Master of Urban & Regional Planning (MURP) 2018-02-09T21:26:58+00:00

      MURP

         MASTER OF URBAN & REGIONAL PLANNING

      MURP

        MASTER OF URBAN & REGIONAL PLANNING

ABOUT THE MURP DEGREE
The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.

The mission of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech is to prepare students to become professional planners, who can address the economic, environmental and social consequences of growth and change, and to provide leadership in fostering a more just and sustainable world through our teaching, scholarship and service. Upon completion of our program we expect students to:

  • Understand human settlements and their physical, social, economic, and environmental context; the theoretical, historical, and legal foundations of planning and contemporary planning practice; and the range of values associated with diverse communities at all scales and the ethical means of discriminating among competing goals.
  • Be at the forefront of envisioning, creating and sustaining communities that are just and economically and environmentally sustainable.
  • Be able to confront complex problems in a systematic and rigorous way by applying the core concepts, skills, and evidence-based techniques and strategies of planning practice, including plan creation; and be competent in generic problem solving, critical thinking, collaborative processes with diverse groups of stakeholders, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and synthesis methods, and computer applications.
  • Be versed in the complexity of global changes and local planning solutions and possess solid knowledge of national and international best planning practices.
  • Have the leadership, collaborative and written, visual and oral communicative skills necessary to function successfully as a planning professional.

Our two locations provide unique opportunities for planning education and research, with dynamic interactions between faculty and students.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time
The Master’s program requires applicants to submit an online application form, application fee, official transcripts of previous academic work, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and resume. In addition, all applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree from a university in the US must submit GRE scores, and all international applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL scores (see http://graduateschool.vt.edu/applying for Graduate School requirements). Note that the Graduate School requires a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) for admission of 3.0 or better. Applicants with GPAs below this may be qualified depending on professional experience and other accomplishments.
The Master’s program accepts applications on a rolling basis, with the following deadlines:

Fall Admission – August 1
Spring Admission – January 1

However, note that applicants who want to be considered for financial aid MUST have their application completed by March 1 for the Fall admission, or October 1 for the Spring admission.

UAP GRADUATE CURRICULUM

Foundations and Planning (9 credit hours)
UAP 5174 – Theory and Practice of Planning (3)
UAP 5234 – Urban Economy and Public Policy (3)
UAP 5554 – Land Use and Planning Law (3)
Analytical Methods (7 credit hours)
UAP 5224 – Quantitative Techniques (4)

Choose 1 of the following courses for the remaining 3 credit hours
UAP 5494 – Advanced Quantitative Techniques (3)
UAP 5484 – Advanced Urban Research Methodology (3)
UAP 5114 – Computer Applications in Planning (3)
UAP 5464 – Qualitative Methods (3)
OR Approved advanced methods course (3)
Planning Applications (6 credit hours)
UAP 5124 – Urban and Regional Planning Studio (3)

Choose 1 of the following courses for the remaining 3 credit hours
UAP 5434 – Urban Development Project Studio (3)
UAP 5764 – International Development Studio (3)
UAP 5774 – Economic Development Studio (3)
UAP 5794 – Environmental Planning Studio (3)
OR Equivalent course (3)
Capstone Project (2-6 credit hours)
Electives (20-24 credit hours)

UAP GRADUATE COURSES (ALL)

The Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) program offers a variety of graduate courses for students earning a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Below you will find a list of graduate courses that have been offered recently. For current offerings and class time and location, please see the Virginia Tech Timetable of Classes.

