Masters of Tall Buildings and Vertical Urbanism

The Masters of Tall Buildings and Vertical Urbanism (M.TBVU) is a collaboration between the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), and is the world’s first multidisciplinary advanced degree focused specifically on the high-rise, and the role of urban density in future cities. In an age of rapid urbanization, the tall building – more so than any other building type - holds the key to sustainable existence for humanity on this planet. This new, design- and research-based program brings together students and professionals from architecture, real estate, engineering, urban design, construction management, business, finance, and other backgrounds, in a unique learning environment built to foster interdisciplinary research and experience.

Please explore the program highlights / featured news & reports below or click the following links to learn more about the class 2023-24: Studio Final Reviews, Fall 2023 & Spring 2024; Student Work, Fall 2023 & Spring 2024; and International Fieldtrip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


Program Highlights

Renowned faculty, advisory panel members, and external experts guide the program and contribute to the MTBVU courses in various ways. 

Recent student projects with a focus on tall buildings emphasize the importance of connected urbanism.

Sponsored programs through CTBUH support research, international travel, and other opportunities.

An unparalleled combination of academic and professional resources, including potential paid internships and the CTBUH & IIT partnership.


Note: This exciting new program is accepting students for intake in August 2024.


Featured News & Reports

The MTBVU Spring 2024 design studio themed "Nova Pro Forma Adapt," was under the instruction of three senior colleagues at SOM.

Students traveled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in March 2024 and had the opportunity to travel and experience a wide range of building and office tours.

SOM studio yields exceptional student work, as part of the Masters of Tall Buildings and Vertical Urbanism program in fall 2023.

First outputs from the new Masters of Tall Buildings and Vertical Urbanism program at IIT in the 2022-23 academic year.


See More News and Features here


“Future generations must design responsive, high-density cities that support
both human and environmental health.”

His Excellency, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Founder and Chairman, Emaar Properties, Dubai /
MTBVU Advisory and Teaching Panel Member


“The supertall building was invented in the basement of IIT’s Crown Hall,
through the work of Fazlur Khan, David Sharpe, and others,”

William Baker, Consulting Partner, SOM /
MTBVU Advisory and Teaching Panel Member



Statement on STEM

The M.TBVU program is officially approved as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) designated field of study in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s STEM designated fields list. International students who have earned degrees in STEM fields in the US, may apply for a 24 month extension of their post completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment for a total of 36 months, a significant benefit for international students who wish to stay and work in the US, post-graduation.