Jul 25, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Urban and Regional Planning, M.U.R.P.: 48 units

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Index of Academic Programs

Offered by: College of Environmental Design, Urban and Regional Planning Department

The curriculum matrix for the degree program may be found here. The curriculum matrix is the alignment of courses (curriculum) with the desired goals and student learning outcomes of the program. It shows what is taught and how these outcomes are achieved through the completion of the degree program.

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.

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 major required and emphasis required 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.


Gwen Urey, 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. The program consists of a 28 core units, 4 units emphasis core units, 13 units of electives, and 3 units for either a Master’s Thesis or a Client-based project. The emphasis units allow students to focus their attention on one of two emphases offered by the program: 1) Planning and Policy and 2) Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The Planning and Policy Emphasis is designed for students interested in research-based planning and policy practice in public, non-profit, and private sectors, as well as those intending to pursue a Ph.D. It emphasizes the advanced mixed-methods research and analysis techniques that underpin plan and policy proposals. The Entrepreneurship and Leadership Emphasis will produce leaders who thrive in a highly advanced, globalized society. It recognizes that graduate planning programs’ roles now serve a broader function than mid-level public planning positions, and provides graduates with the necessary analytic tools, technical skills and vision to take on leadership positions in private, non-profit, and public sector entities.

Major Electives: 17 units

URP Electives: 13 units

Choose a minimum of 13 units with approval of advisor from courses listed below:

Emphasis: 4 units

Any combination of courses listed below will satisfy the required 4 units. Emphases are listed to provide guidance for helping students to choose courses of interest that best fit your career goals, but there is no requirement for choosing a specific emphasis for fulfilling these units.

Culminating Experience: 3 units

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Index of Academic Programs