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Master of Urban Planning

Students from any undergraduate major can study toward a Master of Urban Planning degree. A career in urban planning offers the opportunity to explore and shape the built environment. 

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The MUP degree requires 52 graduate credits, which are typically earned in four semesters over two full-time academic years. The MUP program is built around a core curriculum, general electives, a planning studio, a departmental colloquium, and a culminating professional thesis or project. Our program is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

What will I be studying? (for those entering the program Fall 2016 or later)

Recommended first semester course: URP 691 Colloquium (1 credit)


  • URP 501 Evolution of Urban Structure
  • URP 510 Planning Concepts and Controversies
  • URP 512 Research Methods for Planners
  • URP 538 Economic Concepts
  • URP 573 Land Use and Physical Planning
  • URP 581 Planning Practicum (6 credits)

Required Professional Competencies, choose one from each of two categories (6 credits)

  • GIS:  URP 569:  GIS Applications or (with permission) URP 601:   Advanced GIS Applications
  • Design skills, design literacy:  URP 526: Site Planning and Design
  • Group process:  URP 577: Planning Techniques in Action

Required Specialization or Advanced Graduate Certificate: 

  • Either Specialization consisting of an Introductory Course, Advanced Course, and specialized URP 582 Planning Practicum II (6 credits), for a total of 12 credits.
  • Or Advanced Certificate in Historic Preservation, see separate information on requirements. 

Required Culminating Exercise (3 or 6 credits)

  • Either Project Track:  URP 697 Master’s Project Preparation, 3 credits
  • Or, by permission only:  Thesis Track:  URP 698 Master’s Thesis Preparation and URP 699, Master’s Thesis, each 3 credits for a total of 6 credits.*

NOTE: URP 697 Masters Project is a capstone course which must be taken in a MUP student’s final semester. Students, may, however, request to work on a 6-credit thesis instead of a 3-crtedit final project. Thesis is pursued through two courses, URP 698 Master's Thesis Preparation and URP 699 Master's Thesis, which should be taken consecutively. Thesis students would take URP 698 in the next-to-last semester and URP 699 in the final semester. Upon special permission of the chair, under special circumstances, students may take them simultaneously. Sometimes students start a thesis but fail to complete it, earning a grade of “U” or “L” in thesis prep/masters thesis.  Such students are permitted to switch to the project option, but are then not allowed to use the thesis credits towards the MUP degree.

Cost of Study

Full-Time per Semester

  Domestic In-State Domestic out-of-State International
Tuition $5,435 $11,105 $11,105
Fees $1,257 $1,257 $1,257
International Student Fee $0 $0 $100
SA&P Fee $237 $237 $237

Further details are available at:
Note: tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

Updated: July 2017

Part-Time per Semester

(per credit up to 11) Domestic In-State Domestic out-of-State International
Tuition $453 $925 $925
Fees $99 $99 $99
Activity Fee (per semester) $64 $64 $64
Transcript fee (per semester) $5 $5 $5
International Student Fee (per semester) $0 $0 $100
SA&P Fee (per semester) $237 $237 $237

Further details are available at:
Note: tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

Updated: July 2017

Our program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

You can learn more about the accreditation process at the

 Planning Accreditation Board’s website.

Explore our Specialization Options

At the start of the third semester of study, all MUP students must declare an area of concentration for their course of study during the second and final year of the program. Students wishing to pursue greater depth of knowledge may choose to specialize in one (or more) of our five specializations, or to pursue the interdisciplenary or generalist track. 


Explore the links between planning and public health to strengthen local and regional food systems and create healthier, more equitable communities. Cultivate your methodological skills in planning as you prepare plans for community clients in local and global settings.


Work with cities and communities to increase employment opportunities, relieve poverty, build international economic competitiveness, promote human development, and facilitate sustainable growth. Study these issues alongside our diverse network of government, industry and community partners.


Apply the planning process to the sustainable development of cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Develop solutions that restore natural systems; minimize the negative effects of human settlements on ecosystems; and mitigate the impact of environmental problems on human health and urban and regional systems.


Engage the material fabric of our cultural past as you explore urban and architectural histories, the craft and technical methods of preservation, and the development of supportive policy and planning tools. Buffalo’s turn-of-the-century architecture and world-class urban design provide inspired settings for applied preservation research.


Rethink planning and design toward the development of the just urban metropolis. Through a community-driven process, explore the physical, economic and social dimensions of development in underserved communities. Particular focus is given to the intersection of race, class, and gender in the construction of our built environments.


Advance research and practices that make cities and neighborhoods more livable, pedestrian-friendly and environmentally and aesthetically agreeable. Applying the tools of GIS, site planning, landscape, and design, students reimagine the city across all scales, from waterfronts and parks, to streetscapes and infrastructure programs, to housing and town or village centers.

Build a Diverse Career Path

Graduates of our program find diverse job opportunities in government agencies (local, state, and federal), international agencies, development authorities, nonprofit organizations, community groups, land development firms, and consulting companies. They succeed without looming debt because of State University of New York’s affordable tuition rates. Over 55 percent of our students are awarded financial assistance (other than loans).

Students with our professional degree engage critical problems of our times:

  • Improving housing and community life; designing programs that relieve community distress
  • Designing great streets and urban places; protecting and adapting historic buildings and landscapes
  • Preserving ecosystems, reducing pollution, and creating sustainable human settlements
  • Targeting public investment to improve economies and increase job opportunities
  • Applying geographic information systems and other digital technologies to solve urban problems
  • Creating environments conducive to active lifestyles, food accessibility, and human health

Study in a Program that is Thinking Ahead

We are constantly working to improve our Master of Urban Planning program. We are working through a 5 - 7 year strategic plan that lays out our goals and measurable objectives. We invite our students to be a part of our efforts to sure our program stays in the forefront of the planning profession and of planning research.

Interested in a Master of Urban Planning?

Shannon Phillips
Assistant Dean for Graduate Education
130 Hayes Hall

We look forward to having you visit our School!

Learn more about our graduate specializations

Graduate students engage in research as a fundamental part of their curriculum through participation in our graduate specializations.