↑ top

Master of Urban Planning / Landscape Architecture (M.U.P./M.L.A.)

The Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the School of Natural Resources- Landscape Architecture offer a student-initiated graduate dual degree leading to the Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Urban Planning degrees.

Program Overview

Students especially interested in physical planning at any scale-from site design to metropolitan planning-may decide to get both a master of urban planning and a master of landscape architecture. The dual degree equips students to plan and design the built environment in a comprehensive manner. Students develop design skills at the same time that they understand the social, economic, and political context of the built environment. Having both degrees enables graduates to design at both the large and small scales and to understand the relationship between the two. Graduates can address questions such as: How do small-scale design decisions relate to the larger social context? How can the regional or local jurisdiction's political environment affect a design? Graduates address issues that draw on the knowledge in both degrees-livable communities, smart growth, conservation design, watershed-scale planning.


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.

Degree Requirements

The M.L.A./M.U.P. degree is a 70-credit-hour program that can be completed in 3-1/2 to 4 years. The M.U.P. requires 48 credits (with 30 of these in urban planning courses); the M.L.A. requires 36 credits. Fourteen of these can be double counted. M.L.A. students take approximately 29 credits of prerequisites early in their program; these do not count toward the 36 credit total for the M.L.A. degree; that is the degree and its prerequisites ordinarily comprise about 65 credits. A student in the dual degree must meet the requirements of both programs.

In the Urban and Regional Planning Program, students often choose a concentration in physical planning and urban design, land use and environmental planning, or housing, community, and economic development. In landscape architecture, students proceed through a structured sequence of studios and complementary support courses, while taking advantage of elective courses in the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Coordinated Requirements

Students may complete a 6-credit master's project in either program to meet the project requirement in both. The required UP 504 Quantitative Methods for M.U.P. can fulfill the analytics course requirement for the M.L.A. An advanced M.L.A. student may be excused from taking UP 505 Fundamentals of Planning Practice; the faculty member will review the student's background to make this decision. Under some circumstances, UP 505 may fulfill the M.L.A. requirement for Arch 583 Professional Practice; students should consult advisors.

Sample Course Sequence

A student may begin the dual degree program with emphasis in either department. The first two years of the landscape architecture curriculum include many required courses and therefore allow little room for courses in urban and regional planning. The following is an example of a course of study where a student begins in landscape architecture and starts course work in urban and regional planning in the third year. In this example, the student elects to do the master's project in the Urban and Regional Planning Program, and the student has undergraduate background in economics and statistics.

Year 1

Fall Term Credit
NRE 585* CAD 1
NRE 586* Visualizing the Environment 2
NRE 587* Landscape as Enviro Media 4
NRE 430 Soils or NRE 547 Forest Ecology or NRE 501 Urban Runoff 3-4
NRE 436 Woody Plants 4
Total 14-15
*MLA Prerequisite courses
Winter Term Credit
NRE 531 Principles of GIS 4
NRE 503 Imprints of Archetypes 3
NRE 588* Site Engineering 3
NRE 590* Landscape Ecology Studio 4
Total 14
*MLA Prerequisite courses

Year 2

Fall Term Credit
NRE 591* Landscape Arch Mat and Met 3
NRE 687 Landscape Planning 3
NRE 691 Planting Design 3
UP 503 Intro to Statistics 3
Total 12
*MLA Prerequisite courses
Winter Term Credit
NRE 688 Site Planning 4
NRE 580 Environmental Assessment 3
NRE 787 Metropolitan Studio 2
NRE 791/501 Design Module 2
UP 504 Quantitative Methods 3
Total 14

Year 3

Fall Term Credit
UP 510 Public Economics 3
UP 513 Legal Aspects of Planning 3
UP 540 Planning Theory 3
UP 443 History of Urban Form 3
Total 12
Winter Term Credit
UP 505 Fundamentals of Planning Practice 3
UP 520 Urban Land Use Planning 3
UP 610 Fiscal Planning 3
ARCH 583 Professional Practice 3
NRE 701 Opus 2
Total 14

Year 4

Fall Term Credit
UP 521 Social Life of Public Spaces 3
UP 573 Urban & Regional Theory 3
UP 590 Expanded Horizons 1
NRE 701 Opus 4
NRE 791/501 Design Module 2
Total 13

Admission Requirements

Students must file separate applications to and be admitted by both schools. An application fee must accompany each application. Each school will apply its own deferred admission standards to students who elect to take the first year at the other school. Students enrolled in either program can apply to the other during the first year of study, but not later.


Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Urban Planning Admissions
2000 Bonisteel Blvd. Room 2150
Phone: (734) 763-1275
Website: taubmancollege.umich.edu/planning
Email: urp@umich.edu

School of Natural Resources and Environment
Department of Landscape Architecture
University of Michigan
440 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Phone: (734) 764-6453
Website: snre.umich.edu
Email: snre.admissions@umich.edu