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Urban and Environmental Planning, MUEP

At a Glance: program details

Want to make an impact? Prepare to enter the workforce, become a leader in the planning profession and impact your community. Through small classes and practical projects, this two-year professional degree program equips you to solve complex issues in diverse communities.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MUEP Urban and Environmental Planning

The MUEP program prepares students to help solve complex social, economic and environmental issues and create healthier, safer and more vibrant communities. It emphasizes theories of planning, methods of analysis, effective public engagement, planning processes and creative implementation of planning tools, strategies and approaches. The program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. Students who join the program are eligible for certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners after two years of professional practice.

The Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program offers a valuable opportunity to integrate urban and environmental aspects of planning in a rapidly developing metropolitan area. Small classes, one-on-one advising and a common core of courses that translate knowledge into practice provide students opportunities to build technical skills and grow their professional network.

As a part of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the program is enriched by school faculty whose research and teaching are grounded in geography, geographic information systems, and meteorology and climatology. Students have access to a wide selection of electives within the school, electives that explore issues such as population and migration, environmental and landscape dynamics, and urban climate systems. The program is also complemented by the participation of faculty from other disciplines within the university and collaboration with leading planning practitioners in the Phoenix area.

Faculty research and teaching interests focus especially on the following broad interdisciplinary themes:

  • city building and urban structure
  • environmental and resiliency planning
  • housing, neighborhoods and community development
  • spatial analytics and smart cities
  • transportation planning and policy

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 47 credit hours including the required applied project course (PUP 593)
  • 47 credit hours including the required capstone course (PUP 580)
  • 47 credit hours and a thesis

Required Core (21 credit hours)
PUP 501 Planning, History and Theory (3)
PUP 520 Planning Practice, Ethics and Processes (3)
PUP 531 Planning and Development Control Law (3)
PUP 544 Urban Land Use Planning (3)
PUP 571 Quantitative Methods for Planners (3)
PUP 579 Qualitative Methods for Planners (3)
PUP 642 Urban and Regional Economic Analysis (3)

Electives (14 or 15 credit hours)

Other Requirements (6 credit hours)
PUP 542 Environmental Planning (3)
PUP 576 GIS Workshop (3)

Culminating Experience (5 or 6 credit hours)
PUP 580 Practicum: Planning Workshop (5) or
PUP 593 Applied Project (5) or
PUP 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students take either 14 credit hours of electives for the thesis option or 15 credit hours of electives for the non-thesis option.

Students take PUP 576 or another methods course approved by the department.

Students take PUP 542 or another environmental planning course approved by the department.

Online students must take PUP 580 as their culminating experience.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. resume
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

The personal statement should be no longer than 600 words and must address the applicant's academic and professional background and, if appropriate, preparation for the selected area of specialty; written samples or a portfolio may be included, though these are not required.

Letters of recommendation must be from three people who can attest to the applicant's academic and professional achievements.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BS - Geographic Information Science

Learn skills to better understand the concept of location as it relates to current issues facing our global society, and be ready to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing our world.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Geography (Meteorology-Climatology)

Do you know, from a technical perspective, why storms, monsoons and haboobs build on the horizon? When you better understand climate change, you gain skills for an impactful career as a meteorologist or climatologist.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BSP - Urban Planning

Do you want to shape how our cities, states and communities operate; how people navigate the globe; and how cities are planned for success? Learn about future-changing strategies like alternative transportation, housing diversity and urban revitalization.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Geography

Develop your understanding of climate, landforms and biogeography. Learn about the world around you, from the sky to the bottom of the ocean, and how humans impact landscapes across various geographic regions.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BA - Geography

Dive into the phenomena, features and inhabitants of planet Earth. Learn about humanistic and cultural traditions while absorbing the physical aspects of the world, especially climate and landscape dynamics.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Concurrent degree program

Students can choose to create their own concurrent degree combination to match their interests by working with their academic advisor during or after their first semester of study. Some concurrent combinations are not possible due to high levels of overlap in curriculum; students should speak with their academic advisor for more details.

This degree is also offered as a concurrent program with the following:

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
January 15th
Session A/C
August 9th

Career Opportunities

Professionals with expertise in planning theory and practice are in high demand across sectors and industries, including planning consulting firms, local governments and community organizations. Skills in environmental impact assessment, geographical data analysis and community resiliency planning are valuable to businesses and institutions that rely on practical, research-based approaches to solve complex problems.

Alumni of the Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program work as professional planners in a variety of public, private and nonprofit settings. Career examples include:

  • city and regional planning aide
  • geospatial information technologist
  • social services director
  • sustainability specialist
  • transportation planner
  • urban and regional planner

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.