Master of City Design
The Master of City Design (MCD) is an intensive graduate degree focusing on the physical design aspects of spatial relationships and interactions between people and places. Students learn how to plan for the physical design of cities using spatial thinking that combines analyses of places, meaningful engagement with diverse communities and design knowledge across scale. Hands-on field-based studio learning provides immersive exposure to integrated design and contemporary professional practice in complex urban places across Chicago.
The Master of City Design will meet demand from domestic and international students with bachelor degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, urban studies, urban planning and related disciplines. The program will prepare students for entry-level city/urban design employment or enable them to gain acceptance to doctoral programs in urban planning and design.
Courses Begin Fall Semester 2019 .
The MCD program operates as a one-year (Fall, Spring and 4-Week summer session) graduate program accepting students in the Fall semester. Students must complete all the academic and studio course requirements as well as sufficient number of electives to reach 38 credit hours in total.
- 28 credits (five courses) of core courses
- 6 credits (two courses) of Design Charrette
- 4 credits (one course) of elective**
**Electives should be discussed with the academic advisor, must be at the 400+ level.
Unless a waiver is granted, the following courses are required:
- CD 503 Urban Spatial Analysis and Visualization
- CD 504 Theories of City Design
- UPP 508/ CD 508 Global Urbanization and Planning (existing course)
- CD 511 Urban Edge Studio
- CD 512 Great Cities Studio
- CD 522 Chicago Charrette I + CD 523 Chicago Charrette II
Sample Course Schedule
Fall Semester (16 credits)
- CD 503 Urban Spatial Analysis and Visualization (4)
- CD 504 Theories of Urban Design (4)
- CD 511 Urban Edge Studio (8)
Spring Semester (16 credits)
- UPP 508/CD 508 Global Urbanization and Planning (4)
- CD 512 Great Cities Studio (8)
- Selective (4)
Summer – 4 weeks session (6 credits)
- CD 522 Chicago Charrette I (4) + CD 523 Chicago Charrette II (2)
Because the MCD is a brand new program and is still in the final stages of the approval process, the application for Fall 2019 will open later than those for existing UIC degree programs. We anticipate that the application will be available online by December 15, 2018. The application will remain open until at least February 15 for international applicants and March 15 for domestic applicants. To be considered for a limited number of departmental scholarships, namely the Burnham Scholarship, applicants should apply be January 15.
Applicants to the Master of City Design* degree program will be considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program admission criteria:
o Baccalaureate Field: Architecture/Landscape architecture/Urban studies/Urban Planning/and other creative fields. Relevant professional experience of two or more years strongly recommended.
o Grade Point Average: At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
o Tests Required: None required for admission. Applicants for scholarships must submit GRE General scores. Applicants with undergraduate degrees from universities outside the U.S. are strongly urged to submit GRE General scores.
o Minimum English Competency Test Score:
- TOEFL550 (paper-based); 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based), OR,
- IELTS, with subscores of 6.5 for all four subscores, OR,
- PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
o Letters of Recommendation: Three required.
o Personal Statement: Required. The statement must address the applicant’s educational and career goals and previous pertinent work, volunteer, and/or academic experience.
o Other Requirements Applicants must submit a portfolio comprising their most important and representative visual arts, design, research, and/or professional worksuch 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.
If you are a current UIC graduate student who wishes to apply to the MCD program, please note that UIC has a different application process for current and recently graduated students. For information on how to apply, please contact UPP Graduate Advisor, Katie Boom.
The Master of City Design Degree has been approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.