UAP 5004 Power and Policy in the US
UAP 5024 Intro to Pub/Nonprofit Fin Mgt
UAP 5034 Democratic Govern in the Economy
UAP 5064G Adv Pollution Control Planning
UAP 5074G Adv Comm Renew Energy Systems
UAP 5084G Adv Community Involvement
UAP 5104 Urban/Regional Develop Theory
UAP 5114 Computer Applications in Planning
UAP 5124 Urb/Regional Planning Studio
UAP 5134G Adv Land Use and Environment
UAP 5164 Collaborative Govern & Civil Society
UAP 5174 Theory and Practice of Planning
UAP 5194 Urban Growth Management
UAP 5224 Quantitative Techs in Planning
UAP 5234 Urban Economy and Public Policy
UAP 5244 TS: Multicultural Cities
UAP 5254 Global Conflicts
UAP 5264 Global Change and Local Impacts
UAP 5264G Adv Envi Ethnics and Policy
UAP 5274 Comparative Social Movements
UAP 5304 Land Use Planning
UAP 5324 Topics: Infra Planning Dev Countries
UAP 5344G Adv Law Critical Envi Areas
UAP 5354 Charity, Philanthropy and Civil Soc
UAP 5364 NGOs International Development
UAP 5414 Natural Resources Planning Topics
UAP 5424 TS: Envi and Behavior Study
UAP 5424 TS: Power Present For Proposal
UAP 5424 TS: Capstone Preparation
UAP 5424 TS: Challenges in Contemp. Plan
UAP 5424 TS: Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
UAP 5424 TS: Global Technology and Sustainability
UAP 5424 TS: Residential Energy Evaluation
UAP 5424 TS: Market Analysis
UAP 5424 TS: Housing WDC
UAP 5424 Module: American Planning Hist
UAP 5424 Module: The European City
UAP 5424 Module: Urban Planning in Europe
UAP 5424 TS: Building Sustainable Comm
UAP 5424 TS: Regional Sustainability
UAP 5424 TS: Paying for Growth
UAP 5424 TS: Urban Design Seminar
UAP 5424 TS: Urban Impacts of Globalization
UAP 5424 TS: Reg Plan Equitable Outcomes
UAP 5424 TS: Capstone Modules
UAP 5434 Urban Development Project Studio
UAP 5454 Nonprofit Org and Management
UAP 5464 Qualitative Methods
UAP 5484 Adv Urban Research Methodology
UAP 5494 Advanced Quantitative Techniques
UAP 5504 Discourse Analysis
UAP 5524 International Development
UAP 5534 Nonprofit Org Leader and Govern
UAP 5544 Public and Non-Profit Fin Mgt
UAP 5554 Land Use and Planning Law
UAP 5564 Information Tech, Soc Public Pol
UAP 5574 Arts, Culture and Society
UAP 5584 Environmental Politics and Policy
UAP 5604 Housing Planning and Policy
UAP 5624 TS: European Cities and Planning
UAP 5634 Urban Design Studio
UAP 5644 Transportation Systems Planning
UAP 5694 Asset Mgt Public/Nonprofit Orgs
UAP 5754 Metropolitan Planning Seminar
UAP 5764 International Development Studio
UAP 5764G Adv Intl Dev Plan and Policy
UAP 5774 Economic Development Studio
UAP 5784 Economic Dev Planning Topics
UAP 5794 Environmental Planning Studio
UAP 5804 Practicum Problem
UAP 5864 Topics: Transport Pol Plan
UAP 5904 Project and Report
UAP 5914 Peace Corps Service
UAP 5924 Peace Corps Enrollment
UAP 5994 Research and Thesis

MURP GRADUATE DEGREE: QUICK FACTS

2017-18 Tuition and Fees
In State Residents, per full-time academic year: $ 15,072
Out of State Residents, per full-time academic year: $ 28,810
Student Retention Rate
Percentage of students who began studies in Fall 2016 and continued into Fall 2017: 83%
Student Graduation Rate
Percentage of students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2013 (14 total): 79%
Number of degrees awarded for the 2016 – 2017 Academic Year: 28
AICP Exam
Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 5 years who pass, graduating class of 2012 (4 total): 100%
Percentage of bachelor’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 7 years who pass, graduating class of 2010 (7 total): 100%
Employment
Percentage of graduates obtaining full-time planning or planning-related employment within 12 months of graduation, graduating class of 2016 (18 total): 86%

MURP STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

In Fall 2017, the Virginia Tech, Master of Urban and Regional Planning program (MURP) conducted a survey of alumni about post-degree activities, career placement, and perceptions of the program for recent graduates. The eight questions below help us to identify particular areas of strength as well as areas that need improvement. We are striving for at least 90% of our graduates to have positive opinions (strongly agree or agree) in each of these areas.

VIRGINIA TECH TUITION & FEES

*Please refer to the Virginia Tech Bursar’s Tuition & Financial Aid pages for additional information.

STUDENT ENROLLMENT AND GRADUATION DATA

AICP EXAM PASS RATE

Using data provided by AICP for MURPs graduating between 2009 and 2015, the following table shows that 44 of 46 passed the exam. This is an overall pass rate of 96% and places Virginia Tech among the top schools for AICP Exam pass rates.

