Last Updated 2015-02-09
Urban and Regional Planning MS
Together, the Graduate Student Handbook
and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.
The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.
Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:
IntroductionThe interdisciplinary Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning (MS-URP) is designed with a holistic approach, with the outcome of graduates practicing sustainability and socially responsible planning. The major objective of the graduate planning degree program is to prepare students who are interested in pursuing a master degree in the areas of urban, metropolitan, and regional planning to enhance their analytical skills, managerial knowledge, and career development in the planning profession.
The Master of Science
in Urban and Regional Planning consists of 48 credit hours. Each student
completes a core of nine courses (27 credit hours), restricted elective
courses (15 credit hours), and a Capstone project (6 credit
The Master of Science in Urban and
Regional Planning (MSURP) program is a face-to-face program. While some
courses are offered online, students admitted to the MSURP program are
expected to attend face-to-face classes offered week nights on the main
campus. The MSURP also incorporates community based projects into most
courses. Group projects are intended to develop leadership
abilities while also providing an opportunity to show students are
capable of working as part of a team. Group projects promote
important intellectual and social skills and help to prepare
students for work in a world in which teamwork and collaboration are
increasingly the norm.
Courses and credit hours used
for undergraduate degrees cannot be applied toward the MSURP
degree, except for Senior Scholar students. Students approved as an
undergraduates at UCF to participate in the Senior Scholar program may, with
the permission of the MSURP program director, use up to 9 credit
hours of graduate course work from their bachelor's degree toward
the MSURP degree. However, no undergraduate-level courses will be
accepted in the MSURP program.
Required Courses—33 Credit
Core—27 Credit Hours
- PAD 5336 Introduction to Urban
Planning (3 credit hours)
- PAD 5337 Urban Design (3 credit hours)
- PAD 5338 Land Use and Planning Law (3 credit hours)
- PAD 5356
Managing Community and Economic Development (3 credit hours)
- PAD 6316
Planning Methods (3 credit hours)
- PAD 6353 Environmental Planning and
Policy (3 credit hours)
- PAD 6387 Transportation Policy (3 credit
- PAD 6825 Cross-Sectoral Governance (3 credit hours)
- PAD 6847 Planning Healthy Communities (3 credit hours)
Capstone or Final Product—6 Credit Hours
The final product will be a
studio experience for six credit hours.
- IDS 6953 Urban and Regional
Planning Capstone I (3 credit hours)
- IDS 6954 Urban and Regional
Planning Capstone II (3 credit hours)
Students work in teams for
the final product in the planning degree program under the supervision of a
faculty adviser. Students work closely with community partners in
conducting an applied planning project. Part of the capstone experience is a
presentation of their final project.
Elective Courses—15 Credit
Planning Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours
Students take 9
credits (three courses) from the list of courses below. Faculty members who
conduct research in the area of concentration may serve as advisers in
selecting electives. An internship may be utilized by students to expand their
experience in planning.
- PAD 6254 Economics of Land Use Planning and
Development (3 credit hours)
- PAD 6397 Managing Emergencies and Crises
(3 credit hours)
- PAD 6339 Housing Development and Planning (3 credit
- PAD 6355 Growth Management Approaches and Techniques (3 credit
- PAD 6716 Information Systems for Public Managers and Planners
(3 credit hours)
- URP 6711 Sustainable Transportation Planning (3
- PAD 6946 Internship (3 credit hours)
General Electives—6 Credit Hours
Students take two general
elective courses for six credit hours. These courses should first be
taken from the additional planning electives listed above, however students can
choose general elective courses from any of the PAD courses offered by the
School of Public Administration. With prior approval from the MSURP Program
Director, general electives courses can be taken from outside the School of
Public Administration. Students must show that these courses directly support
a career in urban and regional planning.
without practical administrative experience in the public sector are strongly
advised to complete an internship (3 credit hours).
- PAD 6946
Internship (3 credit hours)
Additional Program Requirements
Students must achieve a grade of "B-" (80%) or higher in every course
listed under core requirements and in the Capstone Experience courses.
