If you cannot find the answer to your question below, please e-mail hinescompetition@uli.org.

How does the jury process work?

On January 13, ULI releases the challenge brief to all registered teams it has approved to compete. This is when the teams find out the host city and site. Students receive photos, video, and GIS files for the site, as well as information about the city and site to help them begin their analysis. Teams then have 15 days to produce and submit the deliverables that ULI has outlined in the challenge brief. Before the end of the last day of the competition, teams must submit some deliverables electronically and postmark others for delivery to ULI. The jury will meet twice, once in February, and again in April to review submissions and choose the finalists and winner, respectively. For more detailed information about the jury process, read this document.

I don’t live/study in the U.S. or Canada, can I still compete?

Yes. Students outside of the United States and Canada may compete. For more details, review How to Form a Team.

Five of us in a graduate program in real estate studies want to form a team. Our undergraduate degrees are in three different real estate−oriented disciplines: planning, architecture, and landscape architecture. Does that qualify as a multidisciplinary team?

It depends. If you are all enrolled in a traditional degree program, such as an MBA or MArch, your undergraduate degrees would not be relevant and could not be considered in the formula for team formation. However, if your entire team is enrolled in a recognized multidisciplinary graduate degree program—and can provide evidence of its status as a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary program—you may use your undergraduate degrees in the formula for team formation. For more details, review How to Form a Team.

Our team is composed of one MBA candidate, three MArch candidates, and one candidate pursuing a joint-degree MArch and MUP. Does that qualify as a multidisciplinary team?

Yes. Students enrolled in joint- and dual-degree programs must choose which of the programs they are representing on the team. That decision is entirely up to the students and team members.

What are design disciplines?

For the purpose of this competition, design disciplines include architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Other design-related programs will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Our university’s graduate architecture and real estate programs are accredited by NAAB and AACSB, but our university’s graduate landscape architecture program is not accredited by LAAB. Does that disqualify our team?

No. In the U.S. and Canada, only the university or college needs to be accredited by a nationally recognized U.S. or Canadian accrediting body. ULI will independently verify the authority of universities or colleges outside of the U.S. and Canada for any teams that reach the finalist stage.

Will ULI require certification that student members of a team are enrolled graduate students in relevant programs?

ULI requires that the director of a school, college, department, or degree program from, at least, the Sponsoring University, must verify the team members’ eligibility to participate. If students from more than one university are participating on the same team, you may need to request verification from more than one person. When teams reach the finalist stage, ULI may take additional steps to independently verify each team member’s eligibility.

I am a part-time student registered in a graduate program. Can I be part of a team?

Part-time graduate students may participate in the competition provided that they have completed one semester by the start of the competition and they will be a part-time student during the entire competition period of January 13 to April 30, 2020. During team registration, they must submit to ULI a verification of their status from a director of their program. They can request this verification via the online registration form.

When the competition site is announced, may we visit the site?

Yes, but you may not contact the site owners or public agencies involved.

Under what circumstances will a team be allowed to continue after a team member or faculty or professional adviser resigns or is replaced?

ULI will respond favorably if the faculty adviser requests a waiver in writing and if the circumstances are exceptional and unavoidable.

Can a team replace a faculty adviser?

The program head who signed the team’s application must request a waiver in writing and explain the circumstances, and name a new faculty adviser.

To what extent can other students, faculty, and professional advisers participate in the team’s efforts?

Only in an advisory capacity. They may not draw or write anything that appears in the team’s presentation at any stage of the competition.

Can a foreign national participate on a team?

Students who are citizens of any nation may participate on a team.

I am a fifth-year student in a five-year degree professional program. Am I eligible to form or join a team?

Yes. You must complete an additional verification of your eligibility in the submission portal.

Can a faculty or professional adviser advise more than one student team?

Yes, as long as the teams are aware of the situation.

Can a graduate student be on more than one team?


May a secondary adviser be another faculty member rather than a developer or practicing professional?

Yes. However, to maintain the multidisciplinary spirit of the competition, the two faculty advisers must be from different disciplines.

Are members of previous winning teams eligible to participate in the current competition?

No, members of winning teams are not eligible to participate as competitors again. All participants from finalist teams from the two prior years of the competition are ineligible. Members of the jury, the competition advisers, all employees and officials of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the employees, associate interns, and immediate family members of any of the aforementioned parties are ineligible to compete.

Can a faculty adviser for the winning team of a previous competition serve as faculty adviser this year?

Yes. There is no restriction on the eligibility of faculty advisers from year to year.

I am graduating in June 2020, but my course work should be completed by February 2020. May I participate in the 2020 competition?

Only if you are fully enrolled in the semester during which the competition is conducted (i.e., the spring semester). “Fully enrolled” means that you are registered in a degree-granting graduate program and that you are a full-time student. If your program is structured as a work/study program leading to a graduate degree, you may participate. All other part-time students taking graduate courses do not qualify as participants in this competition.