UAP GRADUATE CONTACTS

Leigh Bower (Blacksburg)
Administrative Assistant
leighb14@vt.edu
(540) 231-5485

Myriam Lechuga (Alexandria)
Student Coordinator
mlechuga@vt.edu
(703) 706-8111

Tom Sanchez (UAP Chair) tom.sanchez@vt.edu | (540) 231-5425
Yang Zhang (MURP Coordinator) yz@vt.edu | (540) 231-1128
Ralph Hall (PUA/EPP Coordinator) rphall@vt.edu | (540) 231-7332

UAP ACADEMICS

Undergraduate Degrees

The Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs degree provides the planning and policy skills and insights in order to understand and affect the economic, environmental, social, and governmental consequences of urban growth and change. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector addressing complex problems in realms such as urban planning, environmental justice, economic development, food systems, and international development.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning degree provides students the opportunity to study environmental problems and their solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities, natural and social sciences, planning, and public policy. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities. Graduates of the Environmental Planning and Policy degree program work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities.

Undergraduate Minors

The Environmental Policy and Planning Minor provides a critical interdisciplinary insight into modern environmental concerns.
A minor in Public and Urban Affairs requires completion of 18 credit hours:
UAP 1024: Public Issues in Urban Society
UAP 3014: Urban Policy and Planning
12 hours from approved list of UAP courses
The Real Estate Minor is a vital aspect of educating students for careers in real estate and in the real estate aspects of many facets of modern life. The instructional material is relevant to professionals in a wide range of real estate organizations and program graduates work in public sector agencies and in the private sector in such areas as economic development, urban planning and commercial/residential development.
The Watershed Management Minor provides an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy and decision-making. Alumni are prepared for careers in government, nonprofits and private sector organizations that focus on water resources.

Master’s Degrees

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.
MURP’s Dual Masters degrees, also known as simultaneous degrees, exist between the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Natural Resources degrees (MNR). Dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to master core material in more than one field, allowing them to acquire the flexibility to engage in a wide range of activities within multiple fields and become bridge-builders between them; in fact, many rise to leadership positions because of their multi-disciplinary perspective. If you are interested in this program in Blacksburg, please contact uapvt@vt.edu. If you are interested in this program in Alexandria, please contact UAPAlexandria@vt.edu.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) draws insights from the social sciences and humanities into the multidimensional study of governance processes in all levels of society and international affairs. The faculty and students work jointly to cultivate their experience, knowledge, and skill with regard to the governance practices, political institutions, social dynamics, cultural values, workplace conditions, spatial formations, historical trends, and ethical conflicts that intersect in the workings of government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Program graduates work in a range of nonprofit/NGO, public and private organizations at national and international levels.

Certificates

Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities. Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them.
Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today. As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.
The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues.
The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.
Virginia Tech’s School certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management focuses on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability. All courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.
The management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. The Watershed Management Certificate provides an excellent opportunity for future water and land managers to develop the interdisciplinary skills necessary for meeting these challenges in the field of water resources. This certificate integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making.

Special Programs

The Combined B.A. Architecture/Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree provides students with the option of earning a professionally-accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree along with the professionally accredited Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree. Graduates of the combined degree program are at the nexus of planning and architectural design, crafting solutions to community issues that respond to social, political, economic and spatial challenges.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester is an eleven-week summer program that provides students the opportunity to acquire professional experience in a governmental agency or other relevant enterprise in the private or nonprofit sector.
UAP FACULTY & STAFF

ABOUT THE MURP DEGREE

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.

The mission of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech is to prepare students to become professional planners, who can address the economic, environmental and social consequences of growth and change, and to provide leadership in fostering a more just and sustainable world through our teaching, scholarship and service. Upon completion of our program we expect students to:

  • Understand human settlements and their physical, social, economic, and environmental context; the theoretical, historical, and legal foundations of planning and contemporary planning practice; and the range of values associated with diverse communities at all scales and the ethical means of discriminating among competing goals.
  • Be at the forefront of envisioning, creating and sustaining communities that are just and economically and environmentally sustainable.
  • Be able to confront complex problems in a systematic and rigorous way by applying the core concepts, skills, and evidence-based techniques and strategies of planning practice, including plan creation; and be competent in generic problem solving, critical thinking, collaborative processes with diverse groups of stakeholders, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and synthesis methods, and computer applications.
  • Be versed in the complexity of global changes and local planning solutions and possess solid knowledge of national and international best planning practices.
  • Have the leadership, collaborative and written, visual and oral communicative skills necessary to function successfully as a planning professional.

