Master of Urban Design - Future Cities


College of Architecture & the Built Environment


Master of Urban Design


East Falls


On Campus

The Master of Urban Design – Future Cities (MUD) educates the next generation of urban designers, architects and researchers in the development of sustainable, healthy and smart cities and communities. Focused on envisioning the future, the program spotlights pressing contemporary issues with far-reaching consequences, such as the need to develop urban resiliency and carbon neutral communities and to harness the potential of smart technologies to achieve environmental wellness on multiple scales in response to rapid urbanization and climate change.

Students have opportunities to acquire new and valuable skills and benefit from state-of-the-art research at national and international levels, thereby fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity through knowledge exchange and multidisciplinary learning.

Our Master of Urban Design - Future Cities (MUD) is a STEM-designated program (CIP Code 30.3301). To learn more about STEM designation, visit our STEM FAQ.

Master of Urban Design Video Highlights

Creating Sustainable, Healthy & Smart Cities

The unique focus of the MUD program on contemporary urban issues such as urban resiliency, carbon-neutral communities, wellness and smart technologies differentiates Jefferson’s program. Collaboration with the Jefferson Institute for Smart & Healthy Cities offers students unparalleled opportunities for research and industry experience. Addressing climate change, public health, pandemics and other challenges by incorporating urban analytics, computational design and smart technologies into urban environments is the next frontier within the profession. Students may choose a concentration in public health, in collaboration with the Jefferson College of Population Health, or in other specializations, offered in the College of Architecture & the Built Environment, including Geodesign, Urban Revitalization, Smart Cities & Urban Analytics or Resilient Cities.

Augmented Reality (AR) applied in the Urban Design studios

Experiencing the Learning Lab of Philadelphia

With its thriving design and construction industries, Philadelphia serves as our learning urban lab, furnishing students with professional experiences in a vibrant metropolitan area. The MUD program partners with local communities as well as global leading corporations and non-profit organizations, offering a broad range of real-world projects and networking opportunities.

Philadelphia Aerial. Photo credit: Fletcher6/Wikipedia

Designing Global Urban Futures

The MUD program offers interdisciplinary design and research platforms with a focus on the rapidly changing dynamics of major cities in the world. Students have opportunities to study and design for the futures of major international cities, such as London, Dubai, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Mexico City, through traveling studios, funded research, exchange programs, international workshops and conferences.

Dubai Skyline. Photo credit:Tim Reckmann/Wikipedia

Graduate Certificate in Smart Cities & Urban Analytics

The optional Concentration and Certificate in Smart Cities & Urban Analytics prepares architects, urban designers and city managers to become experts in the planning, management and operational functions of smart cities. The credential gives students the technical and theoretical skills needed to make a difference to the cities of today and tomorrow.

Program News

Peng Du, PhD, and his colleagues are exploring how to use data-driven and simulation-based tools to address climate change, urban population, public health and resource depletion. Find out more about Dr. Du’s research and questions he’s trying to answer. 

As the world population hurtles toward 10 billion, and more and more people move to urban areas, building taller and denser cities seems to have shifted to an urgent imperative. Peng Du, director of the Master of Urban Design - Future Cities program at Thomas Jefferson University, believes this to be true.