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Master of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning

The Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning is designed to prepare students for leadership roles and careers in the public and private sectors for the purpose of planning and designing communities and regions. The degree is in collaboration with the Department of Public Administration in the College of Public Policy. The program has a strong focus on land use planning; design; policy; and economic, environmental, and cultural issues that shape urban and regional land development patterns in terms of infrastructure, housing, and open space systems. Emphasis is placed on developing research capabilities and graphic skills needed in planning and design. The program’s primary focus is to prepare students to become practitioners in the planning profession.

Admission Requirements. Applicants must satisfy University-wide graduate admission requirements.

A complete application package consists of the following:

  • Completed Application form
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Two Letters of Recommendation addressing the applicant’s academic and/or professional skills
  • Letter of Intent, outlining the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning and career plans
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for international applicants whose first language is not English.

Applicants may be admitted as unconditional or conditional, degree-seeking graduate students, or as non-degree-seeking students. Admission as a special graduate student or as non-degree-seeking does not guarantee subsequent admission as a degree-seeking student; such students must reapply for degree-seeking status.

An application fee and all application materials must be sent directly to the UTSA Graduate School at One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249. Please consult the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning Web site (http://utsa.edu/architecture/) for applicable dates when the review of applications will begin and for more information about the College and its programs.

Degree Requirements. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove deficiencies is 48. Students may pursue a thesis or nonthesis option.

Degree candidates must complete 48 semester credit hours of coursework consisting of the following requirements:

  1. 27 semester credit hours of the following required courses:
    1. 18 semester credit hours of planning courses in the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning:

      URP   5323   Community Planning and Design
      URP   5333   Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
      URP   5343   History and Theory of Urban and Regional Planning
      URP   5363   Urban Planning Methods I
      URP   5393   Urban Planning Methods II
      URP   5453   Urban and Regional Sustainability

    2. 9 semester credit hours of public administration courses in the College of Public Policy:

      PAD   5103   Planning and Land Use Law
      PAD   5473   Land Use Policy
      PAD   5513   Urban and Regional Economic Development

  2. 15 semester credit hours of electives, chosen in consultation with and approved by the Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Advisor of Record to meet degree candidates’ individual needs. Students can select an area of specialization or take courses from a variety of areas that pertain to urban and regional planning. Electives may also be taken in other graduate programs with approval of the Graduate Advisor. The specialization areas include: historic preservation; housing and sustainable community development; environmental, transportation, and infrastructure planning; and urban policy and management.

    To satisfy the major area coursework for the Historic Preservation specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours of specialized electives:

    ARC   5203   History and Theory of Preservation
    ARC   5423   Legal and Economic Aspects of Preservation
    ARC   6423   Architectural Conservation Theory

    To satisfy the major area coursework for the Housing and Sustainable Community Development specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours from the following specialized electives:

    URP   5313   Housing Design and Neighborhood Planning
    URP   5373   Planning and Design of Suburbs
    URP   5383   Planning and Housing for Rural Communities
    URP   5443   Community Development

    To satisfy the major area coursework for the Environmental, Transportation, and Infrastructure Planning specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours from the following specialized electives:

    URP   5353   Structure and Function of Cities and Regions
    URP   5433   Transportation Planning
    URP   5463   Environmental Planning and Assessment
    URP   5473   Introduction to Health Planning

    To satisfy the major area coursework for the Urban Policy and Management specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours from the following public administration courses from the Department of Public Administration in the College of Public Policy:

    PAD   5003   Introduction to Public Service Leadership and Management
    PAD   5313   Public Policy Analysis
    PAD   5323   Public Policy Process
    PAD   5343   Human Resource Management in the Public Sector


  3. 6 semester credit hours of the following “capstone” coursework consisting of either the Thesis or Nonthesis Option described below.

    Thesis Option Requirements. All candidates for the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a thesis option must complete 6 semester credit hours of URP 6983 Master’s Thesis (includes thesis defense/seminar presentation).

    Nonthesis Option Requirements. All candidates for the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a nonthesis option must complete 6 semester credit hours consisting of URP 6943 Professional Internship and URP 6933 Planning Professional Report.

  4. Degree candidates in the thesis option and nonthesis option are required to pass a written comprehensive examination, and enroll in URP 6961 Comprehensive Examination if no other courses are being taken that term.

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