Geodesign (M.S.)

Program Director: Jim Querry


Geodesign involves the application of advanced geospatial technologies to define and solve problems related to development and re-development of the built environment. Using state-of-the-art spatial modeling techniques, this geographic approach fuses ideas and concepts that allow visualization and quick iteration of design alternatives to also measure the success of solutions. Geodesign takes an interdisciplinary, synergistic approach to solving critical problems and optimizing location, orientation and features of projects that are both local and global in scale. What makes this approach unique is that designers are the drivers of the process.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the M.S. in Geodesign will:

  • Articulate, critically analyze and synthesize design and planning theories and philosophies related to the built environment.
  • Review and critically analyze original research in geodesign as related to the allied design disciplines.
  • Apply and synthesize geodesign-related research.
  • Conduct cutting-edge, applied geodesign research that makes a contribution to the body of knowledge.
  • Demonstrate expertise within the interdisciplinary field of geodesign.
  • Demonstrate professional presentation and communication skills.
  • Demonstrate the integration of knowledge, analysis and research through final small group research-based planning/design projects.

Program Description

Philadelphia University’s M.S. in Geodesign is the first of its kind in the country and was created in response to a rapidly growing demand for geospatial expertise within the allied design professions. Emphasizing sustainable practices, collaboration and innovation within an integrated process, the program is intended for students and practitioners of design and planning disciplines, as well as allied professions such as engineering and geography, to find resilient solutions to 21st century urban conditions such as population growth, decreasing resources, disaster mitigation and climate change. Geodesign is sustainability in practice, and our graduates are leaders in this innovative process.

Geodesign students are directly involved in collaborative applied research projects with industry partners, state and federal agencies, and community partnerships. They work with advanced technologies including GIS, 3D Modeling, parametric design and modeling, 3D field data collection technologies (such as LiDAR), and BIM while they help develop and test new tools that inform future industry software. Our faculty and collaborators include leading industry professionals. Graduates possess sought-after skills and are well prepared for dynamic careers in interdisciplinary firms, state and federal agencies, NGOs, academia and more.

This post-professional degree program will provide students with a comprehensive, innovative and multidisciplinary education that is intimately linked to the needs of the allied disciplines of landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning and engineering.

Curriculum Design

The M.S. in Geodesign curriculum consists of 36 graduate credits. There is a series of three design studios complemented by GIS/modeling technology and other support courses.

Course Credits
GEOD 610

Accelerated Intro to GIS
equivalent prerequisite

GEOD 600 Geodesign Studio I  3
GEOD 615 Geospatial Analysis I 3
GEOD 621 Environmental Policy 3
SDN 601 Sustainable Design Methodologies 3
GEOD 602 Geodesign Studio II 6
GEOD 617 Geospatial Analysis II 3
GEOD 616 Information Modeling 3
GEOD 605 Applied Research Studio 3
GEOD 607 Geodesign Explorations 3
XXX Graduate Elective 3