Master of Urban and Regional Planning


/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Michelle Marin

I have learned so much about not only planning but real estate development during my time at Taubman.

 Pomona, California, United States

Degree Program(s)

Graduation Date
May 2023

Why was Taubman College worth the cost?
Taubman was worth the cost because I ultimately haven’t had to pay very much, despite being an out-of-state student. This program has definitely set me up for success. I already have a Planning Consultant position lined up for after graduation, thanks to Taubman. The Spring Externship program gave me the “in” to this company and made my networking feel authentic and unintimidating. I have learned so much about not only planning but real estate development during my time at Taubman. I feel like if I didn’t want to be a planner, the experiences I’ve had and knowledge and skills that I’ve gained have set me up to succeed in a variety of related fields.

What resources did you use to pay for your M.U.R.P. degree?
I’m out-of-state. For my first semester, I had Americorps Segal Award money — which Taubman matched — as well as a merit scholarship. As a result, I only paid about $7,000 for my first semester, which I paid for directly myself. I told myself early on that if I didn’t land a GSI position beginning my second semester, I would drop out of school because the tuition costs are just too extreme. I’ve been lucky enough to work as a GSI each semester since, which offers a tuition waiver on top of a paycheck. I’ve also held one to two additional part-time jobs each semester to ensure I have adequate income while supporting myself through school. There are also a bunch of money-making gig opportunities that U-M offers, a few of which I’ve been able to take advantage of.

What advice would you give prospective M.U.R.P. students about paying for grad school?
I’ve greatly enjoyed my time in the M.U.R.P. program. This program offers excellent career outcomes, supported by the robust alumni network. That said, I can’t say if it’s worth it to pay the full out-of-state tuition rates. I’m opposed to student loans, so I would advise any prospective students to apply for every scholarship, grant, and GSI position possible. If you are an undergrad and really want to do this program but can’t afford it, I would advise you to work for a few years first to save money and build up your resume. This way, you stand a greater chance of landing a coveted GSI position. Also, save money by living in Ypsilanti instead of Ann Arbor. It’s much more affordable and the bus ride is free and not that long.

What do you like most about Taubman College?
The faculty works hard to ensure that students are getting value out of this program rather than just learning interesting topics and enjoying ourselves. They care that we excel after graduating and are receptive to suggestions about program courses and expectations. They’re even supporting a student-created course “Radical Planning” which we’ll all be able to take for credit.