Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Program Information


The Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Colorado Denver has evolved to become one of the strongest planning programs in the United States. We offer a hands-on, real-world oriented program that uses Colorado as our classroom and engages students with top planning/design professionals and the community.

We believe that successful city-building requires expertise, breadth, interdisciplinary understanding, and creativity. Our program looks beyond traditional professional silos and instead centers on issues at the forefront of planning practice. Our three program Pillars—Healthy Communities, Equitable Urbanism, and Regional Sustainability—form the basis of our research, instruction, and community outreach.

We encourage all students to follow their passion and develop expertise in the areas that matter most to them. Thus, we offer a unique, self-directed curriculum that allows students to understand the breadth of the planning field while gaining the technical expertise demanded by the profession.

Our world-class faculty includes some of the most respected researchers in the planning field, and our award-winning planning practitioners bring a wealth of experience to the classroom. All of our faculty make teaching a top priority.

Our presence in a College of Architecture and Planning ensures that our approach to planning education has a strong connection to design, and our location in the heart of downtown Denver presents our students with endless opportunities to learn what it takes to create amazing cities.

Urban and Regional Planning Contacts


austin-troy-2020-headshot

Austin Troy

Professor & Department Chair Director, Presidential Initiative on Urban and Placed-Based Research
Jennifer Steffel Johnson

Jennifer Steffel Johnson

Assistant Professor CTT & Associate Chair
Roxy New Headshot

Roxy New

Academic Advisor

Program Hallmarks


Curriculum


Our curriculum embodies our three Pillars, and makes the most of our geographic context and our unique program hallmarks. Our curriculum balances a strong, comprehensive core set of courses with a self-directed path through a wide range of elective choices. Read below to learn more about our program requirements, core courses, electives, and more. 

The total number of credit hours required to earn the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree is 54. To reach the 54 credit hour total, students must earn 36 credits by completing and passing the required core courses. Students must then earn an additional 18 credits by completing elective courses of their choice, with three (3) of those 18 consisting of an advanced skills/methods elective.

Across those 54 credits, students must also meet final course grade minimums and cumulative grade point average requirements (see the GPA Requirements and Grading Policy tab) in order to earn the MURP degree. The required 54 credits may be reduced in some cases for students who meet the requirements for advanced standing or who have transfer credits (see the Advanced Standing Credit Waiver tab).

To learn more about the required core courses and the overall total credit hour requirements for completing the MURP degree, please see the Credit Hour Requirements Section below. 

In order to receive the MURP degree, a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all courses that count toward the required 54 credit hours must be 3.00 or higher. A student’s cumulative GPA may drop below 3.00 during their time in the MURP program, but ultimately the student’s cumulative GPA must be 3.00 or higher in order to graduate with the MURP degree. Students who fail to meet a 3.00 cumulative GPA will be put on probation. After two semesters on probation a student will be subject to suspension.

For all courses taken as part of the MURP program, a student must receive a final grade of C minus (C-) or higher in order for that course to count toward the MURP 54 credit hour requirement. A student receiving a final grade in a core course below C- must retake the course in order to graduate.

It should be recognized that while students can get credit for courses where their grade is as low as a C-, each grade below a B (3.00) must be matched with a grade that is correspondingly higher than a B in another class to eventually meet the minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA threshold. As of the effective date of this policy, currently enrolled students who took a class under the previous grading policy and received a grade between C- and C+, thereby not obtaining credit for the class towards the degree, can now count that class towards the degree credit retroactively.

