Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Record 2020-2021 
    
Graduate Record 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Urban Design Certificate


Return to: Graduate School of Architecture: Departments/Programs  


The Urban Design graduate certificate program is designed to equip Master’s candidates from the School of Architecture’s four departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Environmental Planning, and Architectural History with the expertise and skills to engage with multi-scalar issues facing urban environments, from urban and infrastructural development, to social equity and resilience. The program will provide students with practical spatial design strategies and analytical tools as well as foundational historical and theoretical knowledge supporting urban design and planning strategies. As a cross-disciplinary program of study, the Urban Design certificate effectively complements the school’s other graduate degree programs by preparing graduates that are able to join, and meaningfully contribute to, interdisciplinary teams concerned with the urban realm and urban spaces, whether in government, private practice, or in an institutional context.

Architects pursuing the Urban Design certificate will be prepared to join the making of an urban plan, and deploy their design skills to create synergy between multiple buildings and the spaces between and around them. For landscape architects, the certificate will provide tools and strategies to prepare them to coordinate the needs of local and regional ecosystems with the needs of urban development. The Urban Design Certificate will build spatial skills and design thinking for students from Urban and Environmental Planning. Students in History will gain concepts and strategies to help ensure that historic buildings and districts maintain or renew their vitality in a changing urban context.

The Urban Design Certificate consists out of 15 Credits


To complete the program requirements of the Urban Design Certificate students will fill their elective classes with Urban Design certificate credits. Students are recommended to start with the core classes as these build a foundation for the certificate. Students without design experience in their undergrad education are further required to participate in the Summer Design Institute prior to enrolling in the Urban Design Certificate program.

Full-time degree-seeking student at UVA School of Architecture taking 12-18 credit hours per semester would complete the certificate in 2-3 years (4-6 semesters). All certificate course requirements are to be completed within the time it takes to complete the graduate degree in which they are enrolled, ensuring no additional time is added to the expected length of graduate study.

Admission


Students wishing to enter the Urban Design Certificate program must first be admitted to one of the graduate departments in the School of Architecture. In order to ensure proper academic advising and program coordination, students interested in the Urban Design Certificate program should attend the program meeting at the start of each fall semester. Students, who do not have a previous degree in one of the aforementioned disciplines, must enroll in the Summer Design Institute (SDI) at the School of Architecture as a prerequisite for taking the required design studio. Upon arriving at the Architecture School, students interested in the UDC program are meeting the UDC Director to discuss the curriculum. Afterwards file a program application form with the Architecture School’s Registrar. Graduate students from departments other than Architecture and Landscape Architecture must have some design studio background prior to taking the required research studio. For graduate students with a previous degree in architecture (comparable at a minimum to the U.Va. M.Arch. PATH 2.5 program), there are no prerequisites to enroll in the studios.  For students with previous degrees in landscape architecture or urban design, a similar degree with a minimum of four studios is required.

 

Urban Design Certificate Curriculum


The Urban Design graduate certificate is offered through 2 tracks depending on the student’s graduate program. Students in the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, or Planning program will enroll in track 1 with an emphasis on urban analysis and design. Students in the Architecture History program can enroll in track 2 with an emphasis on urban design history, theory, and analysis.

[Note: Students might be able to opt in or out of their track. This, however, is understood as an exception and needs approval from the Urban Design Certificate Program Director.]

Urban Design Certificate Track 1

Students in Track 1 are required to take two urban design core seminars (3 credits each), one urban design research studio (6 credits), and one urban design elective course (3 credits) for a total of 15 credits. One core course in history and theory of urban design provides a foundation in the historic, geographic, and cultural diversity of cities worldwide based on a comparative study of exemplary projects. The second core course concentrates on urban design methods and provides design strategies required for analyzing urban processes and intervening in urban environments across multiple scales and temporalities. The urban design research studio is offered in the ARCH/LAR 8010/8020 sequence. Studios are addressing urban problematics through a variety of scales ranging from the neighborhood to the city and larger surrounding regions.

Electives will complement core courses by presenting advanced theoretical positions and practical skills in contemporary urban design. Courses will teach students to: carry out digital and analog analyses of urban areas at multiple scales; create a strategic development plan; analyze how ecological, economic, and policy issues affect the making of urban design plans; and understand how to work with stakeholder groups to build consensus and resilience.

Urban design core seminars: PLAN/ARCH 5614 Urban Strategies, ARCH 5612 Urban Primer. Students who spend 1 semester in Barcelona or who have scheduling conflicts due to the curriculum of their main degree program can replace ARCH 5612 with other classes. These exceptions will depend upon approval and have to be discussed in advance with the UDC Director.  

Urban Design Certificate Track 2

Students in Track 2 are required to take two urban design core seminars (3 credits each), one urban design analysis class (3 credits), and two urban design elective courses (3 credits each) for a total of 15 credits. One core course in history and theory of urban design provides a foundation in the historic, geographic, and cultural diversity of cities worldwide based on a comparative study of exemplary projects. The second core course concentrates on urban design methods and provides design strategies required for analyzing urban processes and intervening in urban environments across multiple scales and temporalities. The urban analysis seminar will introduce students to GIS software technology, mapping techniques, and the ESRI analytical toolbox.

Electives will complement the core courses by presenting advanced theoretical positions and practical skills in contemporary urban design. Courses will teach students to: carry out digital and analog analyses of urban areas at multiple scales; create a strategic development plan; analyze how ecological, economic, and policy issues affect the making of urban design plans; and understand how to work with stakeholder groups to build consensus and resilience.

Urban design core seminars: PLAN/ARCH 5614 Urban Strategies, ARCH 5612 Urban Primer. Students who spend 1 semester in Barcelona or who have scheduling conflicts due to the curriculum of their main degree program can replace ARCH 5612 with other classes. These exceptions will depend upon approval and have to be discussed in advance with the UDC Director. 

Additional Information

Specific course numbers and course requirements are posted through UVA’s Graduate Record. Updated content for the Graduate Record will be published mid-spring semester and will reflect the above-listed curricular changes, currently pending SCHEV approval.

Students should review course requirements and seek advice for course planning by meeting with the Urban Design Certificate Program Director.

Urban Design Certificate classes are listed on the A School Website. Additional classes might count as UDC electives upon approval of the UDC Director. Inquiries should be addressed to the Director, Urban Design Certificate Program.