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Minor in Urban Design

Open to all WashU students, the 15-unit Minor in Urban Design provides a platform for students to explore issues related to the urban condition that is unfolding in the twenty-first century. Within this framework, students explore urbanization processes in the context of design applications and tools, critical urban issues, and the application of urban history and theory to real-world scenarios.

Critical themes and topics within the discipline of urbanization today include:

  • Aging infrastructure networks
  • Pressures on access to education
  • Overextended health care systems
  • The loss of other public investments
  • False securities in the housing market
  • Spatial exclusion based on class, race, and gender
  • The dispossession of local inhabitants from common resources, or food supply interruptions
  • The vulnerability and degradation of the environment
  • Wasteful forms of consumerism for the sake of capital accumulation


Students take 3 units of Design Methods, 3 units of Foundations, 3 units of Advanced Coursework (choosing from the courses Metropolitan Urbanism, Metropolitan Development, and Metropolitan Sustainability), and 6 units of urban design electives.