The graduate program in Urban + Environmental Planning at UVA is committed to fostering sustainability through collaborative planning and community engagement. Our emphasis on sustainability is founded on the idea that human settlement and wellbeing are inherently intertwined with ecologies and global environmental health. However, equity and justice are also central to our concept of sustainability, and we recognize the role of planning in fostering equitable cities and environments.
As a professional degree, MUEP students cultivate the theoretical insights, analytical skills, technical tools, and first-hand experience needed to become effective, ethical professionals who are prepared to lead.
Our students come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds including but not limited to the social sciences, engineering, design, and liberal arts. Planning is a broad profession with many opportunities to parlay your interests into a meaningful and successful career. To help you decide the best approach to your degree, your specialization, and your future career, we support each student through faculty mentorship in addition to regular student advising.
The Graduate Program in Urban and Environmental Planning is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, sponsored jointly by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Students graduating with an MUEP can attain their AICP certification after two years of planning employment.
WHY STUDY URBAN + ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AT UVA?
UVA Urban and Environmental Planning Chair Suzanne Moomaw and former Graduate Program Director Andrew Mondschein share highlights of the program.
Learn about the MUEP program from our current students.
INTERESTED IN OUR MUEP PROGRAM?
The Master of Urban + Environmental Planning is a 2-year graduate degree with a minimum of 51 credits.
The degree requires 51 credits. The core courses ground students in the fundamentals of planning history and thought and provide the skills, methods, and experiences to be an effective planning leader. They include:
Race and the American City
Law, Land, and the Environment
Planning Theory and Practice
Quantitative Methods of Planning Analysis
Methods of Community Research and Engagement
Digital Technology for Planning and Design: GIS
Urban Planning and Design Studio
Beyond the core, all MUEP students develop their own 15-credit concentration enabling deep focus in a specialty area of their choice. The concentration can take the form of either:
Established planning concentrations such as Environmental Planning/Sustainable Development, Transportation and Land Use, Planning Methods and Analytics, or Planning for Equity and Justice
Certificates in Urban Design, Historic Preservation, or Real Estate, all offered within the School of Architecture
A customized concentration developed by you in consultation with your faculty mentor, enabling you to hybridize among traditional concentrations or develop a focus that builds on your interests and faculty specializations such as Healthy Cities, Social Justice, or Smart Cities. (Visit our faculty members' web pages to learn more about the types of courses we offer and the research we are doing.)
PLAC (PLANNING APPLICATION COURSES)
The MUEP curriculum includes PLAC (Planning Application Courses). These courses combine theory and practice, emphasizing application through a project approach. The subject matter rotates within topical areas including: land use planning, housing, community development, environmental impact analysis, social planning, transportation planning, neighborhood analysis, and more. In addition to the core PLACs in Urban Design and Planning Practicum, students should select at least one additional PLAC as part of their concentration.
As part of the requirement for the degree, our students also complete an internship. An internship is an approved assignment in an agency, firm, or organization engaged in planning activities and/or planning research. The internship is an integral part of the educational experience offering students professional experience and exposure to the diverse career opportunities afforded by a planning degree. Internship requirements can also be met through more concentrated externship experiences offered in the program, or by working on planning research with faculty. Internship experiences should total 320 hours, or about eight weeks at a minimum.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRADUATE CERTIFICATE
The interdisciplinary Program in Historic Preservation offers Master’s degree candidates in all of the School of Architecture’s disciplines (Architecture, Architectural History, Landscape Architecture and Urban and Environmental Planning) the opportunity to expand their professional studies through specialized training in the theory, practice and ethics of historic preservation.
URBAN DESIGN GRADUATE CERTIFICATE
The Urban Design Certificate program is open to graduate students in any department of the School of Architecture who want to pursue an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the critical questions raised by planetary urbanization, from urban and infrastructural development to social equity and resilience.
REAL ESTATE + DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT CERTIFICATE
The Real Estate + Design and Development Certificate program is open to graduate students in any department of the School of Architecture. The program introduces students to the development process, a case-based examination of the role of design in successful real estate practices, the fundamentals of real estate finance and a final applied course/capstone studio.
The School of Law offers a dual-degree program with the Department of Urban + Environmental Planning at the UVA School of Architecture. Students may earn both the Juris Doctor (JD) and a Master of Urban + Environmental Planning (MUEP) in four years, instead of the typically required five years to pursue each degree separately.
The UVA School of Architecture and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy offer a dual degree which leads to the completion of the Master of Urban + Environmental Planning degree (MUEP) and the Master of Public Policy degree (MPP) in three years, instead of the four years that would be required to complete each degree separately. The program is administrated by faculty advisors from the School of Architecture and Batten School.
ADDITIONAL DUAL DEGREES
Dual degrees are available also between the Master of Urban + Environmental Planning and each of the graduate programs in the School of Architecture.
Bachelor of Urban & Environmental Planning students may consider pursuing the Master’s Degree through advanced standing.
The standard Master of Urban & Environmental Planning degree program is a two-year course of study oriented toward students coming from arts and science or design backgrounds. The graduate curriculum consists of core courses, specialized courses representing functional areas of planning, applied courses emphasizing the synthesis of planning analysis and values in specific settings, and a professional internship. Graduate students design a concentration in consultation with a faculty member.
Admission to the Advanced Standing Program will be determined through the regular formal graduate admissions procedure. The program is intended for students with strong undergraduate records. Please refer to Graduate Admissions for details on how to apply.
Prospective students may apply for the Advanced Standing Program after graduating from the University of Virginia BUEP Program.
The standard Master of Urban & Environmental Planning degree program is a two-year course of study oriented toward students coming from planning, arts and science or design backgrounds. The graduate curriculum consists of core courses, specialized courses representing functional areas of planning, applied courses emphasizing the synthesis of planning analysis and values in specific settings, and a professional internship. Graduate students design a concentration in consultation with a faculty mentor.
More details can be found at UVA's Graduate Record.