Apr 05, 2020  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Urban and Regional Planning MURP

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The Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Colorado Denver has evolved to become one of the strongest, most unique planning programs in the United States. We offer a very hands-on, real-world oriented program that uses Colorado as our classroom and engages students with top planning/design professionals and the community.​

We believe that successful city building requires expertise, breadth, interdisciplinary understanding, and creativity. Our program looks beyond traditional professional silos and instead centers on issues at the forefront of planning practice. Our three Initiatives-Healthy Communities, Urban Revitalization, and Regional Sustainability-form the basis of our research, instruction, and community outreach.

We encourage all students to follow their passion and develop expertise in the areas that matter most to them. Thus, we offer a unique, self-directed curriculum that allows students to understand the breadth of the planning field while gaining the technical expertise demanded by the profession.

Our world-class faculty includes some of the most respected researchers in the planning field, and our award-winning planning practitioners bring a wealth of experience to the classroom. All of our faculty make teaching a top priority.

Our presence in a College of Architecture and Planning ensures that our approach to planning education has a strong connection to design, and our location in the heart of downtown Denver presents our students with endless opportunities to learn what it takes to create amazing cities.​



Program Requirements

Completing the MURP degree requires 54 semester hours, comprised of 36 semester hours of required “core” courses and 18 semester hours of elective courses. (Six of the 36 required semester hours represent a self-directed Capstone project or thesis.)  Most full-time students complete the program in two years, while other students complete the program at a slower or part-time pace.

New students begin the program of study in the fall semester. Full-time students typically take approximately 12 semester hours per semester; taking more than 15 is generally ill-advised. Students are strongly encouraged to primarily take core courses during their first year of study. With the exception of the studio and capstone courses, most core courses are offered only one semester per year so it is important to pay attention to the scheduling to ensure your desired graduation date.  

Core Courses

The MURP Program curriculum includes 10 required “core” courses totaling 36 semester hours. These courses provide students with a comprehensive survey of the planning field and the foundational knowledge, skills, and values important to the profession. The core courses have been carefully designed to fully comply with the Planning Accreditation Board’s required educational outcomes. The list below shows the core courses and the program year in which the course is intended to be taken.

Elective Courses

Beyond the core curriculum, MURP students follow a self-directed educational path. Students may choose any combination from our broad offering of elective courses, whether aligned with one of our three Initiatives, a traditional or unique specialization, or a generalist survey of the planning field. We offer MURP students a broad selection of elective courses within the program. In addition, numerous other elective courses applicable for MURP credit are available through our allied programs within the college (Architecture, Urban Design, Historic Preservation, and Landscape Architecture) and through cross-listed courses offered by other CU Denver programs, such as Public Affairs, Geography, and Business.


Internships are an important way the MURP program helps students achieve hands-on, experiential learning. The difference between an internship and a part-time job is that an internship is specifically intended to be a learning experience. While getting academic credit for an internship is not required, it is highly recommended. Students earn three elective credits for enrolling in URPL 6805 but, more importantly, the coursework will enable students to maximize the personal and professional development their internship affords.

Certificate Programs

The College offers an official certificate program in geospatial information science (GIS). The Certificate builds upon the extraordinary depth of the GIS community in Colorado and the interdisciplinary teaching and research occurring at the Facility for Advanced Spatial Technology (FASTLab) at CU Denver.


Dual Degree Options

As part of encouraging among planners an appreciation for and knowledge of the perspectives and practices of the other disciplines that participate in planning and city-building, we offer several dual degree opportunities, both within the College of Architecture and Planning and with other units across the University of Colorado system. In every instance the total credit requirement of the Dual Degree is considerably less than would be needed if each degree were independently pursued.
Applicants to any dual degree option must apply to and gain separate admission to each degree program. Once admitted, the student cannot graduate from either program until the work is completed for both degrees.

The degrees that may be combined with the Master of Urban and Regional Planning include:
•    Master of Architecture (MURP+MARCH)
•    Master of Landscape Architecture (MURP+MLA)
•    Master of Public Health (MURP+MPH)
•    Master of Public Affairs (MURP+MPA)
•    Master of Business Administration (MURP+MBA)
•    Juris Doctorate (Law Degree) (MURP+JD—in collaboration with the CU Boulder Law School)

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