University of Minnesota
myU OneStop

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.

Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) Degree

Planning is the professional discipline that seeks to influence how neighborhoods, cities, and regions develop.

Planners bring together knowledge and expertise from sociology, engineering, law, architecture, social work, biology, landscape architecture, urban design, and other disciplines to shape cities and regions.

Download the Information Sheet on one of the top MPP programs.

A Specially Designed Urban Planning Graduate Program

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree program is designed to produce professionals able to think across fields of expertise to see and act upon the links among environmental systems, land use and transportation systems, infrastructure development, and housing and community development. The urban planning graduate program provides the technical and analytical skills needed to think strategically about developing and implementing plans at the neighborhood, city, or regional level.

As a planner, you can work for positive change by using your skills to help build cities, tackle urban sprawl, upgrade housing, protect the environment, design regional institutions, and promote economic development.

Ranked Among the Top Urban Planning SchoolsPAB logo

Did you know? Graduates of our Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program have the highest pass rate on the American Institute of Certified Planners’ examination between 2004-2013.

What Our Master of Urban and Regional Planning Degree Graduates Do

Planners from our urban planning graduate program work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private consulting firms. Urban and regional planners work to improve communities by preserving and enhancing quality-of-life, protecting the natural-built environment, promoting equity and equality, improving services to all the communities that make up cities and regions, and promoting efficient and sustainable growth and development.

Sample Job Titles + Organizations

  • Executive director, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, Minneapolis
  • Community planner, City of Fitchburg, WI
  • Executive director, West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, Minneapolis
  • Senior market analyst, Target Corporation, Minneapolis
  • Principal, Metris Arts Consulting, Easton, PA
  • Urban designer, MIG, Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Planner, TriMet, Portland, OR
  • Assistant project manager, EMBARQ World Resources Institute, Center for Sustainable Transport, Washington, DC
  • Policy analysis and research coordinator, Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Minneapolis
  • Associate program director for sustainable local food systems, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, St. Paul

Learn More About Our Master of Urban and Regional Planning Degree Program


The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree requires 48 semester credits, distributed approximately as follows: core courses (21 credits); three concentration courses (at least 9 credits); capstone workshop (3.0 credits); and elective credits and/or Plan A thesis credits. A 400-hour professional internship also is required, unless you are exempted based on relevant previous employment.

Required Core Courses (21 credits)

PA 5004 — Introduction to Planning (3)
PA 5013 — Law and Urban Land Use (1.5)
PA 5031 — Empirical Analysis I (4)
PA 5042 — Urban and Regional Economics (2)
PA 5043 — Economic and Demographic Data Analysis (2)
PA 5204 — Urban Spatial and Social Dynamics (3)
PA 5211 — Urban Land Use Planning (3)
PA 5253 — Designing Planning and Participation Processes (3)

If you do not have GIS competency, you must take a GIS course as part of your 48 credits.
You may be exempted from selected core course requirements if you have relevant prior coursework. In that case, you can take additional concentration or elective credits to meet the 48-credit requirement.

Concentrations (at least 12 credits in one of the following areas)
You can select a focus in an established area of concentration or self-design a concentration with your advisor and with the approval of the director of graduate studies. All concentrations require at least 12 credits. You can take concentration and elective courses at the Humphrey School and from other University departments.

Capstone Workshop (3 credits)
You can learn more about Capstone Workshops here.

Electives or Optional Plan A thesis credits (to bring total degree credits to at least 48)
You are welcome to read some recent theses.

Program Planning Worksheet
The Program Planning Worksheet (PPW) helps current students plan their degrees from start to finish. Students must submit a completed and approved PPW before graduating.

Dual Degree Opportunities
We offer dual degrees with the University of Minnesota Law School, the School of Social Work, and with the Department of Civil Engineering.

Concentrations (12 credits)

You can select a focus in an established area of concentration or self-design a concentration with your advisor and with the approval of the director of graduate studies. All concentrations require at least 12 credits. You can take concentration and elective courses at the Humphrey School and from other University departments.

Capstone workshop

The PA 8081 Capstone Workshop is offered as a three-credit course, with multiple sections available and taught by various MURP and other Humphrey School faculty members. Each section of the Capstone Workshop is organized around a topic area and may have multiple projects and clients.

