↑ top

Urban and Regional Planning Program

Urban and Regional Planning is a profession that strives to improve the environmental quality, economic potential, and social equity of places: neighborhoods, towns, cities, metropolitan areas, and larger regions.

Planners seek to create lively, interesting neighborhoods and commercial areas; to foster sustainable development; to improve alternatives to sprawling, auto-dependent areas; to revitalize downtowns and inner-city neighborhoods; and to develop cities and towns in a manner that protects the environment. 

Michigan Planning seeks to shape place-based policy and design for social equity and sustainability, regional solutions to metropolitan problems, just and effective remedies for urban decline, and the creation of human settlements that offer alternatives to environmentally consumptive land-development patterns. Taubman College offers two degrees: a Master of Urban Planning and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning.

The Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P.) degree offers professional education in the planning field. Graduates apply their professional skills in various government agencies, private enterprises, or nonprofit organizations within a variety of subject areas. Concentrations include: Land Use and Environmental Planning; Housing, Community, and Economic Development; Global and Comparative Planning; Physical Planning and Design; and Transportation Planning. Graduate education at Taubman College emphasizes the development of students’ abilities to analyze, evaluate, integrate, and apply critical thinking in interdisciplinary planning processes. The course of study normally requires two years (four terms/full-time) for completion.

The Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning trains scholars for careers in higher education, research, and high-level policy positions. It is a doctoral degree with a flexible, interdisciplinary focus. Graduates work in universities, government, nonprofits, and the private sector in the U.S. and around the world. The curriculum integrates analytical methods, research design, a rigorous understanding of urbanization dynamics, and an examination of broader social theories, processes, and policies. Students address complex systems that typically encompass an array of spatial, environmental, social, political, technical, and economic factors. The emphasis is on theory, analysis, and action. Each student is also expected to demonstrate an understanding of the literature, theory, and research in a specialization area within the larger discipline of urban and regional planning.

The Rackham Graduate School awards the Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning degree. Applicants are required to complete the online Rackham Graduate School admissions application.