Master of Professional Studies in Urban & Regional Planning

Curriculum Overview

Program Features

The program curriculum has been designed to conform to the academic requirements of the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) which is the academic oversight board established by the American Planning Association (APA), the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). The program is an active member of the ACSP. The program is not yet professionally accredited by the PAB and is in the process of preparing its application.  

Degree Requirements

The degree requires completion of 14 courses, including:

  • Two core courses
  • Five foundation courses
  • Four concentration courses
  • Three elective courses

Academic Concentrations

The degree requires each student to declare a sub-disciplinary concentration and to organize his or her coursework accordingly. Program concentrations include:

  • Urban Design & Land Use focuses on the design and regulation of the physical built environment.
  • Housing, Community, & Economic Development focuses on the management of socio-economic performance of communities.
  • International Development focuses on rapid urbanization in jurisdictions outside of the U.S. legal system.

Additional concentrations in Urban Investment and Urban Analytics are currently in development.

Core Courses

Core courses are required by all students and include Ethics in Planning Practice and the completion of a final master’s thesis via the Urban & Regional Planning Capstone.

Foundational Courses

Five foundational courses are required by all students and span the core knowledge disciplines in the field of urban planning. These courses include Research Methods, Urban Economics, Urban Sustainability, Legal Foundations, and Urban Planning History and Theory.

Concentration Courses

Concentration courses provide students to explore the sub-disciplines in the field of urban planning. Courses such as Geographic Information Systems, Land Use Controls, and Planning Studio fulfill multiple concentrations.

Planning Studio

The Planning Studio is organized to position students in a place-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving context. Each studio is organized to serve an external client in a highly applied, clinical manner which simulates the professional practice of urban planning.

Elective Courses

Electives may be taken within the urban planning program or may be explored outside of the program with permission of the Director.

Independent Study

Independent study represents a unique opportunity for students to self-design a course of study which is either structured to engage an external organization or conduct independent research. Students may pursue up to two independent study courses. 

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