Urban and Regional Planning MS

College : Health and Public Affairs Degree :MS
Department : School of Public Administration Option : Nonthesis
Program Websites : http://www.cohpa.ucf.edu/publicadmin/urban-regional-planning/academic-programs/graduate-programs/master-of-science-in-urban-and-regional-planning/


The Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning program is designed to produce graduates with the analytical skills and managerial knowledge to pursue successful careers in urban, metropolitan, and regional planning and closely related fields.


The Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning consists of 48 credit hours. Each student completes a core of nine courses (27 credit hours), restricted elective courses (15 credit hours), and a Capstone project (6 credit hours). 

The Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning (MSURP) program is a face-to-face program. While some courses are offered online, students admitted to the MSURP program are expected to attend face-to-face classes offered week nights on the main campus. The MSURP also incorporates community based projects into most courses. Group projects are intended to develop leadership abilities while also providing an opportunity to show students are capable of working as part of a team. Group projects promote important intellectual and social skills and help to prepare students for work in a world in which teamwork and collaboration are increasingly the norm.          

Courses and credit hours used for undergraduate degrees cannot be applied toward the MSURP degree, except for Senior Scholar students. UCF undergraduate students approved to participate in the Senior Scholar program may, with the permission of the MSURP program director, use up to 9 credit hours of graduate course work from their bachelor's degree toward the MSURP degree. However, no undergraduate-level courses will be accepted in the MSURP program.

Total Credit Hours Required:
48 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Required Courses—33 Credit Hours

Core—27 Credit Hours

  • PAD 5336 Introduction to Urban Planning (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 5337 Urban Design (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 5338 Land Use and Planning Law (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 5356 Managing Community and Economic Development (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6316 Planning Methods (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6353 Environmental Planning and Policy (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6387 Transportation Policy (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6825 Cross-Sectoral Governance (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6847 Planning Healthy Communities (3 credit hours)

Capstone or Final Product—6 Credit Hours

The final product will be a studio experience for six credit hours.

  • IDS 6953 Urban and Regional Planning Capstone I (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 6954 Urban and Regional Planning Capstone II (3 credit hours)

Students work in teams for the final product in the planning degree program under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Students work closely with community partners in conducting an applied planning project. Part of the capstone experience is a presentation of their final project.

Elective Courses—15 Credit Hours

Planning Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours

Students take 9 credits (three courses) from the list of courses below. Faculty members who conduct research in the area of concentration may serve as advisers in selecting electives. An internship may be utilized by students to expand their experience in planning.

  • PAD 6254 Economics of Land Use Planning and Development (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6397 Managing Emergencies and Crises (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6339 Housing Development and Planning (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6355 Growth Management Approaches and Techniques (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6716 Information Systems for Public Managers and Planners (3 credit hours)
  • URP 6711 Sustainable Transportation Planning (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6946 Internship (3 credit hours)

General Electives—6 Credit Hours

Students take two general elective courses for six credit hours.  These courses should first be taken from the additional planning electives listed above, however students can choose general elective courses from any of the PAD courses offered by the School of Public Administration. With prior approval from the MSURP Program Director, general electives courses can be taken from outside the School of Public Administration. Students must show that these courses directly support a career in urban and regional planning.


Students without practical administrative experience in the public sector are strongly advised to complete an internship (3 credit hours).

  • PAD 6946 Internship (3 credit hours)

Additional Program Requirements

Students must achieve a grade of "B-" (80%) or higher in every course listed under core requirements and in the Capstone Experience courses.

Students must maintain a program of study and graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher and can only graduate with a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The School of Public Administration incorporates service learning into some courses. Service learning is a teaching method that provides a means for every student to enhance his or her academic program with experiential learning opportunities. Service learning provides an opportunity for students to work with community partners by collecting and compiling data and producing quality products that will be beneficial to both students and organizations.

Students are expected to be computer literate and have computer internet access upon entry to the program.

Independent Learning

Independent learning is demonstrated throughout the curriculum through the process of inquiry and dialogue. Tangible projects, such as research scholarly papers, internships, and the Capstone/Final Project also contribute to the self-development of students. The planning study in the Capstone/Final Project will focus on reviewing and analyzing contemporary planning issues in order to help students acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to best practices in a variety of planning subfields. The Capstone/Final Project provides opportunities for independent learning experience.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to meeting general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation evaluating scholarly and professional capacity. Letters from professors from the colleges/universities attended are preferred, but if that is not feasible, letters from current or past supervisors will be accepted.  The recommender must address your work ethic and ability to succeed at graduate-level academic work.   
  • Current professional résumé including experience in the field (paid or voluntary).
  • Goal Statement: The goal statement is a key component of the admission review process and serves as an example of the applicant's ability to express himself or herself in writing.  The goal statement must be no longer than two pages double spaced (500-800 words) and should address the following:
    • Personal background and career aspirations in urban and regional planning.
    • Reason for pursuing graduate study in urban and regional planning, including future career goals and plans.
    • Specific areas of urban and regional planning of interest to the applicant.    
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.
  • All International students must meet university minimum TOEFL score requirements regardless of language in which the undergraduate program was completed.

Admission to this degree is competitive; applicants meeting the minimum university and/or program application requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program.

All requested material must be submitted by the established deadline date.  Materials received after the established deadline may not be considered. 

Application Deadlines

Urban and Regional Planning MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants


Jun 15Nov 1


International Applicants


Jan 15Jul 1


International Transfer Applicants


Mar 1Sep 1


*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.