2012-2013 Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees
Applicable only to students admitted during the 2012-2013 academic year.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
The Department of Urban Planning offers the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (M.U.R.P.) degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Urban Planning.
Urban and Regional Planning
3250 School of Public Affairs Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
Leading to the degree of
Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Admission Limited to
Deadline to apply
MURP: December 15th to be considered for admission and fellowships; January 15th to be considered for admission only
GRE (General and/or Subject)
Letters of Recommendation
In addition to the University's minimum requirements and those listed above, all applicants are expected to submit the departmental application and a statement of purpose.
For those applicants whose native language is not English, a score of 600 (paper and pencil test) or 250 (computer-based test) or 100 (internet-based) on the TOEFL, or overall band score of 7.5 on the IELTS is expected.
The statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, grade-point averages and GRE scores, and resume of relevant experience are all considered in the review process for admission. Applicants must submit transcripts from each college attended.
Undergraduate preparation in college algebra and microeconomics is recommended prior to enrolling in the MURP program. Before enrolling in the program, students must demonstrate the ability to master skills in quantitative methods. This requirement can be met by a grade of B or better in a college mathematics course (minimum level: College Algebra), a minimum quantitative GRE score of 600, or satisfactory completion of a three-week preparatory Math Camp offered by the Urban Planning department, prior to the beginning of the Fall Quarter.
Work samples, preferably research papers and/or a copy of the master's thesis, are required of doctoral applicants. No more than two pieces of work should be submitted; samples written in a foreign language are not considered. Work samples are returned only on request. Applicants in the U.S. must enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Urban Planning, MURP/Law, J.D.
The School of Law and the Department of Urban Planning offer a concurrent plan of study providing an integrated curriculum for those planning to specialize in the legal aspects of urban problems. Education in planning offers an overview of theories and methods that permit identification and treatment of urban problems; education in law offers insight into the institutional causes and possibilities for treatment of these problems. Students pursue studies in both areas and receive both the J.D. and MURP degrees at the end of four years.
In order to be considered for the concurrent degree program, applicants must apply separately and be admitted to both the School of Law and the Department of Urban Planning.
Further details regarding coursework and program structure may be obtained from the graduate adviser in the Department of Urban Planning.
Management, M.B.A./Urban Planning, MURP
The M.B.A./MURP program is a three-year concurrent degree program jointly sponsored by the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management and the Department of Urban Planning. The program is designed for individuals who seek careers which draw on general and specialized skills in urban planning and management. By providing knowledge of the workings of both the private and public sectors, the program enables individuals who have acquired these skills to move easily between careers in private industry and public service.
Applicants interested in the M.B.A./MURP program should contact the M.B.A. Program Office, John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management, regarding admission requirements and application procedures.
Further details regarding coursework and program structure may be obtained from the graduate adviser in the Department of Urban Planning.
Latin American Studies, M.A./Urban Planning, MURP
The Latin American Studies Program and the Department of Urban Planning offer a two and one-half to three-year concurrent degree program leading to an M.A. degree and a MURP degree. Issues related to migration and settlement, comparative urbanization, human resources development and distribution, and rural economics are all of direct concern to planners and other policymakers working in Latin America. The program provides an integrated curriculum through which students can develop professional knowledge and skills while receiving advanced area studies and language training.
Applicants who are interested in this concurrent degree program must apply separately and be admitted to both the M.A. program in Latin American Studies and the MURP program in Urban Planning. Further details regarding coursework and program structure may be obtained from the graduate adviser in the Department of Urban Planning.
Architecture, M.Arch.I/Urban Planning, MURP
The Architecture and Urban Design Department in the School of the Arts and Architecture and the Department of Urban Planning in the School of Public Affairs offer a concurrent plan of study providing an integrated curriculum for architects interested in specializing in social, economic, and environmental policy issues and for urban planners interested in integrating architecture and urban design into policy and planning practice. Education in planning offers an overview of theories and methods that permit identification and treatment of urban problems; education in architecture stresses physical, aesthetic and technical issues in the design of buildings and building complexes. In the program, a student pursues studies in both schools/departments and receives both the Master of Architecture Degree (M.Arch. I) and the Master of Urban Planning (MURP) at the end of four years.
A student who is interested in the concurrent degree program, must apply and be admitted to the M.Arch. I Program in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, and the MURP Program in the Department of Urban Planning.
Further details regarding coursework and program structure may be obtained from the graduate adviser in the Department of Urban Planning or the graduate adviser in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design.
Public Health, M.PH/Urban Planning, MURP
The Environmental Health Sciences department in the School of Public Health and the department of Urban Planning in the School of Public Affairs offer a concurrent plan of study providing an integrated curriculum for students interested in interdisciplinary training on the public health consequences of urban planning. Students in this program study how public health intersects with urban design and land use patterns, location choices and acticity participation, economic factors, equity and social justice, governance and institutional management and planning for sustainability.
