The Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy's degree programs feature innovative teaching, often involving students in community projects, engagement with professionals in degree-related career paths, and a significant level of interaction between faculty and students. Basic descriptions of each program are listed are below. Click the degree names for more information.
Students in our Urban Studies major investigate cities and urban life in physical, environmental, social, economic, and political manifestations. Courses will explore the causes, prevalence, and consequences of urban challenges, as well as theory and practice in addressing such challenges. Urban studies provides approaches to issues of wide-ranging scale -- from global social inequalities to the local and personal ramifications of neighborhood design.
The Environmental Science and Policy major is an interdisciplinary program, offered joinly with UCI's Earth System Science department, for students interested in environmental problem solving. It integrates theories, analytical tools, and experiences from social and natural sciences to investigate the causes, prevalence, and consequences of environmental challenges and to develop approaches for addressing them.
The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program prepares students to play a significant role in creating a desirable future by confronting the complex physical and social challenges in our cities and regions. It is a two-year professional program that is a gateway to opportunities in planning and planning-related practice including work in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Planners hold positions in all aspects of planning and development such as environmental sustainability, economic development, housing production and policy, land use and transportation planning, international development planning, and community organizing and development.
The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program is a two-year, professional degree program that provides training for highly motivated and talented individuals to become leaders at the local, state, national and international level in the development and management of policies that lead to a more productive public sector, a more productive private sector, and more vibrant communities. The program is rigorously interdisciplinary and draws on the strengths of an abundance of faculty with expertise in public policy across fields ranging from economics, criminology, political science and sociology, to urban planning, psychology and anthropology.
The department's doctoral program admits qualified students who have completed bachelor's or master's degrees in a variety of social science, humanities, and physical science disciplines, or from professional fields, including planning, policy, and design. Strong candidates typically have a prior background in at least one of the academic disciplines related to urban planning, public policy, or design-behavior research, and a demonstrated fit with existing faculty research interests and expertise.