Our two locations provide unique opportunities for planning education and research, with dynamic interactions between faculty and students.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time
The Master’s program requires applicants to submit an online application form, application fee, official transcripts of previous academic work, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and resume. In addition, all applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree from a university in the US must submit GRE scores, and all international applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL scores (see http://graduateschool.vt.edu/applying for Graduate School requirements). Note that the Graduate School requires a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) for admission of 3.0 or better. Applicants with GPAs below this may be qualified depending on professional experience and other accomplishments.
The Master’s program accepts applications on a rolling basis, with the following deadlines:

Fall Admission – August 1
Spring Admission – January 1

However, note that applicants who want to be considered for financial aid MUST have their application completed by March 1 for the Fall admission, or October 1 for the Spring admission.

UAP GRADUATE CURRICULUM

Foundations and Planning (9 credit hours)
UAP 5174 – Theory and Practice of Planning (3)
UAP 5234 – Urban Economy and Public Policy (3)
UAP 5554 – Land Use and Planning Law (3)
Analytical Methods (7 credit hours)
UAP 5224 – Quantitative Techniques (4)

Choose 1 of the following courses for the remaining 3 credit hours
UAP 5494 – Advanced Quantitative Techniques (3)
UAP 5484 – Advanced Urban Research Methodology (3)
UAP 5114 – Computer Applications in Planning (3)
UAP 5464 – Qualitative Methods (3)
OR Approved advanced methods course (3)
Planning Applications (6 credit hours)
UAP 5124 – Urban and Regional Planning Studio (3)

Choose 1 of the following courses for the remaining 3 credit hours
UAP 5434 – Urban Development Project Studio (3)
UAP 5764 – International Development Studio (3)
UAP 5774 – Economic Development Studio (3)
UAP 5794 – Environmental Planning Studio (3)
OR Equivalent course (3)
Capstone Project (2-6 credit hours)
Electives (20-24 credit hours)

UAP GRADUATE COURSES (ALL)

The Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) program offers a variety of graduate courses for students earning a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Below you will find a list of graduate courses that have been offered recently. For current offerings and class time and location, please see the Virginia Tech Timetable of Classes.

UAP 5004 Power and Policy in the US
UAP 5024 Intro to Pub/Nonprofit Fin Mgt
UAP 5034 Democratic Govern in the Economy
UAP 5064G Adv Pollution Control Planning
UAP 5074G Adv Comm Renew Energy Systems
UAP 5084G Adv Community Involvement
UAP 5104 Urban/Regional Develop Theory
UAP 5114 Computer Applications in Planning
UAP 5124 Urb/Regional Planning Studio
UAP 5134G Adv Land Use and Environment
UAP 5164 Collaborative Govern & Civil Society
UAP 5174 Theory and Practice of Planning
UAP 5194 Urban Growth Management
UAP 5224 Quantitative Techs in Planning
UAP 5234 Urban Economy and Public Policy
UAP 5244 TS: Multicultural Cities
UAP 5254 Global Conflicts
UAP 5264 Global Change and Local Impacts
UAP 5264G Adv Envi Ethnics and Policy
UAP 5274 Comparative Social Movements
UAP 5304 Land Use Planning
UAP 5324 Topics: Infra Planning Dev Countries
UAP 5344G Adv Law Critical Envi Areas
UAP 5354 Charity, Philanthropy and Civil Soc
UAP 5364 NGOs International Development
UAP 5414 Natural Resources Planning Topics
UAP 5424 TS: Envi and Behavior Study
UAP 5424 TS: Power Present For Proposal
UAP 5424 TS: Capstone Preparation
UAP 5424 TS: Challenges in Contemp. Plan
UAP 5424 TS: Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
UAP 5424 TS: Global Technology and Sustainability
UAP 5424 TS: Residential Energy Evaluation
UAP 5424 TS: Market Analysis
UAP 5424 TS: Housing WDC
UAP 5424 Module: American Planning Hist
UAP 5424 Module: The European City
UAP 5424 Module: Urban Planning in Europe
UAP 5424 TS: Building Sustainable Comm
UAP 5424 TS: Regional Sustainability
UAP 5424 TS: Paying for Growth
UAP 5424 TS: Urban Design Seminar
UAP 5424 TS: Urban Impacts of Globalization
UAP 5424 TS: Reg Plan Equitable Outcomes
UAP 5424 TS: Capstone Modules
UAP 5434 Urban Development Project Studio
UAP 5454 Nonprofit Org and Management
UAP 5464 Qualitative Methods
UAP 5484 Adv Urban Research Methodology
UAP 5494 Advanced Quantitative Techniques
UAP 5504 Discourse Analysis
UAP 5524 International Development
UAP 5534 Nonprofit Org Leader and Govern
UAP 5544 Public and Non-Profit Fin Mgt
UAP 5554 Land Use and Planning Law
UAP 5564 Information Tech, Soc Public Pol
UAP 5574 Arts, Culture and Society
UAP 5584 Environmental Politics and Policy
UAP 5604 Housing Planning and Policy
UAP 5624 TS: European Cities and Planning
UAP 5634 Urban Design Studio
UAP 5644 Transportation Systems Planning
UAP 5694 Asset Mgt Public/Nonprofit Orgs
UAP 5754 Metropolitan Planning Seminar
UAP 5764 International Development Studio
UAP 5764G Adv Intl Dev Plan and Policy
UAP 5774 Economic Development Studio
UAP 5784 Economic Dev Planning Topics
UAP 5794 Environmental Planning Studio
UAP 5804 Practicum Problem
UAP 5864 Topics: Transport Pol Plan
UAP 5904 Project and Report
UAP 5914 Peace Corps Service
UAP 5924 Peace Corps Enrollment
UAP 5994 Research and Thesis

