Department of Urban Design & Planning | University of Washington

Curriculum

The curriculum for the Master of Urban Planning Program is divided into a set of core courses required of all students, and courses that deepen student knowledge and skills in specializations in planning. The core courses respond to our values and the requirements of the Planning Accreditation Board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the American Planning Association. The specializations respond to our strategic plan and the interests and strengths of the faculty in the Department.

Theory/history/ethics are interwoven throughout the curriculum; in addition, there is a restricted elective requirement fulfilled by one of several courses offered in history and theory/history/ethics.

Methods requirements include courses in statistics, planning methods, an advanced methods course, graphics communication, and a practical research course to assist students in developing thesis/professional projects.

Substantive knowledge requirements include courses that survey the practice of planning, urban form, comprehensive planning and regulation, and planning law.

Synthesis skills requirements are fulfilled by a studio preparation course, a studio, and a thesis or professional project under the supervision of a faculty committee.

To be awarded the Master of Urban Planning degree, the student must complete a minimum of 72 quarter credit hours of work in urban design and planning related fields. Full time students normally take 12-15 credit hours per quarter; 10 is the minimum for those receiving financial aid; 18 is the maximum normally allowed per quarter.  You may view a list of course descriptions and syllabi here

Core Courses

  • URBDP 479 The Urban Form
  • URBDP 500 Survey of Urban Planning
  • URBDP 501 Comprehensive Planning and Implementation
  • URBDP 503 Communication and Analysis
  • URBDP 506 Planning Studio Prep
  • URBDP 510 Theories and Methodologies of Planning
  • URBDP 520 Quantitative Methods in Urban Design and Planning
  • URBDP 580 Legal and Administrative Framework
  • URBDP 512 Research Seminar
  • URBDP 547/700 Master’s Professional Project or Thesis

Restricted Electives

  • Advanced Methods
  • Urban Development/Economics
  • History/Theory/Ethics of Planning
  • Urban Planning Studio

Specializations

  • Environmental Planning
  • Historic Preservation
  • Land Use, Infrastructure, and Transportation Planning
  • Real Estate
  • Urban Design

Internship/Field Work

Professional experience in the form of field work and internships is highly recommended, but not required, prior to completion of the degree program. The Department maintains connections to facilitate placement with a variety of professional firms and agencies in urban design and planning within the Puget Sound area. Practicum seminars of variable credit are sponsored to give students an opportunity to reflect on their field experience (CEP 446 Internship and URBDP 546 Practicum).

Typical Sequence for Master of Urban Planning Program

First Year: Autumn

  • URBDP 479 The Urban Form
  • URBDP 500 Survey of Urban Planning
  • URBDP 520 Quantitative Methods in Urban Design and Planning
  • Elective; URBDP 404/504 Intro to GIS recommended

First Year: Winter

  • URBDP 501 Comprehensive Planning and Implementation
  • URBDP 503 Graphic Communication and Analysis
  • URBDP 506 Planning Studio Prep
  • URBDP 510 Theories and Methodologies of Planning

First Year: Spring

  • URBDP 598 Urban Planning Studio
  • URBDP 580 Legal and Administrative Framework for Planning
  • Elective
  • Elective

Second Year: Autumn

  • URBDP 508 Advanced Urban Planning Studio
  • URBDP 512 Research Seminar
  • Elective

Second Year: Winter

  • URBDP 547/700 Master’s Professional Project or Thesis
  • Elective
  • Elective

Second Year: Spring

  • URBDP 547/700 Master’s Professional Project or Thesis
  • Elective
  • Elective