Concurrent students pursue studies in both schools/departments and following three years of full time study earn both the Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Environmental Health Sciences and the Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
Applicants must apply and be admitted to both the M.P.H and MURP programs. Further details regarding coursework and program structure may be obtained from the admissions office or graduate adviser in either the department of Environmental Health Sciences or the department of Urban Planning.
The graduate adviser assigns temporary faculty advisers to new master's degree students on the basis of similarities in student-faculty interests. Students are expected to select a permanent adviser by the end of Winter Quarter of the first year. Ongoing evaluations of student progress are made at the beginning of each quarter, when students meet with their adviser to determine a course of study which best suits their needs and interests within the context of the general departmental and University requirements.
Students in the M.U.R.P program at UCLA should inform the graduate adviser before December 15 of their second year if they wish to be considered for the Ph.D. program for the following Fall Quarter.
Areas of Study
Students choose an area of concentration by the end of the first quarter in the program. Areas of concentration are fields in which planners characteristically become engaged, professionally or through research. They are not meant to be mutually exclusive.
Community Economic Development and Housing. This concentration deals with social and economic forces affecting communities. Within this area, students can choose one of two streams: housing policies and development, or community economic development. Both streams highlight linkages to social, economic, and spatial justice; inequality; built form/physical environment; and applied research.
Design and Development. This concentration is intended to teach students how public and private market forces drive design and development of the built environment and how we can build in a smarter more sustainable way that is respectful of varying cultural needs and practices. This area of concentration equips urban planners aspiring to enter the public sector with tools to craft rules and regulations that meet public goals, and trains planners who wish to work for the private or nonprofit development sectors in the skills needed to work with neighbors, community and the public sector in the entitlement and development of complex projects.
Environmental Analysis and Policy. The natural environment is both the context within which all human activities take place and a social product of those activities. Environmental planning begins with analysis of the physical, biotic, socio-economic and cultural context in which environmental conflicts occur. An array of analytic tools ranging from cultural to socio-economic and ecological approaches is then applied to specific questions. Some of these are locality specific, but many also involve larger scale regional process and social movements. This multidisciplinary concentration engages resources within the program and the University to address the urgent questions inherent in environment and development. The program encourages broad training and use of the resources of many disciplines.
Regional and International Development. This concentration concerns the interrelated aspects of area development in both developed and developing countries. The perspective on questions of area development is that of political economy and spatial analysis. Industrialization, urbanization, and rural development are major focal points of interest. Within this area, students are expected to choose an emphasis on either developing or advanced economies.
Transportation Policy and Planning. This concentration emphasizes developing a broad, multi-faceted understanding of the historical, spatial, economic, social and environmental factors affecting transportation issues. While the program emphasizes domestic urban transportation policy, all aspects of transportation policy are covered.
Additional Areas of Concentration. In special circumstances, students may devise their own area in consultation with appropriate faculty members. Final approval of the proposed additional area of concentration must be obtained from the department chair. Further details may be obtained from the graduate adviser.
Foreign Language Requirement
There is no foreign language requirement for the master's degree, but students who expect to emphasize international development studies are encouraged to acquire proficiency in at least one foreign language.
Students must complete a minimum of 72 units (18 courses). Students should enroll in a minimum of 12 units per quarter, completing the program in two years. A minimum of 13 courses must be graduate courses (all 200-series courses except for up to four courses or 16 units of 500-series courses) in urban planning or a related field. One course (four units) of Urban Planning 496 may be applied towards the degree.
Core Course Requirements. The core areas comprise knowledge common to all areas of planning, regardless of one's specific focus. Six core courses are required: Urban Planning 207, 211, 220A, 220B, 222A, and one course on urbanization covering urban problems and processes chosen from a menu of options. Workshops in writing and presentation skills are integrated into Urban Planning 207, 220A, and 222A. Urban Planning 207, 220A, 220B and 222A should be completed during the first year of study. Exceptions to this timeline require the department chair's approval. The urbanization course is recommended but not required to be completed the first year. Urban Planning core courses are sometimes waived with the instructor's consent if the students can demonstrate mastery of the material through satisfactory completion of previous coursework that covered similar concepts, instructional materials, and content. Students are expected to present the relevant course syllabi when requesting waivers.
Undergraduate preparation in college algebra and microeconomics is recommended for students prior to their enrollment in the M.U.R.P. program. Before enrolling in the program, students must demonstrate the ability to master skills in quantitative methods. This requirement can be met by achievement of a grade of B or better in a college mathematics course (at a minimum level of college algebra), a minimum score of 600 on the Quantitative Test of the Graduate Record Examination, or satisfactory completion of a three-week preparatory Math Camp offered by the department prior to the beginning of Fall Quarter.
Upon entering the program, students must pass proficiency examinations in basic mathematics and microeconomics before enrolling in Urban Planning 220A and 207 respectively. Copies of sample examinations are mailed to applicants accepted into the program. An undergraduate course in college algebra or precalculus should provide suitable background to pass the basic mathematics examination. An undergraduate course in microeconomics should be sufficient preparation for the microeconomics examination. Students are strongly encouraged to prepare for the examinations before beginning the program so that they can take Urban Planning 207 and 220A during their first year of study. If students do not pass either or both examinations, they are advised to take Mathematics 1 and/or Economics 1 or 5 at UCLA during their first year of study. (These courses do not count toward the master's degree requirements.) Proficiency examinations need to be passed at the start of the second year in order to enroll in required courses Urban Planning 220A and/or 207, which are only offered in Fall Quarter.
