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Urban Planning

School/College: School of Architecture and Urban Planning

Degrees Conferred:

  • Master of Urban Planning

Contents

Related Certificates

Overview

The Urban Planning program at UWM is a professional, skills-oriented, master's program designed to train students to perform a variety of planning-related jobs in either the public or private sector.

The program focuses on planning as a process for improving collective decisions in the public and private sectors. The planning process includes analyzing problems, designing alternative solutions and evaluating their consequences, developing strategies for action and participating in their implementation. This process is used in both government and business in developing policy for future action, so that today's solutions do not become tomorrow's problems.

The program's elective courses combined with other courses on campus enable the development of more specialized depth in several planning related areas under the following concentrations: Urban Revitalization; Economic Development; Urban Geographic Information Systems; Transportation; Physical Planning and Urban Design; and Environmental Resources.

The Department is staffed by faculty members who combine academic and professional qualifications and who are committed to active involvement in current issues. They teach by example, using case studies and projects involving actual situations in most courses. This approach injects reality into the educational environment, allows students to see the relevance of the material in the curriculum, and shows students how their courses relate to their professional practice.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan area of one-and-one-half million persons is a learning laboratory that classroom projects and faculty researchers use extensively. Moreover, students gain additional practical experience through internships in the wide array of planning positions available in the Milwaukee area.

M.Arch/MUP Coordinated Degree Program

In cooperation with the Department of Architecture, the Department of Urban Planning offers a Master of Architecture/Master of Urban Planning program to prepare students for positions as architect/planners. Students in the program concurrently pursue a Master of Architecture degree program and a Master of Urban Planning degree program. Prerequisite to the award of either degree in this program is the simultaneous award of its counterpart degree. For more detailed information on this program see Credits and Courses section below.

M.S./MUP Coordinated Degree Program

In cooperation with the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the Department of Urban Planning offers a Master of Science in Engineering/Master of Urban Planning program to prepare students for positions in transportation, public works or similar areas. Students in the program will concurrently pursue a Master of Urban Planning degree program in the Department of Urban Planning and a Master of Science in Engineering degree program from the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Prerequisite to the award of either degree in this program is the simultaneous award of its counterpart degree.

MPA/MUP Coordinated Degree Program

A joint degree program has been designed to allow students to obtain both the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Urban Planning degrees concurrently. This program is intended to combine professional training in planning with applied administrative and managerial skills. More detailed information on this program can be found later in this section and in the Public Administration section of this Bulletin.

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is designed to provide a 18-credit formal program of studies for students who wish to pursue careers in geographic information systems in local government.

Graduate Faculty

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Professors
Huxhold, William E., M.S., University of Dayton
White, Sammis B., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Associate Professors
Frank, Nancy, Ph.D., State University of New York-Albany, Chair
Assistant Professor
Harris, Kirk, Ph.D., Cornell University
Hu, Lingqian (Ivy), Ph.D., University of Southern California
Schneider, Robert, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Master of Urban Planning

Admission

An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these program requirements to be considered for admission:

  1. For domestic applicants, submission of scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (effective Fall, 2011, GRE scores are required of all applicants). In addition, for international applicants whose first language is not English, a minimum TOEFL score of 100 iBT or 600 PBT, or a score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required.  Applicants with TOEFL scores from 79-99 iBT or 550-599 PBT, or an IELTS score of 6.5 will be considered for admission only with the stipulation that further course work in English be taken.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic and/or professional work.
  3. Submission of a letter of intent to the Graduate School stating the reason for requesting admission to the Urban Planning program.

Candidates seeking admission to the M.Arch/MUP, the MPA/MU, or the M.S./MUP program must apply to and be admitted to both programs. The requirements for admission to the Master of Architecture degree program are detailed in the Architecture section of this Bulletin. The requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Engineering program are detailed in the Engineering section of this Bulletin. The requirements for admission to the MPA program are detailed in the Public Administration section of this Bulletin.

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student's studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. A student who is not assigned to an advisor at time of admission should immediately contact the Department Chair.