The MURP program uses the University’s standard 4.00 grading letter and point system:

A          4.00 points          A-         3.70 points          B+        3.30 points
B          3.00 points          B-         2.70 points          C+        2.30 points
C          2.00 points          C-         1.70 points          D+        1.30 points
D          1.00 points          D-         0.70 points          F           0.00 points

These statements describe the expectations associated with letter grades awarded for MURP program assignments and courses:

“A” grade range: Exceptional scholarship and superior work products that significantly exceed stated requirements in scope and/or quality

“B” grade range: Commendable scholarship and accomplished work products that somewhat exceed stated requirements in scope and/or quality

“C” grade range: Satisfactory scholarship and work products that almost meet stated requirements in scope and/or quality

“D” grade range: Inadequate scholarship and inferior work products that clearly fail to meet stated requirements in scope and/or quality

“F” grade: Unacceptable scholarship and work product

Students may substitute a MURP core course with an elective course of their choosing when at least one of the following conditions has been met:

  1. The student has significant professional planning work experience equivalent to the core course being substituted, or
  2. The student has completed an undergraduate or graduate planning course (minimum grade of B-) that substantially covered the equivalent material of the core course being substituted.

A Core Course Substitution does NOT reduce the total number of credits required to receive the MURP degree, and no more than nine (9) credits of core courses may be substituted per student.

To apply, complete the online Course Waiver Request Form. If you have any questions about the form, please contact your academic advisor.

If you propose to substitute a core course based on having previously completed an equivalent planning class, you must submit a syllabus for the course and a copy of your transcripts (unofficial is fine) showing that you received a B- or better in the course. If your core course substitution request is based on substantial professional planning work experience, you must submit your resume and a thorough description of the relevant job position and duties.

All Core Course Substitutions must be approved by the Department Chair or Associate Chair. The core courses that are not eligible for substitution are Planning Project Studio and Planning Capstone/Thesis.

Students may receive advanced standing and waive up to nine (9) credits of MURP core or elective courses if they have previously completed graduate-level planning courses (minimum grade of B-) that substantially covered the equivalent MURP course material.

An Advanced Standing Credit Waiver does not require a substitute course and does reduce the number of total credits required to receive the MURP degree.

To apply, complete the online Course Waiver Request Form. If you have any questions about the form, please contact your academic advisor.

To receive an Advanced Standing Credit Waiver for a MURP course, you must submit a syllabus for the previously completed graduate-level planning course and a copy of your transcripts showing that you received a grade of B- or better in the course.

All Advanced Standing Credit Waivers must be approved by the Department Chair or Associate Chair. The core courses that are not eligible for an Advanced Standing Credit Waiver are Planning Project Studio and Planning Capstone/Thesis.

Credit Hour Requirements

Course Sequence and Prerequisites

Generally, the 5000-series core courses should be completed first because they provide foundational knowledge, skills, and values that are important to successfully completing the 6000-series core and elective courses. While most electives are taken in the second year, students have the opportunity to take elective courses during their first year in the program. 

The following tables show the typical two-year course sequence and prerequisites.

Course Descriptions

Core Courses

The MURP program’s core courses provide students with a comprehensive survey of the planning field and the foundational knowledge, skills, and values important to the profession. The core courses have been carefully designed to fully comply with the Planning Accreditation Board’s required educational outcomes. Click on the course below to read the full description.

Core Studios

Planning Workshop (URPL 5060) and Planning Project Studio (URPL 6000) are the two core studio courses. These courses are a key part of the hands-on, real-world focus of the MURP program. This section provides more details on these unique core courses.

Planning Workshop is the introductory studio for MURP students offered each spring semester. Planning Workshop provides students an opportunity to address actual planning problems, issues, and processes; apply previously acquired knowledge and skills; and develop new knowledge and practical skills in an applied context.

Students will develop basic competence in accessing existing information, generating new information, and performing planning analysis and synthesis to inform and generate conceptual plans. Students will also learn the fundamentals of physical planning, understanding different geographic scales and site components, and how to illustrate physical plans and designs through various media and techniques. Through the Planning Workshop experience, students will develop an understanding of the relationship between planning theory and practice, and enhance their graphic, written, and oral communication capabilities.

Students will also receive introductory instruction in Trimble SketchUp, which complements the introductory instruction in Adobe Creative Cloud and ArcGIS Pro that students receive in the Planning Practice and Technology course. The integration and use of these common planning applications is a critical component of the Planning Workshop experience.

