Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

School of Planning, Design and Construction

Graduate Study
Urban and Regional Planning - Master of Urban and Regional Planning

The graduate program leading to a degree of Master in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) is committed to preparing students for professional planning careers in both the private and public sectors and seeks to develop both general planning knowledge and specific skills for practice. Current faculty research and teaching expertise covers a wide range of planning subjects including urban design; land use planning; land use law; housing; community, economic and real estate development; research methods; international development; transportation; environmental planning; and public policy. The MURP degree is a nationally accredited degree and admits students with a variety of academic backgrounds.  Ideal students are those with strong intellectual ability; good written and verbal communication skills; basic statistical methods and have demonstrated a proven potential for leadership in the field of urban and regional planning.

A student entering the graduate program in urban and regional planning is expected to concentrate, under faculty guidance, on studies that provide an optimum learning experience in applying the various principles, theories, techniques, and design skills of planning to specific field problems. Unlike undergraduates, whose studies are divided between liberal education and technical studies, the graduate student is immersed in significant planning studies and research. The graduate program is designed to provide professional competence. After graduation, the student should be capable of assuming responsibilities on an intermediate level of a professional planning operation. The master's program in Urban and Regional Planning has been accredited by the American Planning Association.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the master’s degree program, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution; a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0; a grade-point average below 3.0 may be supplemented with a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 1000 in verbal and quantitative, and an analytical writing score of 3.5. Students who are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must submit scores.

Requirements for the Master in Urban and Regional Planning Degree with a Major in Urban and Regional Planning

The program is available under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis).  The student must complete at least 43 credits, at least 24 of which must be in courses numbered in the 800 and 900 series, and meet the requirements specified below:

Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B (28 credits):
1. Urban planning core courses (28 credits):
UP 801 Concepts and Issues in Planning and Development 4
UP 814 Applied Research Methods for Planning and Development 4
UP 823 Urban Land Management and the Environment 3
UP 824 Geographic Information Systems and Design Tools for Planning 3
UP 844 Planning Theory and Ethics 3
UP 854 Economics of Planning and Development 4
UP 865 Planning and Development Law 3
UP 894 Planning Practicum  4
2. Complete 9 credits of approved elective courses chosen from a list of electives in consultation with the student’s academic advisor . At least one 3-credit Urban Planning Special Topics course must be taken.
Additional Requirements for Plan A:
The following course:
UP 899 Master's Thesis Research 6
Additional Requirements for Plan B:
1. Six additional credits in two courses approved by the student's academic advisor.
2. Pass a final comprehensive examination.

Academic Standards

Academic standards for graduation require that each student maintain an average of 3.00, or better, in all course work, including study undertaken in collateral courses; however, the accumulation of grades below 3.0 in more than two courses of 3 or more credits each removes the student from the degree program.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 10 transfer credits at the 400 or 800-level may be accepted toward the Master in Urban and Regional Planning degree.

For Law College students who have been admitted to the dual J.D.-Master in Urban and Regional Planning program with Michigan State University - College of Law, a maximum of 9 credits from Michigan State University - College of Law may be transferred to the Master in Urban and Regional Planning program with a major in urban and regional planning. A grade of 2.0 in a Law course will transfer to MSU as a passing grade. Students will be assessed at the Law College tuition rate with a graduate assistantship covering only the MSU cost of in-state tuition. Transfer courses must be approved by the Director of the Urban and Regional Planning program. Credits taken prior to admission at Michigan State University –  College of Law will not be accepted for transfer.

Time Limit

The time limit for completing the degree is six years from the first semester of enrollment in the program.