American University of Beirut

Master's Degrees in Urban Planning, Policy, and Urban Design (MUPP/MUD)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Master of Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) and the Master of Urban Design (MUD) programs offer a first graduate degree to students interested in acquiring the necessary skills to tackle the challenges of contemporary urbanization while upholding the principles of livability, sustainability and equity. The programs prepare students to be highly qualified, well-rounded professionals who are able to address the multi-faceted issues of today's built environments, focusing especially on Lebanon and the region.

The two-year curriculum combines theoretical and methodological seminar courses designed to secure a command of the tools of intellectual inquiry with hands-on studio courses articulated around real-life exercises. The training is multi-disciplinary and research-based. Through these, students learn to analyze urban contexts and formulate interventions in the form of projects and/or policies. Our graduates work in a wide range of positions, within the private, non-profit and less frequently, public sector. Most are occupying leading positions in the region where they have contributed to forwarding innovative and visionary ideas about the practices of planning and design.

Mission Statements

The Master of Urban Planning and Policy is designed to provide a broad professional education in urban planning. Emphasis is placed on the development of multi-disciplinary analytical skills necessary to address contemporary urbanization as well as the mastery of the tools and approaches adopted in the contemporary practice of urban planning and policymaking. The MUPP program guides students in defining a specific area of expertise within the wider practice of urban planning and​ in locating their expertise in relation to other professions of the city. The program welcomes university graduates with professional degrees and/or degrees in the social sciences and prepares them to occupy leading professional roles in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

The Master of Urban Design program emphasizes the mastery of the design tools necessary for the effective practice of urban design. Students are exposed to a multi-disciplinary understanding of contemporary urban challenges that trains them to position the design profession amidst other professions of the city. They learn to integrate design tools with policy strategies and institutional development. The MUD program has adopted the studio-based approach to professional education as the main context of learning. The program accepts university graduates and practitioners from design fields and prepares them to occupy leading professional roles in design and planning firms.

Programs Description:

The MUPP and MUD programs span over two years of full-time enrollment. The MUPP track requires students to take a total of 30 credits with 9 credits in a sub-discipline of specialization where planning and policymaking skills are applied, and 6 credits in applied studio format. The MUD track requires students to take a total of 33 credits, with 12 of them in applied design studios. The two tracks share a common core of 21 credits consisting of three core courses (Research Methods, Planning Theory and Policy, and Urbanism), one planning/ design workshop, and a six-credit final thesis. The thesis is research-based and aims at generating innovative ways of thinking and understanding the context of urban and regional planning and design practice. In addition, all students enrolled in the MUPP/MUD programs are required to register for the 0-credit “City Debates" seminar at least twice during their university enrollment. ​

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