Urban design and planning deals with critical issues of human settlement and urban development. It provides communities with an informed basis for coordinated public- and private-sector action. Urban design and planning constitutes a professional field of growing complexity, responding to the urban complexities of this century. The Department of Urban Design and Planning fosters an integrative approach to education and research in planning the physical environment. The academic program includes the social, behavioral, and cultural relationships between people and the form and quality of their built and natural environment; the financial, administrative, political, and participatory dimensions of planning, design, and development; and the informational base for making deliberate decisions to shape urban areas and regions, bringing analysis together with vision.
Departmental faculty are active participants in interdisciplinary research units, including the Institute for Hazard Mitigation Planning and Research, the Urban Form Lab, the Urban Ecology Research Lab, the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, and the Northwest Center for Livable Communities.
The department is committed to public service and has strong connections to the region and beyond. The approach to urban development is driven by the values of sustainability, livability, economic vitality, and social justice. The department is committed to developing a leading edge urban planning practice with a strong participatory ethos.
Urban Design and Planning offers the following programs of study:
Community, Environment, and Planning
Community, Environment, and Planning (CEP) is an interdisciplinary bachelor of arts degree program offered through the College as one of the University's interdisciplinary undergraduate programs. CEP has gained distinction as a model for a highly personalized, active, and relevant educational experience within a large research institution. CEP students draw liberally upon the entire range of courses, faculty, and programs at the UW.
Bachelor of Arts
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: CEP 200.
Department Admission Requirements
General Education Requirements
60 credits as follows:
Electives to complete minimum 180 credits for degree; varies, depending on how many general education courses apply to more than one requirement.
Student Outcomes and Opportunities
Minor Requirements: 30 credits to include URBDP 300 (5 credits); minimum 13 additional credits in URBDP-prefix courses; and 12 additional credits in planning-related courses with Urban Design and Planning adviser approval. A 2.0 minimum grade is required for each course counted toward the minor. See departmental adviser for recommended courses.
Graduate Program Coordinator
The department offers the Master of Urban Planning (MUP) and the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) degrees and its faculty participate in the interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Urban Design and Planning. The MUP is the professional degree for urban planners, and the MSRE is a two-year professional degree that provides students the core and advanced training necessary for successful careers and leadership positions in the real estate industry. The PhD is for persons who desire careers in urban design and planning primarily in academic research and teaching or advanced professional work.
Master of Urban Planning
The primary objective is to educate professional planners with a broad range of competence in planning and design; a second objective is to provide opportunities for individual studies in selected professional areas.
The Master of Urban Planning program focuses on planning the physical environment and its socioeconomic and political determinants. Advanced students are encouraged to conduct research and studies in one of the following specializations:
The Master of Urban Planning degree is the usual educational qualification for professional practice of city and regional planning, including generalist planning, research, urban design, and administrative positions in a wide variety of public agencies and private consulting firms. It is a two-year, or six-quarter, program.
Requirements for graduate-level study include a satisfactory academic record and a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in one of a variety of disciplines, including urban planning and environmental design or in other appropriate fields, such as geography, economics, or other social sciences; English and other humanities; civil engineering and environmental studies; or architecture and landscape architecture. Students planning to enter the program should have completed at least one college-level course in each of the following areas: micro-economics, mathematics, statistics, and cultural diversity. Students without sufficient background must take these prerequisite courses concurrently with their graduate studies.
Students are admitted to the MUP program primarily in autumn quarter and all application material should be received by the department no later than the preceding January 15 (November 15 for international applicants). Along with the Application for Admission form, the Graduate Record Examination general test scores, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts for all previous collegiate courses or programs attended, resume, supplemental information form, and a statement of purpose are required. An optional work sample may also be submitted. TOEFL is required for most applicants whose native language is not English. (See the Graduate School's application information page for more details).
Minimum 72 credits
The core provides a foundation in urban design and planning for all students. An internship is encouraged for those without previous professional experience. A specialization in one area of planning is required. Five major specialized areas offered in the department include land-use and infrastructure planning, real estate, urban design, historic preservation, and environmental planning.
See program website at urbdp.be.washington.edu/mup.html.
Master in Infrastructure Planning and Management (MIPM)
The Master in Infrastructure Planning and Management (MIPM) program is a fully accredited online program that addresses the learning needs of professionals in fields such as emergency management, business continuity, and hazard and risk mitigation. Courses are designed to train managers in strategic planning and analysis necesseary for developing resilient infrastructure systems. Program website: http://www.infrastructure-management.uw.edu/mipm.
Master of Science in Real Estate
The Master of Science in Real Estate provides students basic knowledge, core skills, and advanced understanding necessary for graduates to assume leadership positions in the real estate industry. The objective is to develop skills in students necessary to create sustainable, market-based real estate solutions that optimize the utilization of scarce resources for balanced public benefit and private gain. An overarching emphasis on interdisciplinary study provides the basis for graduates to engage in collaborative efforts among many fields and to address the complex problem of achieving sustainable cities that balance the immediate needs of current users with those of future generations.
Competitive candidates for the MSRE program possess undergraduate or previous graduate degrees in a range of appropriate disciplines, including architecture, business, construction, engineering, geography, public policy, law, or urban planning. Experience working directly in real estate or some closely related field is highly valued. The Runstad Center seeks to admit students whose objectives align with those of the program, which are to
Students are admitted to the MSRE program for autumn quarter. Deadline for application is February 1 (international applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all application materials by November 1 to allow sufficient time for review). Applicants must submit an application form, resume, statement of purpose, personal history statement, official transcripts from each college or university attended, three letters of reference, official GRE or GMAT scores, and TOEFL scores for international students.
Minimum 72 credits
The Master of Science in Real Estate degree, a demanding, interdisciplinary program, combines business management skills with an understanding of how real estate markets work and how the three-dimensional, place-bound attributes of real estate products affect their performance. Overarching these three interdisciplinary areas of study is a focus on how behaviors of those involved in making decisions about real estate investment and development affect desired outcomes.
The curriculum provides basic knowledge, core skills, and advanced understanding necessary for graduates to assume positions of leadership in the real estate industry of tomorrow. Learning leadership skills is integral to everything a student does throughout the two years in the program. Interdisciplinary study provides understanding of techniques and tools used in a broad range of fields essential to real estate, enabling graduates to lead collaborative efforts to solve complex problems of creating sustainable unban environments. The limits imposed by the physical characteristics of real estate have put a premium on understanding behaviors of people involved in creating and managing real estate projects. People make the decisions that drive values of property types. Students explore ethical behaviors leading toward emphasis on using technology to support classroom and case learning and in applying the knowledge and leadership skills learned throughout the program. For curriculum details, see the program webisite at http://runstad.be.washington.edu.
Doctor of Philosophy
Many departmental faculty are part of an interdisciplinary faculty group which offers doctoral study in urban design and planning. The program is located administratively within the Graduate School. For a description of the program, see the Interdisciplinary Graduate Degree Programs section of the catalog.
Graduate students may elect to participate in the College-wide certificate programs in urban design and historic preservation. (See program descriptions in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning section).