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Degree Requirements

Students should always refer to the specific degree requirements from the year they entered.

In order to obtain the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree, a student must fulfill the following requirements:

  • The student must complete a minimum of 48 approved credit hours, of which:
    • a minimum of 30 hours must be in graduate-level urban and regional planning courses; and
    • no more than eight hours may be counted from among individual study-type courses (i.e., URP 612, 613, 601, or 602).
  • The student must complete all "core" courses, unless waived by the program chair or the faculty member who teaches a specific core course.
  • Each student must complete a course in statistics (URP 504) and a course in economics (URP 509) if these were not taken as an undergraduate. See course waiver process below.
  • Each student must complete a minimum of four hours of courses outside the program (cognate requirement).
  • Each student must complete a concentration, which normally includes at least three courses (see detailed information on concentrations).

Each student must earn an overall grade point average of "B" (3.0) or better while enrolled in the program.

Incoming students are assigned a faculty advisor with whom programs of study, course alternatives, concentration choices, and career objectives are explored. The counseling procedure within the program varies according to the individual student's needs and his or her evolution through the four terms of study. Students are encouraged to seek advice from any and all of the program faculty.

All students should develop a written study plan using the "Degree Requirements Checklist." The student should reconsider and revise the study plan in consultation with his/her advisor each term. The checklist can be maintained in the student's file and serve as the official record of a student's progress toward degree requirements. Keeping the form up to date helps to ensure that degree requirements are met in a timely fashion. Students complete a concentration declaration form during their second full semester in the program; the appropriate concentration coordinator should approve a student's concentration plan on the Degree Requirements Checklist before the end of the third semester.

MURP Core Courses

Generally, students take the majority of their courses during the first year from among the offerings of the Urban and Regional Planning Program. A series of "core" courses serve to give the student a broad-based knowledge of planning. These classes deal with urban planning analysis, history and theory, professional practice, and the social, economic, political, legal, and physical aspects of urban planning. If a student already possesses an acceptable level of competence in an area covered by a core course, an elective may be substituted. The determination as to whether or not a student possesses an acceptable level of competence will be made by the respective instructor in a core course in consultation with the student, his or her advisor, and the program chair. All changes must be noted on the "Degree Requirements Checklist." The "core" courses required of master of urban planning students are as follows:

Course Credit Hours
Introduction to Statistics*
(for those who have not taken statistics)
2 required of a 3-credit course
Public Economics for Urban Planning**
(for those who have not taken economics)
2 required of a 3-credit course
Planning History and Theory 3
Planning Methods 3
Fundamentals of Planning Practice 3
Planning Institutions and Law 3
Spatial Thinking and Environmental Systems 3
Fiscal Planning and Management 2 required of a 3-credit course
Integrative Field Experience 6
 or Planning Thesis/Professional Project 6

* Or a statistics course taken prior to program entry, or a corresponding course taken in a UM graduate program.
** Or a microeconomics course taken prior to program entry, or a corresponding course taken in a UM graduate program.

Normally, statistics, economics, and planning history and theory are offered during the fall semester, while fundamentals of planning practice, planning methods, and the legal aspects of planning are offered during the winter semester. Students should plan to take at least one elective during each of these terms. Spatial thinking and environmental systems is offered each semester and can be taken at any point during the student’s program of study. Fiscal planning and management is normally taken during the fall semester of the second year, while the integrative field experience course (typically the capstone) is normally taken during the winter of the semester of the second year. A diagram illustrating a sample course sequence is provided below.

View a course sample schedule diagram for more information (PDF)

Course Waiver(s)

Course waivers should be requested upon your arrival in the fall and approved before the end of the official drop/add date for the current semester. Course waivers do not reduce the 48 credit hour requirement. If you have taken an introductory statistics course (an introduction through OLS regression) or a microeconomics course during your undergraduate studies, or if are a current UM student doing a dual degree and you have taken these courses in a UM graduate program, and you have received a grade of at least a B in the course, you may be able to waive one or both of URP 504 or URP 509.

Take the form along with a copy of your transcript to the instructor of the course you are requesting to be waived. The instructor will then review your transcript and approve the course waiver form. This form is then returned to the college registrar and placed in your file. A course waiver for the course(s) can only be approved by the Chair of the program or faculty designated by the Chair.

Grades of No Report/Incompletes

Students are expected to complete all course assignments in full and on time according to the course schedule established by the instructor. Consistent with Rackham policy, if a student fails to attend a substantial portion of course lectures and fails to complete a substantial number of the assignments for a course, the instructor will assign a "No Report." This grade will be converted automatically by the university to an involuntary withdrawal (ED) after the end of a term. Students who receive an NR will be required to retake the course. Students are occasionally hindered from completing all of the requirements of a course because of unforeseen hardships. In that event, the instructor, at his or her discretion, may assign a grade of "Incomplete" for the course. Following Rackham policy, the instructor may assign an Incomplete only if the student has attended a substantial portion of the course lectures and completed a substantial portion of the required work.

When assigning an Incomplete, the instructor will consult promptly with the student to determine the nature of the student's hardship, establish the remaining work to be completed, and set a reasonable deadline for its completion. That deadline should be set as soon after the end of the term as possible and should not exceed two months following the end of the term, except under exceptional circumstances. The instructor will notify the student of the work remaining and the deadline(s) for completing that work in writing, which may be by email communications.

If the student completes all of the required work by the deadline, the instructor will assign the student's final grade by incorporating all of the completed work. If the student fails to complete all or part of the remaining work by the extended deadline, the instructor will assign the final course grade based on the work completed before the end of the term and before the extended deadline. In either case, because the notation "I" remains a permanent part of the academic record according to Rackham policy, the final grade as it appears on the student's transcript will be noted, for example, as "I B+."