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Curriculum Overview

College of Architecture and Planning

This information is for students who enrolled in the MURP program in Spring 2013 or earlier. Students who are starting the program in Fall 2013 or later, click here​ to find information on our new program and curriculum.​


Each MURP student is expected to secure or be assigned a faculty advisor at the start of study. In addition, each student is to maintain a Program Planning Form to assist in planning his/her future course selections. This form is to be retained by the student until submitting it to the Student Services Officer during the last semester of study.

The requirements for the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree fall into three categories:

  1. Core courses required of all students (27 credits)
  2. Concentration courses (15 credits)
  3. Planning related elective courses (9 credits)

Completion of at least 51 credit hours is required for graduation (less transfers and other waivers approved during the first semester of study). Admitted applicants may request an early assessment of past courses to determine what advanced standing can be provided and thus the number of credits required to complete the degree. This knowledge may assist some admitted applicants in determining whether or not to accept an offer of admission.

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is composed of these courses:

URP 5501: Planning Issues and Processes (Fall semester)
URP 5510: Planning Methods I (Fall semester)
URP 5511: Planning Methods II (Spring semester)
URP 5520: Urban Spatial Analysis (Spring semester)
URP 5530: Planning Law (Fall semester)
URP 6630: Planning Studio I (first year, offered both semesters)
URP 6631: Planning Studio II (second year, offered both semesters)

You are encouraged to focus primarily on core courses during your first year of study, excepting Studio II, which would normally be taken in the second year. Studio II serves as a capstone experience. It is offered every semester. We aspire to offer a diversity of Studio II options befitting the three official Concentrations. 

Beyond the Core

Beyond the Core, the Graduate Planning Program offers three, 15-credit-hour Concentrations around which students normally organize course selections: Economic and Community Development Planning, Land Use and Environmental Planning, and Urban Place Making and Design. These have been carefully constructed to cover the broad terrain of the profession. Students may also, with an advisor's approval, craft an individually designed concentration.

The remainder of the 51 credit hour MURP requirement is generally used either to deepen expertise within the concentration field or to enable lateral coverage of allied or distinct fields. Those in the Dual Degree Programs will find that the core of each serves as the elective base of the other, leaving few free electives. Remedial study needed to secure course or program prerequisites will not apply to the basic degree requirement, in any case.

​Petitions for Course Waivers and Individually Crafted Concentrations

Proposals for individually designed concentrations must indicate the subject thematic emphasis, list of constituent courses, and their relation to career objectives. This is to be submitted to your Program Advisor. Requests for transfer of credits must be submitted on the Request for Course Waiver form during the first semester of study. The form must be accompanied by relevant supporting materials (course descriptions, syllabi, official transcripts, etc.).

Urban and Regional Planning: Typical Course Sequence

First Year Fall (12 total credit hours)
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 5501 Planning Issues and Processes 3
URP 5510 Planning Methods I 3
URP 5530 Planning Law 3
Elective Courses (Various) 3
First Year Spring (12 total credit hours)
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 5511 Planning Methods II 3
URP 5520 Urban Spatial Analysis 3
URP 6630 Planning Studio I * 6
Second Year Fall (15 total credit hours)
Course Number Course Title Credits
Concentration Courses (Various) 9
Elective Courses (Various) 6
Second Year Spring (12 total credit hours)
Course Number Course Title Credits
URP 6631 Planning Studio II* 6
Concentration Courses (Various) 6

* Both studios are offered in the fall and spring semesters

The Evolving Curriculum

Rounding out course options, the program will identify key courses available in other campus units. Those taken most frequently are cross-listed in order to bring them to the explicit attention of our students. Certain undergraduate, upper-division courses offered by our College faculty, but on the CU Boulder campus, are available to graduate students with appropriate enhancements warranting graduate credit. Students wishing to take these courses must enroll for concurrent registration with the assistance of the College staff in Denver. And finally, we will continue, on occasion, to offer one-credit classes on topics of special interest, often taught on an intensive schedule covering only a portion of the semester.

Off-campus Instruction and International Study

The MURP program, sometimes in concert with those of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, makes available off-campus study options. Of these, most entail international travel and temporary residence overseas. Most of the latter are in the form of 6-credit studios and some of these--with an advisor's approval--may substitute for MURP Studio II.

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