The Certificate in Urban Design provides students with an understanding of the relationships between design thinking, the visual arts, the built environment, and the social and spatial conditions that drive the production of urban space. Over half of the courses are taught in a studio format, which supports applied experiential, conceptual, and skills-based training through making.

Quick facts
  • Two-year certificate
  • Full- or part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus

The Certificate in Urban Design is offered by the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Arts and Science. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree, or after having already received a degree from USask or another institution.

What you will learn

You will learn how to apply a user-centred design thinking approach to the creation of urban spaces. You will acquire skills in visual arts, urbanism and place-making, and you will work collaboratively with other students to apply what you have learned to real-world urban design challenges in order to better understand the production and societal impact of urban spaces.

Foundation Course

  • INTS 111.3 Design and Society

Choose one course from the following:

  • ART 141.3 Sculpture I Foundation
  • ART 161.3 Foundation in Photography I
  • ART 230.3 Video Art and Sound I
  • ART 231.3 Animation and Digital Space I
  • ART 235.3 Digital Imagery
  • ART 236.3 Digital and Integrated Practice II A

Choose one course from the following:

  • ARTH 329.3 Imagining the City
  • ART 216.6 Photography II
  • ART 330.3 Video Art and Sound II
  • ART 331.3 Animation and Digital Space II
  • ART 338.3 Digital and Integrated Practice III A
  • ART 339.3 Digital and Integrated Practice III B
  • ART 350.3 Hands-on Practice of Historical Media: Photography

Choose two courses from the following:

  • GEOG 240.3 Sustainable Cities and Regions
  • PLAN 341.3 Urban Planning
  • PLAN 346.3 Introduction to Urban Design

Capstone Course:

  • PLAN 446.3 Advanced Urban Design Studio

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

INTS 111 - Design and Society: This interdisciplinary team taught class will start by dismantling the notion that the practice of design is simply about making something look good and then move on to an examination of how professionals from a wide range of disciplines use design thinking principles to achieve goals ranging from making a better widget to building a better world.

PLAN 446 - Advanced Urban Design Studio: The evolution of urban design will take shape through analysis of urban form, streetscapes, open spaces and architecture. Students will engage in graphic analysis, design exercises, discussions with local experts and community members, and the use of computer-aided design software tools and techniques. Working as teams, students will develop a design concept for a real-world public space in Saskatchewan using a community-engaged collaborative design process.

The Certificate in Urban Design at the University of Saskatchewan is the only program of its type in Canada that applies the methodology of design-thinking through visual arts and the built environment to work on the social and spatial conditions of urban life.

Over half of the courses are taught in a studio format, which supports applied experiential, conceptual, and skills-based training through making, and you will work as part of a collaborative team on your capstone project.


Design thinking is an influential methodology for creating products, services, and processes that meet user needs. It is used in a diverse range of fields, including architecture, business, computer science, engineering, healthcare, industrial design, visual arts, planning, and more.

The skills learned in the Certificate in Urban Design will advance a career in:

  • Architecture
  • Urban planning
  • Curatorial and museum studies
  • Public artistic practice
  • Engineering
  • Civil service
  • Civic politics
  • Public space programming

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $689.40 per 3 credit unit class $2,481.84 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $1,050 per year $1,050 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2022-2023 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2023
Dec 1, 2022
Documents due: Dec 15, 2022
Sep 1, 2022
Documents due: Oct 1, 2022
May 2023
Apr 1, 2023
Documents due: May 1, 2023
Feb 1, 2023
Documents due: Mar 1, 2023
July 2023
May 1, 2023
Documents due: Jun 1, 2023
Mar 1, 2023
Documents due: Apr 1, 2023
September 2023
Aug 15, 2023
Documents due: Aug 15, 2023
May 1, 2023
Documents due: Jun 1, 2023
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023

Ready to apply?

If you are a current USask student, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

To apply to this program as a new student, please apply for admission to any undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Science and after you are admitted, declare your plans to the college.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs, please consult our graduate students' website.

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