ULI Hines Student Competition

Register to attend an info session about the 2023 ULI Hines Student Competition! These sessions will be recorded and posted on the website at a later date.

Session 1 – November 9th, 1:00 pm EST
Session 2 – November 10th, 10:00 am EST

2023 Competition

Register October 1 – December 9, 2022
ULI Notifies Teams of their Eligibility Friday, December 23, 2023 (most teams); Friday, January 6 at latest
City & Site Announced January 3, 2023
Challenge Brief Released via Webinar Jan. 9, 2023
Competition Jan. 9 – 23, 2023
Finalists Announced Late February 2023
Finalist Site Visit March 2-3, 2023
Virtual Finalist Rehearsals March 17, 2023
Finalist Presentations and Winner Announced Thursday, April 6, 2023


The ULI Hines Student Competition—entering its 21st year in 2023—offers graduate students the opportunity to form their own multidisciplinary teams and engage in a challenging exercise in responsible land use. Teams of five students pursuing degrees in at least three different disciplines have two weeks to devise a development program for a real, large-scale site in a North American city. Teams provide graphic boards and narratives of their proposals including designs and market-feasible financial data.

This is an ideas competition; there is no expectation that anyone will apply the submitted schemes to the site. The winning team receives $50,000 ($5,000 of it goes to their university) and the finalist teams each receive $10,000. All participating finalist students typically attend the all-expenses-paid final presentation in the host city where the jury selects the winning project.

The competition is part of the Institute’s ongoing effort to raise interest among young people in creating better communities, improving development patterns, and increasing awareness of the need for multidisciplinary solutions to development and design challenges.

Longtime ULI leader Gerald D. Hines, founder of the Hines real estate organization, created the competition with a generous endowment after he received the ULI Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development in 2002.

At least 10,715 students on over 2,143 teams have participated in the competition since its first year in 2003, including 80 teams (400 students) who have made it to the finalist round. More than 1,000 real estate and design professionals have served as advisers to these teams. In 2022, 93 teams submitted entries from 48 schools. In 2003, the competition’s first year, 49 teams submitted entries from 22 schools.

The competition is open to students around the world. Students in Europe may also wish to participate in the ULI Hines Student Competition – Europe.

Join our LinkedIn Group                         Mentor a Team                         Serve on the Jury

How to Apply

Complete the registration form at uli.org/hines2023 by December 9, 2022 to register a team. Create a free ULI account in order to register. Read the instructions below and view a Sample Registration Form.

Please note that the deadline to register is December 9, however  we ask that you start and complete your registration as early as possible! The application includes requesting various approvals depending on your status in school, as well as approval from your department or program head.

ULI invites teams from accredited educational institutions worldwide to participate in the 2023 competition. Students in Europe also can compete in the ULI Hines Student Competition – Europe. Students in Europe also can compete in the ULI Hines Student Competition – Asia Pacific.

For details about team composition requirements, visit the How to Form a Team section on this page.

For more details about how to form a team and answers to some frequently asked questions, please check out the document below! DETAILS & FAQS 

Application Overview

Teams that wish to compete must submit the following information via an online application:

  • Name and contact information for all five team members;
  • Degree program information for all five team members;
  • A one-page résumé for each of the five team members;
  • Names and contact information for the team’s faculty advisors (up to two allowed from different disciplines);
  • Names and contact information for the team’s professional advisors;
  • Signature of the department head of the sponsoring school; and
  • Verification forms for each team member who is a part-time graduate student or a fifth-year eligible undergraduate student, such as BArch or BLA student.

Application Instructions

Review the eligibility requirements below, form your team, and complete the online application at http://www.uli.org/hines2023. We will discard any applications submitted by e-mail.

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST WEEK TO APPLY! The submission form requires a lot of information and asks you to submit faculty references so that ULI can determine the eligibility of your team. You will receive quicker responses to your questions and have an easier time if you start the application process early. You can save the form and come back to it.


Ineligible to compete are members of the jury; the competition faculty and professional advisers; all officials, current employees, and recent former employees of ULI; the employees, students, and immediate family members of any of these parties; and those whom ULI deems to present a conflict of interest; and all students from the finalist teams in the 2021 and 2022 competitions.

ULI reserves the right to disqualify teams, limit the number of teams that can participate in the competition, and select teams for participation based on geographic diversity, team statements, team makeup, university diversity, or other criteria listed in the competition guidelines.

How to Form a Team

There is no limit to how many teams may be formed at a given college or university. Intercollegiate teams and teams with members in different states and countries are welcome and have been successful in the competition.

Team Composition

At this time, we do not have the capacity to allow more undergraduates to compete. Please do not email us to ask for an exception to this long-standing requirement.

  • Each team must be composed of five graduate students. Undergraduates in the fifth year of a five-year pre-professional program, such as a BLA or BArch, also may compete.
  • The team members must represent a minimum of three disciplines that grant three different degrees, one of which must be a non-design-related discipline. Your team is not likely to advance to the finalist round without a team member with strong graphic skills. ULI does not consider team members’ undergraduate degrees when determining whether the team meets the interdisciplinary requirements.
  • Each student team member must be a currently enrolled full-time as a graduate student in a degree-granting program.
    • Exception: 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 9 to April 30, 2023. 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.
  • Students from different educational institutions may form a single team, as long as all other individual and team requirements are satisfied. For example, if your university does not offer a landscape architecture program and you would like to have that discipline represented in your team, you can work with another university to achieve the mix you seek. For example, the 2020 and 2021 winning teams were composed of students from multiple universities.
  • Students enrolled in dual-degree programs must designate which degree program they represent on the team for the purposes of the team composition requirements. For example, a student who is enrolled in a joint MRED/MArch program must state which discipline they are representing on the team.
  • The only exceptions to these formulas for team formation are at universities where the graduate degree itself is considered a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary degree. This is very rare, but if you think this might apply to your team, please e-mail hinescompetition@uli.org before the application deadline.
  • Once the team has registered, it must remain intact throughout the entire process. We allow you to replace a student team members only in extraordinary circumstances and with written approval from ULI. If a member of a registered team decides not to continue, the team must replace the departing member and must still satisfy the requirements for team composition.
  • Team members—students, faculty, outside professionals—are not required to be members of ULI.

For more information about this opportunity check out the official site here ~ https://americas.uli.org/programs/awards-competitions/hines-student-design-competition/

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About the Author


Kumbirai is a freelance GIS Analyst and GIS Developer with innovative skills and interests in spatial epidemiology, Web-based GIS applications for sustainability, Space technology, Exploration, and Inclusive and Digital Land Information Systems all towards the attainment and achievement of the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

He is also a true believer of the power of location and geospatial intelligence to CHANGE THE WORLD in making it better for us ALL.

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