Area Course Requirement. Students must choose an area of concentration and select at least five courses, two of which are generally specified, from a list of courses prepared for that area. One of the required core courses on urbanization may be used to fulfill an area of concentration requirement.
Students may seek waivers for requirements that have been met through coursework prior to entering the M.U.R.P. program.
Master in Public Health, M.P.H./Master of Urban and Regional Planning, M.U.R.P.
Concurrent students pursue studies in both schools/departments and earn both a M.P.H. with an emphasis in Environmental Health Sciences and a M.U.R.P. following three years of study. The concurrent degree program requires completion of 110 units (as opposed to 128 units if the two degree programs were completed sequentially). Students are required to complete 86 units of required courses, 20 units of Urban Planning Stream electives and four units of Environmental Health Sciences/Public Health electives. Concurrent degree program students are required to separately satisfy the capstone requirements for each program (i.e., the comprehensive examination in Public Health and the comprehensive examination or master's thesis in Urban and Regional Planning.
A student without substantial prior experience in planning is required to complete a minimum of three hundred hours of fieldwork. Fieldwork is defined as clinical or real world experience with a planning office, a private organization involved in planning, a community action agency, or applied research within a clinical context (excluding conventional university-based research projects). Students fulfill this requirement by enrolling in four units of Urban Planning 496 while completing the fieldwork requirement or immediately thereafter. Further details about fulfilling this requirement are available from the graduate adviser.
Comprehensive Examination Plan
A student must select this option by the deadline set by the department. Once a deadline has passed, students are limited to options with subsequent deadlines.
Plan A (Client-Oriented Project). A client-oriented project is recommended if students are more interested in practical application of what they have learned than in scholarly research. The time span of the final project approximates that of the thesis. Academic credit for project involvement is given through required courses Urban Planning 205A and 205B, and through 597 for faculty supervised independent research. Guidance of the project rests with a committee of at least one faculty committee chair, one consulting faculty, and a representative of the client. The project proposal should be ready for committee review by the end of the seventh week of Fall Quarter of the second year of study. The project must be successfully completed when it is approved by the faculty committee and delivered to the client. The client project poster presentations are required in the Spring Quarter.
As an alternative under Plan A, second-year students may take Urban Planning 217A-217B for eight units credit, offered each year, either during the Fall and Winter or the Winter and Spring quarters to fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement. The faculty members in charge of this course sequence, one supervising, one consulting, plus a representative of the client make up the comprehensive examination committee. Students must notify the graduate counselor that they have selected this option and (in the event that more than one section is offered) they must indicate in which section of Urban Planning 217A-217B they will enroll by the end of Fall Quarter of the second year of study.
Plan B (Two-Week Examination). Examinations for all areas of concentration are offered during the break between Winter and Spring quarters. A three-member faculty committee consisting of the departmental chair and two members nominated by the student, coordinates, administers and evaluates the examination. Students may be requested to do additional work on the examination after it has been reviewed by the committee. No course credit is received for the two-week examination. Students who choose this option must notify the graduate counselor by the end of Fall Quarter of the second year of study.
Client and comprehensive projects and two-week examinations are graded on an S/U basis. To receive a grade of S the level of the student's work must be equivalent to that of a letter grade of B.
Every master's degree thesis plan requires the completion of an approved thesis that demonstrates the student's ability to perform original, independent research.
A student must select this option by the deadline established by the department. Once a deadline has passed, students are limited to options with subsequent deadlines.
The thesis is intended to provide the opportunity for independent scholarly research and should be the length and quality of a publishable journal article. In order to meet graduation deadlines, students must begin thesis work no later than the beginning of Fall Quarter of the second year and present a preliminary proposal to their thesis committee chair by the end of the second week of classes. The thesis committee consists of three ladder faculty and must be selected by the end of Fall Quarter of the second year. Students enroll in required course Urban Planning 208C for four units of academic credit for thesis preparation, and for four units of 598 for faculty supervised independent research. The student must receive a grade of S in Urban Planning 598 for the thesis project to be considered of passing quality. The thesis poster presentations are required in the Spring Quarter.
Urban and Regional Planning is a full-time degree program. Students are expected to enroll in a minimum of 12 units per quarter. From admission to the master's program, normal time to award of the degree is six quarters (12 units of coursework per quarter).
Students who have completed the normal two-year program residence requirements (not to be confused with the official University residence requirements), but have remaining deficiencies, are allowed an upper time limit of one additional year to complete all remaining requirements (thesis, comprehensive examination, removal of outstanding Incomplete grades). An extension of the upper time limit may be requested by written petition to the department. Such requests will be approved only in extreme circumstances.