Credits and Courses

The minimum degree requirement is 48 credits. Of these 48 credits, 27 are taken in the core curriculum, consisting of the following courses:

UrbPlan 701 Introduction to Land Use Planning, 1 cr
UrbPlan 702 Introduction to Planning Law, 2 cr
UrbPlan 711 Planning Theories and Practice, 3 cr
UrbPlan 720 Urban Development Theory and Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 721 Applied Planning Methods, 3 cr
UrbPlan 740 Data Analysis Methods I, 3 cr
UrbPlan 810 Planning Policy Analysis, 6 cr
UrbPlan 811 Applied Planning Workshop, 3 cr
and any one of the following courses (3 credits):
UrbPlan 751 Introduction to Urban Design and Physical Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 791 Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 857 Urban Design as Public Policy, 3 cr

The remaining 21 credits may be taken in the general option or any of the concentrations listed previously: Urban Revitalization; Economic Development; Urban Geographic Information Systems; Transportation; Physical Planning and Urban Design; and Environmental Resources. Each concentration consists of a recommended cluster of courses which may include one or more planning electives as concentration core courses, and a selection of electives from among planning and other courses. Details of the concentrations can be obtained from the Department of Urban Planning and are finalized in consultation with the student's academic advisor.

Transcript-Designated Concentration in Real Estate Development

A concentration in real estate development provides a focused course of study for Master of Architecture and/or Master of Urban Planning students who wish to pursue careers in real estate development in combination with professional architectural practice or work with a private or public developer. Students must complete a minimum of 21 credits from the following groups of courses.

Real Estate Required Core Courses (6 credits)
Arch 780 The Built Environment and Real Estate Development, 3 cr
Bus 481 Real Estate Finance, 3 cr or Bus 483 Property Development and Management, 3 cr
Real Estate Electives (9-12 credits)
For list of qualifying courses, contact Student Advising Office, AUP 225 (414-229-4015, sarup-grad@uwm.edu)
Capstone Project (3-6 credits)
  1. A project in Architecture (ARCH 891) or a thesis in Urban Planning (URBPLAN 990) that focuses on real estate; or
  2. A real estate development proposal developed for a private organization (business or non-profit) that is innovative and adds significant value to the built environment (ARCH 792 or URBPLAN 999); or
  3. A paper suitable for publication concerning real estate development, for which the student is either sole author or co-author with a faculty member (ARCH 792 or URBPLAN 999).
Transcript-designated Concentration in Geographic Information Systems

This concentration provides the skills and experience needed by professional planners to develop and use spatial analysis technology in both public and private organizations to improve their service delivery, management, and policy planning activities. Planning students learn state-of-the-art skills for using and analyzing data spatially in planning for improvements in transportation, housing, economic development, environment, natural resources, and related fields. .

Required Courses (9 credits):
UrbPlan 791 Introduction to Urban GIS for Planning
UrbPlan 792 Using Urban GIS for Planning
UrbPlan 793 Applied Projects in Urban GIS
Elective Courses (minimum of 6 credits)
For list of qualifying courses, contact Student Advising Office, AUP 225 (414-229-4015, sarup-grad@uwm.edu)
M.Arch/MUP

Students in the M.Arch/MUP program are required to complete a total of 84 credits: 27 credits of core courses and 9 elective credits in urban planning and 48 credits in architecture, including distribution requirements, pre-thesis/project and master's thesis/project.

M.S./MUP

Students in the M.S./MUP program are required to meet the College of Engineering and Applied Science requirements for the Master of Science in Engineering degree as well as the requirements for the MUP degree. Students in this program are required to take 15 credits in an approved program of technical studies in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and 6 credits in nontransportation related engineering approved electives. The total credit requirement for the M.S./MUP program is 54 credits.

MPA/MUP

This program allows students to complete master's degrees in Public Administration and in Urban Planning concurrently. The coordinated degree requires 42-45 credits of required courses and completion of a concentration in Public Administration (18 credits). However, because some courses completed for the core requirements of the MUP also may count toward the MPA concentration, students may complete the dual degree with a minimum of 54-57 credits. The total number of credits will depend on the student's track and choice of concentration in public administration.

