Director of the M.U.P. Program: Mary Edwards
M.U.P. Admissions Director: Arnab Chakraborty
Director of the Ph.D. Program: Faranak Miraftab
111 Temple Buell Hall
611 Taft Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Major: Urban Planning
Degrees Offered: M.U.P.
Major: Regional Planning
Degrees Offered: Ph.D.
Joint Degree Programs: The M.U.P. in Urban Planning can be earned jointly with the J.D. in Law, M.Arch in Architecture, M.L.A. in Landscape Architecture, or any Illinois master's degree in a related field.
Graduate Degree Programs
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Urban Planning and Doctor of Philosophy in Regional Planning. Students can also apply to obtain a joint degree with another graduate degree simultaneously. The most popular joint degrees are with Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Law and Agricultural and Applied Economics. Joint degrees with any related field are possible. In addition, a small number of the department's Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning (B.A.U.P.) students participate in the highly selective 4+1 program to complete the B.A.U.P. and M.U.P. in five years.
We welcome applications from men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds who have demonstrated potential for extraordinary professional achievement. Students seeking a graduate degree in planning come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds. The most frequent are sociology, economics, political science, geography, environmental sciences, architecture, engineering, public administration, urban planning, and public policy, but the natural sciences, humanities, and other fields also provide excellent foundations for graduate study in planning. Prospective students must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 computed from the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and any subsequent graduate study, but the average GPA of admitted students is considerably higher. All applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the tests of verbal, quantitative, and analytical ability. International applicants must meet additional minimum requirements based on their country of origin, including the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
We place particular emphasis on each applicant's statement of purpose. Applicants should use the statement to convey information about their backgrounds, professional and personal experience, and intellectual perspectives, in the context of articulating why a Master's in Urban Planning or Ph.D. in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois will help them achieve their professional goals. We seek an applicant pool that represents a mix of racial and ethnic populations, a range of social and economic backgrounds, different philosophies and perspectives, and a variety of life experiences. We are especially interested in applicants with professional experience, though that experience need not be in planning or closely related fields.
Applicants to the Ph.D. program are admitted when they meet the standards of the Department and a faculty member prepared to serve as their mentor and, if necessary, primary source of financial support. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Regional Planning should communicate with the Director of the Ph.D. Program and faculty most closely aligned with their interests, in addition to completing the formal application process.
Consult the M.U.P. admissions and Ph.D. admissions web pages for more information.
Master of Urban Planning
|Required Courses:||Non-thesis option - Required Hours||Thesis option - Required Hours|
|UP 501, 503, 504, 505, 508, 510, and 511||24||24|
|Optional Internship UP 590 ( reduces the hours needed to graduate by 4):||0||0|
|Capstone Seminar UP 591 (enrollment required for two semesters):||0||0|
|Capstone/Project Hours – UP 595 or UP 598 min/max applied toward degree):||8||0|
|Thesis Hours Required – UP 599 (min/max applied toward degree):||0||8|
Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit:
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:
|16 (12 in UP)||16 (12 in UP)|
The professionally accredited M.U.P. program prepares students for careers in planning practice. Such careers involve public service at all levels of government, in private consulting practice, in the nonprofit sector, and in a wide variety of organizations in need of planning services. The program also prepares students for advanced work leading to the Ph.D. degree and a career in teaching and research.
The M.U.P. curriculum consists of a focused set of core courses required of all students, concentration/elective courses, applied workshops, a recommended internship (reduces the hours needed to graduate by 4), and a capstone requirement. The program is purposely flexible so that students may design a program that builds their expertise in a concentration area of practice such as land use and environmental planning, transportation planning, community development for social justice, housing, sustainable design and development, local and regional economic development, and geographic information systems and analysis. The department also has an active international program designed to expose students to planning practices and challenges in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
If a student has an undergraduate professional degree in urban planning, up to 16 hours may be waived by petition, and the student must take at least 30 hours of urban and regional planning courses at Illinois.
Please consult the department for additional information about the M.U.P. requirements.
