Planning Accreditation Board
The Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program envisions a better future by enhancing the quality of life in mature communities and regions, particularly in Virginia, but also elsewhere in the United States and abroad, through strong planning education, high-quality scholarship and professional planning practices. The goals for the program are to:
- Create a diverse learning environment that cultivates engagement of diverse participants — both students and faculty — in the program.
- Prepare students to be effective practitioners in a variety of planning-related organizations, especially in mature communities and regions, with competence in the preparation, presentation and implementation of professional plans and in doing planning-related work.
- Produce scholarship that increases knowledge and understanding of sustainability and planning support systems as well as the development of innovative methodological approaches and solutions to address issues related to sustainable community development.
- Provide useful planning services to mature communities and regions, in cooperation with private and public planners, as appropriate.
Student learning outcomes
- Students should display evidence of having developed a multidisciplinary understanding of urban life.
- Students will display an understanding of the theory and practice of planning for cities and regions.
- Students will display the skills necessary to work effectively and competently as planners in a variety of settings.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of, and a willingness to act in accordance with, the ethics and values of the professional planner, as well as the social and environmental responsibilities of planners.
VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs
The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.
It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.
Degree candidacy requirements
A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.
As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.
Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.
|Degree:||Semester(s) of entry:||Deadline dates:||Test requirements:|
|M.U.R.P.||Fall||Apr 1 (Mar 1 for assistantship consideration or financial aid)||GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MAT|
- These deadlines are designed to allow sufficient time for application review and admission processing. Applications may be submitted after the deadline; however, there is no guarantee of sufficient time for processing. Any application submitted too late for current semester processing will be considered for the following semester.
In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following specifications apply:
- Students must have a minimum 2.7 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in their last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work. In addition, a minimum GPA of 3.0 must have been maintained in their undergraduate majors. Finally, applicants are expected to receive satisfactory scores on each of the categories in the GRE, LSAT, GMAT or MAT examinations.
- Students not meeting these requirements may be admitted to the program on a provisional basis. The provisional period shall consist of the first nine to 12 hours of designated graduate work in which all grades must be no less than B. Provisional admission does not constitute a waiver of the requirement related to a standardized test.
- Generally, at least two of the three letters of reference should come from former faculty.
All courses in the post-baccalaureate graduate Certificate in Urban Revitalization and the post-baccalaureate graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems may be applied to meet the requirement of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree. However, successful completion of either certificate does not guarantee admission into the M.U.R.P. degree program.
In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students in the M.U.R.P. degree program must:
- Complete a minimum of 48 graduate credit hours plus an internship (not for credit). A core of required courses accounts for 27 of these credit hours; the remaining 21 are electives. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required for receipt of the M.U.R.P. degree. In addition, students must receive a minimum grade of B for all core courses.
- Complete either a six-credit thesis (URSP 764) or prepare a six-credit professional plan project through the professional plan course (URSP 762). Program administrators request permission to utilize the grade of PR, in addition to normal letter grades (A, B, C, D or F) in URSP 762. This will allow students the ability to work on their plans over a more extended period of time, if necessary.
In selecting their elective courses, students may (1) opt for exposure to a wide array of planning-related subject matter (the generalist or comprehensive approach), (2) select one of the areas of specialization defined by the department’s faculty (see the list that follows) or (3) develop an individualized program, focusing on one or more self-defined topics. Regardless of the approach selected, students are expected to meet regularly with their faculty advisers for discussion of their courses of study in relation to their career plans.
The following faculty-defined areas of specialization are offered by the department:
- Community revitalization
- Environmental planning
- Metropolitan planning
- Planning management
|URSP 610||Introduction to Planning||3|
|URSP 622||Community Socioeconomic Analysis Using GIS||3|
|URSP/GVPA/PADM/URSP 623||Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs||3|
|URSP/GVPA 632||Planning Theory and Processes||3|
|URSP 635||Legal and Legislative Foundations of Planning||3|
|URSP 662||Foundations for Development Planning||3|
|URSP 761||Planning Studio||3|
|URSP 762||Professional Plan||6|
|or URSP 764||Thesis or Projects|
Environmental planning concentration (12 credits)
|URSP 645||Sustainable Energy Planning and Policy||3|
|URSP 650||Natural Resources and Environmental Planning||3|
|Select six credit hours from the following: 1||6|
|Real Estate Investment Analysis|
|Financial Management in Government|
|Principles of Nonprofit Management|
|Fund Development for the Nonprofit Sector|
|Historic Preservation in Planning|
|Urban Public Policy-making Processes|
|Principles of Urban Design|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems|
|GIS Applications in Urban Design|
|Land Use Planning|
|Citizen Participation and Negotiation|
|Adaptive Reuse of Buildings|
|Transportation Project Development and Evaluation|
|Food Systems, Rural Development and Landscape Conservation|
|Topics in Urban and Regional Planning 2|
With the approval of the program chair, other appropriate graduate courses may be applied toward the concentration.
URSP 691 when the topic is race, gender and ethnicity in planning; digital graphic design and desktop publishing; historic preservation applications; architectural analysis and historic preservation; or fundamentals of design for planners.
|Select nine credit hours from the following: 1||9|
|Global Economic Change and Geography|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems|
|Site Planning and Graphics|
|The American Suburb|
|Urban Planning History|
|Spatial Database Management and GIS Modeling|
|Transportation Analytics and Modeling|
|Strategic Planning and Management in the Public Sector|
|Sustainable Community Development|
|Sustainable Energy Planning and Policy|
|Natural Resources and Environmental Planning|
|Transportation Policy and Planning|
|Environmental Remote Sensing|
|Environmental Policy and Planning|
|International Urban Policy and Planning|
|Topics in Urban and Regional Planning|
|Planning Practicum Seminar|
With the approval of the program chair, other appropriate courses may be applied as electives.
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 48
The internship is designed to give students practical experience in planning-related activities in an institutional context. Normally, the internship is taken during the summer between the first and second year or during the second year. Many opportunities for internship positions, as well as part- and full-time jobs in planning at all levels of government, exist within the Richmond area. Upon request, the internship requirement may be waived for students with substantial planning-related professional experience.
Graduate program director
Meghan Z. Gough, Ph.D.
Associate professor and program chair
Phone: (804) 827-0869
Simon H. Okoth, Ph.D.
Director of graduate studies, Wilder School
Phone: (804) 827-1430
Program website: wilder.vcu.edu/academic/urban/grad.html