The Capstone Experience

The MURP program's Capstone Project provides students with a two-quarter planning experience that requires them to apply the knowledge and skills accumulated while in the program to develop a practice-oriented research report. Most students fulfill this requirement through either the team-based community practicum or the individually-authored professional report. Many students indicate the capstone project is a highlight of the MURP experience because it connects lessons from the classroom with planning practice and local communities. For most MURP students, the professional report or the community practicum will be the preferred exit requirements. The professional report allows students to develop and hone practice-related skills working individually with an outside client, while the community practicum allows for a similar experience in a group format. Other capstone project options include a thesis or comprehensive exam.

Professional Report (PR)

The PR provides students an opportunity to prepare an independent planning project for a public, private, or community planning organization.  Past PRs have addressed a wide range of issues, including land use planning, urban design, environmental planning, community and economic development, housing, international planning, and transportation planning. Students receive guidance on their research from the client, their faculty PR adviser, and through the Professional Report (292) course. View the sample Professional Report Requirements document for more information.

View Recent Professional Report Topics

Community Practicum

The practicum is a team-based capstone experience taught by a planning practitioner and conducted in conjunction with one or more public, private, or community planning organizations. The focus and client of the practicum rotates each year. Past topics have included healthy communities, affordable housing, economic development, and environmental planning. This experience often includes analyzing social, economic or physical conditions of local neighborhoods, working closely with stakeholders to understand opportunities and constraints, and developing planning and policy recommendations. View sample syllabi for the two-quarter Community Practicum (294) course sequence for more information: Fall Quarter  Winter Quarter

View Recent Practicum Topics


The UPPP department allows a small number of research oriented MURP students to write a thesis as their capstone exit requirement. Typically, students who choose the master’s thesis option will be considering Ph.D. study or a research career. To be considered for the thesis option, students wishing to pursue the master’s thesis option must apply, in writing, to the MURP Graduate Coordinator by May of their first year. View the MURP Thesis Option Requirements and Procedures document for details. 


The exam option requires that students craft a program of study that will help them prepare for a professional exam, i.e. LEED or AICP. Students seeking to pursue the exam option must apply, in writing, to the graduate coordinator in the spring quarter of their first year (contact the graduate coordinator for deadline). View the Exam Option Procedures document for more information. 

Photo: Ken Chew