The Urban Studies Program has created the first undergraduate urban design degree on the west coast. While architecture focuses on the design of individual buildings, urban design operates on a larger scale – envisioning new ways of designing public spaces like parks, streets, groups of buildings, whole neighborhoods, and entire cities. Urban designers work to make these spaces functional, attractive, and sustainable. Our Urban Design major will prepare students to become proficient in the latest in design software, including SketchUp and Lumion as they create 2D and 3D plans and designs.
Additionally, the BS in Urban Design helps students turn their passions for social change and equity into meaningful urban design solutions producing livable cities and neighborhoods. This degree is designed to incorporate community questions and challenges into studio projects, preparing students for a life-time of commitment to public engagement.
Through a sequence of studio courses, students apply skills including:
- Computer modeling Design thinking
- Visual communication Public presentation
- Data gathering Visualization
- Community-engaged design processes
- Urban designers focus on place-making
These skills are applied in design studios dedicated to engaging with local and regional urban issues. Courses draw on the teaching resources of UW Tacoma faculty and experienced regional practitioners.
Advantages of our program
- Urban setting
- Small class sizes
- Dedicated studio classrooms
- Close interaction with faculty and staff
- Collaboration with communities and institutions
- Opportunity to work and be trained by practitioners
- Career and graduate school workshops
- Innovative course of study
- Study abroad opportunities
- Scholarship opportunities