Planning Project Studio is the MURP program’s advanced studio course. This studio requires students to work together as a “planning consultant team” to complete a single planning project or study from beginning to end for a real-world client. It is expected that students enrolled in Planning Project Studio will have already gained the fundamental planning knowledge, skills, and values from their experience in Planning Workshop and other MURP courses. Consequently, the emphasis in Planning Project Studio is on putting everything together into a complete real-world planning project.

The studio will emulate the typical planning consultant/client experience, including: refining the project scope and schedule with the client; establishing guiding principles and expected outcomes; conducting case studies and existing plans background research; gathering and analyzing existing conditions data; formulating alternative plan concepts; assessing alternative concepts through specific criteria; identifying and refining the preferred alternative; and preparing and presenting the final plan deliverables to the client. Emphasis is also placed on professionalism, project management, team-building and collaboration, client management, public involvement, and other aspects of the real-world planning consultant realm.

At least three sections of Planning Project Studio are offered each academic year: one (sometimes two) “Study Abroad” sections during the summer semester that travel to international locations (recent Study Abroad studios have gone to Greece and Spain); one “Colorado/Mountain” section during the summer semester that is anchored partly in Denver and partly in a mountain community (recent Colorado/Mountain studios have gone to Dillon and Leadville), and one (sometimes two) “Denver/Urban” sections during the fall semester that focus on issues in the city. These options provide students the opportunity to enroll in a Planning Project Studio section that is aligned with their interests and schedule. However, as each studio section is limited in size, there is no guarantee students will be able to enroll in their preferred section. A balloting process will be used when necessary.

Mountain Studios

Each year, at least one Colorado/Mountain section of the Planning Project Studio course is offered over the summer semester. This section is anchored partly in Denver and partly in a mountain community in Colorado. The course offers students the opportunity to travel to the chosen mountain community multiple times over the course of the summer and work on a variety of complex planning challenges unique to Colorado mountain communities.

2019: Leadville - Tackling complex planning, policy, and design challenges in a unique and historic Rocky Mountain mining town

2018: Dillon - Re-imaging a hidden oasis: Building an innovative and self-sufficient economy in a lakeside mountain community.

International Studios

The rapidly changing and global world demands experienced understanding of different cultures and their planning practices. While many of our classes offer the chance to study how cities are designed and built around the world, nothing can replace the actual experience of living in a foreign city and of understanding how it differs from our urban environments.   

Each summer, the College of Architecture and Planning offers at least one international section of the Planning Project Studio course for Urban and Regional Planning students. These programs are offered at competitive prices and offer students the opportunity to add a unique international component to their education, giving students an expanded perspective that will aid in their future careers. 

International studios typically involve spending approximately one month living and studying abroad, working with international communities and planners to complete a meaningful project. Depending on the studio, additional work may be required of the students upon their return to Colorado.

Barcelona, Spain - A joint urban planning and urban design studio exploring the creation and revitalization of urban public spaces in one of the world's most beautiful and walkable cities

Crete, Greece - Planning in the face of tourism development pressures and national economic crisis - exploring sustainable and alternative tourism approaches in the Mediterranean

Planning Capstone/Planning Thesis

Planning Capstone is a six-credit, project-oriented, one-semester course that results in a substantial deliverable upon completion. The Capstone option is best suited for students who wish to pursue a career as a professional planner after graduation. 

Alternatives

Within the Planning Capstone option are two alternatives: Independent Project and Small-Group Project.

If a student chooses the Planning Capstone > Independent Project path, he or she will work individually to complete a significant planning project or study for a real-world client. If a student chooses the Planning Capstone > Small-Group Project path, he or she must team up with one or two other students—forming a project team of no more than three people—to complete a significant planning project or study for a real-world client. However, each student must be individually responsible for a clearly defined component of the group project as each student will be graded independently for his or her work. 

Requirements

During the semester before enrolling in Planning Capstone, students will be required to:

  • Attend a mandatory Capstone Orientation to receive instruction and guidance on project planning and management
  • Determine if they will be working independently or as part of a small group,
  • Identify their Capstone client and project topic, and
  • Begin preparing a detailed project prospectus (work plan, schedule, methodology, and deliverables).

