City & Regional Planning: Urban Design, 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.

The Urban Design concentration focuses on understanding the links between the physical form and structure of cities and regions and the economic, social and political forces that shape them. It provides knowledge about alternative theories and methods for the physical improvement of urban places and includes courses in graphic communication, the history and theory of design, and the context and operation of development incentives and controls. Graduates from the Urban Design concentration typically work in local government or for private design firms developing urban design plans, neighborhood and district plans, public space and street plans, and, increasingly, plans for new communities. 


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 500Introduction to City Planning: Past, Present and Future1
CPLN 501Quantitative Planning Analysis Methods1
CPLN 502Public Finance and Public Policy1
or CPLN 509 Law of Planning and Urban Development
CPLN 600Planning Workshop2
CPLN 7XXPlanning Studio2
Spatial Analysis Requirement
Select one of the following:1
Modeling Geographical Objects
Modeling Geographic Space
Modeling Geographical Objects
Breadth Methods Requirement
Select one of the following: 1
Site Planning
Planning by Numbers
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Introduction to Land Use Planning
Introduction to Property Development
Introduction to Graphics for Urban Design
Social Impact in Practice
Land Use and Environmental Modeling
General Electives
Select 4-5 course units4-5
Urban Design Requirements
CPLN 660Fundamentals of Urban Design2
CPLN 504Site Planning 11
CPLN 760Public Realm Studio2
Total Course Units18

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 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.