Master of Urban Planning curriculum

Students in the Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P.) program must complete a minimum of 48 credits in the required and elective courses and must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.

View full degree requirements

Capstone requirements

7 to 12 credits: Each student must complete two capstone courses: a studio/workshop and a final paper, which may be either UP 7999: Master's Essay (three credits) or UP 8999: Masters Thesis (eight credits).

Students are strongly encouraged to choose the essay and to select a research question pertinent to their area of concentration.

Master's 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.

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.

See the individual concentrations below for a plan of work template. The templates indicate required classes, both general and for each area of concentration, as well as the elective courses for each of the concentrations. If you're not sure which elective courses you want to take, complete as much of the form as you can and contact your advisor for an appointment.


Most M.U.P. classes are offered annually. Some are offered every other year. A list of our M.U.P. classes below shows when each is offered. Classes generally meet once a week in the evenings or on Saturday mornings to permit working students to pursue their degrees. Elective classes outside of the department may meet during daytime hours or more than once a week. Two to three M.U.P. classes are offered each spring-summer semester, permitting students to complete the degree in a timely manner.

A list of M.U.P. courses offered by the department can also be found in the graduate course catalog.

  • M.U.P. courses offered by semester

    A list of all M.U.P. courses offered by the department and the semester in which they are offered along with their recommended prerequisite if any.

    Course Title Credits Comments Fall Winter Spring/summer
    UP 5010 Planning Resources & Communication 3   X    
    UP 5110 Urban Planning Process 3   X    
    UP 5430 Cities and Foods 3 Offered intermittently   X  
    UP 5650
    GPH 5650
    Metropolitian Detroit 3   TBD TBD X
    UP 5820
    ECO 5800
    ECO 6800
    Urban and Regional Economics 4 ECON 2010 reqd. (with C or higher) X X  
    UP 5999 Public Health and the City 3   X    
    UP 5999 Urban Visualization 3 Saturday class   X  
    UP 6120 Planning Studies & Methods 4     X  
    UP 6260 Land Use Policy & Planning 3     X  
    UP 6310 Real Estate Development 3     X  
    UP 6320
    GPH 6420
    Quantitative Techniques I 4   X    
    UP 6340 Community Development 3   X    
    UP 6350 Housing Policy and Programs 3     X  
    UP 6470 Environmental Planning 3 Offered odd years X    
    UP 6510
    GPH 6520
    Urban & Regional Systems 3     X  
    UP 6520
    CE 6525
    Transportation Policy & Planning 3   X    
    UP 6550
    ECO 6650
    PS 6440
    Region, State & Urban Economic Development 3     X  
    UP 6650 Planning&Development Law 3       X
    UP 6570 Local Economic Development: Implementation and Finance 3

    Offered even years

    UP 6680 Neighborhood Decline & Revitalization 3     X  
    UP 6700
    GPH 6700
    GPH 3600
    Geographic Information Systems 4   X X X
    UP 6750
    ECO 5520
    ECO 6520
    State and Local Public Finance 4 ECON 2010 reqd. (with C or higher). Offered intermittently      
    UP 6830 Advanced GIS Applications 4 UP/GPH 6700/ GPH 3600 reqd. X    
    UP 7010 Planning & Decision Theory 3   X    
    UP 7500 Master's Professional Report 3   X X X
    UP 7700 Projects in Urban Planning 4       X
    UP 7800 Internship: Planning 3   X X X
    UP 7990 Directed Study 3   X X X
    UP 7999 Masters Essay Direction 3   X X X


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


Here you can review a sample course syllabi to get an idea of what to expect. For the latest syllabi, visit the Course Information Matrix (CIM).