University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

Master of Urban Planning

Specialization Options

Focus Your Research or Explore the Discipline

For some years, planning education has felt a tension between an approach that aims to train good generalists, with knowledge and skills geared to adaptability and life-long learning, and an approach that attempts to focus, particularize, and deepen knowledge with training in job-specific skills.  Because this debate has no simple conclusion, the faculty has opted to give students a choice in selecting which form of education and professional training most suits them.

At the start of the third semester of study, all MUP students must select one of five specializations, or the advanced certificate in historic preservation, or the generalist track. Specializations typically consist of four or five courses, generally including an introduction to the field, a relevant methods course, and two or three electives, plus a culminating thesis or professional project synthesizing material from the area of concentration. 

Specific course requirements are subject to change. Please bear in mind department policy stipulating a maximum of six credits taken outside the department to count toward the MUP degree. Please see specialization coordinators for advising and questions.  

Economic and international development planners work to increase employment opportunities, relieve poverty, build international economic competitiveness, promote human development, and facilitate sustainable growth.
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:
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.

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.

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. 
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. 
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.