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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?

The curriculum of any vital and dynamic program will change from time to time. The description which follows should be considered illustrative.

All enrolled graduate students should have in their possession an original copy of the curriculum they must satisfy based upon their date of matriculation. Copies of each student's required curriculum are sent to all students several months before entering the program, are distributed again during graduate student orientation, and an official copy is placed in each student's file in the department. If you need a copy of your curriculum, please contact the department secretary. 

  • The curriculum varies depending upon the students entry into the program. Students usually enter the MUP program in the fall semester, although entry in the spring semester is an option.
  • The program encourages full-time study; however, students may pursue their degree part time.
  • Students may apply to waive a required course based on prior coursework.
  • All MUP students are assigned a faculty advisor to assist with academic planning.

General Curriculum

Required Courses (28-31 credits – depending on thesis units) 

Core (18 credits) 

  • URP 501 Evolution of Urban Structure
  • URP 508 Race, Class, and Gender
  • URP 510 Planning Concepts and Controversies
  • URP 512 Research Methods for Planners
  • URP 538 Economic Concepts
  • URP 573 Land Use and Physical Planning

Studio (6 credits) * 

  • URP 581 Laboratory Practicum or
  • URP 580 Laboratory Practicum Dual (only for M.Arch./M.U.P. degree majors)

Departmental Colloquium (1 credit) 

  • URP 691 Colloquium I

Professional Project or Thesis (3-6 credits)* 

  • URP 697 Master’s Project Preparation (3)
  • URP 698 Master’s Thesis Preparation (3)
  • URP 699 Master’s Thesis (3)

General Electives (21-24 credits – depending on total required courses completed) 

  • enables students to pursue specializations, complete a second studio, take an independent study, do an internship, or take additional courses within or outside the department. Study outside of the department is limited to two courses (normally six credits).

M.U.P. Curriculum Total: 52 credits 

*NOTE: PD 697 Masters Project is a capstone course which should be taken in a MUP student’s final semester. PD 697 Masters Project cannot be taken concurrently with PD 581 Studio. Students who pursue the project option and receive a grade of “U”, must retake the project and pass in order to graduate. The maximum number of attempts to take the masters project is two. Students who opt to complete the MUP with a thesis must receive a grade of “S” in thesis prep. Students earning a grade of “U” or “L” in thesis prep/master thesis are permitted to take the project option, but students are not allowed to use the thesis or thesis prep credits towards the MUP degree.

Curriculum Notes

  • No more than 3 credits of PD 545 (Internship) and PD 599 (Independent Study) (6 credits total) may be applied to the M.U.P. degree.
  • All M.U.P. students opt to pursue a specialization or to complete their coursework under a "general track" option. Upon recommendation of their faculty advisor, the department chair may approve a student's request to complete more than one specialization. See specializations for more information.
  • Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in degree courses to remain in academic good standing. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for successful completion of the M.U.P. degree.
  • PD 697 Master's Project is a capstone course which should be taken in a MUP student’s final semester.  PD 697 Masters Project cannot be taken concurrently with PD 581 Studio.
  • PD 698 Master's Thesis Preparation and PD 699 Master's Thesis must be taken consecutively. Thesis students would take PD 698 in one semester and PD 699 in the final semester. Upon special permission of the chiar, students may take them simultaneously.
  • Any graduate student who receives a "D" in any course goes immediately into probationarey status. Two sequential probationary semesters can lead to dismissal.
  • Students interested in CPT during the summer should have all paperwork completed and approved by ISSS and the department no later than June 15.
  • It is the policy of the faculty of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning that students who pursue the project option and receive a grade of “U”, must retake the project and pass in order to graduate. The maximum number of attempts to take the masters project is two. Students who opt to complete the MUP with a thesis must receive a grade of “S” in thesis prep. Students earning a grade of “U” or “L” in thesis prep/master thesis are permitted to take the project option, but students are not allowed to use the thesis or thesis prep credits towards the MUP degree. Students may take thesis after successfully completing the project per the Graduate School’s approval of extension of time limit to complete the degree.

Suggested Program for Fall entrants

Semester 1: Fall    
URP 501 Planning History and Urban Structure 3.00
URP 512 Research Methods for Planners 3.00
URP 691 Colloquium I 1.00
URP 573 Land Use and Physical Planning 3.00
 URP xxx Elective 3.00
Total Credits   13.00
Semester 2: Spring  
URP 508 Race, Class, and Gender 3.00
URP 510 Planning Concepts and Controversies 3.00
URP 538 Economic Concepts 3.00
 URP xxx Elective 3.00
 URP xxx Elective 3.00
Total credits:   12-15
Summer Session:    
URP 581 Possible International Studio 6.00
Semester 3: Fall    
URP 581 Studio 6.00
URP xxx Elective 3.00
URP xxx Elective 3.00
URP xxx Elective 3.00
URP 699 Master’s Thesis Preparation (recommended for thesis students) 3.00
Total credits:   12-15
Semester 4: Spring  
URP xxx Elective 3.00
URP xxx Elective 3.00
URP xxx Elective 3.00
URP xxx Elective 3.00
URP 699 or PD 697 Master’s Thesis or Master’s Project Preparation 3.00
Total credits:   12.00
Minimum Grand Total credits:   52.00

