Urban Planning Coursework

Program Objectives

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning offers graduate study leading to the degree of Master of Urban Planning.  This program, accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, is designed to prepare skilled professionals who are well grounded in the theories, methods, and techniques of planning in local, regional, and state government for the purpose of improving the quality of urban regions.  In addition, it provides students with an opportunity for developing a significant background in a particular area of focus.

A special mission of the department is to promote planning education opportunities for a diverse student population, including working students who prefer to attend the program on a part-time basis.

Apply to the Master of Urban Planning Program

To apply to the Master of Urban Planning Program, please visit our admissions page.

Master of Urban Planning Degree Program Requirements

The following section lays out the program requirements for students in the MUP program.  (For a printer-friendly version of these requirements, please download a copy of the MUP Program Requirements [PDF] last updated June 2017.)

The program leading to the degree of Master of Urban Planning (MUP) consists of 48 semester units of coursework, normally requiring the equivalent of two years full-time graduate study to complete.  In addition, students without prior planning experience complete a professional work experience requirement.

Course Requirements:

Core Seminars and Laboratory/Fieldwork Courses

Students take a series of eight required courses (26 units total) that, collectively, provide a comprehensive background in the theories, methods, and practices underpinning contemporary planning practice.  These required classes are:

Course descriptions and syllabi can be found at the Courses page.

Planning Report or Thesis

Students enroll in URBP 298A (3 units) and 298B (3 units) during the last two semesters of study.  In these classes, students prepare a major planning report that represents an independent contribution to the field.

Electives

Student complete a minimum of 16 units of elective courses (typically four, 4-unit courses). Students are  encouraged to take at least three from within a single area of focus. Electives (upper-division undergraduate or graduate courses) from outside the Urban and Regional Planning Department may be taken, but must first be approved by the Graduate Advisor.

Writing Skills Test (WST) Requirement

The department requires students to take the WST before they begin the MUP program, or during the first semester. Students who fail the WST must take corrective action immediately to prepare to take the test again.

Proof of passage of the WST is a required for enroll in URBP 236, URBP 298A, and for graduation. This WST requirement is waived only for students who have completed a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree from a California State University campus.

The WST is administered at the SJSU campus.  For information on registration and test dates, visit the Testing and Evaluation Office website or call (408) 924-5980.

Professional Work Experience Requirement

To graduate, students must have at least 180 hours of professional work experience in urban and regional planning or a closely related field.  Students fulfill the requirement with an internship or professional employment during their time in the program.  (If the student has completed such work on a paid or voluntary basis within five years of entering the program, then additional professional experience is recommended, but not required.  Paperwork confirming the experience must be submitted to the department.)

When students have completed their work experience, they should download the Internship Completion/Professional Work Experience Form [PDF] and ask their supervisor to complete it.  The completed forms should be sent to the Administrative Coordinator of the department.

Visit our careers page to learn more about finding internships and information about joining our SJSU_MURPs listserv that distributes information about planning jobs and internships.

Critical Paths Through the MUP Program

The following section a suggested course plan for students in the MUP program.  (For a printer-friendly version of these requirements, please download a copy of Critical Paths [PDF] last updated June 2017.)

The program leading to the degree of Master of Urban Planning consists of 48 semester units of coursework, normally requiring the equivalent of two years full-time graduate study to complete. Below is a suggested set of scenarios for completing the program as either a full-time or part-time student, entering in Fall or Spring semester:

*Please note that core course offerings occasionally change, so the department cannot guarantee that all course classes will be offered in the semesters shown here.  Detailed information about our courses, including current and past syllabi, and information about course learning objectives for our core classes can be found on our courses page.

 

Two-Year Program, Entering Fall

Year 1, FallYear 1, SpringYear 2, FallYear 2, Spring
200 or 225200 or 225295 (6 units)298B (3 units)
204236241 (2 units)Elective
275G (1 unit)297P (1 unit) 298A (3 units)Elective
ElectiveElective  

 

Three-Year Program, Entering Fall 

Year 1,
Fall
Year 1,
Spring
Year 2,
Fall
Year 2,
Spring
Year 3,
Fall
Year 3,
Spring
200 or 225200 or 225Elective236295
(6 units)
298B
(3 units)
275G
(1 unit)
Elective241
(2units)
Elective298A
(3 units)
Elective
204 297P
(1 unit)
     

 

Four-Year Program, Entering Fall 

Year 1,
Fall
Year 1,
Spring
Year 2,
Fall
Year 2,
Spring
Year 3,
Fall
Year 3,
Spring
Year 4,
Fall
Year 4,
Spring
200 or 225200 or 225204Elective295
(6 units)
236298A
(3 units)
298B
(3 units)
275GElectiveElective241
(2 units)
 297P
(1 unit)
Elective 
        

  

Two-Year Program, Entering Spring

Year 1, SpringYear 1, FallYear 2, SpringYear 2, Fall
200 or 225200 or 225236295 (6 units)
204ElectiveElective241 (2 units)
275G (1 unit)297P (1 unit) 298A (3 units)298B (3 units)
ElectiveElective  

 

Three-Year Program, Entering Spring

Year 1,
Spring
Year 1,
Fall
Year 2,
Spring
Year 2,
Fall
Year 3,
Spring
Year 3,
Fall
200 or 225200 or 225Elective236Elective298B
(3 units)
275G
(1 unit)
204 or Elective241
(2units)
Elective298A
(3 units)
295
(6 units)
204 or Elective 297P
(1 unit)
     

 

Four-Year Program, Entering Spring

Year 1,
Spring
Year 1,
Fall
Year 2,
Spring
Year 2,
Fall
Year 3,
Spring
Year 3,
Fall
Year 4,
Spring
Year 4,
Fall
200 or 225200 or 225204295
(6 units)
Elective236298A
(3 units)
298B
(3 units)
275GElectiveElective 241
(2 units)
297P
(1 unit)
Elective 

Cross-section of a proposed urban village with rooftop agriculture and transit oriented development. (Illustration courtesy of Beijing Urban Design Studio.)


Featured Courses

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) is a department within the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT.

It is comprised of four specialization areas (also referred to as Program Groups): City Design and Development; Environmental Policy and Planning; Housing, Community and Economic Development; and the International Development Group. There are also three cross-cutting areas of study: Transportation Planning and Policy, Urban Information Systems (UIS) and Regional Planning.

Since its inception in 1933, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning has consistently remained one of the top planning schools in the country. Now totaling close to 60 teaching faculty members (more than half of whom are full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty), it has the largest planning faculty in the United States.

The Department is organized around the following core questions of engagement and progressive change: "Can we make a difference in the world? Can we design better cities? Can we help places grow more sustainably? Can we help communities thrive? Can we help advance equitable world development?" Our mission statement is as follows:

We are committed to positive social change. Our moral vision is translated into professional education in distinct ways:

  • We believe in the abilities of urban and regional institutions to steadily improve the quality of life of citizens.
  • We emphasize democratic decision-making involving both public and private actors, and acknowledge the necessity of government leadership to ensure greater social and economic equality.
  • We foster a positive approach to technological innovation as a major force of social change.
  • We trust that the built environment can meet the needs of diverse populations and serve as a source of meaning in their daily lives.


Urban Studies and Planning Courses

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