The Urban Planning program at UWM is a professional, skills-oriented, master’s program designed to train students to perform a variety of planning-related jobs in either the public or private sector.
The program focuses on planning as a process for improving collective decisions in the public and private sectors. The planning process includes analyzing problems, designing alternative solutions and evaluating their consequences, developing strategies for action and participating in their implementation. This process is used in both government and business in developing policy for future action, so that today’s solutions do not become tomorrow’s problems.
The program’s elective courses combined with other courses on campus enable the development of more specialized depth in several planning related areas under the following concentrations: Urban Revitalization; Economic Development; Urban Geographic Information Systems; Transportation; Physical Planning and Urban Design; and Environmental Resources.
The Department is staffed by faculty members who combine academic and professional qualifications and who are committed to active involvement in current issues. They teach by example, using case studies and projects involving actual situations in most courses. This approach injects reality into the educational environment, allows students to see the relevance of the material in the curriculum, and shows students how their courses relate to their professional practice.
The Milwaukee Metropolitan area of one-and-one-half million persons is a learning laboratory that classroom projects and faculty researchers use extensively. Moreover, students gain additional practical experience through internships in the wide array of planning positions available in the Milwaukee area.
MArch/MUP Coordinated Degree Program
In cooperation with the Department of Architecture, the Department of Urban Planning offers a Master of Architecture/Master of Urban Planning program to prepare students for positions as architect/planners. Students in the program concurrently pursue a Master of Architecture degree program and a Master of Urban Planning degree program. Prerequisite to the award of either degree in this program is the simultaneous award of its counterpart degree. For more detailed information on this program see Credits and Courses section below.
MS/MUP Coordinated Degree Program
In cooperation with the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the Department of Urban Planning offers a Master of Science in Engineering/Master of Urban Planning program to prepare students for positions in transportation, public works or similar areas. Students in the program will concurrently pursue a Master of Urban Planning degree program in the Department of Urban Planning and a Master of Science in Engineering degree program from the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Prerequisite to the award of either degree in this program is the simultaneous award of its counterpart degree.
MPA/MUP Coordinated Degree Program
A joint degree program has been designed to allow students to obtain both the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Urban Planning degrees concurrently. This program is intended to combine professional training in planning with applied administrative and managerial skills. More detailed information on this program can be found later in this section and in the Public Administration section of this Bulletin.
An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these Department of Urban Planning requirements to be considered for admission to the program:
- Undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale).
- Three letters of recommendation from three previous faculty and/or professionals.
- For international applicants whose first language is not English, a minimum TOEFL score of 100 iBT or a score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required. Applicants with TOEFL scores from 79-99 iBT, or an IELTS score of 6.5 will be considered for admission only with the stipulation that further coursework in English be taken.
Candidates seeking admission to the M.Arch/MUP, the MPA/MUP, or the MS/MUP program must apply to and be admitted to both programs. The requirements for admission to the Master of Architecture degree program are detailed in the Architecture section of this Catalog. The requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Engineering program are detailed in the Engineering section of this Catalog. The requirements for admission to the MPA program are detailed in the Public Administration section of this Catalog.
Credits and Courses
The minimum degree requirement is 48 credits. Of these 48 credits, 27 are taken in the core curriculum, consisting of the following courses:
|URBPLAN 701||Introduction to Land Use Planning||1|
|URBPLAN 702||Introduction to Planning Law||2|
|URBPLAN 711||Planning Theories and Practice||3|
|URBPLAN 720||Urban Development Theory and Planning||3|
|URBPLAN 721||Applied Planning Methods||3|
|URBPLAN 740||Data Analysis Methods I||3|
|URBPLAN 810||Planning Policy Analysis||6|
|URBPLAN 811||Applied Planning Workshop||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Introduction to Urban Design and Physical Planning|
|Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning|
|Urban Design as Public Policy|
|Concentration or Emphasis Area|
|Select a concentration or emphasis area||21|
The remaining 21 credits may be taken in the general option or any of the emphasis areas listed under the Overview tab: Urban Revitalization; Economic Development; Urban Geographic Information Systems; Transportation; Physical Planning and Urban Design; and Environmental Resources. Each emphasis area consists of a recommended cluster of courses which may include one or more planning electives as emphasis area core courses, and a selection of electives from among planning and other courses. Details of the emphasis area can be obtained from the Department of Urban Planning and are finalized in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.
Major Professor as Advisor
The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. A student who is not assigned to an advisor at time of admission should immediately contact the Department Chair.
Graduate coursework in urban planning or a related discipline taken prior to a student’s admission to the program may be considered for transfer to the master’s degree.
Being able to write clearly and effectively is a critical skill for planners. The Urban Planning program encourages improvement in student’s writing skills by emphasizing writing improvement across the curriculum, and especially in the core courses.
In some cases, students require more intense instruction to improve their skills to the level needed for planning practice. Faculty members assess student writing proficiency in the first semester core courses. Students who lack the required level of proficiency may be required to take a writing course as part of their second semester program of study. Writing proficiency is also a required element of the comprehensive exam.
All students in the program must take a written comprehensive examination as a requirement for graduation. The examination is given between the second and third semesters so that any deficiencies can be eliminated in the second year of the program through structured courses or directed study. Successful completion of the exam, or successful completion of courses specified for removal of deficiencies, represents fulfillment of the comprehensive examination requirement. Students in the M.S./MUP program also must take and pass the comprehensive examination in engineering.
No formal master’s project or master’s thesis is required for the MUP degree. However, a thesis may be substituted for as many as 6 elective credits. The student must obtain approval for the thesis proposal from any urban planning faculty member. The students may relate their thesis work to the program core, the general option or an emphasis option.
The degree program itself is designed largely for full-time students. But the program does allow students up to seven years from the time of initial enrollment to complete all degree requirements.
Students in the M.Arch/MUP and MPA/MUP programs are allowed up to seven years from time of initial enrollment to complete all requirements for both degrees. Students in the M.S./MUP program are allowed up to five years from time of initial enrollment to complete all requirements for both degrees.
*Note* Individuals seeking to use the School’s Shop must first provide evidence of personal accident and health insurance to the Dean’s office. Since no accident or health insurance is provided to any user by the University, access to this resource will be prohibited to uninsured individuals.
Accelerated Program Option
This program is offered as part of an accelerated bachelor's/master's program. For more information, see Accelerated Master's Degrees.