Urban Planning Admissions Requirements

The Master of Urban Planning program prepares students from diverse academic backgrounds for careers as professional planners.

Applicants typically, but not exclusively, have majored in architecture, engineering, sociology, political science, geography, economics, or urban studies; many also come from backgrounds in the humanities and pure sciences.

The admissions committee reviews all applicants comprehensively, considering their undergraduate academic achievements, personal statement, and related experiences.

All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Information may be obtained from the Graduate Record Examination, Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540 (Web site: www.gre.org/atglance.html). Admissions decisions are made blind of the need for financial assistance.

For general information about urban planning programs, consult the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Guide.


DEADLINE: January 15 (11:59 PM EST)

1. On-line application (https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=COL-ARCH)*
2. Application Fee ($75.00 US)*
3. Three letters of recommendation*
4. Personal Statement*
5. Transcripts in English*
6. GRE  (Minimum score:  150 Verbal)
7. International Students Only: TOEFL  (Minimum score: 100 IBT, 250 CBT, 600 PBT)
8. Optional: Work and writing samples
*  indicates materials that should be submitted online

Download the MSUP Checklist of Required Materials

Dual Degree Information for Urban Planning

Urban Planning as a discipline can be combined with several other graduate programs, so that a student earns two degrees within a compressed time frame in any of the following programs:

Urban Planning and the Master of Architecture (GSAPP)
Urban Planning and the Master of Science in Historic Preservation (GSAPP)
Urban Planning and the Masters in International Affairs (SIPA)
Urban Planning and the Masters in Social Work (School of Social Work))
Urban Planning and the Masters in Public Health (Mailman School of Public Health)
Urban Planning and a Masters in Business Administration (GSB)
Urban Planning and a Juris Doctor (Law)

Please also see the Dual Degree section of Admissions Procedures.
For a dual degree, students apply independently to each program. If accepted to both programs, students are expected to be in touch with the administrator of BOTH programs to work out the exact course sequence of the degree. Depending on prior academic experiences, and the focus within each of the dual degree programs, a student will develop with the administrators and advisors an individualized program of study, including identifying the program that will start the dual degree. Students are urged to check in with advisors from each program at least once a semester to track progress. Dual degree students must complete the requirements for both degrees. Electives in both programs may be counted as fulfilling electives or requirements for both programs.

Planning students may take courses in any of the programs listed above but only those students matriculated into both programs will earn two degrees at graduation. New dual degrees outside of those listed cannot be created “on demand” for students, as this involves an accreditation process through the university, the Planning Accreditation Board, and the New York State Board of Regents.

Dual degrees with Historic Preservation, International Affairs, Social Work, Public Health, and the MBA are typically completed in three academic years, with three semesters of registration in each of the two programs. In these degrees, the Urban Planning component constitutes 45 credits. All Urban Planning students are required to complete a thesis which will be carried out in the final year of study. Planners in dual degree programs where the complementary program also requires a thesis are welcome to develop a thesis topic that bridges both disciplines and satisfies requirements for both programs.

The dual degrees between Urban Planning and Architecture or Law are both four-year programs. This requires one year registered within the Planning Program during which all course requirements including the Planning studio are taken; the other years a student will register in the Architecture or Law programs but may continue to take electives within Planning to fulfill their interests. In these dual degrees, the Urban Planning degree is earned with 36 credits, which includes a six-credit thesis taken throughout the final year. The student cannot wait until their final year of study to take their required planning courses and simultaneously be involved in writing their Planning thesis. A student may be registered in the Architecture program or Law School while working on their Planning thesis in their last year of studies.
Click here for the Online Application

Notice: Undefined index: parent in /hmt/sirius1/skv0/lamp_webservices/lamp/drupal6/sites/all/modules/contrib/browscap/browscap.module on line 85