Welcome to the Program
Established in 1973, the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at VCU is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board and provides professional grounding in the theory and methodology of planning through a curriculum that balances classroom and field experience. The Master of Urban and Regional Planning is a two-year degree program requiring 48 semester hours of class work and 120 hours of internship experience. From its inception through May 2012, VCU's MURP program has granted 683 degrees.
The profession of urban and regional planning is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of communities, large and small. A good community is a sustainable community where citizens care about, and are involved in, public life, where there are ample opportunities for well-paid, meaningful work, where beauty is expressed in design and reverence is paid to the environment is the vision of every planner.
Richmond, Virginia is an ideal place in which to learn the craft of sustainable development planning. Richmond is a beautiful city with rich traditions, historic neighborhoods and exquisite architecture. It is also the center of a modern metropolis that boasts a thriving economy and high quality of life overall, but which also faces many challenges, such as poverty, sprawl, political fragmentation and threats to the environment. Surrounding Richmond are many charming, historic towns that now must confront the challenges of a global economy and new development patterns.
All of these settings and issues provide the opportunity for learning practical planning skills through hands-on, field-based instruction a hallmark of our planning program. In addition to this practice-based coursework, each student in our professionally accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning program completes an internship in a public or private planning-related organization. Because Richmond is the state capital, there are ample opportunities for paid internships in state and local government, as well as private, planning consulting firms and development organizations.
Through these opportunities, as well as frequent interaction with planning practitioners in the United States and through numerous international planning-education opportunities, students in our program get to know the planning field quite well. Through the contacts made through courses and work on class projects, many students are offered good, planning-related jobs by the time they graduate.
In addition to our Master of Urban and Regional Planning program, we offer graduate certificates in Urban Revitalization and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). We also offer a dual degree in Planning and Law with the University of Richmond.
The program is supported by a full-time faculty trained in planning, environmental studies, architecture, economics, geography, history, and political science and by practicing professionals from the many public and private agencies in the Richmond area. Employment opportunities for our graduates exist in a wide variety of settings, for example planning departments, housing authorities, transportation agencies, community development corporations, private consulting firms, and social welfare agencies, among others.
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