MURP Program, Frequently Asked Questions

Q:   How do I find the university schedule of classes?

A: Go to


Q: What is the quicklink facility?

A: From the UCI home page, type in keywords into the dialog box and click “quick.” Many keywords are linked right to the appropriate page: SOC for schedule of classes, eee for Electronic Educational Environment, catalog (obvious). Lots of others. Try it.


Q: Where is the university calendar?

A: From UCI home page, type "Calendar" in the dialog box and click “Search”, or go to


Q: Where can I find past course syllabi?

A:  Sample syllabi for most courses can be found here:

For classes with a course website, syllabi are also available on EEE at: 

Choose a quarter and year to find syllabi or information from past courses.


Q: What do I do when I need a letter of recommendation from a faculty member?

A: Due to reductions in department administrative staff, we ask that you help your letter-writer help you. Bring stamped, addressed envelopes to the faculty member to allow them to easily mail your letter. Information about you (e.g., your career goals, background, or the like) and a clear statement of the deadline would also be helpful.


Q: Can I take courses numbers PPD275 more than once?

A: Yes, so long as they are different courses. 275 is a “placeholder” number used when a class is offered the first time. Hence different classes can have the 275 number in the same year. You can take multiple courses numbered PPD275 so long as they are different classes, different course title, for example.


Q: How many independent study (PPD299) courses can I take?

A: MURP students are limited to one independent study (PPD299 course) during their time in the program. PPD299 courses allow for independent work with a faculty member, and should be arranged by the student and a faculty member of their choice. You should check with Janet Gallagher to vet your proposal for an independent study before you start taking the class, to be sure it is consistent with MURP program goals.


Q: Can I take undergraduate courses for graduate credit?

A: Yes, but only if the instructor verifies that you completed extra work beyond the assignments in the undergraduate course. MURP students can take a maximum of two undergraduate courses for graduate credit.


Q: I see that the PPD graduate course that I want to take is full. Does that mean I will not get into the course?

A: Don’t be discouraged. Most PPD faculty members will allow students into their class off the waitlist and many will go beyond the waitlist. Our faculty try to accommodate all graduate student wishes in course selection, and, whenever possible, we work to accommodate adding students to the class. Sometimes that would not be viable, but a good strategy is to go to the first day of class and ask the professor if you can add the class. Better yet, you could contact the professor before the quarter starts.


Q   I am a first-year MURP student. When will I learn the details about the second-year professional report assignment?  What is the new Thesis alternative?

A: The department distributes information about the professional report and holds an open meeting to advise first-year students on the professional report around early May.  Please see the list of 2010-11 PR topics and also the Professional Report Guidelines.  In the meantime, consider possible professional report topics that you would like to pursue. Most students choose their topic during the summer, which is strongly encouraged, as we expect you to have a topic and outside professional report client chosen by the beginning of Fall quarter of your second year.

There is a new Thesis option, announced on April 21, 2010.  This is an option for students who prefer research experience over experience with working with clients. Please see details about the Thesis option here.


Q: How do I learn more about opportunities to study abroad?

A: Go to this web for introductory information: (You can find this from the PPD home page by clicking on “Academics,” then “Student Programs,” then “Study Abroad.”) For specific questions about the NEURUS exchange program, ask professor Scott Bollens. Professor Victoria Beard is an excellent resource for information about the university’s Education Abroad Program (EAP). Generally MURP students find that the Fall quarter, second year, is the best time to study abroad. Study abroad does require some advance planning to coordinate how you will complete your professional report requirements. The NEURUS program typically places students overseas in winter quarter. Students apply to the NEURUS program, and the call for applications for NEURUS is usually distributed in April or May.

Q: I would like to take a Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) course, but I notice that CEE courses are 3 units. How can I maintain a 12 unit course load?

A: To allow students to take CEE graduate electives while maintaining a 12 unit course load, we allow students to enroll in two units of independent study credit as a placeholder when you take a CEE graduate course. That will bring your units above 12 while taking one or more CEE course. In that case, the two units of independent study units do not require extra work, and your grade in the independent study units will be the same as your grade in the corresponding CEE course. You can register for those two units of independent study with the MURP director. Also note that "CEE123-Transportation Models" is preapproved for graduate elective credit in the MURP program.


Q: How do I learn about commencement?

A: From the dialog box on the UCI home page, type “commencement.” See a pattern here? Or go to


Q: Where can I find the PPD department’s three-quarter schedule of classes.

A: From the PPD home page, click on “Academics,” put your mouse over “Courses,” and move the mouse to the left to show academic years. Click on the appropriate year.


Q: Is the Urban Planning Student Association blog accessible from the PPD department home page?

A: Yes. From, click on “People” then "Graduate Students" and use the flyout menu link to  “Urban Planning Student Association.