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Student Research & Projects

Students in the School are pursuing a number of degree programs. Each year, 35-40 students start the 2-year Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program and 6-12 start the Masters of Urban Studies (MUS) program. There are about 70 students pursing the graduate certificate in Real Estate. We have 6-12 students enter the PhD program in Urban Studies each year. In addition, there are about 30-50 undergraduate students majoring in Community Development. Many other PSU students choose to minor in TSUSP programs, including Sustainable Urban Development and Real Estate Development.

In the MURP program, all students participate in the Planning Workshop, where students work in small groups to develop a project for a community client of their choice. Past student projects can be seen here. MURP students have an option of completing a field area paper. Students have also competed in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge. All MURP students and many other USP students undertake professional internships with public agencies, private firms, and non-profit organizations in the region and beyond.

Several student projects have won local and national awards. For example, three groups of Portland State University faculty members and students were honored for outstanding volunteer service by the Metro Regional Parks and Greenspaces Department ( Three Planning Workshop projects from 2004 won awards from the Oregon chapter of the American Planning Association ( In 2003, a team of MURP students working with a team of students from the University of Oregon won a national award from APA on a project developing outreach activities to planning commissioners in the State of Oregon regarding policies and programs to integrate land use and transportation planning (

The undergraduate students organize the Community Development Club. The MURP students organize activities through the Planning Club. The Planning Club organizes the MURP orientation, speaker forums, trips to planning conferences, and mentoring programs.

Click here for more information on measures of student achievement in the MURP program.