AICP Certified Urban Designer (AICP CUD)

Advanced Specialty Certification in Urban Design recognizes an individual's knowledge, experience, and application of design principles.

2016 AICP CUD Exam

Important Dates
December 1, 2015 Application Window Opens
January 22, 2016
11:59 p.m. CT
Application Deadline
May 9-22, 2016 Testing Window

Eligibility Requirements

Before applying to take the examination, applicants must:

1. Be a member of AICP in good standing.

2. Have completed a total of eight years of experience in urban design at the time of application submission.

3. Applicants must write three 250-500 word essays (see criteria 1-3 below) to demonstrate their advanced urban design experience. This includes the years of experience that was applied towards the AICP exam. Experience dedicated towards the management of urban design projects or urban design employees should be considered towards your eight years of experience. Applicants engaged in part-time urban design experience may prorate that experience into a full-time equivalent. For example, a position in which the applicant worked 20 hours/week for six months in a urban design assignment may prorate that experience into the full-time equivalent of three months of urban design experience.

The essays are submitted through an online form during the application window.

Criterion 1 - Explain how you contributed to the following decision-making and resolution processes of a complex urban design problem:

  • Describe how you evaluated competing alternatives or issues AND
  • Describe how you addressed challenging issues.

Criterion 2 - Explain how you coordinated across constituencies and disciplines to balance competing interests and build consensus to achieve mutually beneficial objectives in the following scenarios:

  • Discuss how you have influenced public decision making in the public interest while at the position or working on the project in question AND
  • Describe how you collaborated with other agencies, departments, municipalities, etc., while at the position or working on the project in question.

Criterion 3 - Demonstrate your expertise in efficiently integrating urban design systems into the full set of systems necessary for healthy and sustainable communities by:

  • Describing a project in which you efficiently integrated other planning elements such as transportation, green infrastructure, public space, cultural heritage, sustainability, and resiliency into the project designs.

AICP Advanced Certified Urban Designer (AICP CUD)

Why Earn the Credential?

Experts who helped develop the exam explain its value for certified planners.

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ASC Exam Candidate Bulletin

The ASC Exam Candidate Bulletin is your complete guide to earning an Advanced Specialty Certification credential. Get full details about exam qualifications, application, registration, fees, and exam content.

Exam Preparation Resources

To prepare for the exam, AICP members should take advantage of topically relevant courses and resources covered in the exam outline to solidify knowledge in familiar areas as well as gain exposure in topic areas that may be outside of their specialization.

Exam Fees

$100 Application Fee (non-refundable)

$425 Testing Fee

No additional membership dues.


Begin with the ASC Exam Candidate Bulletin. Then, check out our FAQ page or contact AICP staff at