Students must have a completed and approved project prospectus by the first week of their Capstone semester. Students may identify their own Planning Capstone client and project topic or they may select from a list of Capstone clients/projects that have been pre-arranged and approved by the MURP faculty.

During the Planning Capstone semester, students complete their project work while maintaining regular contact with their Capstone faculty advisor and client to ensure sufficient progress and work quality, as well as periodically meeting with other Capstone students to discuss common issues and challenges, share experiences, and receive continued instruction and guidance from the Capstone faculty on project management and methodologies. The Planning Capstone semester concludes with the submission of all deliverables and a formal presentation to the client. 

Additional Info

For more information about Planning Capstone, students may request a copy of the Planning Capstone Handbook. Students will automatically receive a copy of the Handbook at the Capstone Orientation in the fall.

Planning Thesis comprises a pair of three-credit courses (A and B) taken over two semesters that together constitute a six-credit effort. The thesis option is most appropriate for outstanding MURP students who are considering pursuing a Ph.D. or a research-oriented career after graduation.

Research Guidelines

While the thesis should address an aspect of urban and regional planning, it may be qualitative or quantitative in design, and directed toward the discovery of new facts, the development of theory or frameworks, or an investigation of an existing body of knowledge. The thesis document usually includes an abstract, a literature review that delineates the problem of interest or a gap in existing knowledge, a statement of research objectives, an explanation of the research design and methods, a report of the results of the research, and a discussion of the findings and their implications for planning.

Advisor and Committee Approval

The thesis is undertaken with the guidance and approval of a three-person thesis committee, including a Thesis Advisor who must be a full-time member of the MURP faculty who holds a professional degree or Ph.D. Students interested in pursuing the thesis option must complete and submit the Planning Thesis Proposal to their intended Thesis Advisor. Students must have their project approved by their Thesis Advisor prior to the course drop deadline in the Planning Thesis A semester. If the proposal is not approved, or the student’s prior academic performance is not deemed adequate for participation in the thesis option, the student would enroll in Planning Capstone instead. Once the Thesis Advisor approves the proposal, the student must enroll in the Planning Thesis course using a Special Processing Form that is signed by their Thesis Advisor and submitted to their academic advisor.

Thesis Courses

During the Planning Thesis A (URPL 6920) semester, students identify their research question and study design, work on their literature review, and begin their research. If human subjects research is involved, e.g. through interviews, surveys, focus groups, etc., students should work with their Thesis Advisor to submit their application to the Colorado Multiple Institutions Review Board during Thesis A.

During the Planning Thesis B (URPL 6925) semester, students complete their research and write the bulk of the thesis. Throughout, thesis students will meet regularly with their committee members to ensure sufficient progress and work quality. To graduate, the completed thesis must be successfully defended in an Oral Examination before the Thesis Committee, formatted according to department guidelines, and submitted to the university by the official deadline.

Thesis students should request a copy of the MURP Thesis Handbook from Jenny Steffel Johnson (jennifer.steffeljohnson@ucdenver.edu).

Elective Courses

Whereas the MURP core courses offer a broad survey of related planning topics to provide foundational knowledge, skills, and values, the elective courses offer a more intensive investigation into a diverse array of planning and design topics.

Click the link below to find brief descriptions of the MURP program’s elective courses that are regularly offered once a year in the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as elective courses that are intermittently offered—usually once every two years. 

Disclaimer: All courses listed are subject to change given student interest, faculty availability, and other considerations. Additional electives will also be periodically offered as Special Topics courses. Not counting cross-listed courses (those provided by a different program but assigned a URPL course number), students may take up to two elective courses from other CU Denver programs and departments as qualifying MURP electives. We recommend consulting with your faculty advisor about these course decisions.

 

Fall 2021 Electives Preview

Listen to our faculty talk about elective courses for Fall 2021.

 

Spring 2021 Electives Overview [Video]

Fall 2020 Electives Overview [Video]

 

Elective Courses Regularly Offered - FALL

Please note: Courses an asterisk (*) are offered by other programs within the College or University but are cross-listed with a URPL course number as approved MURP courses. Courses with a double asterisk (**) are approved as advanced skills/methods electives.