MURP GRADUATE DEGREE: QUICK FACTS

2017-18 Tuition and Fees
In State Residents, per full-time academic year: $ 15,072
Out of State Residents, per full-time academic year: $ 28,810
Student Retention Rate
Percentage of students who began studies in Fall 2016 and continued into Fall 2017: 83%
Student Graduation Rate
Percentage of students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2013 (14 total): 79%
Number of degrees awarded for the 2016 – 2017 Academic Year: 28
AICP Exam
Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 5 years who pass, graduating class of 2012 (4 total): 100%
Percentage of bachelor’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 7 years who pass, graduating class of 2010 (7 total): 100%
Employment
Percentage of graduates obtaining full-time planning or planning-related employment within 12 months of graduation, graduating class of 2016 (18 total): 86%

MURP STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

In Fall 2017, the Virginia Tech, Master of Urban and Regional Planning program (MURP) conducted a survey of alumni about post-degree activities, career placement, and perceptions of the program for recent graduates. The eight questions below help us to identify particular areas of strength as well as areas that need improvement. We are striving for at least 90% of our graduates to have positive opinions (strongly agree or agree) in each of these areas.

VIRGINIA TECH TUITION & FEES

*Please refer to the Virginia Tech Bursar’s Tuition & Financial Aid pages for additional information.

STUDENT ENROLLMENT AND GRADUATION DATA

AICP EXAM PASS RATE

Using data provided by AICP for MURPs graduating between 2009 and 2015, the following table shows that 44 of 46 passed the exam. This is an overall pass rate of 96% and places Virginia Tech among the top schools for AICP Exam pass rates.

UAP GRADUATE CONTACTS

Leigh Bower (Blacksburg)
Administrative Assistant
leighb14@vt.edu
(540) 231-5485

Myriam Lechuga (Alexandria)
Student Coordinator
mlechuga@vt.edu
(703) 706-8111

Tom Sanchez (UAP Chair) tom.sanchez@vt.edu | (540) 231-5425
Yang Zhang (MURP Coordinator) yz@vt.edu | (540) 231-1128
Ralph Hall (PUA/EPP Coordinator) rphall@vt.edu | (540) 231-7332

UAP ACADEMICS

Undergraduate Degrees

The Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs degree provides the planning and policy skills and insights in order to understand and affect the economic, environmental, social, and governmental consequences of urban growth and change. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector addressing complex problems in realms such as urban planning, environmental justice, economic development, food systems, and international development.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning degree provides students the opportunity to study environmental problems and their solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities, natural and social sciences, planning, and public policy. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities. Graduates of the Environmental Planning and Policy degree program work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities.

Undergraduate Minors

The Environmental Policy and Planning Minor provides a critical interdisciplinary insight into modern environmental concerns.
A minor in Public and Urban Affairs requires completion of 18 credit hours:
UAP 1024: Public Issues in Urban Society
UAP 3014: Urban Policy and Planning
12 hours from approved list of UAP courses
The Real Estate Minor is a vital aspect of educating students for careers in real estate and in the real estate aspects of many facets of modern life. The instructional material is relevant to professionals in a wide range of real estate organizations and program graduates work in public sector agencies and in the private sector in such areas as economic development, urban planning and commercial/residential development.
The Watershed Management Minor provides an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy and decision-making. Alumni are prepared for careers in government, nonprofits and private sector organizations that focus on water resources.

