FAQ: Master of Urban and Environmental Planning

Is my undergraduate major adequate preparation for an urban planning degree?

The program draws students from a wide range of undergraduate majors including architecture and design, the social sciences, economics, finance and sustainability. Students’ diverse undergraduate backgrounds are valued.

Is the GRE required for admission to the MUEP program?

The GRE is not required for admission into the MUEP program. However, prospective students may submit GRE scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. Examples of situations in which applicants may choose to submit GRE scores include:

  • Returning students (more than 5 years after completing undergraduate degree)
  • Cumulative GPA is between 2.5 and 3.0
  • Bachelor’s degree in unrelated field

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the MUEP program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 100 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Is there a deadline to apply?

January 15 is the priority funding deadline.  Applications for the MUEP program that are completed by this date will be considered for funding. Applications received after January 15 may be reviewed only if space is available in the program. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

    • Graduate Admissions application form
    • Official transcripts
    • Official English proficiency scores (if required)
    • Resume or CV
    • Personal statement
    • Three letters of recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

Is there a program fee?

Yes. The MUEP program fee is $1750 per semester. Visit the Tuition Estimator to calculate complete program costs including tuition and fees.

What types of financial aid do you provide?

We consider all applicants meeting the January 15 deadline for funding packages. This funding is competitive. We offer a mix of one- or two-year packages in the form of 10hr/week (quarter-time) or 20hr/week (half-time) teaching assistantships. Quarter-time TAs receive 50% tuition remission, and half-time TAs receive 100% tuition remission. Students who are not awarded a funding package may apply for TA appointments on a semester-by-semester basis.

Additionally, the Planning Department offers some scholarship funding for graduate students in the program. For more information about those specific scholarships please see our Awards page for more information.

Do I need to submit a separate application to be considered for a financial award?

We do not offer need-based financial aid. Rather, we offer merit-based fellowships and teaching assistantships. Assistantships typically require ten hours of work per week and include a partial waiver of tuition. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from ASU Financial Aid. U.S. citizens and permanent residents should file the FAFSA form.

Do you offer admission for the spring semester?

Very rarely. Our graduate programs are designed to start in the Fall semester.

Should I include a portfolio?

It is not necessary; the MUEP is not a design degree. Your carefully crafted personal statement is sufficient.

What is the minimum GPA you will accept?

Graduate Admissions requires a minimum 3.0 GPA. Occasionally we admit students with lower GPAs if they have significant professional experience, a strong statement of purpose, outstanding recommendations, or other extraordinary qualifications.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the master’s program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. At least two of your letters should be from academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letter from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

Is the MUEP a STEM designated degree?

“STEM” refers to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, an acronym popularized by the National Science Foundation. The MUEP degree is not a STEM designated degree, though the Master of Advanced Study in Geographic Information Systems degree program is STEM designated.