Required Courses in Urban Planning (27 credits)
UrbPlan 701 Introduction to Land Use Planning, 1 cr
UrbPlan 702 Introduction to Planning Law, 2 cr
UrbPlan 711 Planning Theories and Practice, 3 cr
UrbPlan 720 Urban Development Theory and Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 721 Applied Planning Methods, 3 cr
UrbPlan 740 Data Analysis Methods I, 3 cr
UrbPlan 810 Planning Policy Analysis, 6 cr
UrbPlan 811 Applied Planning Workshop, 3 cr
and any one of the following courses (3 credits):
UrbPlan 751 Introduction to Urban Design and Physical Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 791 Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 857 Urban Design as Public Policy, 3 cr
Required Courses in Public Administration (18 credits)
Bus Adm 738 Human Resources Management, 3 cr
Pol Sci/UrbPlan 630 Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector, 3 cr
Pol Sci 763 Scope and Dynamics of Public Administration, 3 cr
Pol Sci 921 Public Service Administrative Internship,* 3 cr OR UrbPlan 991 Legislative/Administrative Agency Internship, 3 cr
Pol Sci 959 Capstone Seminar in Public Administration, 3 cr
* The internship requirement will be waived for students with significant public sector work experience.
One seminar (3 cr) in organizational management and leadership selected from the following list:
Bus Adm 443 Special Topics in Human Resource Management, 3 cr
Bus Adm 732 Transforming Organizations, 3 cr
Bus Adm 737 Managerial Decisions and Negotiations, 3 cr
Concentration Requirement (18 credits)

Completion of all the requirements for one of the concentrations in Public Administration (see Public Administration section of the Bulletin). A maximum of six credits of MUP core courses may be used as electives in the MPA concentrations.

Comprehensive Exam

Completion of the comprehensive exam in Urban Planning is required.

Transfer Credits

Graduate coursework in urban planning or a related discipline taken prior to a student's admission to the program may be considered for transfer to the master's degree.

Writing Assessment

Being able to write clearly and effectively is a critical skill for planners. The Urban Planning program encourages improvement in student's writing skills by emphasizing writing improvement across the curriculum, and especially in the core courses.

In some cases, students require more intense instruction to improve their skills to the level needed for planning practice. Faculty members assess student writing proficiency in the first semester core courses. Students who lack the required level of proficiency may be required to take a writing course as part of their second semester program of study. Writing proficiency is also a required element of the comprehensive exam.

Thesis

No formal master's project or master's thesis is required for the MUP degree. However, a thesis may be substituted for as many as 6 elective credits. The student must obtain approval for the thesis proposal from any urban planning faculty member. The students may relate their thesis work to the program core, the general option or an emphasis option.

Comprehensive Examination

All students in the program must take a written comprehensive examination as a requirement for graduation. The examination is given between the second and third semesters so that any deficiencies can be eliminated in the second year of the program through structured courses or directed study. Successful completion of the exam, or successful completion of courses specified for removal of deficiencies, represents fulfillment of the comprehensive examination requirement. Students in the M.S./MUP program also must take and pass the comprehensive examination in engineering.

Time Limit

The degree program itself is designed largely for full-time students. But the program does allow students up to seven years from the time of initial enrollment to complete all degree requirements.

Students in the M.Arch/MUP and MPA/MUP programs are allowed up to seven years from time of initial enrollment to complete all requirements for both degrees. Students in the M.S./MUP program are allowed up to five years from time of initial enrollment to complete all requirements for both degrees.

*Note* Individuals seeking to use the School's Shop must first provide evidence of personal accident and health insurance to the Dean's office. Since no accident or health insurance is provided to any user by the University, access to this resource will be prohibited to uninsured individuals.

Courses

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Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.

