Aug 11, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2015 - 2016 
Graduate Catalog 2015 - 2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Urban Planning and Development, MUPD

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Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Urban Affairs 205
(216) 687-3884
Additional information can be found at:

Dr. Stephanie Ryberg-Webster, Graduate Program Director

Areas of Study

Economic Development *
Environmental Sustainability
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) *
Historic Preservation*
Housing and Neighborhood Development
Real Estate Development and Finance *

*Students who wish to receive the corresponding Certificate in a specialization area should refer to the individual Certificate Program listings in this catalog for certificate requirements.


The Masters of Urban Planning and Development program is accredited by the Planning Accredition Board


The Master of Urban Planning and Development (MUPD) program integrates planning, design, and development into one course of study. Urban planning and urban real estate development are featured components of the planning core curriculum. The course of study focuses on the theory, skills, and practical experience needed for the transformation and revitalization of cities and the regions in which they are located, particularly industrialized and post-industrial areas.

The Master of Urban Planning and Development program is committed to:

  • Educate students to become thoughtful urban planning generalists with distinctive technical competence in an area of practice, who can positively affect the built urban environment and the well-being of individuals in restructuring urban regions, leading to sustainable, livable communities.
  • Offer a broad educational experience to meet the needs of students and the planning profession.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to develop knowledge in a substantive planning field.
  • Make the MUPD program accessible, through its curriculum delivery methods, to students in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
  • Provide a high-quality faculty with adequate expertise, resources and numbers to meet teaching and advising needs of the program.
  • Support a faculty engaged in empirical, applied, and reflective scholarship that addresses key issues and challenges in the planning profession.
  • Maintain, enhance, and support a faculty engaged in quality teaching and public service.
  • Achieve a diverse faculty reflective of the citizenry of Northeast Ohio, including its urban core areas, and the student body in the program.
  • Recruit, retain, and place a high-caliber and diverse student body prepared for professional practice in planning.
  • Provide quality student support services to facilitate student achievement and efficient administration of the program.
  • Seek student participation in fair, inclusive, and autonomous program administration and assessment.
  • Improve community knowledge of the value of planning as a profession and of the MUPD program and its resources.
  • Facilitate and support a strong relationship and interaction with the professional planning community in the state and region.
  • Train new planners in the latest techniques and theories and to upgrade the skills of practicing planners. The program is structured to accommodate both full-time and part-time students. Most required courses are offered in the evenings, with some courses offered during summer sessions and weekends.

Career Opportunities

The MUPD program provides advanced training for recent college graduates and incumbent professionals. This graduate-level training in urban planning offers students the opportunity to pursue and advance careers in city or regional planning, housing and neighborhood development, real estate finance and development, economic development, environmental sustainability, and geographic information systems (GIS). Employment opportunities for planners exist in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

The Levin College- through the Department of Urban Studies, the Office of Student Services, and faculty- provides a variety of services related to career planning to help students and graduates find employment related to their program of study. Current job postings are maintained at

Cleveland State’s Career Services Center assists students with resume writing, interview preparation, co-op/internships, networking and other job search areas. Twice a year, CSU hosts the largest Career Fair in Northern Ohio. In addition, for those interested in government and the public sector, Career Services hosts a Government Career Fair every spring creating an ideal opportunity for students to connect with potential government employers. (See the section on Student Career Services  in this catalog).

Admission Information

Applicants to the Master of Urban Planning and Development Program must meet the minimum requirements established by the College of Graduate Studies and the MUPD program faculty:

  1. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0, on a degree posted transcript.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, with an average Verbal and Quantitative score at the 50th percentile, and an Analytical Writing score of at least 4.0. Students with a graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university are exempted from this requirement. Other standardized admission examinations may be substituted at the discretion of the Program Director.
  3. Two letters of recommendation, using the Recommendation Form for Graduate Admission (available online at
  4. Non-native English speakers who do not have an earned bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. institution must demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency as indicated in under “Admission Requirements for International Students  and Permanent Residents” in this catalog.

You can apply for admission now:

Types of Admission

The academic status of a graduate degree-seeking applicant is determined after a review of admission credentials. Graduate Program Committees, in concurrence with the Office of Graduate Admissions, may recommend admission of applicants as regular or conditional graduate students. Please refer to the Admission to the College of Graduate Studies section of this catalog for information on admission categories.

Transfer Credit

Upon satisfactory completion of 12 or more credit hours of graduate coursework at Cleveland State University, degree-seeking students may transfer up to 10 credit hours from an accredited college or university. Transfer credit is subject to Program Director approval, and must meet all University requirements for transfer credit (please refer to Regulations and Requirements  ).

