Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Urban and Regional Planning, M.U.R.P.

College of Arts and Sciences  
School of Public Affairs 


The goal of the Major is to train students to become planning practitioners capable of working in a variety of public, nonprofit, and private sector environments in a number of different fields. We prepare leaders in the field of urban and regional planning to meet community, national and global needs.

The Major recognizes the need for effective planners to possess diverse skills in the planning and management of human settlements. Accordingly, the MURP core coursework includes thematically-related courses in land use planning, research methods, quantitative analysis, planning theory and history, planning policy and politics, community and economic development, and geographic information systems (GIS). Students have the option of enrolling in electives that focus on housing & community development, land use planning, local economic development, GIS, coastal zone management, housing & community development, environmental and natural resources planning, natural hazards and resilience planning, and transportation planning. These areas of specialization build on the strengths of existing faculty in our sister-major in Public Administration, as well as with colleagues and facilities across the University. The Major is thus distinct in its flexibility. Graduates of the Major will be able to:

  1. Engage in policy-related research relevant to urban and regional issues.
  2. Assume positions of leadership in public, private and nonprofit organizations engaged in planning, land use, and public policy.
  3.  Further public discourse on the problems confronting cities and regions.
  4. Utilize communications and technical skills to become successful at all levels of the planning profession.
Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Two letters of recommendation (one from a faculty member if BS/BA, in last 5 years);
  • A “letter of intent” explaining your background and interest in Urban and Regional Planning;
  • Conditional admission status will be converted to regular status upon completion of three courses from the MURP core requirements with a GPA of 3.50 or above.

All applicants are required to write a statement describing their purpose and goals in the MURP statements.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 48 hours

  • Core – 24 credit hours
  • Electives – 15 credit hours
  • Thesis option – 6 credit hours
  • Internship or Additional Elective – 3 credit hours

Core Requirement (24 Credit Hours)

Electives (15 Credit Hours Minimum)

The elective coursework allows the URP student an opportunity to explore one or more fields of urban & regional planning through approved electives within and outside the School of Public Affairs. Twelve (12) of these elective credits must be taken in the School of Public Affairs from either the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program or the Master of Public Administration program. In some cases, an appropriate class from another department may be approved. Depending on personal interest, students may choose course work in the following areas:

  • Land Use and Comprehensive Planning
  • Community Development and Engagement
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Planning
  • Hazard Mitigation and Resiliency Planning

Comprehensive Exam

This is the default option for the MURP major. All MURP Students are required to take this examination at the end of, or during, the last semester of the major coursework. The examination is waived for students who elect, with the approval of the Graduate Director, to pursue the thesis option. The thesis defense serves in lieu of the exam. (See below for more on the thesis option) 

Non-Thesis (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Non‐thesis students take an additional 6 hours of elective credits.

Thesis (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

  • Credit Hours: 2-19
  • Students who request to change from thesis to non-thesis must complete the necessary hours for the non-thesis option.

Internship or Additional Elective (3 Credit Hours)

All MURP students are required to complete at least 180 hours of work in a planning agency to earn the 3 credit hours stipulated as part of the core requirements above. This requirement is waived for students with at least 5 years of relevant planning experience; in lieu of the internship, an additional elective will be completed.