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Urban and Environmental Planning, MUEP

Urban and Environmental Planning, MUEP

Academic programs / Graduate degrees / Urban and Environmental Planning, MUEP

Environmental, Land Use, Planning, Resilience, Urban Planning, Urban Studies, Urbanism, cities, design, sustainability

Want to make an impact? Prepare to enter the workforce, become a leader in the planning profession and impact your community. Through small classes and practical projects, this two-year professional degree program equips you to solve complex issues in diverse communities.

Program description
Degree awarded: MUEP  Urban and Environmental Planning

The MUEP program prepares students to help solve complex social, economic and environmental issues and create healthier, safer and more vibrant communities. It emphasizes theories of planning, methods of analysis, effective public engagement, planning processes and creative implementation of planning tools, strategies and approaches. The program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. Students who join the program are eligible for certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners after two years of professional practice.

The Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program offers a valuable opportunity to integrate urban and environmental aspects of planning in a rapidly developing metropolitan area. Small classes, one-on-one advising and a common core of courses that translate knowledge into practice provide students opportunities to build technical skills and grow their professional network.

As a part of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the program is enriched by school faculty whose research and teaching are grounded in geography, geographic information systems, and meteorology and climatology. Students have access to a wide selection of electives within the school, electives that explore issues such as population and migration, environmental and landscape dynamics, and urban climate systems. The program is also complemented by the participation of faculty from other disciplines within the university and collaboration with leading planning practitioners in the Phoenix area.

Faculty research and teaching interests focus especially on the following broad interdisciplinary themes:

  • city building and urban structure
  • environmental and resiliency planning
  • housing, neighborhoods and community development
  • spatial analytics and smart cities
  • transportation planning and policy

At a glance
Concurrent program options

Students can choose to create their own concurrent degree combination to match their interests by working with their academic advisor during or after their first semester of study. Some concurrent combinations are not possible due to high levels of overlap in curriculum; students should speak with their academic advisor for more details.

This degree is also offered as a concurrent program with the following:

Accelerated program options
This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years. It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's plus master's degree with:

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. Students typically receive approval to pursue the accelerated master’s during the junior year of their bachelor's degree program. Interested students can learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Degree requirements

47 credit hours and a thesis, or
47 credit hours including the required applied project course (PUP 593), or
47 credit hours including the required capstone course (PUP 580)

Required Core (21 credit hours)
PUP 501 Planning, History and Theory (3)
PUP 520 Planning Practice, Ethics and Processes (3)
PUP 531 Planning and Development Control Law (3)
PUP 544 Urban Land Use Planning (3)
PUP 571 Quantitative Methods for Planners (3)
PUP 579 Qualitative Methods for Planners (3)
PUP 642 Urban and Regional Economic Analysis (3)

Electives (14 or 15 credit hours)

Other Requirement (6 credit hours)
PUP 542 Environmental Planning (3)
PUP 576 GIS Workshop (3)

Culminating Experience (5 or 6 credit hours)
PUP 580 Practicum: Planning Workshop (5) or
PUP 593 Applied Project (5) or
PUP 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students take either 14 credit hours of electives for the thesis option or 15 credit hours of electives for the nonthesis option.

Students take PUP 576 or another methods course approved by the department.

Students take PUP 542 or another environmental planning course approved by the department.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. resume
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

The personal statement should be no longer than 600 words and must address the applicant's academic and professional background and, if appropriate, preparation for the selected area of specialty; written samples or a portfolio may be included, though these are not required.

Letters of recommendation must be from three people who can attest to the applicant's academic and professional achievements.

Tuition information
When it comes to paying for higher education, everyone’s situation is different. Students can learn about ASU tuition and financial aid options to find out which will work best for them.
Application deadlines
Session A/CIn Person 01/15Priority
Career opportunities

Professionals with expertise in planning theory and practice are in high demand across sectors and industries, including planning consulting firms, local governments and community organizations. Skills in environmental impact assessment, geographical data analysis and community resiliency planning are valuable to businesses and institutions that rely on practical, research-based approaches to solve complex problems.

Alumni of the Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program work as professional planners in a variety of public, private and nonprofit settings. Career examples include:

  • city and regional planning aide
  • geospatial information technologist
  • social services director
  • sustainability specialist
  • transportation planner
  • urban and regional planner
Professional licensure

ASU programs that may lead to professional licensure or certification are intended to prepare students for potential licensure or certification in Arizona. Completion of an ASU program may not meet educational requirements for licensure or certification in another state. For more information, students should visit the ASU professional licensure webpage.

Contact information
What are accelerated programs?
Accelerated programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor's degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

Accelerated master's

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies to earn a bachelor's plus a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. Students typically receive approval to pursue the accelerated master’s during the junior year of their bachelor's degree program. Interested students can learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
What are concurrent programs?
Concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests, earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor.
What are joint programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a new program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are online programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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