M.W. Steele Group was the lead consultant for the University of  San Diego Master Plan Update and Design Guidelines.  The USD Master Plan encompasses a comprehensive update of the 1996 Master Plan and Design Guidelines and an amendment to the Conditional Use Permit for the campus.


The Master Plan provides a framework to guide campus development over the next fifteen to twenty years. It is a document that records the vision and goals of the physical campus. This vision is updated to reflect the changes in demographics and the economy that affect higher education today and into the future. 

The scope of the Master Plan and amended CUP includes an approximate land area of 180 acres bound to the north by the Tecolote Canyon, south by Linda Vista Road, east by Via las Cumbres and west by the Morena District and Overlook Height neighborhood. The Master Plan illustrates potential development strategies that the university may follow in order to meet projected growth.

As part of the project, we organized and led over 100 meetings with campus leaders, 15 workshops with students, faculty and staff, and a campus “pop-up” event to solicit ideas and feedback from the campus population about the future of the USD campus. 

The project was composed of three main tasks: forming a framework for the vision and direction of growth on campus to meet identified planning principles, quantifying site capacity and growth projections, and developing a plan and set of design guidelines for the campus. In this capacity, we have also worked closely with Housing and Dining staff to evaluate the potential for development of a First Year and Second Year experience in the valley and east mesa of the campus. 


Project Details
Type University of San Diego Master Plan Update and Design Guidelines
Client University of San Diego
Location San Diego, CA
Size 180 acres
Services Urban Design and Master Planning
Completed September 11, 2017
Awards 2018 SDAPA Award for Urban Design
News The Master Plan Was Approved!