Master of Urban and Regional Planning (M.U.R.P.)

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree program is nationally recognized by the Planning Accreditation Board; our alumni enjoy competitive starting salaries in a wide variety of fields across the United States and the world.

The program offers both an accredited five-year Dual Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning (BSURP)/Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree (Fast-Track Option), and an accredited MURP degree.

The primary goal of the MURP degree is to facilitate the development of technical skills and intellectual qualities necessary for students to meet the broad and varied range of problems associated with urban and regional development. It is intended that, upon completion of graduate study, that students should be able to enter the profession as competent practitioners and be able to learn and improve throughout his or her career so as to respond to the changing needs of society and the profession. This program has a Strategic Plan.

We strive to help students develop basic knowledge of the history and theory of planning, presentation techniques, legal and administrative procedures and their applications, and technical skills in survey, research and analysis of the structure and growth of communities. The graduate program offers strengths in community economic development, environment and sustainability, transportation, health, housing and real estate in a global context.

Students use our core curriculum as a foundation, and then tailor the program to their interests and needs.

Those enrolled in this degree develop an advanced knowledge of the history and theory of planning, presentation techniques, legal and administrative procedures and their applications, and technical skills in survey, research and analysis of the structure and growth of communities.

The MURP curriculum comprehensively integrates knowledge, skills, values and ethics to educate our future generation of planners. The MURP curriculum is designed to prepare graduate students for a changing future: It provides them the analytical and research capabilities to be innovative and adaptive in diverse environments and in changing societies. It provides them with skills to be leaders. The curriculum also prepares students to meet a broad range of problems associated with the urban and regional development. Unlike a student graduating with a bachelor's degree who is prepared for an entry-level planning position, upon completion of graduate study, the MURP graduate student should be able to enter the profession as a more advanced practitioner, capable of responding to future and changing needs of society and the profession.

Current faculty research and teaching expertise covers a wide range of planning subjects, including urban design; land use planning; land use law; housing; community, economic and real estate development; research methods; international development; transportation; environmental planning; and public policy.

Urban and regional planning graduate students meeting and discussing plan documents.

Core areas of study include:

The foundation of the degree is contained in eight core courses:

  • Planning and Development.
  • Land Management and the Environment.
  • Applied Research Methods.
  • Geographic Information Systems.
  • Planning Theory and Ethics.
  • Economics of Planning.
  • Planning Law.
  • Planning Practicum (capstone).

Learn more about requirements and courses in Urban and Regional Planning, as well as other admissions and course sequencing information.

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Focus areas include:

Students pursuing this degree will have opportunities to focus on topics, including:

  • Community and economic development.
  • Environmental planning and policy.
  • Urban transportation planning.
  • Housing and real estate development.
  • Geographic information systems.
  • Healthful urban environments.
  • International development.
  • Environmental and resource economics.
  • Planning law – dual degree option (MURP-JD).

Master's Handbook and Academic Program Area of Study

Download the MURP Handbook (2017, 2019). All graduate students must complete and have a signed 2016 Academic Program of Study on file with the School. Note: This PDF is an Acrobat form and must be opened with the Adobe Acrobat Reader. If a “Please wait…” page pops up when you clicked the PDF link, then go back to the previous page and simply right-click on the link from your browser and select save. Then, you can open up the file using your Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Students should consult with their faculty advisor and file original and amended forms as appropriate.

Career Opportunities

  • Planning departments and agencies.
  • Community development organizations.
  • Housing and real estate firms.
  • Environmental planning.
  • Policy-making.
  • Consulting.

Advisor Information

School of Planning, Design and Construction
Human Ecology Building, Room 101 

For academic, research and program-related inquiries.

Graduate Secretary

For application, admission and administrative inquiries.

Student Services Office
Human Ecology Building, Room 102

Available appointments are posted at the start of each semester for the entire semester. If no appointment times work for your schedule, please email your advisor to arrange an alternate appointment time. Schedule your appointment online. (More details: MSU Student Information System resources.)

Note: Appointments are NOT available during the summer or mid-May to mid-August. Advisors are available on a limited basis via email during the summer break.

Student Life

In addition to student jobs and internships, there are college education abroad and undergraduate research opportunities. Also learn more about SPDC education abroad opportunities.

There are also a variety of student clubs and organizations including:

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