Academic Programs in Urban Planning and Related Fields
California State University, Northridge
Master of Urban Planning
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Email Website 818-677-2904

The Master of Urban Planning provides a broad based education in urban planning, especially as it is practiced in the State of California, where a wide range of state laws and mandates have created a planning environment which is distinct from its practice in much of the rest of the United States. The degree’s curriculum is thoroughly grounded in the academic and applied dimensions of the profession. Classroom experience emphasizes key theoretical aspects of urban planning, while practical exercises and field experiences address how planning problems are addressed at the local and regional level.

Graduates will understand key elements of professional planning practice including comprehensive planning and the creation and updating of the General Plan; the function and practice of zoning; the role of specific plans, community plans, and special overlay districts; the use of environmental impact analysis in planning and specifically the role of the California Environmental Quality Act; the role of politics and negotiation in the planning process; and the ethical responsibilities of planners in the exercise of their professional responsibilities. Graduates will also demonstrate the ability to conduct a field project using applicable research techniques to address a practical planning problem in a local community. Finally, all graduates will successfully complete a capstone project which will validate their understanding and ability to produce professional planning documents and reports.

The 36 credit-unit master’s degree in urban planning is designed to be completed in two calendar years. The degree program is cohort driven with new class cohorts beginning each year in the fall semester. Once a cohort starts, no other student will be accepted into that cohort.

This degree is designed especially to serve the needs of working students and professionals. Classes are scheduled for evenings and Saturdays and are scheduled sequentially over the course of the two year program. It is intended that the students receive as much exposure to different professional planning environments as possible through field experiences and assignments in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

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