Urban and Regional Planning Department

MUP - Master of Urban Planning

The MUP program trains skilled professionals who graduate with a strong education in general planning practice and theory as well as specialized training in planning sub-fields. The program allows students to develop professional skills in an area of specialization such as Affordable Housing and Community Development Finance, Applications of Technology in Planning, Community Design and Development, Environmental Planning, Real Estate Development, or Transportation and Land Use Planning.

Graduates leave the program prepared with practical skills and theoretical knowledge that they can employ in jobs working to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for all residents of urban regions as well as improving the quality of the natural environment.

A special mission of the program is to provide planning education opportunities for a diverse student population, including working students who prefer to attend the program on a part-time basis.

The MUP is an accredited professional degree program nationally recognized by the Planning Accreditation Board.

Information about the program and important dates can be obtained at the department website:

Admissions Requirements

Candidates must meet all the university admissions requirements. To complete your application, you must submit materials to two distinct bodies: the SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE) Office through the online CSU application process and the Urban and Regional Planning Admissions Committee. Each has its own timetable. Approval by both offices is necessary to gain admission to the program. Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE.

1. Materials to be submitted to the SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations Office

  • Fill out the on-line application form. The Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program at SJSU is listed on the online application form under Urban Planning.
  • Domestic Students - Submit one set of official transcripts from all higher educational institutions attended (even those where you did not get a degree) to the Graduate Admissions Office. Do not send transcripts to the Department of Urban & Regional Planning.
  • International Students - International students are advised to closely follow guidelines for submitting transcripts and any other supporting documents, including demonstrating competence in English, available on the Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluation website.

2.Materials to be submitted to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (Admissions Committee)

  • Three original, signed letters of recommendation that come from either university instructors who taught you or supervisors who managed you in paid or volunteer work. It is highly recommended that at least one letter come from a university instructor. If this is not possible, ask your letter writers to include an evaluation of your writing and analysis skills. These letters must be submitted to the Urban and Regional Planning Admissions Committee, not to the SJSU GAPE Office. The department will accept only original, signed letters; faxed or emailed letters will not be accepted.
  • A short biographical statement of purpose (approximately 1.5 single-spaced typed pages) that indicates how a Master of Urban Planning degree will help you to achieve your career objectives. This can be the same statement as included on your online application.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required for applicants with a GPA below 3.0. Original scores from the testing office must be submitted in a sealed, unopened envelope or sent directly by ETS (the code for SJSU is 4687).

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy

Students must complete all university requirements for advancement to candidacy for the master's degree as outlined in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. Candidacy includes successful completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), described in this catalog. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, refer to the GWAR Course List on the Graduate Studies website. In addition, candidates must pass the Writing Skills Test (WST) at SJSU. Candidates with a previous degree from a California State University campus are exempt from the WST requirement.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements of the Masters48
URBP 200. Seminar on Urban and Regional PlanningGWAR4
URBP 204. Quantitative Methods4
URBP 225. Land Use Planning and Law4
URBP 236. Urban and Regional Planning Policy Analysis: Tools and MethodsGWAR4
URBP 241. Planning Sustainable Cities2
URBP 275G. Geographic Information Systems Overview: Urban Planning Applications1
URBP 295. Capstone Studio: Community Planning6
URBP 297P. Planning Report Preliminary Proposal1
Sixteen units of coursework chosen from Urban and Regional Planning courses. Students are strongly encouraged to take at least 12 units from within a single MUP specialization. Electives from outside the Urban & Regional Planning Department (either upper-division undergraduate or graduate courses) may be taken, but must first be approved by the Graduate Advisor.
URBP 103. Local Government and Politics4
URBP 125. Urban Anthropology3
URBP 132. Creating Built Worlds3
URBP 145. Urban Policy and Its Impact on Inner City Residents4
URBP 163. Twentieth Century Urban Design3
URBP 185. Environmental Impact Analysis4
URBP 190. Advanced Environmental Impact Assessment4
URBP 203. Collaborative Neighborhood Planning4
URBP 205. Private Development and Urban Planning3
URBP 206. Market Analysis, Appraisal, & Finance of Real Estate Development3
URBP 208. Urban Real Estate Development Studio3
URBP 214. Introduction to Public Management3
URBP 223. Housing Economics and Policy4
URBP 226. Regional Transportation Planning4
URBP 231. Urban Design in Planning4
URBP 232. Urban Design Studio4
URBP 233. Social Issues in Planning4
URBP 240. Environmental Planning4
URBP 248. Spatial Visualization Tech in Urb Plan1-4
URBP 250. Urban Planning Public Finance4
URBP 255. Urban and Regional Growth Management4
URBP 256. Sustainable Transportation Planning4
URBP 260. Environmental Planning Topics4
URBP 275. Urban Planning Topics1-4
URBP 276. Social Media in Planning1-4
URBP 278. Introduction to GIS for Urban Planning4
URBP 279. Advanced GIS for Urban Planning4
URBP 280. Planning Research Topics1-4
Culminating Experience (Plan B only)6
URBP 298A. Special Study: Planning Report3
URBP 298B. Special Study: Planning Report Completion3

Total Units:48

All electives must be 100-level or 200-level courses as arranged and approved in conference with the student's advisor. Electives to be taken will depend on the student's background and interests.

Students must earn a "B" or better grade in 100-level classes in order for the department to give credit for those classes towards the MUP degree.

URBP 298A and URBP 298B are graded on a Credit/No credit (CR/NC) basis. Receiving an NC in URBP 298A or URBP 298B has the following implications:

  • An "NC" is the equivalent of failing the class. The "NC" will remain permanently on the student's record, although the student GPA is not affected by the "NC.".
  • Students who receive an "NC" in URBP 298A or URBP 298B can enroll again in the class only if there is space available, with the department giving enrollment priority to students who meet the prerequisites and have not previously taken the class.
  • Students who receive an "NC" in URBP 298A or URBP 298B will be placed on administrative-academic probation. To return to good standing, a student must re-enroll in the class and receive a grade of "CR."
  • Students who receive a second "NC" in URBP 298A or URBP 298B will be disqualified from the MUP program.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master's degree is 15.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.