University of South Florida

School of Architecture & Community Design

USF College of The Arts

Master of Urban and Community Design

The Master of Urban and Community Design (M.UCD.) program is one of only 25 national degree programs in urban design and is unique to the state university system in Florida. This degree program is a rigorous three-semester, post-professional degree program focusing on issues of design at the scale of urbanism and relevant to the evolving contemporary city. The 45 credit-hour program is a comprehensive course of study concerned with the morphology of urban places and committed to enhancing the human condition in the built global community. The program is intended to be comprehensive in scope, with concentrations in the following areas:

  • Smart growth
  • Sustainable urbanism
  • Suburban conditions
  • Landscape urbanism and the ecology of cities
  • Human behavior and the built environment
  • Transit and economic development
  • Housing and community design
  • Development regulations
  • Research, analysis, and visualizations

As a diverse and complex endeavor, urban design at the USF School of Architecture & Community Design utilizes the dynamic Tampa Bay region as an urban laboratory. Stressing community engagement, the program works with regional municipalities, private organizations and stakeholders to define and address complex urban issues. The program also builds upon the school's participation in the expanding global discourse on urban design issues related to urban morphology, emerging mega-cities, housing, preservation, sustainability, and ecology. The program actively engages rapidly urbanizing areas in China and India through study abroad opportunities.

The curriculum for the Master of Urban and Community Design program emphasizes design investigations at various scales. The program seeks to create an environment in which students can study the myriad forms of community and human habitat; understand how past designs can inform future possibilities; and harness the knowledge and skills necessary to create ecologically sound urban environs. Empirical research, coupled with techniques of analysis and visualization strategies, serve as methods of inquiry to understand the complex 21st-century urban landscape. The program provides opportunities for students to participate in a variety of faculty-led research projects developed in concert with SACD's research unit, the Florida Center for Community Design & Research.

Collaboration between the Master of Architecture and the Master of Urban and Community Design programs and the Florida Center for Community Design and Research (FCCDR) offers students participation in community engagement, creating opportunities for students to be involved in sponsored design studios, workshops and research grants addressing all manners of community issues. Recent sponsored studios run through the FCCDR have worked closely with citizens and government locally, and globally in Havana, Cuba; Thailand; Quito, Ecuador; London, England; Aberdeen, Scotland; and Varosha, Cyprus, among others.

The Master of Urban and Community Design program welcomes students holding a professional degree in architecture or landscape architecture (Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture). Other academic backgrounds will be considered.

  • USF Architecture Student presents her master's thesis project during a midterm review panel.

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    Learn about the application process to get accepted in both the University of South Florida and the School of Architecture & Community Design.

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  • USF Architecture alumnus speaks to an Open House audience about his career path after graduation.

    Admission Requirements

    Read this page to get your application materials ready before the application deadline of February 1.

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  • University of South Florida's academic seal at the front entrance of the Tampa campus.

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    Students and families can also request more information about the School of Architecture & Community Design’s programs by filling out the USF College of The Arts’ online form.

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