Concurrent Degrees

A concurrent degree provides an opportunity for students to blend their interests in planning with other content areas. In addition, it enables students to earn two degrees in approximately three years, rather than the four it would normally take to earn them separately.

An applicant who is not currently a student at the University of Washington must submit a separate application to and be accepted by each degree program.  UW students who are currently enrolled in one of the programs must submit an application for the second program, indicating their intent to complete both degrees concurrently.

In general, it is expected that the student will spend the majority of the first year on requirements for one degree and the majority of the second year on requirements for the other degree.  The third year will be used to complete remaining requirements for both degrees and to write the thesis.  It is anticipated that both degrees will be awarded at the same time, typically soon after completion of the thesis.

MUP students have the option to pursue a Formal Concurrent Degree or an Informal Concurrent Degree. The main difference between the two is that the formal concurrent degree has a shared thesis, whereas the informal concurrent degree does not. In an informal concurrent degree, students must meet the thesis/capstone requirements of both programs (e.g. complete two separate and distinct theses/capstones). Some programs do not require a thesis, however, so please consult with the other degree program to determine their requirements.

For students pursuing an informal concurrent degree program, policy and procedure direction are taken from the Graduate School. MUP students pursuing informal concurrent degrees will work out their course plan with graduate advisors in both programs concurrently. Students must have met all degree requirements for each program, and a minimum of 36 credits must be used exclusively for each program. This works out to be 108 credits minimum, including 9 credits exclusive to the MUP thesis or professional project. From the perspective of the MUP program, 72 credits are required for the MUP degree, a minimum of 36 credits are required for the other degree, and any credits beyond that may be ‘shared’ as long as they are approved by both programs.

For more information about concurrent degrees, please visit the Concurrent Degree Policy web page on the UW Graduate School website.

Note: Additional informal concurrent degree options are possible beyond what’s indicated here.

Master of Urban Planning (MUP) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) - Formal

The Departments of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and Planning offer a dual degree at the master’s level to candidates accepted to both programs. Graduates with training in both landscape architecture and urban planning will increasingly be able to address urgent global and local issues related to the built environment and thus are likely to become leaders in either or both fields. Landscape Architecture students, for example, increasingly encounter issues in land use policy and planning process through their studios and in their thesis research; likewise, Urban Planning students increasingly need to develop greater expertise in ecological knowledge, and the designer’s approach to such rapidly evolving topics as green infrastructure and urban agriculture in order to explore frontiers in climate-responsive development regulation and food systems planning.

The typical length of study for students pursuing the concurrent degrees is three years for students with a prior BLA, BArch or equivalent design-related degree, and four years for students without prior design background.

For additional information, please visit the Concurrent MLA/MUP web page on the UW Landscape Architecture website.

Master of Urban Planning (MUP) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) - Formal

Modern urban problems include community development, environmental quality, transportation, and growth management. These issues are at the intersection of policy, planning, and management and require leaders with skills beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. This concurrent degree melds curricula of two critical areas to effective community leadership in both planning and policy work.

The Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and the Department of Urban Design and Planning of the College of Built Environments offer this concurrent degree that enables students to earn both the MPA and MUP in approximately three years, rather than the four it would take to earn them separately. By combining the strengths of each school, the concurrent program integrates skills-based training and knowledge in management, policy analysis, and urban planning.

MPA MUP Planning Worksheet

For additional information, please visit the Concurrent Degrees web page on the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance website.

Master of Urban Planning (MUP) and Master of Public Health (MPH) - Formal

Approved in September 2015, the University of Washington now offers an interdisciplinary concurrent Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Urban Planning (MUP) degree program, in which students complete all requirements of each degree and write a shared thesis. The program provides a formal mechanism for incoming and current students in the MPH and MUP degree programs to study both disciplines in an efficient and structured manner. The program trains professionals to create and study healthy and equitable urban settings and facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty in the School of Public Health and the College of Built Environments.

The built environment, and the policies and design that define our urban landscapes, are crucial determinants of population health. Many issues such as walkability, public transportation, sanitation, and air and water quality are influenced by decisions of planners and affect the health of the public, especially persons living in metropolitan areas. By 2050, it is estimated that 70% of the world’s population will live in cities or towns. This rapid pace of global urbanization calls for individuals with interdisciplinary training in the fields of urban planning and public health.  Both disciplines are committed to the betterment of human life and the environment through systematic change.

Students in the concurrent MUP/MPH degree program all enroll in the same MUP degree program and will choose to enroll in one of the following three MPH programs. For additional information, please visit their individual web pages:

To view requirements and sample course sequences, please view the MUP MPH Concurrent Degree flier as well as the MUP MPH Concurrent Degree Overview.

Master of Urban Planning (MUP) and Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) - Informal

Students who seek expanded learning in the field of transportation planning may consider an informal concurrent degree with the MUP and the Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). The CEE master’s program offers two degree options, which can be viewed here. 108 credits minimum are required to earn an informal concurrent degree. From the MUP program perspective, a student must earn the 72 credits required for the MUP degree + 36 credits of the other degree. Any credits beyond 36 for the other degree can be ‘shared’. In the case of MUP + CEE non-thesis track, which is 42 credits, a maximum of 6 credits can be shared.