Suggested Program for Spring entrants

Semester 1: Spring  
 URP 508 Race, Class, and Gender 3
 URP 510 Planning Concepts and Controversies 3
 URP 538 Economic Concepts 3
 URP xxx Elective 3
 URP xxx Elective 3
Total credits:   12-15
Summer Session:    
URP 581 Possible International Studio 6
Semester 2: Fall    
URP 501 Planning History and Urban Structure 3
URP 512 Research Methods for Planners 3
URP 573 Land Use and Physical Planning 3
URP 581 Studio 6
URP 691 Colloquium I 1
Total credits:   13-16
Semester 3: Spring  
URP xxx Elective 3
URP xxx Elective 3
URP xxx Elective 3
URP xxx Elective 3
URP 699 or URP 697 Master’s Thesis or Master’s Project Preparation 3
Total: 12 credits   12
Semester 4: Fall    
URP xxx Elective 3
URP xxx Elective 3
URP xxx Elective 3
URP xxx Elective 3
URP 699 Master’s Thesis (recommended for thesis students) 3
Total credits:   12-15
     
Minimum Grand Total Credits:   52

*NOTE: It may be possible for students to take some “First Fall and Spring Semester” core courses in the “Second Fall and Spring Semester.”

The curriculum of any vital and dynamic program will change from time to time. The description which follows should be considered illustrative.

All enrolled graduate students should have in their possession an original copy of the curriculum they must satisfy based upon their date of matriculation. Copies of each student's required curriculum are sent to all students several months before entering the program, are distributed again during graduate student orientation, and an official copy is placed in each student's file in the department. If you need a copy of your curriculum, please contact the department secretary. 

  • The curriculum varies depending upon the students entry into the program. Students usually enter the MUP program in the fall semester, although entry in the spring semester is an option.
  • The program encourages full-time study; however, students may pursue their degree part time.
  • Students may apply to waive a required course based on prior coursework.
  • All MUP students are assigned a faculty advisor to assist with academic planning.

 

Cost of Study

Full-Time per Semester

  Domestic In-State Domestic out-of-State International
Tuition $5,435.00 $11,105.00 $11,105.00
Comprehensive Fee $896.00 $896.00 $896.00
Activity Fee $64.00 $64.00 $64.00
Academic Excellence Fee $187.50 $187.50 $187.50
International Student Fee $-   $-   $100.00
SA&P Fee $237.00 $237.00 $237.00
Total $6,819.50 $12,489.50 $12,589.50

Further details are available at: http://studentaccounts.buffalo.edu/tuition/fall.php
Note: tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

Part-Time per Semester

  Domestic In-State Domestic out-of-State International
Tuition (per credit up to 11) $453.00 $925.00 $925.00
Comprehensive Fee (per credit up to 11) $74.06 $74.06 $74.06
Academic Excellence Fee (per credit up to 11) $15.63 $15.63 $15.63
Activity Fee (per semester) $64.00 $64.00 $64.00
International Student Fee (per semester) $ -   $ -   $100.00
SA&P Fee (per semester) $237.00 $237.00 $237.00

Further details are available at: http://studentaccounts.buffalo.edu/tuition/fall.php
Note: tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

Our program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

You can learn more about the accreditation process at the

 Planning Accreditation Board’s website.

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 our Graduate Research Groups

10/23/15
Economic and international development planners work to increase employment opportunities, relieve poverty, build international economic competitiveness, promote human development, and facilitate sustainable growth.
12/21/15
The environmental and physical planning specialization offered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UB involves the study of how to use the collaborative planning process to develop and implement plans to resolve four broad sets of problems:
10/23/15
Planners increasingly make use of a wide variety of planning tools and technologies, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, urban visualization and simulation software, forecasting methods, and other interactive information techniques.
10/23/15

This certificate engages with the historic built environment and introduces students to the theory and practice of historic preservation through coursework in history and theory, methods, preservation planning and design and taking advantage of the incredible historic resources in the Buffalo Niagara region.

10/23/15
This specialization focuses on neighborhood planning and central city revitalization. It views neighborhood planning as a citizen-driven process that interweaves the physical, economic and social dimensions of community development into a single fabric. 
3/28/16
Urban Design bridges planning, architecture and landscape. Urban designers work on the scale from the design of a street corner to a bird’s-eye view of the urban structure of a metropolitan region. 
10/23/15
There are two options for students who wish to fulfill the Generalist Track: The traditional core curriculum which includes additional studio training, and a variant on the traditional core that adds more “methods” courses.

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?

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Learn more about our graduate specializations

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