Geography and Planning Master of Regional Planning Program (MRP) in Urban and Regional Planning

The M.R.P. in Urban and Regional Planning is a 48-credit program designed to prepare students for professional planning careers with government agencies, consultancy firms, developers, and nonprofit groups. Students may opt to take the degree full- or part-time, and they may begin graduate study in Fall, Spring or Summer. Full-time students can complete the degree within two years.

Students must complete a series of core courses. These provide a broad-based introduction to planning (Pln 501 through 506 and Pln510). They also include a group planning studio project (Pln 681), a planning internship (Pln 684) and a Master's Research Paper on a topic of the student's choice (Pln 683). The requirement for specific core courses may be waived if a student obtains approval of transfer credit for equivalent graduate courses, or, in the case of Pln 503 and 504, if the student can demonstrate equivalent computational and statistical proficiency. The requirement for a planning internship is normally waived for students who have six months or more of paid, professional work experience in a planning-related job.

To demonstrate focus and expertise in a specific field of planning, students must complete at least three courses totaling nine or more credits in one of three alternative specializations:

  • Environmental and Land-Use Planning
  • Community Planning
  • Transportation Planning

To complete the minimum requirement of 48 graduate credits, students may take other planning courses as electives. Alternatively, with the approval of their advisor, they may take planning-related graduate courses in other University at Albany graduate programs, at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), or other local institutions. Reciprocal agreements are available with RPI and the other local institutions to allow University at Albany graduate students to take courses there registering through the University at Albany Graduate Office and paying University at Albany fees.

Program of Study
In consultation with their faculty advisor, students develop individualized programs of study using the following distribution of credits and courses.

1. Core Courses:

Pln 501/Gog 521 Planning History and Philosophy (3)
Pln 502/Gog 526 Urban and Metropolitan Structure and Functions (3)
Pln 503/Gog 555 Computer Applications in Planning (3)
Pln 504/Gog 502 Statistical Methods (3)
Pln 505 Planning Processes, Plans, and the Design of Communities (4)
Pln 506 Planning Law (3)
Pln 510 Globalization and International Planning Practice (1)
Pln 681 Planning Studio (4)
Pln 683 Masters Research Paper in Planning (4)
Pln 684 Internship in Planning (3 S/U grading)

2. Specialization Courses: At least three courses and nine credits in one field of specialization.
Courses designated with (r) are required.

Environmental and Land-Use Planning

Pln 562/Pad 562 Plan Implementation & Development Management (3-4) (r)
Pln 573/Pad 573 Metropolitan Governance & Planning (3-4) (r land use)
Pln 530/Gog 532 Environmental Planning (3) (r environmental)
Pln 531/Gog 535 Environmental Assessment and Permitting (3)
Pln 532 Parks, Preservation and Heritage Planning (3)
Pln 534/Gog 534 Water Resources Planning (3)
Pln 535/Pad 534 Environmental Restoration & Brownfields Redevelopment (3-4)
Pln 574 Site Planning (3)
Pln 575 Urban Design and Public Space (3)
Pln 585 Topics in Environmental & Land Use Planning (1-4)
Pln 697 Independent Study in Environmental & Land-Use Planning (1-4)

Community Planning

Pln 523/Pad 561/Pos 523 Urban Community Development (3-4) (r)
Pln 540/Pad 566/Pos 540/Soc 540 Urban Policy in the United States (3-4) (r)
Pln 528/Pos 528/Pad 528 United States Housing Policy (3-4)
Pln 560/Pad 567 Local Economic Development Strategies and Technologies (3-4) 
Pln 529/Pad 563/Lcs 529 Planning for Jobs, Housing and Community Services in Third
World Cities (3-4)
Pln 532 Parks, Preservation and Heritage Planning (3)
Pln 535/Pad 534 Environmental Restoration & Brownfields Redevelopment (3-4)
Pln 562/Pad 562 Plan Implementation and Development Management (3-4)
Pln 585 Topics in Housing, Local Economic Development, & Community Planning (1-4)
Pln 602/Gog 602 Regional Theories and Techniques (3-4)
Pln 697 Independent Study in Housing, Local Economic Development, & Community Planning (1-4)

Transportation Planning

Pln 543 Transportation Planning (3) (r)
Pln 544 Urban and MetropolitanTransportation Planning (3) (r)
Pln 545 Transportation Technologies Practicum (3)
Pln 548 Public Transportation Planning (3)
Pln 549 Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Planning (3)
Pln 585 Topics in Transportation Planning (1-4)
Pln 697 Independent Study in Transportation Planning (1-4)

3. Elective Courses:

Pln 520 Planning Ethics (1)
Pln 533 Urban Ecology (3)
Pln 538/Gog 504 Energy, Environment and Climate Change (3)
Pln 551/Gog 584 Remote Sensing I (3)
Pln 552 CAD in Planning (2)
Pln 553/Gog 585 Remote Sensing II (3)
Pln 555/Gog 595 Introductory MapInfo (1)
Pln 556/Gog 596 Geographic Information Systems (3)
Pln 557/Gog 597 Advanced GIS (3)
Pln 559/Gog 599 Geographic Information Systems Applications (3)

Pln 585 Topics in Planning (1-4)
Pln 656/Gog 692 Seminar in Geographic Information Systems (3)
Pln 682 Studio Report and Implementation (1-4)
Pln 697 Independent Study in Planning (1-4)
Pln 699 Master's Thesis in Planning (4-6 S/U grading)

Comprehensive Examination

In order to receive the M.R.P. Degree, all students must take and pass a written and an oral comprehensive exam. These exams are normally taken during the final year of graduate study, and each part may be retaken once if performance is not deemed satisfactory by the examiners. The written comprehensive is designed to test the student's knowledge of selected core areas of the planning curriculum, while the oral comprehensive tests expertise on a specific planning topic of the student's choice.