The objectives of the MCRP program are to prepare you for your first professional job and for a long-term career in planning. We believe that both aims can best be met by a program of study and simulated practice that combines theory and methods with substantive knowledge about planning, spatial development and public policy.
The program is structured to provide: 1) a core of planning theory, urban theory and planning methods, 2) in-depth coverage of substantive knowledge, methods, techniques and institutions in an area of specialization, 3) elective courses to broaden or deepen knowledge and skills in particular areas of interest, and 4) application of knowledge and skills in a problem-solving workshop and Master’s Project.
In addition to the core curriculum, taken during the first year in residence, the department offers four specializations associated with professional planning practice in economic development, housing & community development, land use and environmental planning, and transportation planning. Sustainable development is the overarching concept for these specializations. Each emphasizes equity, environmental quality, economic viability, and social participation and grapples with the interconnections among these dimensions of sustainability.
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Students must submit a final project of professional quality on a topic in their area of specialization. This Master’s project serves to demonstrate the student's capabilities in his/her area and his/her readiness for professional practice. The Master’s project is original work, involving a substantial degree of independent research and/or analysis. The project may expand on a paper or other work done in a course or on a research assistantship, or be related to an internship, job, or be an original project. Part of the Master’s project work may be done as part of an independent study course taken in the student's third semester, generally the fall semester of the second year.