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Master of Urban Planning

The Master of Urban Planning program at Texas A&M will prepare you to identify community values and create ethical solutions for a sustainable future. In this program, you’ll gain an understanding of planning knowledge through technical, political, economic, and legal perspectives.

Our accredited program unites historically important skills with emerging areas of specialization. Our graduates cultivate their communities as planners, innovators, and lifelong learners.

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About the Program

The Master of Urban Planning program has been training leaders in urban planning since 1965. After completing the program, our graduates can pursue professional opportunities in planning or a planning-related field. They may also pursue a doctoral degree.

Areas of Emphasis


Meet Our Students

The MUP admits about 20–30 students per year, making our cohorts small and close-knit. A typical cohort is made up of about ⅓ Texans, ⅓ American citizens from other states, and ⅓ international students. We strive to attract and retain a student body that is diverse in terms of gender identity, race/ethnicity, cultural background, and sexual orientation.


Careers

Planners may work for a variety of organizations throughout their careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Planners in the public sector work for municipalities, counties, state agencies, regional governments, and federal offices, while planners in the private sector work on public works or design projects alongside engineers, landscape architects, and architects. Planners in the non-profit sector typically work for advocacy groups related to fair and affordable housing, environmental protection, or multi-modal transportation.

Public sector

  • Project managers
  • Resilience coordinators
  • Economic analysts

Private sector

  • Public involvement specialists
  • Transportation planners
  • Environmental planners

Non-profit sector

  • Grant writers
  • Equity analysts
  • Policy & planning advisors

Curriculum

Students are equipped for professional practice through integrated coursework and hands-on application. The master’s degree is typically completed in two years, including a required summer internship. Students must pass a minimum of 48 credit hours, including core courses, courses in one emphasis area, an applied planning studio course that works with our Texas Target Communities program, and an individual master’s project or thesis.

Core Courses (27 credits)

  • Planning History & Theory
  • Structure & Function of Human Settlements
  • Planning Methods I (Demographic and Economic Analysis)
  • Planning Methods II (Land Use Transportation, and Infrastructure)
  • Planning Law
  • Plan Making
  • Communications in Planning
  • Plan Implementation
  • Applied Planning Studio

Spatial Analysis/Communications Electives (6 credits) Choose two:

Internship (1 credit)

Professional Paper or Comprehensive Exam (2 credits)

Areas of Emphasis (12 credits) Select one emphasis:

  • Transportation Policy & Planning
  • Resilient Communities
  • Housing, Community and Economic Development

As an alternative to an emphasis area, students may choose to complete a longer (15–18 credit) and more prescribed certificate in one of the following: 

  • Sustainable Urbanism
  • Environmental Hazard Management
  • Transportation Planning & Policy
  • Historic Preservation
  • Health Systems Design & Planning
  • Facilities Management

Certificates are multi-disciplinary and are managed through the College’s Research Centers.

How to Apply

All students admitted to the Master of Urban Planning program must hold a bachelor’s degree.

Learn more about the Master of Urban Planning application requirements

FAQ about the admission process

What do we look for in an applicant?

Applicants to the MUP can come from any background. Social sciences, environmental sciences, engineering, geography and architecture are among the most common backgrounds and are excellent preparation, but we have had highly successful applicants with degrees in math, international affairs, performance studies, and many others that aren’t as obviously connected to urban planning. We look for strong communication skills (both writing and verbal) and an interest in how people interact with a place.

How does the admissions process work?

Submit your application at Texas A&M GradCas along with a non-refundable application fee. The fee may be waived only in exceptional cases for low-income applicants and McNair Scholars.

Your application should include the following:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended
  • 3 letters of recommendation (academic references preferred)
  • Statement of intent essay
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

An admissions committee reviews all applications and makes a recommendation for admission and for financial aid.

Read more about the Master of Urban Planning application requirements

What financial aid and scholarships are available to students?

The department and college both offer both scholarships and assistantships to students. About one-third to one-half of students receive some sort of assistance.  Assistantships in the department involve a 20-hour a week work commitment and include a monthly stipend (salary).  Scholarships range from $1,000 to $10,000.  All applicants are considered for financial assistance without an additional application needed.

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A Strategic Vision 

The Master of Urban Planning program educates and trains leaders in identifying community values, providing choices, and creating ethical solutions for a sustainable future. A student who graduates from Texas A&M with an MUP degree will be able to:


A Tradition of Excellence 

While our program has a long-standing reputation for providing municipal and regional (COG or MPO) planners in Texas, our students have also gone on to practice globally. Our graduates work with some of the top planning, engineering, and design firms in the country, such as Jacobs, AECOM, Stantec, Asakura Robinson, and others. They have also been employed at Uber, Google, and Amazon. Recent graduates can be found in the following positions:

Planner

MHS Planning & Design

Planner

City of San Antonio (TX)

Policy & Planning Advisor

Akron (OH) Metropolitan Housing Authority

Transportation Planner

AECOM

Regional Flood Planner

Texas Water Development Board

Construction Engineer

UNICEF

Economic Development Analyst II

City of Dallas (TX)