Curriculum

Master of Urban and Regional Policy
The 21st century will see most of us living in urban areas. As a result, policymakers will need creative solutions to the economic, social, environmental and political challenges facing cities, within the context of a complex and integrated global economy. Students in the Master of Urban & Regional Policy program analyze and develop real-world solutions to these challenges, be they in housing, energy and transportation, resource sustainability, civil infrastructure, or economic opportunity. Through this program you will become part of the next generation of experts and leaders dedicated to creating livable and sustainable cities everywhere.

The Program’s uniqueness is its strong emphasis on a curriculum integrating theoretical thinking on sustainability and urban development with a “research toolkit” spanning an array of cutting-edge analytical techniques and methodologies.

Begun in 2009, MURP is premised on the need for urban policy analysts and practitioners to better understand two critical issues about the 21st century metropolitan area: (1) the opportunities and challenges for cities and suburbs of being part of a fully globalized economy and (2) the opportunities and challenges for sustainability in a world of dwindling resources and environmental constraints. These challenges require more integrated approaches, and new kinds of urban policy experts and leaders.

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MURP Focus Areas

Urban Sustainability and Resilience:  Description: In this policy focus area, students gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the environmental challenges facing cities and communities, including climate change, natural hazards, and ecological degradation. Faculty expertise within this focus area bridges the engineering, science, and policy of these issues, providing students opportunities to gain the depth of understanding and research skills necessary for leadership positions in these fields. Graduates are prepared to work with public, private, and non-profit organizations on policy and advocacy areas such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable land use and transportation planning, brownfield remediation, and disaster preparedness.

Focus area coordinator: Gavin Shatkin

Urban Revitalization:  The Urban Revitalization focus area prepares students to be placemakers within a globalized urban context. This focus area provides students with foundational knowledge about the theory and practice involved with creating vibrant cities and growing urban economies. As well, students working in this area will receive hands on experience and coursework which frames their skills within the realities of political processes and global economic trends. Classes in this area cover topics including economic development, physical planning, urban design, and real estate development. This focus area prepares students to work in a variety of settings including city and regional redevelopment agencies; urban planning offices; nonprofit economic development organizations; and private real estate development companies.

Focus area coordinator: James Connolly

Housing and Community Development:  This policy focus area prepares students for careers working with urban communities to expand access to affordable housing, good jobs, health care, education, and other economic and social needs. Students can choose to focus on housing or community development. Students interested in housing study the roles of local, state and national policy in creating affordable housing, and learn to use the tools of real estate development and finance to promote affordable housing. Students interested in community development focus on methods of neighborhood planning, community organizing, public participation, community analysis, and urban social policy. Graduates are prepared to work for local, state and national government agencies, community organizations, research and consulting firms, private residential housing developers, and social service agencies.

Focus area coordinator: Gavin Shatkin

Focus Area Requirements and Courses

Competency Model

The Masters in Urban and Regional Policy is a professional degree that combines training in sophisticated analytical skills with a thorough understanding of how cities and regions work. Its graduates fill research and policymaking positions in public, nonprofit and private sector institutions. MURP students are trained to be the next generation of urban leaders armed with the ability to analyze the economic, social, environmental and political challenges facing cities and to develop effective policy responses to create livable and sustainable cities everywhere.

Learn more about the MURP Competency Model.

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