Master of City and Regional Planning

The Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) degree program prepares students to excel as professionals capable of understanding and resolving complex urban planning problems. The curriculum gives students both a broad understanding of the urban and regional environment and a foundation of skills needed to plan for this environment.

The MCRP program strives for a careful balance between the theoretical, historical, and conceptual knowledge about urban and regional development on the one hand, and the acquisition of practical skills and methods of analysis on the other. The program offers six specializations as well as several dual degree programs with architecture, civil engineering, law, and public policy.

The curriculum is a two-year, 55-semester-hour program. The curriculum requirements include seven core courses, a specialization, 12 semester hours of electives, an internship, and a thesis or applied research paper. Two options exist for completing the curriculum: the formal thesis or the applied research (option) paper. Credit-hour requirements for both tracks are shown here:

  Research Paper Thesis
Required Core 25 hours 25 hours
Specialization 12 hours 12 hours
Electives 14 hours 8 hours
Applied Research Paper/Thesis 4 hours 10 hours
TOTAL 55 hours 55 hour

The core courses are designed to impart fundamental planning knowledge applicable to wide sectors of the discipline. These include courses examining planning theory, planning methods, planning law, economic analysis and planning practice.

In the specialization coursework and the internship, the student develops skills focused on a particular aspect of city and regional planning. To enable students to focus their education on a consistent and cumulative body of knowledge, the program offers six specializations: economic development, environment and health, housing and community development, land use planning, transportation, and urban design.

In addition to the core and specialization areas, the curriculum includes 12 semester hours of electives. These electives can be used to deepen the student’s knowledge in a specialization or to broaden exposure to additional areas of planning. Of particular interest to some students, the School offers a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems as well as access to certificates in Remote Sensing and Historic Preservation (see for more information). Students may also take electives within the school, within the College of Architecture, in other schools and departments at Georgia Tech (e.g. Civil Engineering, Public Policy, Information Systems, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) or at other area universities such as Georgia State University or Emory University. Through the cross-registration system, students are allowed to enroll in a number of courses that are not offered at Georgia Tech.

The applied studio course acts as a capstone for the core program that allows students to synthesize their planning knowledge and skills in a real world situation ranging from large city neighborhoods to moderately sized cities and towns. Multiple studio opportunities are provided each year, with studios conducted locally throughout Atlanta, which provides an excellent laboratory, as well as nationally and internationally. Finally, a thesis or applied research paper provides an opportunity for focused study in the student’s major area of specialization and interest.

Students are admitted to the MCRP program to begin studies in the fall term. Applicants can be considered for spring admissions under unique circumstances such as those experienced by transfer students and dual degree students. Applications for fall are due in late winter. Visit the Georgia Tech Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for information on merit-based and need-based financial aid.

Full time study toward the MCRP is expected. Admitted students with exceptional circumstances may petition for part-time enrollment. Detailed requirements and academic regulations are described in the Georgia Tech Catalog and the MCRP Student Manual.

For additional information, please read the University-wide Graduate Studies handbook