URP Graduate Degrees

Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP)

MURP Program Overview

The primary goal of the Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree program 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.

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 MURP degree is nationally respected; our alumni enjoy competitive starting salaries in a wide variety of fields across the United States and the world.

MURP Degree Requirements

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 MURP curriculum prepares students to meet a broad range of problems associated with the urban and regional development. Unlike a student graduating with a BSURP who is prepared for an entry-level planning position, upon completion of graduate study, the 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.

The degree requirements include a set of core courses, which are designed to provide essential knowledge and understanding to function as a planning professional. The second part of the program requires students to choose an area in which they wish to focus their studies. This requirement provides flexibility within the program to allow students to develop expertise and competency within a certain area of planning practice. Students may speak with an advisor to develop a specific area of study within the program or university. The final part is a research component with the option of Plan A thesis or Plan B research paper.

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

  • Urban Transportation Planning;

  • Housing and Real Estate Development;

  • Golf Course Planning and Design;

  • Geographic Information Systems;

  • International Development;

  • Environmental Science and Policy;

  • Community Development;

  • Environmental and Resource Economics;

  • Economic Development; and

  • Planning Law – Dual Degree Option (MURP-JD).

It is not required that applicants possess a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. We encourage students from various backgrounds and different stages in their professional careers to apply.

The MURP curriculum comprises 43 credits, thereby requiring a minimum of two-year, full-time study. According to MSU Graduate School guidelines, nine credits constitute one full-time academic semester. Searchable course descriptions are available online. Below is the suggested sequencing of courses for MURP students which would allow for students to complete the degree in four semesters. Courses taken out of sequence may result in a longer time to degree.

Download the MURP Handbook (2015, 2016, 2017). 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.

Suggested Course Sequence for MURP Students Entering in Fall 2016 Semester
Fall 1 Cr Spring 1 Cr Fall 2 Cr Spring 2 Cr
801 4 814 4 854 4 894 4
823 3 865 3 844 3 899 or
824 3 Elective 3 899 or
3 Elective 3
Elective 3
TOTAL per Semester
10 13 10 10

Suggested Course Sequence for MURP Students Entering in Spring 2017 Semester
Spring 1 Cr Fall 1 Cr Spring 2 Cr Fall 2 Cr
814 4 801 4 894 4 854 4
865 3 823 3 Elective 3 844 3
Elective 3 824 3 899 or
3 899 or
Elective 3
TOTAL per Semester
10 13 10 10

Planning, Design and Construction - Doctor of Philosophy (Urban and Regional Planning Concentration)

The Doctor of Philosophy in Planning, Design and Construction with a concentration in construction management, environmental design, or urban and regional planning will enable students in the School of Planning, Design and Construction to meet future challenges. Graduates of this program will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the effects of plans, regulations, design, materials, project management techniques, and construction systems on the economic, environmental, and social concerns of stakeholders and society.

Check out the degree requirements and download the PhD Student Handbook (2015, 2016, 2017).


To be admitted to the master’s degree program, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with an acceptable academic record. Successful entrants into the MURP program normally have:

  • Undergraduate degree;
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; A GPA below 3.0 may be supplemented by a GRE Exam score of 1000/3.5
  • Students who are required to take the TOEFL must meet Graduate School requirements, or equivalent where appropriate.

For application and admission information, visit The Graduate School and the Office of Admissions.

For more information about planning or planning resources, visit the Michigan Association of Planning.

Meet Your Advisors

Student Services Office
(517) 432-3393
Human Ecology Building, Room 102

Master's and PhD Degrees

crawford_web_062613Pat L. Crawford, PhD
SPDC Associate Director
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Director of Graduate Programs
Human Ecology Building, Room 101A
(517) 432-1148

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