the core of the one-year program. The studio experience provides mentorships, interdisciplinary teaching, and immersive and service learning.

Mentoring Experience
Each student is required to have a practitioner as studio advisor and mentor. This provides students a local professional who can act as a sounding board for their studio efforts and career opportunities. Mentors also will provide a connection to the professional communities in Indianapolis and added perspectives in studio jury events.

Interdisciplinary Teaching
Urban design requires a broad understanding of environmental issues, history, landscape design, building types design, real estate, infrastructure, and community engagement. Instructors from urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and historic preservation in the College of Architecture and Planning serve as the faculty for the MUD program. Studios also welcome visiting experts, community representatives, and agency leaders.

Community-Based Projects
The program is based on real-world immersive learning.  All of your studios and core courses will focus on a single comprehensive urban design study for a real-world site in the Indianapolis area. From the urban design analysis studio to your capstone project, you'll become intimately familiar with the site, its stakeholders, and its challenges and opportunities, just as you will as a professional urban designer. 

You'll also participate in multidisciplinary charrettes—community design workshops—as part of Ball State’s Community-Based Projects program and through the efforts of the College of Architecture and Planning Indianapolis Center (CAP:IC). For more than 45 years, CAP students and faculty have been part of the service-learning tradition in Indianapolis and hundreds of other communities. This nationally recognized program provides students with a 360-degree view of living, learning, and serving in a growing and diverse metropolitan center.

Course Schedule
The program is designed so that you can maintain at least a part-time job or a graduate assistantship if you desire. Courses are typically held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with some evening courses other days possible.  All courses are held at CAP:IC in downtown Indianapolis.  While core courses are limited to enrollment by MUD students, some electives are open to all CAP graduate students.

Required Laptop Computer
All students must have a laptop computer.  While either Windows or MacOS systems are acceptable, MacOS computers must be able to dual boot into Windows, as some applications are only supported on Windows.  Students should review the computer recommendations from the Department of Architecture for hardware suggestions.  Core software applications include Office, Adobe Creative Suite (Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro), and Trimble Sketchup.  Ball State offers substantial discounts on both Windows and Mac operating systems as well as Office and Adobe products, while Trimble Sketchup is available online for free.  Students are provided with a student copy of ArcGIS.

Curriculum 

Revised for Fall 2013

Required Courses (20 Credits)

UD 501: Urban Design Studio 1: Sustainable Urban Systems, 2
UD 502: Urban Design Studio 2: Urban Mobility, 2
UD 503: Urban Design Studio 3: Community Based Design, 2
UD 601: Urban Design Studio 4: Public Realm Design, 2
UD 602: Urban Design Capstone, 4
UD 690: Reflective Synthesis, 2
CAP 651: Research Methods, 3
UD 640: History of Urban Form, 3

Design Communication Modules (Choose 7 Credits)

UD 561: Urban Design Communications 1, 3
UD 562: Urban Design Communications 2, 3
UD 569: Topical Computer Graphics Workshop, 1
UD 663: Urban Design Visualization, 3
PLAN 512: Geographic Information Systems, 3

Urban Design Theory Modules (Choose 3 Credits)

PLAN 585: Introduction to Community Development and Enterprise Planning, 3
PLAN 625: Planning Law, 3
Elective, 3

Urban Design Colloquia (Choose 2 Credits)

UD 637: Urban Design Topics, 1

Sample Course Schedule 

Fall Semester (13 credits)

UD 501: Urban Design Studio 1: Sustainable Urban Systems, 2
UD 502: Urban Design Studio 2: Urban Mobility, 2
UD 561: Urban Design Communications 1, 3
UD 598: Special Topics (Elective), 3
UD 640: History of Urban Form, 3

Spring Semester (13 credits)

UD 503: Urban Design Studio 3: Community Based Design, 2
UD 601: Urban Design Studio 4: Public Realm Design, 2
UD 569: Topical Computer Graphics Workshop, 1
UD 637a: Urban Design Topics, 1
UD 637b: Urban Design Topics, 1
UD 663: Urban Design Visualization, 3
CAP 651: Research Methods, 3

Summer Semester (6 credits)

UD 602: Urban Design Capstone, 4
UD 690: Reflective Synthesis, 2