The thesis is a requirement of the Masters of Science in Urban Planning Program. In its simplest description, a thesis is an individually-researched and analyzed answer to a planning question. The goal of a thesis is to teach students to carry out independent research – whether using interviews, statistical analysis, literature review, or other types of fieldwork (or some combination of all of these) – and to hone their professional writing skills in presenting their research.
Starting in Fall 2019, a new parallel option is offered. Professional Capstone, also a 6-point, two-semester requirement, will be supervised closely by a UP faculty member. It requires students to apply knowledge and skills gained from the curriculum to address important planning issue(s). It provides an opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the dynamics of the issue(s), constrains, and potential solution(s). It should focus on an applied, real-world project for an actual client; the only exception is a project conducted under close faculty supervision in a research setting.
Theses produced in recent years by graduates of the Urban Planning Program are listed below. Theses produced prior to 2012 include the title and abstract for each thesis; these titles are housed in Special Collections, Avery Library, and may be requested through the library. Theses produced since 2012 are available digitally through Academic Commons, the University’s digital research repository, and can be accessed by clicking on the titles below. Graduating students have the option of deferring the publication of their thesis on Academic Commons for up to two years and therefore theses from the past 2 years may not yet be available.
*denotes a thesis awarded a prize at graduation