Elective Courses Regularly Offered - SPRING

Please note: Courses an asterisk (*) are offered by other programs within the College or University but are cross-listed with a URPL course number as approved MURP courses. Courses with a double asterisk (**) are approved as advanced skills/methods electives.

Elective Courses Intermittently Offered - Once Every Two Years

Potential Focus Areas: Self-Directed Elective Curriculum

Through our self-directed elective curriculum, students have the ability to craft a MURP degree suited to their career goals and personal interests. Students may choose any combination of elective courses, whether oriented towards a traditional planning field such as “Transportation Planning,” a customized emphasis on a unique planning niche, or a general survey of diverse planning topics (i.e. no specialization at all). Students are not required to identify or pursue any type of planning specialization unless they want to
(specializations do not appear on transcripts). Ultimately, students may choose whichever combination of elective courses they desire.

However, for those students who may want to focus their electives on a specific aspect of planning, we've identified below six common planning “focus areas” and a selection of MURP elective courses that would provide excellent coverage of each focus area. Again, these are not prescribed or required, just suggested combinations of electives related to each focus area for students who may be interested. Additional relevant courses may also be found within and outside of the MURP program.

The most helpful resource for assisting students in choosing their self-directed path through the MURP program is the planning faculty. Students should not hesitate to reach out to any faculty member for advice about which electives to take or any topic relating to the MURP program or careers in planning. For more information, see Advising.

Introductory Electives Advanced Skills/Methods Electives Specialized Electives
URPL 6555
Transportation, Land Use, and Environment
URPL 6225
Urban Policy Analytics
URPL 6260
Advanced Geospatial Methods
URPL 6560
Transit, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Planning
URPL 6250
GIS for Urban Planning
URPL 6399
Intro to Sustainable Urban Infrastructure
    URPL 6550
Transportation Planning and Policy
    URPL 6600
Regional Growth and Equity

Notes:

  1. Only one advanced skills/methods elective is necessary to meet the requirement. 
  2. URPL 6260 - Advanced Geospatial Methods would be an effective specialized elective under any focus area.
  3. URPL 6800 - Special Topics courses are routinely offered by the MURP program that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area.
  4. Students may discover courses offered by other programs in the university that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area. Consult with your faculty advisor.
Introductory ElectivesAdvanced Skills/Methods Electives Specialized Electives
URPL 6400
Community Development
URPL 6210
Planning Engagement
URPL 6355
Urban Redevelopment Strategies
URPL 6650
International Development Planning
URPL 6265
Visualization for Planning
URPL 6405
Urban Housing
  URPL 6600
Regional Growth and Equity
  URPL 6615
Small Town, Rural, and Tourism Planning

Notes:

  1. Only one advanced skills/methods elective is necessary to meet the requirement. 
  2. URPL 6260 - Advanced Geospatial Methods would be an effective specialized elective under any focus area.
  3. URPL 6800 - Special Topics courses are routinely offered by the MURP program that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area.
  4. Students may discover courses offered by other programs in the university that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area. Consult with your faculty advisor.
Introductory ElectivesAdvanced Skills/Methods Electives Specialized Electives
URPL 6200
Land Development Regulations
URPL 6210
Planning Engagement
URPL 6350
City Design Fundamentals
URPL 6355
Urban Redevelopment Strategies
URPL 6265
Visualization for Planning
URPL 6405
Urban Housing
  URPL 6400
Community Development
  URPL 6455
Real Estate Development Finance

Notes:

  1. Only one advanced skills/methods elective is necessary to meet the requirement. 
  2. URPL 6260 - Advanced Geospatial Methods would be an effective specialized elective under any focus area.
  3. URPL 6800 - Special Topics courses are routinely offered by the MURP program that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area.
  4. Students may discover courses offered by other programs in the university that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area. Consult with your faculty advisor.
Introductory ElectivesAdvanced Skills/Methods Electives Specialized Electives
URPL 6500
Environmental Planning and Management
URPL 6225
Urban Policy Analytics
URPL 6205
Plan Making
URPL 6555
Transportation, Land Use, and Environment
URPL 6250
GIS for Urban Planning
URPL 6365
Parks and Public Spaces
  URPL 6615
Small Town, Rural, and Tourism Planning
  URPL 6645
Disaster and Climate Change Planning

