A MURP or Master’s in Urban & Regional Planning is designed to teach students various subjects and skills that will prepare them to hold high-ranking positions on urban and regional planning committees. This will enable them to create well-designed urban development plans. Students will take classes in core subjects that focus on the theory and history of planning, analytical methods, dynamics of metropolitan development, and plan implementation. They can also customize their education to further specialize in fields such as transportation, environment, community development, land use, and economic development.
The MUP Degree or Masters in Urban Planning trains leaders interested in building sustainable solutions to today’s critical urban problems. The program combines expertise in urban planning, policy analysis, and data analytics with physical planning, design, and data visualization. Its curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in research design and statistics, economic analysis, legal foundations planning, and the history of urban development and urban planning. Students also specialize in one of four concentrations: Urban Design and Physical Planning; Urban Analytics; Urban Sustainability and Resilience; and Urban Development Policy and Planning.
MA Urban Studies
The MA Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that complements degree programs in Geography, Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, History, Environmental Science, Policy, and many other Liberal Arts, Health & Human Service disciplines. Irrespective of the area of focus, foundational principles of urban planning education prepare the mindset for equity & social justice, emphasize sustainable solutions, and utilize technology to facilitate human-centered communities.
MPA Urban Planning
The MPA Urban Planning or Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Urban Planning provides professional education for students interested in public-service careers related to Urban Planning. This interdisciplinary program is designed to stress the knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors essential to a successful public servant. The curriculum components are designed to produce professionals capable of intelligent and creative analysis, communication, and action in the public sector context.
MBA Urban Planning
An MBA in Urban Planning directly bridges the gap between urban planning goals and effective real estate development objectives and constraints. The Urban Planning MBA program is tailored for experienced professionals who know that cities are our greatest challenge and opportunity. The curriculum of this program is designed with significant input from the practice community and includes myriad outreach opportunities throughout.
Specializations in Masters in Urban Planning Programs
Many of the Master’s in Urban Planning online degree programs discussed above give a choice of focus areas and specializations to choose from. The most important specializations and course electives that can be chosen are Geological Info Systems, Sustainability, Urban Design, International Development, Analytics (example: policy, economics, complexity, resources, stability, robustness, etc.), Physical Planning, Land Use & Spatial Analysis, Mobility & Transportation, Housing Policy, Disaster Policy, Informatics (data, communication technologies, data modeling, etc.), Arts & Culture, and Community & Economic Development. Some of the other focus areas and concentrations offered by select universities in the USA include:
- MCRP or Master of City and Regional Planning
- City Planning Degree
- Environmental Planning Master’s
- Urban Design Masters Programs
- Urban Ecology Masters
- Urban Sustainability Graduate Programs
- Master’s in Architecture and Urban Planning
- Transportation Planning
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Urban Planning Online Programs
The Urban Planning curriculum generally contains specialized coursework in various subjects like Environmental Planning, Land Use & Transportation, Housing and Community Development, Economic Development, Information Technologies for Planning, and Urban Design. The program aims to educate tomorrow’s professional planners by emphasizing a variety of learning experiences. These include traditional seminar/lecture courses, studio experiences working on applied problems in team situations, a student internship to gain practical experience in the field, and individual research work involving a thesis. Students are also encouraged to participate in the rich civic life offered by the host community and nearby counties. In general, a Master’s in Urban Planning online teaches:
- Urban and regional planning theory and practice
- Site planning and creative plan-making
- Land use planning analysis and law
- Public participation and dispute resolution
- Professional written and graphic communication
- Data-driven analytical methods, including geographic information systems (GIS)
- Planning for real estate and urban development, urban transportation systems, and the environment
- Health and the built environment
- Planning for equity, diversity, and social justice
Students graduate ready to thrive in a profession of increasing importance in the face of climate change, growing urban populations, and challenges to social equity. Most areas of concentration can be summarized as Environmental Planning, Urban Transportation Planning, Real Estate, Urban Development, Heritage Conservation, Urban Informatics, Urban Design, Sustainable City Design, etc.
The Urban Design Master’s offered by a few colleges are designed to provide the foundation and skills for professional planning practice and an understanding of the institutions and social, economic, and physical environments that constitute the context of contemporary planning. The core curriculum provides a breadth of planning knowledge, including planning methods, history, theory, law, and finance.
Among other things, graduates of a Master’s in Urban Planning will be able to:
- negotiate between public objectives and private sector constraints;
- plan, design, and implement major public works and development projects;
- convene multiple stakeholders to develop innovative planning solutions;
- lead teams from project initiation to execution; and
- analyze data from market research, censuses, and economic and environmental studies to craft innovative plans and development proposals.
Accreditation for Masters in Urban Planning Online Programs
The most needed accreditation of any Master’s in Urban Planning online program is an accreditation by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) – the highest recognition for graduate planning programs. Other examples of Urban Planning accreditation include the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and regional ones such as – Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), and Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration(NASPAA).
Most Master’s in Urban Planning online programs require 1-3 years to complete the degree requirements and at least 24–52 credits to be acquired during the period. Graduate Certificate courses offered by some universities can generally be completed in lesser time. Some of these courses include the option of a compulsory internship, project work, or a thesis completion, as mandated to receive the degree, which might extend the timeline.
Among the most common Urban Planning prerequisites is the requirement of a Bachelor’s degree, in any discipline, from a regionally accredited university. Other Master’s in Urban Planning online admission requirements are: