May 29, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024

Urban Planning and Development, MUPD

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Public Affairs and Education

Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs

Additional information can be found at:

Areas of Study

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

*Graduate Certificate also offered, refer to the Certificate Program listings in this catalog for requirements.


The Master of Urban Planning and Development is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

Mission & Description

The Master of Urban Planning and Development (MUPD) program educates current and future urban planning and development professionals and equips them with the knowledge and skills to effect positive change for diverse and dynamic metropolitan regions and communities within a global context. We prepare students to analyze and address past, present and future urban conditions and planning and development issues and provide them the opportunity to develop technical expertise in areas of practice. Through our curriculum, engaged activities, and faculty research, we generate innovative ideas that foster livable, equitable, vibrant, and sustainable futures, particularly for legacy cities.

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

  • Educating students to be innovative, forward-thinking urban planning professionals who are at the leading edge of planning, particularly in legacy cities.
  • Preparing our graduates to work in and with diverse communities via an inclusive and participatory approach to planning.
  • Advancing social justice and equity in all aspects of urban planning and development and within the diverse communities that comprise urban places.
  • Ensuring that our graduates will improve the resiliency and sustainability of urban communities.
  • Building and maintaining a diverse faculty and student body devoted to excellence in academic and professional practice.
  • Engaging with the people and communities in Northeast Ohio and shaping the future of these communities through our teaching, research and service activities.
  • Fostering the MUPD program’s vibrant and ongoing engagement with the urban planning profession, including our active partnership with local and national planning and development organizations.
  • Collaborating with allied professionals through an interdisciplinary approach to planning education.

The MUPD program offers a broad educational experience to meet the needs of students and the planning profession. The program accommodates both full- and part-time students, with most required courses offered after 4:00pm. We offer in-house student support services, including student advising, to facilitate student achievement. Our students have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, primarily through the CSU-APA student organization (

MUPD Faculty

The MUPD faculty engage in high-quality research that addresses key issues and challenges in the planning profession, including community development, conflict resolution, economic development, historic preservation, housing, land use, neighborhood development, environmental systems, and real estate. They regularly publish in the leading journals in these fields. The faculty are also active members of professional organizations such as the American Planning Association (including the Ohio Chapter and Cleveland Section), American Institute of Certified Planners, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Urban Affairs Association, and Urban Land Institute. Current faculty information is available on the program website: and on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Careers in Urban Planning

The MUPD program provides advanced training for recent college graduates and mid-career professionals. Employment opportunities for planners exist in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. For more information on our alumni see: and for general information on careers in planning see:

We provide a variety of services related to career planning. Current job postings are maintained at Cleveland State University’s Office of Career Development and Exploration assists students with resume writing, interview preparation, internships, networking and other job search preparation. Urban Affairs career information is viewable at

Admission Information

Applicants to the MUPD 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. For information about applying for waiver of the GRE requirement please visit
  3. Two letters of recommendation, using the Recommendation Form for Graduate Admission.
  4. A maximum two-page personal statement that discusses the applicant’s interest in the Master of Urban Planning and Development program. The statement should address 1) how the applicant has used their strengths and weaknesses as tools toward professional development, and 2) two or three long-term goals that completing graduate school at CSU’s School of Urban Affairs will support.
  5. 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.


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.

Admission for CSU Honors College Graduates

The School of Urban Affairs offers expedited admissions for students graduating through Cleveland State University’s Honors College. Interested students should contact the Graduate Programs Coordinator ( for details.

Financial Assistance

The School of Urban Affairs provides graduate assistantships on a competitive basis to full-time students. The priority deadline for graduate assistantship applications is February 15.

The graduate assistantship application is available at:

Degree Requirements

The MUPD degree requires 48 credit hours of study. Students must meet all requirements and have a 3.0 or better grade-point average to graduate. The program includes core courses (32 credits) and electives (16 credits). The elective courses can be general or applied to an area of specialization.


An assessment of quantitative skills is required for all MUPD students, regardless of admission type. This assessments determines whether students must enroll in UST 504 Fundamentals of Applied Reasoning .

Specializations and Electives

Students may use their electives to pursue a generalist program or complete a specialization. Students pursuing a specialization should contact the graduate advisor for information on specific requirements and to develop a specialized curriculum plan. Students who wish to receive a Certificate corresponding to a specialization area (availability noted by an *) should refer to the individual Certificate Program listings in this catalog for requirements. Information on pre- and co-requisites is available in each course description.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)*

2 required courses.

Transportation Planning

This specialization requires 12 credits, with 4 required courses.

Additional Electives

Elective credits are designed to enhance current skills, fill gaps in substantive areas, or to develop additional concentration. Students may take additional courses in economic development, environmental and sustainability planning, historic preservation, housing, neighborhood planning, real estate, geographic information systems, negotiation and conflict management, urban diversity, research design, human settlements, policy development, and others. Students should work closely with the graduate advisor and MUPD faculty to select their electives and design a program of study that best suits their needs and interests.


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

Exit Project or Thesis

The MUPD program does not require an exit project or thesis. MUPD students may choose to complete either as an elective for 4 credits. For an exit project, the student selects a faculty advisor from the MUPD faculty, completes the Exit Project Approval Form, and obtains all signatures before registering (UST 698 ). For the thesis, 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 members of the Graduate Faculty. The committee advises and assists the student in writing and research and formally approves the thesis once it has been successfully defended. (See the section on Research, Theses, and Dissertations  in this Catalog.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Public Affairs and Education