Notes:

  1. Only one advanced skills/methods elective is necessary to meet the requirement. 
  2. URPL 6260 - Advanced Geospatial Methods would be an effective specialized elective under any focus area.
  3. URPL 6800 - Special Topics courses are routinely offered by the MURP program that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area.
  4. Students may discover courses offered by other programs in the university that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area. Consult with your faculty advisor.
Introductory ElectivesAdvanced Skills/Methods Electives Specialized Electives
URPL 6350
City Design Fundamentals
URPL 6210
Planning Engagement
URPL 6365
Parks and Public Spaces
URPL 6200
Land Development Regulations
URPL 6265
Visualization for Planning
URPL 6397
Design Policy, Process, and Regulations
  URPL 6398
Design Practice
  URPL 6555
Transportation, Land Use, and Environment

Notes:

  1. Only one advanced skills/methods elective is necessary to meet the requirement. 
  2. URPL 6260 - Advanced Geospatial Methods would be an effective specialized elective under any focus area.
  3. URPL 6800 - Special Topics courses are routinely offered by the MURP program that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area.
  4. Students may discover courses offered by other programs in the university that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area. Consult with your faculty advisor.
Introductory Electives Advanced Skills/Methods Electives Specialized Electives
URPL 6300
Community/Environmental Health Planning
URPL 6225
Urban Policy Analytics
URPL 6365
Parks and Public Spaces
URPL 6400
Community Development
URPL 6250
GIS for Urban Planning
URPL 6410
Social Justice in Planning
    URPL 6560
Transit, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Planning
    URPL 6645
Disaster and Climate Change Planning

Notes:

  1. Only one advanced skills/methods elective is necessary to meet the requirement. 
  2. URPL 6260 - Advanced Geospatial Methods would be an effective specialized elective under any focus area.
  3. URPL 6800 - Special Topics courses are routinely offered by the MURP program that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area.
  4. Students may discover courses offered by other programs in the university that may be effective specialized electives under a focus area. Consult with your faculty advisor.

Independent Study

Independent Study is a student self-directed learning experience with faculty oversight, guidance, and evaluation. Independent Study offers students an important opportunity to engage in research or creative activity in an area of inquiry not offered through regular courses, or in greater depth than offered in regular courses. Students who wish to pursue an Independent Study course must develop an Independent Study proposal and have it approved by the faculty member who has agreed to serve as their project advisor, prior to enrolling in the course. More information about the Independent Study option is available from the Planning faculty or, for current MURP students, on MURPspace.

 

Dual/Overlapping Degree Programs

The CU Denver MURP program believes that successful city-building requires expertise, breadth, interdisciplinary understanding, and creativity. Our program emphasizes thinking outside traditional professional silos and we encourage students to explore the planning profession by following a self-directed path and develop expertise in the areas that matter most to them.

In keeping with this spirit, the MURP program offers nine dual degree options and one overlapping degree option. In order to pursue a dual or overlapping degree, you must be accepted into both programs separately. You may choose to apply to another program to pursue a dual or overlapping degree after you have entered the MURP program. Once admitted to a dual degree, you must complete the work for both degrees before you can graduate from either. Please visit the Master of Urban Design program page for information on the overlapping degree option with that program. Pursuing a dual or overlapping degree provides a reduction in the number of credits required than you would need if you earned each degree separately, saving both time and money.

Admissions


Are you passionate about helping plan and build vibrant, sustainable cities? Do you want to help protect the environment and prepare resilient, successful regions? Are you inspired to help people help themselves and promote equitable, healthy communities? If so, you should consider applying to our Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at CU Denver!

Spring 2022

Application will open July 23, 2021

Deadline to apply is October 15, 2021

Fall 2022

Application will open September 1, 2021

Priority Deadline to be considered for scholarships: January 1, 2022
*All applications materials must be submitted 

Fall 2022

Late applications will be accepted until May 1, 2022 and will be reviewed on a space available basis. Admissions decisions will be made by the end of May. Late applicants will not be eligible for scholarship consideration.

