Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required to Earn the Degree: 45

Required Courses:

Core Courses
CTRP 5014Planning Politics and Administration3
CTRP 5413Planning Communications3
CTRP 5513Planning Analysis3
CTRP 5524Spatial Analysis Techniques/Geographic Information Systems 13
CTRP 8013Planning History and Theory3
CTRP 8016Planning Law3
CTRP 8213Environmental Planning3
Electives 218
Capstone Course
CTRP 9889Planning Studio6
Total Credit Hours45

With permission from the graduate advisor or chair of the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design, students who have had significant training in geographic information systems may be allowed to substitute an elective for CTRP 5524.


CTRP or related courses are selected in consultation with a department advisor.

Students may undertake one of two transcripted optional concentrations in fulfilling the coursework requirements for the MS degree:

Sustainable Community Planning

Core Concentration Courses
CTRP 5256Sustainable Community Design and Development3
CTRP 8276Regional Development3
Select two from the following: 16
CTRP 8155
Ecological Planning and Development
CTRP 8156
Neighborhoods, Cities, and Regions
CTRP 8255
Sustainability in Suburban Communities
CTRP 8257
Environmental Policy
CTRP 8266
Sustainable Business Practices
CTRP 8355
Environmental Infrastructure Planning and Management
CTRP 8476
Collaborative Planning
CTRP 8755
Introduction to Emergency Management Planning
Total Credit Hours12

In consultation with a department advisor or chair, students may substitute one relevant 3-credit CTRP graduate course as an elective.

Transportation Planning

Core Concentration Course
CTRP 8655Transportation Planning3
Select three from the following: 19
CTRP 8276
Regional Development
CTRP 8656
Integrated Transportation and Land-Use Planning: Context-Sensitive Design Solutions
CTRP 8657
Non-motorized Transportation Planning
CTRP 8666
Travel Demand Modeling
Total Credit Hours12

In consultation with a department advisor or chair, students may substitute one relevant 3-credit CTRP graduate course as an elective.

Internship: A supervised 180-hour internship is required. The internship emphasizes the acquisition and application of practical skills in planning. Placements are made at public agencies, nonprofit institutions and private firms, with designated onsite and Planning and Community Development faculty supervisors. Internships may require interim reports and must culminate in a written report regarding the experience. Students have the option of registering for CTRP 9885 Internship in Planning for 3 elective credits. If the student has relevant professional experience, the internship requirement is waived and CTRP 9885 may not be taken for credit toward the degree.

Culminating Events:
Capstone Course:
All students must complete CTRP 9889 Planning Studio (6 credits), which involves undertaking a planning project in cooperation with a local or regional client. Students synthesize the knowledge gained from previous courses in the development of an integrated approach that is appropriate to their project.

Thesis Option:
The master's thesis is substantial in length and follows a knowledge-enhancement model, based on planning theory, methodology and history. Requirements are specified in the Graduate School’s Dissertation and Thesis Handbook, found at Up to 6 elective credits may be earned for taking CTRP 9995 Thesis in Planning.

The student's Master's Committee is responsible for evaluating the thesis and its defense. No thesis should go to defense unless it is ready for public scrutiny. The committee evaluates the student's ability to express in writing and orally their research question, methodological approach, primary findings and implications. Committee members vote to pass or fail the thesis upon conclusion of the public defense. If the student must make revisions, those changes must be approved as arranged by the Master's Committee.