Master’s Degrees

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.
MURP’s Dual Masters degrees, also known as simultaneous degrees, exist between the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Natural Resources degrees (MNR). Dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to master core material in more than one field, allowing them to acquire the flexibility to engage in a wide range of activities within multiple fields and become bridge-builders between them; in fact, many rise to leadership positions because of their multi-disciplinary perspective. If you are interested in this program in Blacksburg, please contact uapvt@vt.edu. If you are interested in this program in Alexandria, please contact UAPAlexandria@vt.edu.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) draws insights from the social sciences and humanities into the multidimensional study of governance processes in all levels of society and international affairs. The faculty and students work jointly to cultivate their experience, knowledge, and skill with regard to the governance practices, political institutions, social dynamics, cultural values, workplace conditions, spatial formations, historical trends, and ethical conflicts that intersect in the workings of government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Program graduates work in a range of nonprofit/NGO, public and private organizations at national and international levels.

Certificates

Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities. Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them.
Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today. As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.
The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues.
The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.
Virginia Tech’s School certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management focuses on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability. All courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.
The management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. The Watershed Management Certificate provides an excellent opportunity for future water and land managers to develop the interdisciplinary skills necessary for meeting these challenges in the field of water resources. This certificate integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making.

Special Programs

The Combined B.A. Architecture/Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree provides students with the option of earning a professionally-accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree along with the professionally accredited Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree. Graduates of the combined degree program are at the nexus of planning and architectural design, crafting solutions to community issues that respond to social, political, economic and spatial challenges.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester is an eleven-week summer program that provides students the opportunity to acquire professional experience in a governmental agency or other relevant enterprise in the private or nonprofit sector.
UAP FACULTY & STAFF

ABOUT THE MURP DEGREE

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.

The mission of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech is to prepare students to become professional planners, who can address the economic, environmental and social consequences of growth and change, and to provide leadership in fostering a more just and sustainable world through our teaching, scholarship and service. Upon completion of our program we expect students to:

  • Understand human settlements and their physical, social, economic, and environmental context; the theoretical, historical, and legal foundations of planning and contemporary planning practice; and the range of values associated with diverse communities at all scales and the ethical means of discriminating among competing goals.
  • Be at the forefront of envisioning, creating and sustaining communities that are just and economically and environmentally sustainable.
  • Be able to confront complex problems in a systematic and rigorous way by applying the core concepts, skills, and evidence-based techniques and strategies of planning practice, including plan creation; and be competent in generic problem solving, critical thinking, collaborative processes with diverse groups of stakeholders, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and synthesis methods, and computer applications.
  • Be versed in the complexity of global changes and local planning solutions and possess solid knowledge of national and international best planning practices.
  • Have the leadership, collaborative and written, visual and oral communicative skills necessary to function successfully as a planning professional.

Our two locations provide unique opportunities for planning education and research, with dynamic interactions between faculty and students.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time
The Master’s program requires applicants to submit an online application form, application fee, official transcripts of previous academic work, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and resume. In addition, all applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree from a university in the US must submit GRE scores, and all international applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL scores (see http://graduateschool.vt.edu/applying for Graduate School requirements). Note that the Graduate School requires a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) for admission of 3.0 or better. Applicants with GPAs below this may be qualified depending on professional experience and other accomplishments.
The Master’s program accepts applications on a rolling basis, with the following deadlines:

Fall Admission – August 1
Spring Admission – January 1

However, note that applicants who want to be considered for financial aid MUST have their application completed by March 1 for the Fall admission, or October 1 for the Spring admission.

UAP GRADUATE CURRICULUM

Foundations and Planning (9 credit hours)
UAP 5174 – Theory and Practice of Planning (3)
UAP 5234 – Urban Economy and Public Policy (3)
UAP 5554 – Land Use and Planning Law (3)
Analytical Methods (7 credit hours)
UAP 5224 – Quantitative Techniques (4)

Choose 1 of the following courses for the remaining 3 credit hours
UAP 5494 – Advanced Quantitative Techniques (3)
UAP 5484 – Advanced Urban Research Methodology (3)
UAP 5114 – Computer Applications in Planning (3)
UAP 5464 – Qualitative Methods (3)
OR Approved advanced methods course (3)
Planning Applications (6 credit hours)
UAP 5124 – Urban and Regional Planning Studio (3)

Choose 1 of the following courses for the remaining 3 credit hours
UAP 5434 – Urban Development Project Studio (3)
UAP 5764 – International Development Studio (3)
UAP 5774 – Economic Development Studio (3)
UAP 5794 – Environmental Planning Studio (3)
OR Equivalent course (3)
Capstone Project (2-6 credit hours)
Electives (20-24 credit hours)

UAP GRADUATE COURSES (ALL)

The Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) program offers a variety of graduate courses for students earning a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Below you will find a list of graduate courses that have been offered recently. For current offerings and class time and location, please see the Virginia Tech Timetable of Classes.

