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Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP)

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning is a two-year, 72 credit professional degree program designed for those interested in working as professional planners. The curriculum includes a 43-credit core that focuses on the history and theory of planning as a field, plan implementation, analytical methods (including Geographic Information Systems [GIS]), and the dynamics of metropolitan development. 

MURP students have the opportunity to customize their education to meet particular scholastic and professional objectives. Each student must specialize in one field, and five specializations are available to MURP students:

Remaining credits are taken as electives or as a second specialization.

For the last two quarters of the program, students work in groups on community-based, client-focused workshop projects. This two-term (winter and spring) sequence provides students with the opportunity to form teams to work on projects for community clients, and to produce a professional product by the end of the spring term. Check out examples of past workshop projects.

Experiential learning is an integral component of the program. The program requires 400 hours of internship experience. Internships in the Portland region are plentiful and varied, and include opportunities such as working with Metro's state-of-the-art transportation planning model, with a non-profit community development corporation to revitalize neighborhoods, or with a bi-state agency to implement the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

Students can transfer up to 24 credits of course work taken at another university or at PSU prior to admission, provided that the courses were taken within seven years of completion of the MURP program, that they fit within the student's program of study and have not been used to obtain another degree.

Two dual degree programs are complementary with the MURP program: Public Health and Civil and Environment Engineering (with a transportation focus). With very careful planning, students may be able to complete both degrees in three years.

Core Curriculum

43 credits

Planning Sequence:

  • USP 540 History and Theory of Planning (4)
  • USP 541 Dynamics of Planning Practice (3)

And one of the following:

  • USP 549 Regional Planning and Metropolitan Growth Mgmt (3)
  • USP 594 Planning in the Pacific Northwest (3)
  • USP 595 Reshaping the Metropolis (3)
  • USP 616 Cities in the Global Political Economy (3)

Methods Sequence:

  • USP 531 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Planners (4)
  • USP 533 Planning Methods I (4)
  • USP 535 Planning Methods II (4)
  • USP 584 Negotiation in the Public Sector (can be taken second year) (3)

Analytical Sequence:

  • USP 515 Economics: Applications to Urban Studies (4)
  • USP 525 Design Analysis in Planning (2)
  • USP 553 Legal Processes in Urban Planning (1)

Workshops:

  • USP 558 Planning Workshop* (3,6)
  • USP 559 Internship/Planning Practice Workshop (1)

* Students are required to complete all core courses prior to enrolling in USP 558, with the exception of USP 559.

 

Admissions

Fall admission only. Deadline for application is January 15th.

Learn more about MURP Admissions...

Financial Aid

Graduate research assistantships are awarded annually to several qualified students. Assistantship awards are reviewed annually and can be renewed for no more than one additional year of full-time study for master-level students. These assistantships cover tuition and pay a monthly stipend. Research assistants divide their time between their studies and various assignments such as assisting faculty in research, classroom instruction, or work in a research institute.

The Office of Graduate Studies also provides students with additional funding resources.

In addition, the College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA) offers a number of scholarships each year.  The deadline for applications (to be submitted through the PSU scholarship online application system) is February 1st.

All qualified applicants may be considered for financial aid in the form of student loans. Contact Portland State University's Financial Aid Office at (503) 725-3461.

Career Opportunities

ACSP Brochure: Choosing A Career in Urban Planning

The Career Guide was prepared as a public service by Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). 

ACSP Guide to Undergraduate and Graduate Education in Planning

Also prepared as a public service by the ACSP, the Guide is available for purchase in print form ($40/book, contact kathy@acsp.org), or as a PDF file.

PSU Career Center Profile of the MURP Degree

Questions?

Tracy Braden
Student Services Coordinator
(503) 725-5477
tbraden@pdx.edu

Office of Graduate Studies
http://www.pdx.edu/ogs/

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