Masters of Urban Planning + Juris Doctorate



The MUP + JD dual-degree program, offered jointly with the UB Law School, explores the facets of local, state, federal and international policy and practice. The program prepares students for a variety of professional roles in public service, private law firms, planning consulting firms and public legal practice.

What will you be studying?

Taken separately the programs in Law and Urban and Regional Planning require 142 graduate credit hours and a five-year commitment, or 90 credits and three years of study toward the JD and 52 credits and two years of study toward the MUP. The MUP/JD dual-degree program reduces this commitment to 124 credits hours over four years of full-time study. Reduction in course credits results from allowing students to count 18 credits of courses toward both degree requirements.In particular, the Law School will accept nine credit hours of graduate planning courses toward the JD degree while the Department of Urban and Regional Planning will accept nine credit hours of law courses toward the MUP degree. 

Students may begin the dual degree with either Law or Urban and Regional Planning.  For tuition purposes, students are resident in the Law School for three years of study and in the School of Architecture and Planning for one year. 


Year 1 and 2: Students take a full foundational curriculum in each program (e.g., a year of law followed by a year of urban and regional planning or vice versa).  Students take a leave of absence from the program in which they are non-resident during these years. By the third semester of study, all MUP students, including dual degree students, must either declare an option to pursue one of our specialization options.

Year 3 and 4: Students combine law and urban and regional planning, mixing courses from both schools to complete the curriculum.  Students enroll in a full-year law clinic in year three concurrent with an MUP/JD colloquium. In the fourth year, students enroll in a graduate planning studio and Law Seminar, and complete degree requirements toward the dual degrees. Students may choose to tailor their elective choices to concentrate studies in a cross-professional topic area, such as land use and environmental law/planning; housing and community development law/planning; international law/planning; or state and local governance. Courses marked with an asterisk in the matrix count as credits toward both degree programs.

Students in the dual program may further choose to concentrate their elective choices in one or more optional areas of concentration, such as land use and environmental law/planning; housing and community development; state and local governance; international law/planning; or another area designed by the student. Sample course offerings in these areas follow, for illustrative purposes only. Course selections may also include relevant law clinics, law seminars, planning studios, and other electives.

Possible sequencing of courses - students should carefully plan the sequence with both departmental advisors.

Semester 1: Fall  Semester 2: Spring
LAW Civil Procedure 3 LAW Criminal Law 3
LAW Constitutional Law 4 LAW Property 4
LAW Research and Writing 4 LAW Contracts 3
LAW Legal Profession & Ethics 1 LAW Research and Writing 3
LAW Intro to Law (1st week) 0 LAW Law Elective 2
LAW Torts 3 Total Semester Credits  15
Total Semester Credits  15

 Semester 4: Spring
Semester 3: Fall PD 510 Planning Concepts 3
PD 501 Evolution of Urban Structure 3 PD XXX (Elective) 3
PD 512 Research Methods 3 PD 573 Land Use & Physical Plng. 3
PD 538 Economic Concepts 3 PD 508 Race, Class and Gender 3
PD XXX (Elective) 3 PD XXX (Elective) 3
PD 691 Colloquium I 1 Total Semester Credits  15
Total Semester Credits  16
 Semester 6: Spring
Semester 5: Fall LAW Law School Bridge Courses 3
LAW Law Clinic 3 LAW JD/MUP Colloquium* 3
LAW Law Elective 3 LAW Law Elective 3
LAW Law Elective 3 LAW Law Elective 3
LAW Law Elective 3 PD XXX (Elective) 3
PD XXX (Elective) 3 PD XXX (Elective) 3
Total Semester Credits  15 Total Semester Credits  18
Semester 7: Fall  Semester 8: Spring
LAW Law Seminar 3 LAW Law School Bridge Courses 3
LAW Law Elective 3 LAW JD/MUP Colloquium* 3
LAW Law Elective 3 LAW Law Elective 3
LAW Law/Planning Studio* 6 LAW Law Elective 3
Total Semester Credits  15 PD XXX JD/MUP Colloquium* 3
Total Semester Credits  15

Law and urban planning intersect in numerous ways academically and professionally.Common ground includes issues of land development; property; regulatory systems (such as zoning, environmental controls, and other municipal, state or federal regulations); community development; environmental law and policy; housing and business development. 

By permitting some elective courses to count toward both degrees, the JD/MUP program enables students to complete the two degrees in four years rather than the five years required to complete the programs separately. The program offers considerable curricular flexibility enabling students to custom design a dual professional degree matching their interests and career aspirations.

Interested in a MUP + JD Dual Degree?

Would you like to learn more?

Shannon Phillips
Assistant Dean for Graduate Education
130 Hayes Hall

Let Us Answer Your Questions

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