UAP 5004 Power and Policy in the US
UAP 5024 Intro to Pub/Nonprofit Fin Mgt
UAP 5034 Democratic Govern in the Economy
UAP 5064G Adv Pollution Control Planning
UAP 5074G Adv Comm Renew Energy Systems
UAP 5084G Adv Community Involvement
UAP 5104 Urban/Regional Develop Theory
UAP 5114 Computer Applications in Planning
UAP 5124 Urb/Regional Planning Studio
UAP 5134G Adv Land Use and Environment
UAP 5164 Collaborative Govern & Civil Society
UAP 5174 Theory and Practice of Planning
UAP 5194 Urban Growth Management
UAP 5224 Quantitative Techs in Planning
UAP 5234 Urban Economy and Public Policy
UAP 5244 TS: Multicultural Cities
UAP 5254 Global Conflicts
UAP 5264 Global Change and Local Impacts
UAP 5264G Adv Envi Ethnics and Policy
UAP 5274 Comparative Social Movements
UAP 5304 Land Use Planning
UAP 5324 Topics: Infra Planning Dev Countries
UAP 5344G Adv Law Critical Envi Areas
UAP 5354 Charity, Philanthropy and Civil Soc
UAP 5364 NGOs International Development
UAP 5414 Natural Resources Planning Topics
UAP 5424 TS: Envi and Behavior Study
UAP 5424 TS: Power Present For Proposal
UAP 5424 TS: Capstone Preparation
UAP 5424 TS: Challenges in Contemp. Plan
UAP 5424 TS: Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
UAP 5424 TS: Global Technology and Sustainability
UAP 5424 TS: Residential Energy Evaluation
UAP 5424 TS: Market Analysis
UAP 5424 TS: Housing WDC
UAP 5424 Module: American Planning Hist
UAP 5424 Module: The European City
UAP 5424 Module: Urban Planning in Europe
UAP 5424 TS: Building Sustainable Comm
UAP 5424 TS: Regional Sustainability
UAP 5424 TS: Paying for Growth
UAP 5424 TS: Urban Design Seminar
UAP 5424 TS: Urban Impacts of Globalization
UAP 5424 TS: Reg Plan Equitable Outcomes
UAP 5424 TS: Capstone Modules
UAP 5434 Urban Development Project Studio
UAP 5454 Nonprofit Org and Management
UAP 5464 Qualitative Methods
UAP 5484 Adv Urban Research Methodology
UAP 5494 Advanced Quantitative Techniques
UAP 5504 Discourse Analysis
UAP 5524 International Development
UAP 5534 Nonprofit Org Leader and Govern
UAP 5544 Public and Non-Profit Fin Mgt
UAP 5554 Land Use and Planning Law
UAP 5564 Information Tech, Soc Public Pol
UAP 5574 Arts, Culture and Society
UAP 5584 Environmental Politics and Policy
UAP 5604 Housing Planning and Policy
UAP 5624 TS: European Cities and Planning
UAP 5634 Urban Design Studio
UAP 5644 Transportation Systems Planning
UAP 5694 Asset Mgt Public/Nonprofit Orgs
UAP 5754 Metropolitan Planning Seminar
UAP 5764 International Development Studio
UAP 5764G Adv Intl Dev Plan and Policy
UAP 5774 Economic Development Studio
UAP 5784 Economic Dev Planning Topics
UAP 5794 Environmental Planning Studio
UAP 5804 Practicum Problem
UAP 5864 Topics: Transport Pol Plan
UAP 5904 Project and Report
UAP 5914 Peace Corps Service
UAP 5924 Peace Corps Enrollment
UAP 5994 Research and Thesis

MURP GRADUATE DEGREE: QUICK FACTS

2017-18 Tuition and Fees
In State Residents, per full-time academic year: $ 15,072
Out of State Residents, per full-time academic year: $ 28,810
Student Retention Rate
Percentage of students who began studies in Fall 2016 and continued into Fall 2017: 83%
Student Graduation Rate
Percentage of students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2013 (14 total): 79%
Number of degrees awarded for the 2016 – 2017 Academic Year: 28
AICP Exam
Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 5 years who pass, graduating class of 2012 (4 total): 100%
Percentage of bachelor’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 7 years who pass, graduating class of 2010 (7 total): 100%
Employment
Percentage of graduates obtaining full-time planning or planning-related employment within 12 months of graduation, graduating class of 2016 (18 total): 86%

MURP STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

In Fall 2017, the Virginia Tech, Master of Urban and Regional Planning program (MURP) conducted a survey of alumni about post-degree activities, career placement, and perceptions of the program for recent graduates. The eight questions below help us to identify particular areas of strength as well as areas that need improvement. We are striving for at least 90% of our graduates to have positive opinions (strongly agree or agree) in each of these areas.

