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College of Architecture and Planning

​​Performance Indicators

Consistent with the standards of the Planning Accreditation Board, the program is providing the following information.

Employment rate: Our students graduate ready to work.

As a professional program, job preparation and placement are very important to us. Based on August 2017 research on May and August 2016 graduates (survey response rate: 81%), 97% are currently working in a full-time planning-related job. 100% of survey respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with how well the MURP program prepared them for their current position.

We have one of the highest AICP exam pass rates in the country.

Our graduates perform extremely well on the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) licensing exam. From 2004-14, MURP program graduates:

  • Had an exam pass rate of 84%, which is 8% higher than the national average
  • Ranked 3rd out of all 96 accredited programs in total number of alumni who have passed the exam


​Graduation year







# and % of grads who took the exam within 3 years of graduation

5 (11%)

2 (8%)

4 (7%)

8 (12%)

6 (12%)

8 (13%)

% of takers who passed the exam within 3 years of graduation







[Source:​ (accessed September 12, 2017)]

We keep costs down.

In 2017-18, the total academic year cost (i.e., tuition plus fees for 27 credits) for a full-time resident student was $13,613. For a full-time non-resident the cost was $34,889. Students can qualify for in-state tuition after one year of residency.

2017-2018 Academic Year












For a complete list of student fees and a per-credit-hour breakdown of tuition rates, please see the CAP Graduate and Professional Tuition and Fees page

Our flexible schedule and self-directed curriculum allow our students to work part-time in professional jobs or internships during the academic year. Additionally, non-resident students are eligible for residency after one year of living in Colorado (see the Colorado Residency page ).  

Finally, we are a member of the WICHE-WRGP program, which allows any student who is a resident of one of the 15 western member states to qualify for Colorado resident tuition for their entire time in the MURP program. For more information, see the WICHE-WRGP website

Our program is thriving. 

The MURP program at CU Denver has existed for 43 years and counts over 1300 alumni who are working in Colorado and around the world. Each academic year we graduate several dozen MURP students: 48 (2012-13), 53 (2013-14), 35 (2014-15), 53 (2015-16), and 39 (2016-17).

The retention rate for a master’s program is the percentage of first-year students who return the next academic year.  The graduation rate for a master’s program is the percentage of students who graduate within four years of enrolling.

Academic Year

Entering Cohort

2nd Year Retention Rate

#​ Graduated Within 4 Years


Graduation Rate





​       84%





​       88%





​       86%





​       n/a

Data includes dual-degree students.

Selected Measures of Student Learning and Achievement

A key element of the mission of the MURP program is to “teach our students the knowledge, skills and values they need to be confident, principled, and visionary planners, using Colorado as our classroom to engage students in real-world, experiential learning.”

In the semester before graduation, MURP students complete a Capstone project—a professional project for a real client.  This project, conducted about a topic and for a client of the student’s own choosing, represents the culmination of our students’ academic careers and highlights their unique areas of interest and the skill set they gained through their self-directed elective curriculum.  Evaluation by the clients, and by the students themselves, demonstrates the degree to which we have successfully achieved our mission.

Client assessment of students’ professional skills and values:

Learning Outcome

% Clients Who Rated Their Capstone Student as “Outstanding” or “Above Average”



Written Communication


Graphic Communication


Quantitative and Qualitative Methods


Plan Creation and Implementation


Planning Process Methods




Professional Ethics and Responsibility


Governance and Participation


Growth and Development


Sustainability and Environmental Quality


Example student responses to the question: In what ways did completing your Capstone project allow you to pursue the aspects of planning about which you’re most passionate?

  • The capstone project allowed me to dig deep into my topic of interest and into its connection to planning. In my case, it allowed me to see, and better understand the connection between, big-picture planning, and small-scale detail, and the relationship between planning, architecture and urban design.

  • In my graduate school career, I have been interested in environmental planning issues, water issues in the west, and rural planning. My Capstone allowed me to encompass all of these in a real-world planning project that made a difference. 

  • I was able to have a real-life, real-time community engagement experience for an existing organization.

  • I was able to work on an adaptive reuse project in a small rural town, which challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and educate myself on the ins and outs of the real estate development process, historic preservation, and building relationships with local stakeholders.

  • I am interested in social justice issues and this project allowed me to explore how land use policies and programs both produce and can help remedy environmental injustices. 

  • The capstone project was a great way for me to incorporate my background before I came into the program. I was able make incredible contacts in a small niche within the planning world and dive right into the type of planning that I would like to do.

  • It allowed me to pursue an area of planning that I am most passionate about: natural resource planning.

  • My passions in planning are urban design and active transportation. My capstone project looked specifically at correlates to walking and lingering along some of Denver’s most important downtown streets. It was intriguing and interesting to not only learn about the most effective types of programming and design, but to see it in action. This capstone broadened my understanding of city space quality and the inherent complexity of trying to study it.  

  • I am most interested in the nexus where planning meets development. My project was to put together a feasibility analysis for a redevelopment project, so I was able to apply many of the tools I learned in various courses in the program to one project. 

  • I was able to work on a multimodal project that explored the interactions of various roadway users. Up until this point, I had mostly looked at individual modes in a bubble without looking at their relationship to the whole system.

  • The Capstone project was an opportunity for me to work with a commercial real estate development firm and experience the day-to-day workings of the firm.

  • My capstone really allowed me to explore both community and economic development and ways in which a city can help stimulate those things through the built environment and innovative policy solutions.

  • I’m passionate about working as a small-town planner. Given that my capstone project site was a town of 1,500 people, the project allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the intricacies and politics of small town government.

  • The Capstone project allowed me to make a contribution to the community I live in and helped me learn how to craft policies and guidelines that can protect a neighborhood from gentrification. 

  • I was able to incorporate GIS and modern technology because of the flexibility for choosing projects that relate to my interests.

  • I was able to make great networking connections.

The MURP Program Strategic Plan 

In 2012, the MURP Program developed a new vision and five-year Strategic Plan.  Please review the plan found here, but note that specific references to courses, programs, policies, centers, and other elements found in the Strategic Plan may no longer be current as their names or descriptions may have changed in our ongoing process of implementing the plan’s goals and objectives. 

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