Bachelor of Urban Design Curriculum

The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students the option to take electives from a variety of different departments and schools. The core courses are offered in the School of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Geosciences. All students in the Bachelor of Urban Design program must complete a minimum of 120 credits, including the following:

  1. satisfaction of all University requirements for baccalaureate degrees;
  2. the last 30 upper division credits (3000/4000-level courses) must be earned in residence at FAU;
  3. at least 36 credits of Urban Design Core courses;
  4. at least 12 credits of upper-division Approved Elective courses from specific departments (see list below);
  5. at least 12 credits of Free Elective courses; and
  6. a minimum grade of “C” is required for each core course.

The course materials taught in the core courses build upon each other. Therefore, students are highly recommended to follow the term schedules identified below. Following the term schedule is also very important in order to ensure timely graduation.

The following curriculum applies to students who first enroll in the BUD program in the Fall 2018 semester or later. Students who first enrolled in the program prior to Fall 2018 should consult the transition rules shown at the bottom of this page. Fall 1 refers to the first semester in the first upper division year, etc.

Core Courses (36 credits)
Course NumberCourse TitleSemester and Year
URP 3000Introduction to Urban Planning and DesignFall 1
URP 4254Introduction to Visual Planning TechnologyFall 1
URP 4883Urban Design: Theories and MethodsFall 1
GIS 3015CIntroduction to Mapping and GISSpring 1
URP 4255Advanced Visual Planning TechnologiesSpring 1
URP 4870Site PlanningSpring 1
URP 4920Urban Design Studio ISpring 1
URP 4055City Structure and ChangeFall 2
URP 4343Plan Making and ZoningFall 2
URP 4922Urban Design Studio IIFall 2
URP 4403Sustainable CitiesSpring 2
URP 4923Urban Design CapstoneSpring 2

Note that the following core courses have prerequisites (shown in parentheses): URP 4221 (URP 4254); URP 4343 (URP 3000); URP 4920 (URP 3000); URP 4922 (URP 4920); and URP 4923 (URP 4922).

Suggested Elective Courses (12 credits):
Course NumberCourse Title
URP 4011Planning Methods
URP 4120Planning Implementation Strategies
URP 4420Environmental Planning Methods
URP 4430Planning for Hazards/Disasters
URP 4546Urban Development Planning Methods
URP 4730Capital Facilities Planning
URP 4741Housing Policy and Planning
URP 4905Directed Independent Study
URP 4945Planning Internship
URP 4955Planning Abroad
ARC 4057Dynamic Design Methods
ARC 4202Ethics and Architecture
ARC 4220Contemporary Design Theories
ARC 4384Designing Safer Communities
ARC 4950Architecture and Urbanism Study Abroad
GEO 4422American Cultural Landscape
GEO 4542Tourism and Commercial Recreation
GEO 4602Urban Geography
GEO 4700Transportation and Spatial Organization
PHI  3640Environmental Ethics
SYD 4602The Urban Community
PAD 4144Introduction to Nonprofit Sector
REE 3043Principles of Real Estate
POS 3691Law and American Society
PUP 4623Politics of Community Development
Free Elective Courses (12 Credits):
Free electives may be taken in the College for Design and Social Inquiry and other FAU Colleges. Students are advised to consider additional courses listed under suggested electives above, although other choices are permitted.

Note that many courses are offered in more than one term each year, allowing students to take courses in sequence even if they start the program during the Spring semester.

Transition Rules for Students Who Enrolled in the BUD Program Prior to Fall 2018

  • Students still requiring ARC 3710 Pre-Modern Architectural History and Theory may take that course or substitute URP 4883 Urban Design: Theories and Methods (to be offered each Fall semester starting Fall 2018).
  • Students still requiring ARC 3374 Site Planning and Engineering should take URP 4870 Site Planning instead (to be offered Fall, Spring, and Summer).
  • Students still requiring ARC 4384 Designing Safer Communities may take that course or URP 4922 Urban Design Studio II (to be offered for the first time in Fall 2019); note that URP 4920 is a prerequisite for URP 4922.
  • Students still requiring URP 4979 Planning Project (to be renamed Planning Capstone) may take that course or substitute URP 4923 Urban Design Capstone (to be offered for the first time in Spring 2020); note that URP 4922 is a prerequisite for URP 4923.
  • Students who have not yet taken URP 4254 Introduction to Visual Planning Technologies should take URP 4255 Advanced Visual Planning Technologies instead (however, URP 4254 is recommended as an elective); note that URP 4255 is listed in the Fall 2018 course schedule as a Special Topics course (URP 4930) pending final approval of the permanent course number.
  • Students who have taken URP 4254 but are interested in the revised version of that course (see the new course description below), can enroll for URP 4905 Directed Independent Study and complete the requirements for the new course.

Note that continuing students who are not too far along in the BUD program may have the option of transferring to the new curriculum; please contact the CDSI Advising Center for more information.

Revised course description for URP 4254 Introduction to Visual Planning Technology:

This course provides an examination of information technology related to planning, development and design.  Students will be introduced to software packages that are commonly used in the field of Urban and Regional Planning.  The course will focus on the practical application of software programs including Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign & Muse), Microsoft Office Suite (Excel & PowerPoint) and others.  In addition, an overview of how to incorporate these technologies into visualization techniques, presentation techniques, and data analysis.

For any questions regarding the Bachelor of Urban Design degree program, please contact Dr. John Renne (Faculty Advisor) at

For questions about advising, please contact the College Advising Center at 561-297-2316. To make an appointment with your advisor, please log on to the Success Network/Starfish.