614 Planning and the Suburbs: Their Growth and Maturity. 3 cr. U/G.
Relationships between suburbs and cities and differences in their architecture, goverance, and provision of public services as well as current trends in suburban development. Prereq: sr st.
630 Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector. 3 cr. U/G.
Examination of the budgeting process in the public sector; development of skills in budgeting and financial management. Topics include capital budgeting, debt management, revenue forecasting, and auditing. Jointly-offered w/& counts as repeat of Pub Adm 630(Pol Sci 630). Prereq: sr st or cons instr.
651 Land Use Planning Practice. 3 cr. U/G.
Specific land planning methods and applications (subdivision regulation, zoning, site plan review, building permit process) used to implement community plans. Prereq: sr st.
655 Negotiation Theory and Practice for Urban Planners. 3 cr. U/G.
Negotiation theory and practice, focusing on skills used by planners in balancing the needs of general public with those of private interests. Counts as repeat of UrbPlan 692 with same title. Prereq: sr st or cons instr.
661 Neighborhood Planning and Revitalization. 3 cr. U/G.
Problems, resources and potentials of urban neighborhoods; trends of neighborhood change and revitalization; neighborhood planning approaches, methods and cases; neighborhood planning project or case study. Prereq: sr st or cons instr.
662 Land Use Planning for Urban Redevelopment. 3 cr. U/G.
Introduction to contemporary trends in urban redevelopment; focus on planning and development techniques used to revitalize declining urban areas. Prereq: jr st.
682 Planning for Sustainable Energy. 3 cr. U/G.
An exploration of the need for sustainable energy, the potential savings in various alternatives, and the roles and specific actions local governments can take. Prereq: sr st.
684 Planning Local Economic Development. 3 cr. U/G.
Exploration of the role of planning in the generation, evaluation, and implementation of policies for the development and revitalization of communities. Prereq: jr st & cons instr.
692 Special Topics in Urban Planning: (Subtitled). 1-3 cr. U/G.
Provides a format for the development and presentation of new material in Urban Planning on an experimental, one-term basis. Specific cr & any additional prereqs announced in Schedule of Classes whenever course is offered. Retakeable with change in topic to max of 9 cr. Prereq: jr st or cons instr.
701 Introduction to Land Use Planning. 1 cr. G.
Introduction to contemporary land use planning emphasizing the four primary tools of development regulation: comprehensive planning, zoning, subdivision regulation, and capital improvement programming. Prereq: grad st.
702 Introduction to Planning Law. 2 cr. G.
Constitutional and statutory authority for and limits on local government regulation of land use. Application of key concepts, including police power, due process, and property. Prereq: grad st.
711 Planning Theories and Practice. 3 cr. G.
Theories about how planners should act in the planning process. History, values, and ethics of the profession; methods of participation; discussion of power in planning. Prereq: grad st.
720 Urban Development Theory and Planning. 3 cr. G.
Spatial, social, economic, and political processes that shape urban development. Application of these processes to fomulate and critique urban plans and policies. Prereq: grad st; admis to UrbPlan or cons instr.
721 Applied Planning Methods. 3 cr. G.
Data sources and analysis techniques for urban planning. Survey design, economic analyses, benefit/cost analysis, market areas; the complexities of public and private data sources. Prereq: grad st
740 Data Analysis Methods I. 3 cr. G.
Application of quantitative methods most commonly used in urban planning and analysis of the built environment. Prereq: grad st; admis to UrbPlan prog, Arch prog, or cons istr.
750 Special Topics in Land Use Law. 3 cr. G.
Legal research on land use law topics. Concepts in land use law and advanced skills in applying law to contemporary land use issues. Prereq: grad st; UrbPlan 710(P); or cons instr.
751 Introduction to Urban Design and Physical Planning. 3 cr. G.
Planning for human needs as related to the physical layout and spatial design of urban environments. Prereq: grad st.
762 Housing Markets and Public Policy. 3 cr. G.
An examination of natural and local housing markets, their components and operations, and the impacts on them of a variety of public and private actions. Prereq: grad st.
771 Transportation Policy and Planning. 3 cr. G.
Seminar on the evolution of urban transportation systems and policies, transportation finance, land use and transportation interactions, and transportation planning and policy evaluation techniques. Prereq: grad st or cons instr.
772 Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation. 3 cr. G.
