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Urban Planning Graduate Programs in Michigan

Graduate programs in urban planning are most commonly offered at the master's level in Michigan, but are also available at the doctoral level. Here we discuss some programs in detail, including admission standards and final project requirements.

Several universities in Michigan provide students with master's, doctoral and/or graduate certificate programs in the field of urban planning. These programs usually allow students to further specialize in a particular area of interest and may culminate in a final project. Explore the different program options and what makes them unique.

Schools in Michigan with Graduate Programs in Urban Planning

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Urban and Regional Planning. Students can also pursue a range of dual degree programs at the master's level in areas such as architecture, law and business administration, or graduate certificate programs in real estate development or healthy cities. Students in the MURP program can further specialize in areas like global and comparative planning, land use and environmental planning and transportation planning. The PhD program provides advanced training for students pursuing careers in research, education or advanced policy positions.

Wayne State University

Wayne State University in Detroit provides a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program, as well as a graduate certificate in economic development. The MUP program requires 48 credit hours and a capstone experience that consists of a studio/workshop course and either a thesis or final essay. Students in the MUP program must also choose a concentration from urban economic development, housing and community development or managing metropolitan growth. Students in the graduate certificate program must complete 12 credits from core areas like economic development policy and economic development management.

Michigan State University

East Lansing's Michigan State University offers a 43-credit MURP program and a 45-credit PhD in Planning, Design and Construction with a concentration in urban and regional planning. The MURP program requires full-time study, can be completed in 2 years and offers focus areas in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), international development, community and economic development, urban transportation planning and more. Students must complete a final practicum course and a thesis or comprehensive exam. The PhD program requires a dissertation and also offers a range of concentration areas, like sustainable and resilient cities, urban health and food security and hazard and disaster management and planning.

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti provides a unique Master of Science (MS) in Urban and Regional Planning and a graduate certificate in transportation planning and modeling. The MS program totals 36 credits and students must pass a comprehensive oral exam. Students in the program must also complete an internship experience or replace the experience with a thesis or portfolio project. The graduate certificate program requires 16 to 17 credits and provides core courses in GIS, urban and regional planning, infrastructure planning and policy, and more.

University of Detroit Mercy

Detroit's University of Detroit Mercy offers a unique Master of Community Development program that is available in full- and part-time formats. Students must complete a total of 36 credits, skills workshops and a capstone project to graduate. The program allows students to choose from concentrations in physical development, economic development, human development or organizational development. The capstone project requires students to work in teams and with local city leaders to create a real-world community development proposal.

Common Entrance Requirements

Michigan students interested in applying to graduate programs in urban planning need at least a bachelor's degree, but some doctoral programs may like to see a master's degree in a planning-related field. Some of these programs require a minimum GPA that may range between a 2.75 and 3.0. Typically, applicants to these programs can expect to include their official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and a personal statement with their application. Some doctoral programs may also like to see any professional work experience related to the field.

Michigan offers graduate certificates, MS, MUP, MURP and PhD programs in urban planning. Students can typically participate in hands-on learning experiences and/or further specialize in a particular area of the field, like international development, transportation planning or environmental planning.


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