Capstone Workshops are designed to provide a culminating learning experience for second-year students, as they apply their knowledge through a team-project for a client (e.g. city government, state agency, non-profit organization). The projects allow students to gain important practical experience that will position them for professional success. In addition, the capstone experience facilitates student reflection on the knowledge and values acquired during the MURP program. Student teams gain experience in working collaboratively, interacting with clients, and in jointly managing projects. Teams typically prepare written documents consistent with planning practice, such as reports, plans, policies, case studies, and best practice reviews. In addition, students often have the opportunity to present their projects to clients, as well as other stakeholders. The workshop includes a written report for the client and an oral presentation to the client, and potentially other stakeholders, which summarizes the major findings of the project. Students are supported in their work by the course instructor, who provides guidance and feedback, leading toward the development of a professional quality project. A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the MURP capstone is available here.

Mississippi Riverfront: Indicators of Accessibility and Use (client: Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership)

Climate Change Adaptation Study (client: City of Minneapolis)

Metrics for a Sustainable EcoVillage (client: Project for Pride in Living)

Transit-oriented Development in Minnetonka: Cases and Policy Recommendations for TOD Implementation (client: City of Minnetonka)

Sharing to Grow: Economic Activity associated with Nice Ride Bike Share Stations (client: Bikes Belong Foundation, Nice Ride Minnesota, Transit for Livable Communities, Bike Walk Twin Cities)

Economic Development in St. Paul’s Promise Neighborhood (client: Wilder Foundation)

Multiple capstone course options are offered each spring semester. The capstone is required for MURP students.

A full list (since 2006) is available in a searchable database.

Public Information

Beginning in January 2013, each accredited school of planning is expected to provide information to the public on the performance of the planning school and its students. The information below was updated in January 2015.

Student Achievement

The table below indicates the proportion of alumni who agreed or strongly agreed with each statement when surveyed five years after graduation. Response rates for the surveys of alumni varied by year, but were generally around 60 percent.

Year of Graduation
Statement 2008 2009
The MURP program effectively prepares students for employment in the planning profession 82% 94%
The MURP program offered opportunities for me to engage with urban planning practice and practitioners 72% 86%
The MURP program gave me practical skills for urban planning practice 69% 83%

Tuition and Fees (full-time, per year)

Tuition and fees are calculated for one full academic year (Fall and Spring semesters at 6-15 credits per semester):

Resident: $19,348     Non-Resident: $27,162

For additional detailed information on tuition, required fees and health insurance, and an overall estimated cost of attendance, click here.

Student Retention and Graduation Rates

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 New Students Enrolled Retention Rate Graduated Within 4 Years Graduation Rate
2014-2015 37 n/a n/a n/a
2013-2014 34 94% n/a n/a
2012-2013 28 82% n/a 80%**
2011-2012 33 88% n/a 87%*
2010-2011 38 95% 37 97%
2009-2010 48 96% 46 96%

*3-year graduation rate
**2-year graduation rate

AICP Exam Pass Rate

To become a certified planner, members of the American Planning Association (APA) must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Exam. The pass rate is the percentage of test takers who pass the examination within three years of graduating from a master’s program.

Graduation Year 2007* 2008* 2009 2010* 2011
Number of exam test attempts 8 13 14 5 6
Pass rate 100% 92.3% 92.9% 80% 100%

*There was one fail in each year for 2008 and 2010. The data above report test attempts to account for the fact that in these two years the alums who took the exam and initially failed, retook the test and passed in that same year.

Between 2004-2013, graduates of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program had a 94% overall pass rate – tied for first as the top pass rate among Planning Accreditation Board accredited programs with the highest number of test takers.
For more information, visit

Employment Rate

The employment rate measures the percentage of MURP graduates who obtain planning positions, planning-related positions, or elect to pursue further education within one year of graduation.

Graduation Year May 2011 May 2012 May 2013 May 2014
Graduates employed within 1 year of graduation in a professinal planning job 83.0% 86.0% 78.4% Available in April 2015
Graduates employed within 1 year of graduation in a planning-related job n/a* n/a* 5.4% Available in April 2015
Graduates who pursue further education within 1 year of graduation 0% 7.0% 2.7% Available in April 2015
Overall rate 83.0% 93.0% 86.5% Available in April 2015

*Prior to 2013, the Humphrey School collected employment data on alumni that did not distinguish between planning and planning-related jobs.

Why choose a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning from one of the top urban planning graduate programs? Master of Urban + Regional Planning

Katherine Heilmann, Student


Watch Video

Humphrey School
University of Minnesota
280 Humphrey School
301 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455