Tuition & Fees


The University of Colorado Denver has one of the most affordable tuition rates in Colorado.  Our tuition and fees are set by the Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Colorado.  Tuition is based on student classification (undergraduate, graduate, academic program, resident or nonresident) and you can find out what rates will apply to your situation here. 
All CAP Graduate Programs have WICHE-WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program) status, which grants in-state resident tuition to students from 15 western states including California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.
Students considering applying to the program should:
  • have at least a 3.00 undergraduate grade point average
  • have a demonstrated passion for urban and regional planning (although any prior field of undergraduate study is acceptable)
  • are drawn to at least one of our three Pillars
  • are excited about what our program has to offer
  • are enthusiastic about going to graduate school in downtown Denver and experiencing Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West
  • contribute to the diversity of our student body by having backgrounds and experiences that give the applicant a unique perspective on urban and regional planning

Master of Urban and Regional Planning Students at Orientation

If you’re interested in coming to CU as a new student or to continue your education even temporarily, we are here for you. Please contact the CAP Admissions Coordinator Jodi Stock.

The graduate admissions process is unique to each program.The following list of elements are required for the Master of Urban and Regional Planning Application.

  • Online application
  • Application fee ($50 for domestic applicants, $75 for international applicants)
  • A 2-3 page (double-spaced) statement of interest in which you discuss the following:
    • Your interest in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program
    • The planning topics or areas of interest about which you are particularly passionate
    • Your special strengths and the aspects of your values/personal beliefs, background, and/or experiences that you believe will enable you to make a unique contribution to the Planning Program
    • ​How the Planning Program will further your career plans and the contributions you hope to make after graduation
  • A resume that documents your educational and professional background
  • A sample of your academic writing, approximately 3-5 pages (double-spaced) long. The paper should demonstrate your writing skills as well as your ability for critical analysis. (A professional project you individually completed may be submitted instead of an academic paper. However, like the paper, this project should demonstrate your abilities in intellectual writing and analytic thought). Include a note explaining why you selected the particular paper or project for submission.
  • Three letters of recommendation. At least one of these should be from an academic reference.
  • One official copy of your transcript from each institution you have attended EXCEPT study abroad institution
  • Students admitted into this program must have completed an undergraduate degree before they will be able to begin this program. An official conferred degree transcript is required by the university. For additional information, please see Graduate School Policies and Procedures.
  • Please note that this program may not be able to offer the same classes in spring 2022 that are offered in the initial fall semester. Thus, due to course sequencing, completing the program may take longer.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are NOT required for the Urban and Regional Planning program unless your GPA is below 3.0, in which case you must submit GRE scores.

If you are a resident of any of the 15 western states in the WICHE-WRGP region (except Colorado), please fill out the WICHE-WRGP section of the online application to be considered for WICHE-WRGP status. ​

Student Work Gallery


Architectural Design for Traditional Neighborhoods

Date: 7/1/19
Principal Researchers: Korkut Onaran
Fernando Pagés Ruiz
Ronnie Pelusio
Tom Lyon

In July 2019, the Vinyl Siding Institute published 300 copies of Professor Korkut Onaran's book, Architectural Design for Traditional Neighborhoods, which "summarizes the most critical design lessons the authors have learned through many years of practice developing traditional neighborhoods."

The book was written by CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning's Assistant Professor Adjunct, Korkut Onaran, along with his colleagues Fernando Pagés Ruiz,  Ronnie Pelusio, and Tom Lyon, and features a foreward by Andrés Duany and an afterword by Stephen A. Mouzon. The book is aimed at helping designers communicate the essential ideas of New Urbanism, while still adapted to the methods and materials best suited to the builders. This book is a useful addition to the New Urbanist literature because it introduces simple and economical design principles, discusses what to design guidelines to require by code and what to leave out of code. The book will help designers guide developers to invest in what will create the most value.   
 

Click here to access the book online. 

Program News