Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Influencing how neighborhoods, cities, and regions develop is the work of urban and regional planners. The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree program brings together experts from planning, sociology, engineering, law, architecture, social work, public health, landscape architecture, urban design, and other disciplines to build cities, tackle urban sprawl, upgrade housing, protect the environment, and promote community and economic development. Read more about the Humphrey School's expertise in urban and regional planning.

Accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, this degree program program provides students technical and analytical skills needed to think strategically about developing and implementing plans all levels. For nearly ten consecutive years, graduates of our MURP degree program have had the highest passage rate on the American Institute of Certified Planners’ exam. 

Positions Our Graduates Hold

Executive Director, U.S. Federal Transit Administration, Washington, D.C.
Director, Aviation Services, ICF International, China
Vice President for Environment, JPB Foundation, New York
Urban Designer, MIG, Inc., San Francisco
City Planner, City of St. Paul

Dual Degree Offerings

MURP/JD, Law School
MURP/MSCE (Civil Engineering), College of Science and Engineering
MURP/MSW, School of Social Work
MURP/MPH, School of Public Health


The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree requires 48 semester credits, distributed approximately as follows: core courses (21 credits); three concentration courses (at least 9 credits); capstone workshop (3.0 credits); and elective credits and/or Plan A thesis credits. A 400-hour professional internship also is required, unless you are exempted based on relevant previous employment.

Required Core Courses (21 credits)

PA 5004 — Introduction to Planning (3)
PA 5013 — Law and Urban Land Use (1.5)
PA 5031 — Empirical Analysis I (4)
PA 5042 — Urban and Regional Economics (2)
PA 5043 — Economic and Demographic Data Analysis (2)
PA 5204 — Urban Spatial and Social Dynamics (3) 
PA 5211 — Urban Land Use Planning (3) 
PA 5253 — Designing Planning and Participation Processes (3)

If you do not have GIS competency, you must take a GIS course as part of your 48 credits. 
You may be exempted from selected core course requirements if you have relevant prior coursework. In that case, you can take additional concentration or elective credits to meet the 48-credit requirement. 

Concentrations (at least 12 credits in one of the following areas) 
You can select a focus in an established area of concentration or self-design a concentration with your advisor and with the approval of the director of graduate studies. All concentrations require at least 12 credits. You can take concentration and elective courses at the Humphrey School and from other University departments.

Capstone Workshop (3 credits)
You can learn more about Capstone Workshops here.

Electives or Optional Plan A thesis credits (to bring total degree credits to at least 48)
You are welcome to read some recent theses.

Program Planning Worksheet
The Program Planning Worksheet (PPW) helps current students plan their degrees from start to finish. Students must submit a completed and approved PPW before graduating.

Dual Degree Opportunities 
We offer dual degrees with the University of Minnesota Law School, School of Social Work, and Department of Civil Engineering.

Concentrations: Pre-Designed

In addition to the required core courses, MURP students can select a set of additional concentration courses and experiences that provide an integrated portfolio of professional preparation.

Environmental Planning
Housing & Community Development
Land Use & Urban Design
Transportation Planning

Concentration: Self-Designed

Students can deepen their professional interests by creating an interdisciplinary concentration that combines courses from two or more existing concentrations as well as courses from various departments across the University. Students provide a cohesive rationale for the several themes that tie coursework together into a coherent primary concentration.

Students pursuing this concentration should consult with their advisors and review the self-designed concentration form to understand the rationale and approval that is required for this concentration. The form also includes tips for choosing courses in a self-designed concentration.

Courses are chosen in consultation with advisors and other experts in the fields of interest students are pursuing. Some past self-designed concentrations have included:

  • Bike Transportation
  • Community Development and Nonprofit Management
  • Digital Inclusion
  • Disability Policy
  • Economics, International Development
  • Education Policy
  • Environmental Policy for Sustainable Development
  • Food Systems Policy
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Land Property Rights and Smart Growth
  • Policy and Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Urban Agriculture

Students are encouraged to investigate the many research centers at the Humphrey School and throughout the University to find a match for professional interests.


The PA 8081 Capstone Workshop is a 3-credit course, required for MURP students, with multiple sections available and taught by various MURP and other Humphrey School faculty members. Each section of the Capstone Workshop is organized around a topic area and may have multiple projects and clients. Multiple capstone course options are offered each spring semester. 

Capstone Workshops are designed to provide a culminating learning experience for second-year students, as they apply their knowledge through a team-project for a client (e.g. city government, state agency, non-profit organization). The projects allow students to gain important practical experience that will position them for professional success. In addition, the capstone experience facilitates student reflection on the knowledge and values acquired during the MURP program.

Student teams gain experience in working collaboratively, interacting with clients, and in jointly managing projects. Teams typically prepare written documents consistent with planning practice, such as reports, plans, policies, case studies, and best practice reviews. In addition, students often have the opportunity to present their projects to clients and other stakeholders. The workshop includes a written report for and oral presentation to the client. A course instructor supports students by providing guidance and feedback. A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the MURP capstone is available in a downloadable PDF.

Recent examples of Capstone Workshop projects:

A full list (since 2006) is available in a searchable database.