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Capstones

A fundamental element of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program of study is the required field experience or 'capstone' course.

Master of Urban Planning: What will you do in the capstone course? from Taubman College on Vimeo.

Each capstone is a six credit hour studio-based course limited in size to about 9-12 students, co-taught by a regular urban planning faculty member and an urban planning practitioner, and reconstituted each term with a new community partner or "client" to address a timely and real-world urban planning problem. The key goals of the capstone include:

  • Providing students with a collaborative and active learning experience that addresses timely and real-world planning problems, requires engaging actively with real-world clients, and mimics as closely as possible professional work experiences typical for the practice of urban planning yet still conducted under the tutelage of faculty members as a capstone learning experience.
  • Providing local governments and nongovernmental community development groups with assistance through the capstone project that will tangibly advance the group's mission or address some pressing urban planning problem.

Client groups and projects are selected and managed by the faculty instructors in order to ensure that students receive a high-value learning experience, that the project speaks meaningfully to issues of social justice and sustainability, and that the product of the capstone effort provides tangible benefit to the client. Client groups are identified and selected to address these goals, with preference given to groups that lack the staff or other resources necessary to undertake such planning projects on their own but that have sufficient capacity to work with students and move forward with the planning reports and recommendations produced.

To see examples of capstone reports visit the urban planning student work page.