Doctor of Philosophy
|Required Courses:||Entering with approved Master’s degree - Required Hours||Entering with approved Bachelor’s degree - Required Hours|
|Planning theory (UP 501 and 580; UP 501 is waived for students with a PAB-accredited master’s in planning)||4-8||8|
|Research design||4 min||4 min|
|Research methods||8-12 min||12 min|
|Electives including areas of specialization**||16||36|
|Thesis Hours Required– UP 599 (min/max applied toward degree):||32||32|
|Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD?||No||No|
|Two Synthesis Papers Required||Yes||Yes|
|Qualifying Exam or Qualifying Research Paper Required||Yes||Yes|
|Preliminary Exam Required||Yes||Yes|
|Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required||Yes||Yes|
|Dissertation Deposit Required||Yes||Yes|
Students, together with their faculty advisor and program committee, select theory, methods, and specialization courses to meet the Ph.D. requirements and prepare for a successful career of advanced research and teaching.
A successful dissertation in planning reports original research on a subject appropriate to the field, the results of which produce significant advances in knowledge. Each student takes a Preliminary Examination, which is an oral examination based on the dissertation proposal and is administered by the student's dissertation committee. Upon approval of the dissertation proposal, the candidate can proceed with the research, written analysis, and findings. When the candidate and the supervisor agree that the research and writing are complete, the candidate is ready for the final examination, which is a defense of the dissertation before the committee.
Please consult the department for additional information about doctoral requirements.
Joint Degree Programs
Joint degree programs provide the opportunity to complete two degrees in a compressed time frame.
Candidates admitted to the joint Master of Urban Planning and Juris Doctor must complete a minimum of 32 hours in urban planning, including core courses and capstone, plus the requirements of the law degree.
Candidates admitted to the Master of Urban Planning and Master of Architecture must complete a minimum of 32 hours in urban planning, including core courses and capstone, plus the requirements of the Architecture degree.
Candidates may propose joint programs combining the M.U.P. with other UIUC master's degrees (for example, but not limited to, African Studies, Agriculture and Applied Economics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Public Health, Economics, Landscape Architecture, Latin American Studies, Library and Information Sciences, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and Recreation, Sports and Tourism). For joint programs, at least 40 hours must be in Urban Planning, including all core courses and capstone requirements. The two programs must total a minimum of (a) 80 hours, or (b) the sum of 40 Urban Planning hours plus the required number of hours for the second degree, whichever is greater. (In the latter case, the other program may at its discretion count up to 8 hours of Urban Planning courses as electives in meeting its degree requirements as long as students are required to take no fewer than 40 additional hours in that program.) The MUP capstone requirement may be waived for a thesis completed in another program provided faculty from both programs participateon the thesis committee. Students must be in residence in Urban Planning for at least two semesters.
Consult the department's M.U.P. joint degree web page for more information about the admissions process and joint degree requirements. For additional guidance, please contact the Director of the M.U.P. Program.
Medical Scholars Program
The Medical Scholars Program permits highly qualified students to integrate the study of medicine with study for a graduate degree in a second discipline, including Regional Planning. Students may apply to the Medical Scholars Program prior to beginning graduate school or while in the graduate program. Applicants to the Medical Scholars Program must meet the admissions standards for and be accepted into both the doctoral graduate program and the College of Medicine. Students in the dual degree program must meet the specific requirements for both the medical and graduate degrees. On average, students take eight years to complete both degrees. Further information on this program is available by contacting the Medical Scholars Program, 125 Medical Sciences Building, (217) 333-8146 www.med.illinois.edu/mdphd/.
Graduate Teaching Experience
Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the doctoral experience in this program and is strongly encouraged for those intending to pursue an academic career.
Faculty Research Interests
The mission of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning is to teach and conduct research to improve understanding of human settlements and of planning situations. The department’s faculty studies the ecological, economic, social, and institutional aspects of urban and regional development, and the theory and practice of planning processes. Planning is viewed as the achievement of outcomes based on interrelated actions over time and space, and close communication and collaboration with a wide range of disciplines and professions is inherent in the department’s approach. The basis of that collaboration is a faculty whose academic training and degrees are in architecture, economics, geography, history, law, political science, regional science, and zoology, in addition to planning. Planning faculty and doctoral students pursue interdisciplinary research and make scholarly contributions to planning and fields closely allied with planning.
Facilities and Resources
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning shares Temple Hoyne Buell Hall (TBH) with the Department of Landscape Architecture and the School of Architecture. The majority of urban planning classes are held in TBH. The department has a 24-hour instructional computing laboratory. Research project and doctoral student workspace is provided in Noble Hall.
The City Planning and Landscape Architecture Reference and Resource Center is located in Funk Library. The planning collection is one of the finest in the world, with books and reports gathered since the collection started over eighty years ago.
Students compete for departmental and Graduate College fellowships and departmental teaching and research assistantships. Selection is based on the academic achievement and qualifications of the student.