Two people working on a city model

Master of Regional Planning

Urban and Regional Planning

Program of Study

This 48-credit program prepares you for a professional urban planning career with neighborhood, community, state, and federal agencies, environmental consulting firms, commercial developers, transportation consulting firms, and urban housing and economic development groups.  

You can choose from three areas of specialization in the master’s planning program: environmental and land use planning, transportation planning, and community planning, with opportunities to use data-driven, open-source, web-based tools to detect trends and monitor policy outcomes.


  • Planning History and Philosophy
  • Urban and Metropolitan Structure and Functions
  • Computer Applications in Planning
  • Statistical Methods
  • Planning Processes, Plans, and the Design of Communities
  • Planning Law
  • Planning Studio
  • Planning internship
  • Specialization courses (see below)
  • Elective courses (see below)
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Master's research paper

Elective Course Options

You can choose from a wide range of elective course offerings to broaden your expertise.

  • Planning Ethics
  • Urban Ecology
  • Energy, Environment, and Climate Change
  • Remote Sensing I and II
  • CAD in Planning
  • Introductory MapInfo
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Advanced GIS
  • Geographic Information Systems Applications
  • Metropolitan Governance and Planning
  • Studio Report and Implementation

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Dr. Catherine T. Lawson at [email protected].

Regional Planning Specializations
Environmental and Land Use Planning

Required courses:

  • Plan Implementation and Development Management
  • Environmental Planning


One or more of the following:

  • Environmental Assessment and Permitting
  • Parks, Preservation and Heritage Planning
  • Water Resources Planning
  • Environmental Restoration and Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Site Planning
  • Urban Design and Public Space 
  • Topics in Environmental and Land Use Planning
Community Planning

Required courses:

  • Urban Community Development
  • Urban Policy in the United States


One or more of the following:

  • United States Housing Policy
  • Local Economic Development Strategies and Technologies
  • Planning for Jobs, Housing, and Community Services in Third World Cities
  • Parks, Preservation and Heritage Planning
  • Environmental Restoration and Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Plan Implementation and Development Management
  • Topics in Housing, Local Economic Development, and Community Planning
  • Regional Theories and Techniques
  • Independent Study in Housing, Local Economic Development, and Community Planning
Transportation Planning

Required courses:

  • Transportation Planning
  • Urban and Metropolitan Transportation Planning 


One or more of the following:

  • Transportation Technologies Practicum
  • The Role of Transportation in Emergency Preparedness
  • Public Transportation Planning
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Planning
  • Topics in Transportation Planning
  • Independent Study in Transportation Planning 
Albany Visualization and Informatics Lab

AVAIL is the applied research lab in data science and regional planning at UAlbany, in the Lewis Mumford Center. Here, you'll gain hands-on experience applying your knowledge of computing, data science, and analytic methods and instruments to develop innovative solutions for commercial and public projects. 

The regional planning research lab produces visually rich, web-based applications and tools that support evidence-based decision making in transportation, demography, meteorology, and entrepreneurial economics.

Projects include:

  • New York State hazard mitigation planning
  • New York State Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) performance management reporting and local planning tools (e.g., Congestion Management Plans)
  • NJDOT traveler info applications
  • Community Indicators for the Capital Region

Previous projects:

  • Real-time MTA subway transit information
  • Public bus route demand modeling
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystem mapping



Career Paths

Within one year after commencement, 70% of UAlbany MRP graduates are employed in planning-related jobs, often in fields aligned with their area of specialization. 

Common job titles of regional planning program alumni include:

  • City Planner
  • Community Development Specialist
  • Environmental Impact Consultant
  • Transportation Planner
  • Planning Project Manager
  • Housing Policy Analyst
  • Director of Planning and Economic Development



Master of Regional Planning Completed Studio Projects

Master of Regional Planning Program Public Information

MRP Program Handbook



Four young professionals engaged in urban planning

"A successful planner empowers communities by connecting communities with process. By connecting values and visions with civic programs and projects, we can turn plans into realities."

- Maria Chau, MRP '08, Federal Highway Administration

Admissions Requirements

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: March 15
  • Spring: Not Available
  • Summer: Not Available

 No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: Rolling
  • Summer: Not Available
Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of goals
Special Notes

This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.  If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.   

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Masters in Regional Planning
  • Acquire knowledge of general planning history, principles, and practice.
  • Learn examples of planning processes and documents, and integrate tools and techniques used in plan making, plan implementation and plan evaluation.
  • Develop knowledge in one of several alternative fields of specialization.           
  • Develop effective research and writing skills, technical skills and proficiency in the most current planning support systems, including statistics, GIS, and other analytic and visualization tools.
  • Gain experience working in professional teams and with persons of different disciplinary background to better understand planning ethics, justice and equity, and the complexities of diverse populations.