Who We Are
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. Read our program brochure.
Here you will find a very hands-on, real-world oriented program that uses Colorado as our classroom and enables students to engage with top planning/design professionals and the community.
We believe that successful city building requires expertise, breadth, interdisciplinary understanding, and creativity. Our program thus 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.
In the same vein, 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, as well as award-winning planning practitioners that 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.
Our Vision, Mission, and Values
We are proud to be a core unit within the University of Colorado Denver’s College of
Architecture and Planning. Our program’s vision, mission, and core features are inspired
by the College’s overall vision and communities of interest.
To be a national leader in educating skilled, engaged planners and creating vibrant,
Inspired by our setting in the downtown of a thriving urban center in the dynamic
Rocky Mountain region, we:
• 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.
• Advance the field of planning through insightful, relevant research that directly
informs policy and improves our built, natural and social environments.
• Serve as a vital resource for communities and professionals and help develop
sustainable solutions to our region’s complex planning challenges.
• Advocacy: We believe planners must be visionary in their work, politically engaged,
and articulate proponents for positive change.
• Engagement: We believe students should learn planning by interacting directly
with professionals and the public to solve real-world planning challenges.
• Interdependency: We believe cities are inextricably tied to each other and to their
ecological, regional and global contexts.
• Interdisciplinarity: We believe planners must understand and value the principles
and perspectives of allied disciplines that participate in planning and city building.
• Service: We believe our program should serve as a resource for planning
professionals and the public by offering ideas, solutions, research, advocacy, and
• Sustainability: We believe planning must be based on the principles of economic
viability, environmental resiliency, and social equity.
• Urbanism: We believe in the potential of cities and towns to be the most efficient, equitable and inspiring forms of human settlement.
The faculty of the Department of Planning and Design consists of a purposeful mix of full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty, full-time instructors, and a diverse group of part-time adjunct faculty members who keep one foot in the professional practice of planning and one in the classroom. The MURP Program and its students benefit from the rich contributions of the scholarly research accomplished by our tenured/tenure-track faculty, and the practice-oriented instruction provided by our lecturers and instructors.
Our commitment to our students extends across many areas: providing them with exceptional instruction and research-backed knowledge about planning; inspiring them to achieve great things in their personal and professional lives; exposing them to planning professionals, real-world planning situations, and state-of-the-art learning resources; and helping them choose their best academic and career paths through advising and mentoring.
What do we expect in our students? Our student body consists of people who…
• reflect a diverse population and represent many different perspectives and backgrounds
• are highly qualified academically as defined by our admission requirements
• are passionate about planning and creating vibrant, sustainable communities
• advocate for sound planning ideals and excellence in the planning profession
• demonstrate the ability to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner
• will enhance their MURP experience by actively participating in program activities
• will work hard and strive to do their best in their studies
• will actively engage with the faculty and their fellow classmates
Another valuable asset of the MURP Program is our CU Denver Student Chapter of the American Planning Association (APAS). APAS plays a critical role in enhancing the educational and social experience of all MURP students, and in developing leadership qualities for those students actively managing the organization. APAS also serves as an important liaison between the student body, the faculty and the professional community. We encourage all MURP students to become involved with APAS.
What Our Graduates Do
A recent survey revealed that our alumni work in every aspect of planning, as well as in other city-building professions. They work in Denver, across the nation, and around the world. A few alumni positions include:
Director of Natural Resources|
Solar Farm Project Planner|
Growth Management Planner|
Department of Defense Air Force |
Professor of City and Regional Planning
Urban planning consultant, World Bank
Housing Division Director|
Principal Comprehensive Planner|
Editor-in-chief of an academic journal
Public Art Director|
County Planning Director
GIS Program Specialist|