For more information on the Urban Planning Program please view our Urban Planning Brochure.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Urban Planning degree requires the completion of 48 semester hours of graduate course work, the equivalent of two years of full-time study. This is the minimum program length specified by the Planning Accreditation Board. The program is organized in the following categories:

  • core courses
  • concentration
  • electives
  • capstone

Core Courses (23 credit hours)

The following courses are normally required for all students in the program:

Course #   

Course Name

Credit Hours

UP 5010

Resources and Communication in Planning   


UP 5110

Urban Planning Process


UP 6320

Quantitative Techniques I


UP 7010

Planning and Decision Theory


UP 6510

Urban and Regional Systems


UP 6650

Planning & Development Law


UP 6120

Planning Studies and Methods


Based on demonstrated competency in the subject matter, Core Course requirements may be waived by the student's advisor, with approval by the Chair. Waiver of a specific core course requirement will not reduce the number of hours required to complete the program.

Concentration (9-12 credit hours)

We currently offer the following areas of concentration within the Master of Urban Planning degree program:

Students are required to take three courses in one area of concentration.

Electives (3-8 credit hours)

Electives may include technical support classes or courses drawn from other areas of the curriculum, with the approval of the student's advisor.

Capstone Requirements (7-12 credit hours)

Each student is required to complete two capstone courses: a studio/workshop and a final paper, which may be either U P 7999 Master's Essay (3 credits) or U P 8999 Masters Thesis (8 credits). Students are strongly encouraged to choose the essay, and to select a research question pertinent to their area of concentration.

Click here for course descriptions.


Every student is initially assigned an advisor who will work with him or her in the development of an individual program of study within the parameters outlined above. Based on individual interests, students may choose a different advisor during their course of study.

Plan of Work

Every student is required to complete a Plan of Work outlining his or her proposed course of study. Students work with their advisor, generally during their second semester of study, to select the appropriate classes for their area of concentration and capstone requirement. The Plan of Work may be amended. The Advisor, the Chair and the College must approve the original Plan, as well as any amendments. Students who have completed twelve semester hours will not be allowed to register for additional credits unless their Plan of Work has been approved.

Use the links below to open a template for your plan of work. The templates indicate required classes, both gereral and for each area of concentration,as well as the elective courses for each of the concentrations.  If you are not sure which elective courses you want to take, complete as much of the form as you can and contact your advisor to arrange an appointment.

Plan of Work DOWNLOADS: 

*After completing your plan, be sure to do a "File, Save As" and save your file in an easy to find location, such as your Desktop or My Documents folder

Scheduling of Classes

Most Urban Planning classes are scheduled on an annual basis. Planning classes generally meet one day a week, in the evening or on Saturday, to permit working students to pursue their degrees. Elective classes outside of the department may meet during day time hours or more than once a week.

Financial Aid

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning has a limited number of financial aid opportunities available. These are awarded on a competitive basis. Information about them can be obtained from the Chair during your admissions interview. Urban Planning graduate students are eligible for a variety of loan and grant programs administered by the WSU Graduate School. In addition, the Department and the College annually give a number of awards that carry cash stipends. Links to information about both types of financial assistance can be found on our Department's financial aid web page.

Masters Essay Guidelines

The Department has prepared guidelines to help students start and complete their Master's Essay. The Master's Essay provides evidence of the student's ability to independently produce, organize, and complete a substantial piece of professional work for academic credit. As a professional product, the essay should demonstrate the capacity to address a real-world issue or problem relevant to planners. The guidelines can be found here.

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