The urban planning profession is concerned with the human and physical environments of cities and regions. A primary goal of the profession is to improve the quality of life in places—whether neighborhoods, cities, metropolitan regions, rural settlements, or larger regions—anywhere in the world. In pursuing this goal, graduate students acquire knowledge in these areas:
- An understanding of cities and regions, including the interrelationship between their social, economic, and political systems and their spatial patterns.
- An awareness of the techniques for analyzing cities and regions and for developing plans and programs for their future.
- The formulation of future development policies, especially as the process involves identifying problems, establishing objectives, generating and evaluating alternative plans, and implementing them.
Master of Urban and Regional Planning
The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (M.U.R.P.) degree offers professional education in the planning field. Graduates may eventually apply their professional skills in various government agencies, private enterprises, or nonprofit organizations within a variety of subject areas.
Students choose to focus their studies in such areas as:
- Land Use and Environmental Planning
- Housing, Community, and Economic Development
- Global and Comparative Planning
- Physical Planning and Design
- Transportation Planning
Ph.D. of Urban Planning
The Ph.D. in urban and regional planning trains scholars for careers in higher education, research and high-level policy positions. It is a doctoral degree with a flexible, interdisciplinary focus. Graduates work in universities, government, non-profits, and the private sector, in the U.S. and around the world. Doctoral students specialize in a wide range of possible topics. Recent students have engaged in subjects as diverse as the political economy of public transit, inner-city revitalization, global city urbanization, information technology and cyberspace, the crisis of modernist urbanism, suburbanization in developing countries, regional planning institutions, the effects of environmental contamination on patterns of urban and regional development, the culture of suburban commuting, the impact of tourism on historical Mediterranean cities, and the application of complex systems analysis to sustainable development.
Dual degree programs enable students to earn two degrees in considerably less time than if each degree were earned separately. Students can also pursue student-initiated dual degrees with a wide range of other programs. Requests are approved on an individual basis.
Formal Dual Degree Programs
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Master of Architecture
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Business Administration
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Doctor of Jurisprudence
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Natural Resources and Environment
Common Student-Initiated Dual Degrees
Self-initiated dual degree programs can be developed when that is the most appropriate way to prepare a student for his/her career. In recent years, students have initiated their own dual degree programs in the following fields:
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Master of Landscape Architecture
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Master of Public Health
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Master of Public Policy
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/School of Information
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Master of Social Work
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning/Master of Urban Design
Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development
The Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development offers graduate students in many fields the opportunity to supplement their major areas of study with broad knowledge about making substantially better metropolitan developments. The program is also a stand-alone certificate for those full-time and part-time students who want to focus only on real estate development. The Michigan real estate development program teaches students about building sustainable places that minimize the ecological footprint of the built environment.
Graduate Certificate in Healthy Cities
The Graduate Certificate in Healthy Cities provides University of Michigan graduate students with a mechanism to study the interdisciplinary relationships linking policy making, health science, and spatial planning in a systematic, focused manner. Although several degree programs at the university offer courses related to healthy cities themes, no single program contains the full breadth of knowledge and skillsets students will need to meet the future health challenges of global urbanism. The Certificate program in Healthy Cities offers students a roadmap for integrating discussions of the social, physical, and political determinants of urban public health.
Graduate Certificate in Urban Informatics
Urban informatics is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that uses information technology for the analysis, management, planning, inhabitation, and usability in cities. The Graduate Certificate in Urban Informatics introduces students to this field, and includes not only technical skills for technology development and data analysis, but also opportunities to explore the ethical, legal, and policy questions created by new urban technologies.