Urban Planning (MUP)

Master of Urban Planning (URPLMUP)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department: Urban and Public Affairs
Program Webpage

Program Information

Fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) and ranked #23 nationally according in Planning Educators in the 2012 Planetizen guide, the Master of Urban Planning Program strives to play an important role in the University of Louisville's urban/metropolitan mission by creating the best possible learning environment for the student whose goal is to become a planning practitioner, by advancing the state of knowledge in the planning field through faculty research, and by bringing that knowledge to bear on the challenges facing the community.

The Department of Urban and Public Affairs offers a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) degree in cooperation with the Department of Geography and Geosciences. The MUP Program prepares students to work in a wide variety of fields, including land use and environmental planning, urban design, historic preservation, transportation planning, open space planning, housing planning, economic development planning, real estate development, and the development of geographic information systems. With the continuing expansion of Louisville and the nation's other metropolitan areas, urban planning is one of the leading professional fields in terms of demand and job satisfaction, according to surveys by Jobs Rated Almanac and the Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance.

Students can specialize in one or two of four areas: land use and environmental planning; administration of planning organizations; housing and community development; and spatial analysis for planning. Students have the opportunity to benefit from working on real planning problems through the required internship and studio courses. Studio courses are taught at the Urban Design Studio, located in downtown Louisville and operated by the MUP Program.

The degree requires 48 credit hours (two years of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study), although up to six (6) credit hours of relevant graduate course work may be transferred into the program. Students may enroll on a part-time or full-time basis. Classes are held in the evenings and on weekends to meet the scheduling needs of persons holding full-time jobs.

Degree Requirements

Core Coursework24
Electives9
Concentration9
Internship and Studio6
Minimum Total Hours48

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (any major is acceptable), must have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and must submit two letters of reference (at least one from someone familiar with the applicant's academic abilities) and a statement of purpose.

Admission is competitive; successful candidates have received minimum scores of 144 quantitative and 153 verbal GRE and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (B).

An application form can be obtained at the program website. All required application materials must first be submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. Those materials will then be forwarded to the MUP Program for review by the Admissions Committee.

The program will notify the applicant of the Committee's decision.

Program Requirements 

Master of Urban Planning Degree Program

Urban Planning (MUP) Core Courses24
Planning Theory and History
Statistics for Public Affairs
Urban Economics
Urban Data Analysis
Land Use & Planning Law
Professional Practice
Urban Demography and GIS
Site Planning
Concentration Area (see tab for coursework)9
Other Electives9
PLAN 649Planning Internship3
PLAN 650Capstone Studio3
Minimum Total Hours48

Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning Dual Degree Program

The Brandeis School of Law will allow students in the dual degree program to apply nine (9) credit hours of approved courses in urban planning as electives toward the JD degree. The Brandeis School of Law will accept each of these urban planning courses on a pass/fail basis, provided that the student earn at least a B (3.0) in the course. The following MUP courses are approved to be counted as electives toward the JD degree:

PLAN 601Planning Theory and History3
PLAN 501Urban Environmental Quality3
PLAN 607Land Use Planning3
PLAN 612Mediation and Dispute Resolution3
PLAN 620Environmental Policy3
PLAN 609Public Budgeting and Finance3
PLAN 611Human Resources Management3
PLAN 613Foundations of Public Administration3
PLAN 608Geographic Information Systems3
PLAN 621Urban Infrastructure3
PLAN 624Urban Transportation Planning3
PLAN 617Housing and Community Development3
PLAN 625Historic Preservation and Sustainable Practice3
PLAN 631Real Estate Principles3
PLAN 633Real Estate Development3

Any other MUP course approved by the Associate Dean of Student Life at the Brandeis School of Law, upon individual petition by a dual-degree student.

The urban planning program will allow students in the dual degree program to apply nine (9) credit hours of approved courses in law as electives toward the MUP degree. The urban planning program will accept each of these law courses on a pass/fail basis, provided that the student earn at least a "C" (2.0) in the course. The following JD courses are approved to be counted as electives toward the MUP degree:

  • LAW 862 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
  • LAW 841 Energy Law
  • LAW 931 Environmental Law
  • LAW 820 Constitutional Law II 
  • LAW 807 PROPERTY II 
  • LAW 902 Real Estate Transactions
  • LAW 839 Water Resources Law and Policy
  • Any other JD course approved by the Director of the MUP Program in the School of Urban and Public Affairs, upon individual petition by a dual degree student.

In addition to the above cross-application of urban planning credits toward the JD degree and of law credits toward the MUP degree, students in the dual degree program shall be required to take UPA 678/PADM 688 Land Use and Planning Law, a 3-credit hour interdisciplinary course cross-listed in both law and urban planning. Land Use and Planning Law (PADM 688) shall count as a three (3) credit hour graded elective toward the JD degree, and likewise shall count as a three (3) credit hour graded elective toward the MUP degree. To receive MUP credit, the student must earn at least a B (3.0) in the course.

Concentration Requirements

The courses available for each concentration are as follows. Elective and advanced coursework includes 9 credits in an area of concentration (with 3 credits being one required class for the concentration, e.g., PLAN 607 Land Use Planning).

Other courses not listed below may be substituted with the permission of the Program Director.

Administration of Planning Organizations

PLAN 609Public Budgeting and Finance 13
Select two courses from the following:6
Grantsmanship and Fundraising
Public Management
Human Resources Management
Mediation and Dispute Resolution
Foundations of Public Administration
Minimum Total Hours9

Housing and Community Development

PLAN 617Housing and Community Development 13
Select two courses from the following:6
Real Estate Market Analysis
Urban Infrastructure
Urban Design
Historic Preservation and Sustainable Practice
Economic Development
Real Estate Principles
Real Estate Development
Comparative Urban Development
Netherlands: Policy and Planning
Urban Design Studio
Neighborhood Planning Studio
Minimum Total Hours9

Land Use and Environmental Planning

PLAN 607Land Use Planning 13
Select two courses from the following:6
Urban Environmental Quality
Geographic Information Systems
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Mediation and Dispute Resolution
Environmental Policy
Urban Infrastructure
Urban Design
Environmental Policy and Natural Hazards
Urban Transportation Planning
Comparative Urban Development
Urban Design Studio
Neighborhood Planning Studio
Special Topics in Urban Planning
Minimum Total Hours9

Spatial Analysis for Planning

PLAN 619Urban Geographic Information Systems Applications 13
Select two courses from the following:6
Real Estate Market Analysis
Spatial Statistics
Analytical Urban Geography
Urban Demography and GIS
Urban Infrastructure
Urban Transportation Planning
Economic Conditions and Forecasting
Minimum Total Hours9