Students must maintain a program of study and graduate status GPA of 3.0
or higher and can only graduate with a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or
The School of Public Administration incorporates service
learning into some courses. Service learning is a teaching method that
provides a means for every student to enhance his or her academic program with
experiential learning opportunities. Service learning provides an opportunity
for students to work with community partners by collecting and compiling
data and producing quality products that will be beneficial to both students
Students are expected to be computer literate
and have computer internet access upon entry to the program.
Financial Support provided to master’s
students by the university is limited to fellowships, graduate assistantships,
tuition support and health insurance. Federally funded financial aid in the
form of student loan programs may be available for graduate students based on
eligibility. Students interested in federally funded financial aid
information, should check the UCF Office of Student Financial Assistance
website at finaid.ucf.edu.
The College of Health and Public Affairs is allocated a limited
number of university-funded fellowships that are awarded on an academically
competitive basis to the highest qualified graduate students in the
college. Generally, these fellowships are awarded annually during February
to April to newly admitted students for the upcoming academic year
In addition to the academic-based fellowships for
incoming students, the Graduate Travel Award provides funding for current
master's, specialist, and doctoral students to deliver research papers or
participate in comparable creative activities at a professional meeting.
Students must be the primary author and presenter. To review the award
requirements and apply online, see www.graduate.ucf.edu.
Graduate Student Associations
Professional Societies and
Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA)
Alpha is the National Honor Society for Public Administration.
The purpose of this society is to recognize academic excellence and
promote ethical and responsible public service. PAA membership
identifies those with the highest performance levels in educational programs
preparing them for the public service careers. Membership is open
to undergraduate and graduate students who have been nominated on the basis of
their academic achievement.
ASPA and NFBPA
MPA students are eligible for discounted membership in the American
Society for Public Administration. ASPA is the professional
association for public administration. ASPA affords its members
opportunities to participate in its annual and regional conferences, local
chapters and national sections. The Central Florida Chapter of ASPA meets
regular featuring speakers from local and state government. The
National Forum for Black Public Administrators also encourages MPA students to
participate in its activities on behalf of minority professionals in the
public sector, and sponsors a mentorship program.
The International City and County Management
Association is an association of professional city and county mangers who
manage the affairs of the public sector. ICMA offers a student
membership that permits the student to attend the annual conference at a
reduced registration fee.
Officially granted registered
student organization (RSO) status in October of 2008, the Masters of Public
Administration Student Association (MPASA) was founded by a group of
University of Central Florida (UCF) graduate students with the desire to
enhance the graduate experience for masters* candidates of the degree
programs offered by the Department of Public Administration. These students
noticed a void of graduate programming, encouragement of public service, as
well as student professional and social networking that needed to be filled
and decided to take the active steps to fill it. With the firm support of
the Department of Public Administration, MPASA was created in order to fill
that void by promoting the virtue of public service, fostering closer ties
between students and public sector agencies and facilitating discourse
among students and administrators concerning the future and direction of
UCF's Department of Public Administration graduate
Organization for Public Administration was founded in 2001 at the
University of Central Florida for the purpose of enhancing the Public
Administration student's learning experience by acquainting them with job
opportunities, career options, networking, and knowledge of the field via
special guests, In addition, OPA members provide services to
the community, both locally and on campus, by organizing career fairs for
the Public Administration students and participating in the county
government's Adopt-A-Precinct project. OPA members also
benefit from yearly trips across the country and site visits!
It is the mission of OPA to provide developmental and educational
opportunities for its members and to promote student interest and
involvement in Public Administration.
Graduate Excellence Awards
Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate
students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to
be recognized for their work. For the nomination process and eligibility
criteria, see the College of Graduate
Studies Graduate Awards website.
Pathways to Success
Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways
to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students
including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate
Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For
more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.
For information about
the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation
awards, see their website: www.csgs.org>
For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php.
The department offers a wide
range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These
services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for
the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their
website at www.career.ucf.edu.
Public Administration Internship
Provides students with work experiences
that expose them to government and nonprofit organizations and their
operations. For additional information, please visit www.cohpa.ucf.edu/publicadmin/internships.
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and
Offers information about general, US
government, state and local government, nonprofit, and international job
opportunities. You may visit www.naspaa.org/students/careers/joblinks.asp.