Offered by: College of Environmental Design, Urban and Regional Planning Department
The Master of Urban and Regional Planning at Cal Poly Pomona prepares individuals for leadership roles in urban and regional planning. Offered in the evening, it provides an opportunity to gain a Masters degree while obtaining professional planning experience. Most students support themselves through professional planning work, but research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Full-time study requires two years; students with extensive professional obligations may complete the program over three or more years.
The program helps practicing planners advance in their careers and provides entry to the profession for students from a wide range of academic disciplines and work experiences. Coursework takes advantage of the rich research and practice opportunities available in Southern California. The program is further distinguished by the following characteristics:
- A commitment to linking theory and practice.
- A strong physical design component.
- Opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with students in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Engineering, and Regenerative Studies.
- The option of a thesis or comprehensive exam.
The program offers specializations in land use and design, community development, environmental policy, and transportation policy. Recent initiatives include increased coursework in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), negotiation and visioning, and leadership. International experiences are available, including an interdisciplinary China studio program offered in conjunction with North China University of Technology.
All graduate students entering College of Environmental Design majors are required to purchase a computer that meets departmental specifications. Applicants are invited to check with their department office or go to the department's website to obtain these specifications. Financial aid assistance for this computer purchase is available to students qualifying for Federal Student Aid (requested via the FAFSA application). Please contact the University's Office of Financial Aid (909-869-3700) for additional information.
Employers laud the program's graduates for their preparation for professional practice, and a large alumni network welcomes them as colleagues. The program has been accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (or its equivalent) since 1974 and is the only Cal State University graduate professional planning program in Southern California. While most graduates become planning practitioners, some pursue Ph.D.s and teaching and research careers.
Professional planners improve the quality of the built and natural environments by developing creative solutions to environmental, transportation, housing, social, economic, and design problems at urban, regional, and national levels. Graduate study leads to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree which qualifies graduates for management-level employment in a variety of departments at all levels of government, as well as in private consulting. Graduates also work for public foundations, non-profit corporations, and environmental or public interest groups.
The program offers a broad, interdisciplinary, and rigorous curriculum that combines lectures, seminars, and studio projects. The program features extensive contact with faculty. All required core courses are offered in the evening to accommodate working students. The Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board and has been cited as a national model for the education of planners.
Dohyung Kim, Chair
Dina Abdul Karim, Graduate Coordinator
Admission to the Program
Admission to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program requires an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better, three letters of recommendation, and a "Statement of Purpose" setting out the applicant's interest in planning, along with a brief background. An applicant with an undergraduate grade point average between 2.5 and 3.0 will be considered for admission on the basis of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A minimum score required on this exam is 280 on the combined scores with not less than 135 on either part. Applicants with an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better are not required to take the GRE.
Students are admitted into the program from a variety of disciplines and work backgrounds. Following admission, the student and the Graduate Coordinator prepare an individual program that specifies all courses and other requirements that the student must fulfill to earn the master's degree. Students select a specialization module in one of four areas: environmental policy, community development, land use and design, or transportation policy. Each student's elective program is designed to fit individual needs and interests. The Graduate Coordinator must approve selection of all elective courses. There are opportunities to take interdisciplinary design courses during the summer and to participate in international planning education programs.