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 enroll in a Formal Concurrent Degree or an Informal Concurrent Degree:

FORMAL CONCURRENT DEGREESINFORMAL CONCURRENT DEGREES

Formal Concurrent Degrees

The Department of Urban Design and Planning offers three formal concurrent degree programs:

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

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 Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Urban Design and Planning (MUP)

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

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 MPH-MUP Concurrent Degree Overview.

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

Informal Concurrent Degrees

Students may pursue two degrees from different departments simultaneously in an informal concurrent degree program. These programs have not been approved as formal concurrent programs and do not have unique program codes, but students have flexibility to ‘share’ coursework, given the approval of both programs. MUP students have pursued informal concurrent degrees with Civil and Environmental Engineering, Infrastructure Planning, Real Estate, International Studies, and more.

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. In other words, of the 36 credits used exclusively for each degree, those credits may not also be counted towards the credit requirements for the other degree. For example, students pursuing the MUP and the MSRE must have no fewer than 108 total credits (from the perspective of the MUP degree requirement, 72 total required credits for MUP + 36 required minimum for the other degree; from the perspective of the MSRE, 60 total required credits for the MSRE + 48 required minimum for the other degree).

A thesis cannot be shared in an informal concurrent degree (some programs do not require a thesis, however; please consult with the other degree program to determine their requirements). All MUP students pursuing a thesis must take a minimum of 9 credits of URBDP 700 Thesis. If a student enrolls in more than 9 credits for their thesis, only 9 will apply to the concurrent degree credit total. Excess thesis credits cannot fulfill elective credit requirements for the degree.

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