Master of City and Regional Planning

The PAB-accredited 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 hours

 
 

Admissions

We look for students whose varied backgrounds, experiences, and education reflect the richness of contemporary society. Admission into the MCRP, MS/GIST, MS/UD and PhD programs is highly competitive. Successful applicants are expected to have a strong academic background, excellent writing skills, and the ability to communicate effectively.

In order to be considered for admission, your application must be complete and all required material submitted by the program deadline. If you are interested in receiving merit-based aid make sure to submit your materials by the fellowship deadlines. Students are admitted to begin studies in the fall, as we normally do not accept applications for spring or summer semester admissions.

CORE COURSES

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.

The MCRP curriculum consists of 7 core courses, amounting to 25 semester hours, plus either a thesis of 10 semester hours or an applied research paper of 4 semester hours. All core courses must be completed unless formally waived due to previous coursework. Core courses are designed to provide students with the necessary skills and background for more advanced work.

CP 6012: History and Theory of Urban Planning (Fall) - Examines theories of planning and the public interest. Considers the roles of planners within the American political system and the historical development of the planning profession.

CP 6016: Growth Management Law and Implementation (Spring) - Study of legal framework of planning focusing on managing development to achieve desired outcomes for the economy, society, and the environment.

CP 6024: Quantitative and Computer Methods (Spring) - Introduces computing and quantitative methods in planning. Discusses commonly used data sources, data management, presentation techniques, and planning analytical models.

CP 6025: Advanced Planning Methods (Fall) – Study of analytical methods in planning including inferential statistics, linear regression, and analysis of variance, and how they are applied to planning problems.

CP 6031: Economic Analysis in Planning (Fall) - Applies economic principles to planning, including market theory, public goods, externalities, cost benefit analysis, and project economics.

CP 6052: Applied Planning Studio (Fall or Spring) - Analyzes and prepares alternative plan(s) for an existing neighborhood, community, or region. Emphasizes application of planning skills in a real-world situation.

CP 6514: Intro to Geographic Information Systems (Fall or Spring) - Introduces students to spatial analysis using geographic information systems. Examines fundamentals of software design and geographic data.
 

SPECIALIZATION COURSEWORK

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.

Housing & Community Development

This specialization’s central goal is providing students with the knowledge and skills to guide the housing, community, and real estate development activities of institutions.

Environmental & Health Planning

Environment and health planning integrates tools from the fields of environmental management and public health to understand how the management of the built environment influences human and ecosystem health.

Economic Development

Economic development planning seeks to build a stable economic base that preserves and raises a community or region’s standard of living by developing its human and physical infrastructure in a sustainable manner.

Land Use Planning

Land use planners can be found in the forefront of debate over many of the great planning issues of the day, including fighting sprawl, preserving greenspace, and enabling sustainable development.

Transportation

This specialization is designed to provide students with the ability to conceive, consider, and assess the implications of supply and demand side strategies to enhance local accessibility and regional mobility.

Urban Design

The urban design specialization is intended for planners who seek to engage effectively with architects, developers, and institutions around issues of urban form and design.

ELECTIVES

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. 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.