Current practices in pedestrian and bicycle transportation, including institutional frameworks, benefits, safety, facility design, network development, demand estimation, suitability assessment, and performance measurement. Prereq: grad st
782 Water Resources Planning. 3 cr. G.
Emphasis on planning for water across the water cycle (surface, groundwater, wetlands, etc.) integrating non-water resources (habitat, energy, GHG emissions, etc.) in an urban context. Jointly offered with & counts as repeat of Frshwtr 782. Prereq: grad st.
791 Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning. 3 cr. G.
Use of spatially related information including gis and land records systems for improved productivity and decision making in service delivery, management, policy-planning, and land development. Prereq: grad st.
792 Using Urban Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Planning. 3 cr. G.
A 'hands on' course in gis using commercial gis software in a computer laboratory setting to provide experience solving problems related to planning and government. Prereq: grad st; UrbPlan 791(P) or Geog 525(P) or cons instr.
793 Applied Projects in Urban Geographic Information Systems. 3 cr. G.
Use of a geographic information system (GIS) and actual data from local government to analyze a real world problem or issue requiring spatial data analysis. Prereq: grad st; Urbplan 791 or cons instr.
794 Internet Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 3 cr. G.
Seminar on theoretical background and hands-on experience with technologies for developing GIS applications on the Internet, the web, and wireless networks. Prereq: grad st; UrbPlan 792(P) or Geog 625(P); or cons instr.
797 Study Abroad. (Subtitled). 3-12 cr. G.
Field study designed to provide relevant course work for a study abroad program in urban planning. Prereq: grad st; acceptance to Study Abroad Program
810 Planning Policy Analysis. 6 cr. G.
Application of planning analysis tools in the context of policy issues involving planners; a case studies approach stressing both policy analysis and the role of the planner. Prereq: grad st; UrbPlan 701(P), 702(P), 711(P), 720(P), 721(P), 740(P); or cons instr.
811 Applied Planning Workshop. 3 cr. G.
Application of planning concepts, principles, processes and techniques to a selected realistic problem, issue, or project context at an appropriate scale ranging from the neighborhood to the state. Prereq: grad st; UrbPlan 810(P).
841 Seminar in Planning Analysis: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
Application of one planning methodology: theory, case studies, preparation and presentation of major student project. Retakeable with change in topic to max of 6 cr. Prereq: grad st.
857 Urban Design as Public Policy. 3 cr. G.
Orients students in urban planning to urban design problems as matters of public policy with focus on the analysis and implementation of urban design proposals rather than on the techniques used to generate such proposals. Not open to students who have cr in Arch 749 which is identical to UrbPlan 857. Prereq: grad st.
858 Studio in Urban Design and Physical Planning. 6 cr. G.
Projects and seminars apply urban planning principles to problems of urban design and physical planning to develop students' abilities to evaluate and effectively criticize proposals. Prereq: grad st; Urbplan 751(P) or 857(P).
880 Challenges to Urban Sustainability. 3 cr. G.
Urban environmental management theory and practice, history of the environmental crisis, and alternative strategies for understanding human activity/ecological process relationships in urban areas. Jointly-offered w/& counts as repeat of Geog 880. Prereq: grad st.
888 Candidate for Degree. 0 cr. G.
Available for graduate students who must meet minimum credit load requirement. Fee assessed for 1 cr. Prereq: grad st
990 Graduate Thesis. 3-6 cr. G.
Thesis under the direction of graduate planning faculty. May be retaken to max of 6 cr, which can be substituted for elective credits. Prereq: grad st, cons instr; successful completion of comprehensive exam.
991 Legislative/Administrative Agency Internship. 3-6 cr. G.
Research project assignments with elected legislative officials and administrative agencies. Assignments will be cooperatively developed and supported by an integrating seminar discussing both experience and theory in a planning implementation context. May be retaken with change in topic to max of 6 cr. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
992 Seminar in Urban Planning: (Subtitled). 1-3 cr. G.
Advanced study of special topics in urban planning. Specific cr & any additional prereqs announced in schedule of classes whenever course is offered. Retakeable with topic change to max of 6 cr. Prereq: grad st or cons instr.
999 Independent Study. 1-3 cr. G.
Individual work in urban planning. Variable content course. Retakeable to max of 9 cr. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.

Page last updated on: 11/05/2014