City & Regional Planning: Smart Cities, MCP

The Master of City Planning core curriculum encompasses the basic skills and knowledge required of all planners regardless of their specialization, and is a hallmark of our cutting-edge and practical approach to educating city planners. Students who complete the core will understand the legal and historical basis of city planning; they will know how to use a wide variety of population and economic data to understand local communities; and they will understand the form and arrangement of cities and metropolitan areas around the world. Most important, they will understand which planning approaches work best in which contexts and circumstances.

Today's combination of portable-yet-powerful computing and communication devices and Internet-accessible "big data" are democratizing all aspects of urban planning and decision-making. In the process, these factors are transforming planners from central information gatekeepers into bottom-up enablers who are helping city dwellers take better advantage of the opportunities and richness of urban life. By giving constituents quick access to usable information, these new technologies are connecting planners, residents, businesses, and non-profits to make them smarter and more productive. The purpose of this concentration is to give MCP students the skills and abilities they will need to develop planning applications that seamlessly combine user-friendly data retrieval and modeling procedures with individual and collaborative urban planning and design tools. 


A total of 18 course units are required for graduation. 15 course units must be in City Planning (CPLN) courses.

City & Regional Planning Requirements
Core Requirements
CPLN 5000Introduction to City Planning: History, Theory and Practice1
CPLN 5010Quantitative Planning Analysis Methods1
CPLN 5020Urban Economics and Public Finance1
or CPLN 5090 Law of Planning and Urban Development
CPLN 6000Studio I2
CPLN 7XXXPlanning Studio2
Spatial Analysis Requirement
CPLN 5030Modeling Geographical Objects1
General Electives
Select 6 course units6
Smart Cities Requirements
Required Courses
CPLN 5910Introduction to Smart Cities1
CPLN 5920Public Policy Analytics1
CPLN 5050Planning by Numbers 21
or CPLN 6710 Statistical and Data Mining Methods for Urban Data Analysis
Concentration Electives
Select one of the following:1
Sensing the City
Geospatial Data Science in Python
Land Use and Environmental Modeling
Java Script Programming for Planners and Designers
MUSA/Smart Cities Practicum
Other SMT-related course with permission of advisor
Total Course Units18

Smart Cities students who take this course in place of CPLN 5030 in the core must take an additional Smart Cities elective.

Internship Requirement

Because a planning education extends beyond the classroom, all MCP students are required to complete a planning internship, usually between their first and second years. Internships may be paid or unpaid, for at least six weeks. Internships can be completed at any government agency or commission, private consulting firm, or non-profit or advocacy organization involved in planning practice, or research.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2024 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.