VIRGINIA TECH TUITION & FEES

*Please refer to the Virginia Tech Bursar’s Tuition & Financial Aid pages for additional information.

STUDENT ENROLLMENT AND GRADUATION DATA

AICP EXAM PASS RATE

Using data provided by AICP for MURPs graduating between 2009 and 2015, the following table shows that 44 of 46 passed the exam. This is an overall pass rate of 96% and places Virginia Tech among the top schools for AICP Exam pass rates.

UAP GRADUATE CONTACTS

Leigh Bower (Blacksburg)
Administrative Assistant
leighb14@vt.edu
(540) 231-5485

Myriam Lechuga (Alexandria)
Student Coordinator
mlechuga@vt.edu
(703) 706-8111

Tom Sanchez (UAP Chair) tom.sanchez@vt.edu | (540) 231-5425
Yang Zhang (MURP Coordinator) yz@vt.edu | (540) 231-1128
Ralph Hall (PUA/EPP Coordinator) rphall@vt.edu | (540) 231-7332

UAP ACADEMICS

Undergraduate Degrees

The Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs degree provides the planning and policy skills and insights in order to understand and affect the economic, environmental, social, and governmental consequences of urban growth and change. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector addressing complex problems in realms such as urban planning, environmental justice, economic development, food systems, and international development.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning degree provides students the opportunity to study environmental problems and their solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities, natural and social sciences, planning, and public policy. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities. Graduates of the Environmental Planning and Policy degree program work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities.

Undergraduate Minors

The Environmental Policy and Planning Minor provides a critical interdisciplinary insight into modern environmental concerns.
A minor in Public and Urban Affairs requires completion of 18 credit hours:
UAP 1024: Public Issues in Urban Society
UAP 3014: Urban Policy and Planning
12 hours from approved list of UAP courses
The Real Estate Minor is a vital aspect of educating students for careers in real estate and in the real estate aspects of many facets of modern life. The instructional material is relevant to professionals in a wide range of real estate organizations and program graduates work in public sector agencies and in the private sector in such areas as economic development, urban planning and commercial/residential development.
The Watershed Management Minor provides an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy and decision-making. Alumni are prepared for careers in government, nonprofits and private sector organizations that focus on water resources.

Master’s Degrees

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.
MURP’s Dual Masters degrees, also known as simultaneous degrees, exist between the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Natural Resources degrees (MNR). Dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to master core material in more than one field, allowing them to acquire the flexibility to engage in a wide range of activities within multiple fields and become bridge-builders between them; in fact, many rise to leadership positions because of their multi-disciplinary perspective. If you are interested in this program in Blacksburg, please contact uapvt@vt.edu. If you are interested in this program in Alexandria, please contact UAPAlexandria@vt.edu.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) draws insights from the social sciences and humanities into the multidimensional study of governance processes in all levels of society and international affairs. The faculty and students work jointly to cultivate their experience, knowledge, and skill with regard to the governance practices, political institutions, social dynamics, cultural values, workplace conditions, spatial formations, historical trends, and ethical conflicts that intersect in the workings of government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Program graduates work in a range of nonprofit/NGO, public and private organizations at national and international levels.

Certificates

Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities. Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them.
Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today. As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.
The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues.
The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.
Virginia Tech’s School certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management focuses on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability. All courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.
The management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. The Watershed Management Certificate provides an excellent opportunity for future water and land managers to develop the interdisciplinary skills necessary for meeting these challenges in the field of water resources. This certificate integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making.

Special Programs

The Combined B.A. Architecture/Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree provides students with the option of earning a professionally-accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree along with the professionally accredited Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree. Graduates of the combined degree program are at the nexus of planning and architectural design, crafting solutions to community issues that respond to social, political, economic and spatial challenges.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester is an eleven-week summer program that provides students the opportunity to acquire professional experience in a governmental agency or other relevant enterprise in the private or nonprofit sector.
UAP FACULTY & STAFF

A REGIONAL COMMUNITY  ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES

A REGIONAL COMMUNITY  ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES

A REGIONAL COMMUNITY  ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES

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WASHINGTON, DC

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BLACKSBURG

WASHINGTON, DC

RICHMOND

BLACKSBURG

WASHINGTON, DC

RICHMOND