The Urban and Regional Planning Program (URP), Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) offer a formal dual degree program that enables qualified students to pursue concurrent work in natural resources and environmental management and urban and regional planning, leading to the Master of Science (MS) in NRE degree from SNRE and the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree from Taubman College. Students would be able to complete all requirements for both degrees within six semesters of full-time study.
Course of Study
Students admitted to the combined program are required to complete the first year courses in one school during the first year and to complete the first year courses at the other school in the second year. Students may begin at either school. During the third year of the program, students are permitted to elect courses in either school and are generally not restricted in their choices beyond fulfilling the required course work.
The regular MS program in SNRE is a two-year 42 credit hour program, while the MURP program in URP is a two-year 48 credit hour program. The dual degree program is a 75-credit hour program designed for completion normally in 3 years (i.e., six full-time semesters of study, averaging 12.5 credit hours per semester).
For the dual degree, students take the required 42 credit hours in SNRE and 48 credit hours in URP with 15 credits double counted. This adheres to Rackham double counting requirements. In completing this coursework, students must accumulate a minimum of 30 URP credit hours and 25 NRE credit hours. Finally, students must complete all of the core required courses and the "concentration" (URP) or "field of study" (NRE) required courses for each of the two programs.
Core or concentration/field of study required courses may include courses that double count for the two programs, depending on the particulars of a given student's program of study, as long as the total credit hour requirements are met. In URP, dual degree students usually choose a concentration in land use and environmental planning, physical planning and design, or housing, community and economic development, although they are not limited to those concentrations. Similarly, dual degree students in SNRE have typically chosen the sustainable systems or environmental policy and planning fields of study, although they are not limited to those fields of study.
Both degree programs require an integrative, applied experience beyond traditional classroom instruction: In SNRE this is the opus requirement (typically a MS thesis or group Project) while in URP this is a capstone studio. Allowing students to complete one, or the other, of these capstone requirements is a key part of the dual degree that makes its completion in three years feasible. The opus requirement for SNRE (NRE 700/701) may satisfy the integrative field experience requirement for URP (URP 603, 601, or 602), if the student has satisfied the first-year core program requirements for URP (URP 500 or 501, 502 or 503, 504, 505 or 506, 507 and 509) before undertaking the opus and if the opus project addresses a planning-related topic. Conversely, the integrative field experience requirement for URP may satisfy the opus requirement for SNRE if the student has satisfied the core program requirements for SNRE (NRE 509, 510, and 580) before undertaking the integrative field experience project and if the integrative field experience project addresses an environmentally related topic.
For the purposes of this dual degree program, the following pairs of courses are recognized as interchangeable, satisfying program requirements for both programs: URP 509 (Statistics) and NRE 538 (Natural Resource Statistics); URP 509 (Public Economics) and NRE 570 (Microeconomics for Nat Res Applications); and URP 520 (Introduction to GIS) and NRE 531 (Principles of GIS).
Applicants must gain separate and independent admission to both the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Urban and Regional Planning Program, both overseen by the Rackham Graduate School. Applicants should contact the Admissions Office of each school for application and admission information. A prospective student can apply to the combined program by applying to both programs simultaneously as a new applicant, or a student already admitted to one program can apply to the second program for the dual degree while work in the first program is in progress. A graduate of one of the two programs may apply for the dual-degree program status in the other program for up to 5 years after completing the initial degree.
The first two years of study will be divided equally among SNRE and URP; students are normally expected to spend one year, full-time in each school. These two years are followed by a third year of mixed enrollment. Students should work closely with faculty advisors and Registrars in each school to determine precise graduation requirements for each degree. In the Urban and Regional Planning Program each dual degree student will receive a requirements checklist laying out the degree requirements. Because the Program is small, students' advisors will be knowledgeable about the dual degree curriculum and will provide guidance. In SNRE, students should consult with the Director of Academic Services and/or the School Registrar regarding fulfillment of requirements for the MS.
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Urban and Regional Planning Admissions
2000 Bonisteel Blvd. Room 2150
Phone: (734) 763-1275
School of Natural Resources & Environment
440 Church Street
1520 Dana Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1041