The MURP program curriculum provides a balance of critical thinking and skills development, empowering students to address complex urban challenges, in diverse areas such as environmental planning, housing and community development, land use planning, transportation, and international development planning.
Students develop a course plan that fits their professional aspirations and meets program requirements in consultation with faculty and the graduate coordinator. No area of concentration is required, and many students use this opportunity to learn about various areas of planning and to develop as generalists, while others prefer to take courses with a tight focus in a particular area. Beyond the small set of foundational core courses, students may fulfill degree requirements with electives offered by the department, as well as with planning-relevant courses from other units on campus, such as law, business, engineering, and environmental sciences.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 72 course units, typically taking three courses (four units each) per quarter over two years, including:
- Five required core courses covering fundamentals of planning history, theories, and analysis methods.
- Three additional required courses, one in each of three primary planning topic areas: law, methods, and urban settlements.
- Eight elective courses relevant to the student's desired area of expertise, such as housing, land use, transportation, economic development, and environmental planning.
- Two courses in conjunction with the Capstone Exit Requirement, in which students gain hands-on problem solving and/or research experiences, completed in the second year of study.
Complete degree requirement details and course descriptions are available from the online UCI General Catalogue*
*Note: The department of Urban Planning and Public Policy changed its name in summer 2017. The UCI General Catalogue and Registrar's Schedule of Classes may not reflect the change until later in the academic year. Until then, you will find the department listed under the previous name: Planning, Policy, and Design (PP&D).
To find out when certain courses will be offered, view the Urban Planning and Public Policy department's academic year course plans.
More Curricular Options
An international education abroad experience can provide you with valuable contacts and professional experience in a country where you may wish to work as a professional planner. UPPP offers diverse opportunities to integrate an international educational component as a part of your degree, through the Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the Network for European and U.S. Regional Urban Studies program (NEURUS).
We offer concurrent degree programs in Civil Engineering (MSCE/MURP) or Law (JD/MURP), with curriculum coordination allowing you to specialize and obtain two degrees in less time than if they were pursued separately. Separate program applications are required and you must be accepted to each program to earn a concurrent degree.
For information on concurrent degree programs, please visit the following links:
The MURP program is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), which provides students “assurance that the program is engaged in continuous review and improvement of its quality, that it meets nationally endorsed standards for the profession, and that it is accountable for achieving what it sets out to do.” The PAB website has many resources for those considering education and careers in planning, and their "Why is Accreditation Important?" includes a helpful explanation of the process and its value.
Our department is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), a consortium of university departments, programs, and individuals promoting planning education, research, and outreach.