All credits requested for transfer must carry a letter grade of A, A-, B+, or B in graduate courses.

No S/F graded courses may be transferred. Students must follow all other graduate college regulations.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Urban Planning and Development Progam requires a minimum of 48 credit hours for degree completion.  Students must meet all MUPD curriculum requirements and must have a 3.0 or better grade-point average in order to graduate.

The planning core consists of eight courses (32 credits); leaving four courses (16 credits).  These four courses can be used as general electives or can be applied to an area of specialization.  Six specialization fields are offered, each of which requires three or more courses to complete.  An exit project or thesis is not a requirement, but may be chosen as an elective.


* Prerequisite is UST 504 Fundamentals of Applied Reasoning  or testing out of UST 504 .

Specializations and Electives

Students may complete an area of specialization (16 credit hours) to be chosen in consultation with their advisor.  Areas of specialization are: Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, Historic Preservation, Housing and Neighborhood Development, Real Estate Development and Finance, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Specializations consist of required courses and electives. Students should see their advisor for specific curriculum plans. Or, students may also choose the generalist track, selecting 16 credit hours from concentrations or electives.

Electives are designed to enhance current skills or fill gaps in substantive areas. Students are encouraged to take advantage of special topics courses taught by Levin College faculty.

Economic Development Specialization*:


*Students who wish to receive the corresponding Certificate in this specialization area should refer to the individual Certificate Program listings in this catalog for certificate requirements.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialization*:


*Students who wish to receive the corresponding Certificate in this specialization area should refer to the individual Certificate Program listings in this catalog for certificate requirements. 

**Prerequisite is UST 601 Applied Quantitative Reasoning I .

Historic Preservation Specialization:

A total of 16 credit hours with 3 required courses and one elective course.


Real Estate Development and Finance Specialization*:


*Students who wish to receive the corresponding Certificate in this specialization area should refer to the individual Certificate Program listings in this catalog for certificate requirements.


An internship is not required.  However, students without planning or related work experience are encouraged to seek an internship placement.  Paid and unpaid internships are arranged through the Levin College’s Office of Student Services.  Interested students may receive elective credit for internship work.

Exit Project or Thesis

Neither an exit project nor a thesis is required.  However, MUPD students may choose to complete either as an elective, 4 credit hour option.  For an exit project, the student selects a faculty advisor from the MUPD faculty. Students must complete the Exit Project Approval Form and obtain all signatures before registering for Exit Project credit (UST 698  ).  For the thesis option, students select a thesis advisor from the MUPD faculty.  In conjunction with their advisor, the student selects a thesis committee, which consists of at least three individuals, all of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty.  The committee’s function is to advise and assist the student in writing and research, and to formally approve the thesis once it has been successfully defended. (See the section on Research, Theses, and Dissertations  in this Catalog.)

Faculty Research and Publications

Members of the Urban Planning and Development faculty have wide-ranging research interests, including community development, conflict resolution, economic development, historic preservation, housing, land use, neighborhood development, environmental systems, and real estate.  They have published in the leading journals in these fields.

MUPD faculty are active members of professional organizations such as the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Institute of Architects, the Urban Land Institute, and the Ohio Planning Conference.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Research, Public Service, and Training

The Levin College provides applied research and outreach services to the community through a number of integrated centers and initiatives.  The collective mission of these research centers is to serve as a source for the investigation of issues and challenges facing urban communities and to apply college resources to solutions.  Students have opportunities to work with faculty and staff in the research and public service centers, programs, and related initiatives of the Levin College.  These include major programs in economic and neighborhood development, public finance, land use and community planning, environmental policy and finance, community health policy, nonprofit administration and policy, public management, and capacity-building training.  These activities support the academic programs of the Department of Urban Studies by providing opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in ongoing research, training, technical assistance, and database development projects.  See the Educational Resources section of this Catalog for information on the Levin College facilities.

College Computing and Technology

Two general purpose computer labs are located in UR 39 and UR 40.  Software available in the labs include applications for word processing, spreadsheet analysis, database, computer aided presentation, statistical analysis, Geographic Information Systems, ArcInfo, and Internet access.  The labs provide access to laser printers for high-quality black-and-white output, a color laser printer for CIS maps, and a color scanner to capture graphics.  Each lab is equipped with a permanently mounted LCD projector for instructional purposes.  Levin College students are provided with disk space on the networked server for conveniently storing class work and for creating personal web pages.  The Interactive Media Lab (IML) is available by appointment for production of DVDs, CD-ROMs, video/audio streams, and advanced graphics.

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