Master's Programs in Urban Planning in California
There are nine different urban planning master's degree programs offered by accredited universities throughout California. Read on to find out more about each program and the specific degree offered.
University of Southern California
USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy was ranked number two overall among public affairs graduate schools and number one in urban policy by US News & World Report for 2020. Students have the option of pursuing a Master of Urban Planning at the brick and mortar campus in Los Angeles or an Executive Master of Urban Planning online.
University of California, Berkeley
The College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley offers an urban design concentration in several degree programs, one of which is a two-year Master of City Planning. Students can also elect to pursue this concentration in architecture or landscape architecture master's degree programs, which can be completed concurrently with the MCP.
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly offers a Master of City and Regional Planning program that can be combined with an engineering degree in transportation planning. The MCRP program is designed to be completed in two years and culminates in one of three ways: a thesis, a community planning studio, or a professional project.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
A Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree is available at Cal State Polytechnic and is unique in Southern California for offering the majority of its classes during the evenings. Students in this program can pursue a planning and public policy track or an entrepreneurship and leadership track, which culminates in a thesis or community project.
San Jose State University
San Jose State offers a Master of Urban Planning program consisting of 48 semester units or the equivalent of about two years of study. San Jose State also requires 180 hours of professional work in the field, which can be satisfied through a variety of opportunities, including internships or prior career experience.
San Diego State University
San Diego State University offers a Master of City Planning program that focuses on leadership in urban and regional planning. This program also incorporates the study of social justice and community initiatives.
University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA's Department of Urban Planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs offers a Master of Urban and Regional Planning program, which students can complete on its own in two years or pursue a concurrent degree with a number of other academic subjects, including architecture and business. Students must complete 72 academic units of study in subjects such as transportation planning and environmental impact.
University of California, Irvine
UC Irvine's Master of Urban and Regional Planning program is the only Planning Accreditation Board-approved school in Orange county and has a 99% graduate employment rate from 2016-2018. UC Irvine allows students to tailor their coursework to their particular set of academic interests.
California State University, Northridge
The Department of Urban Studies and Planning at CSU Northridge offers a Master of Urban Planning program tailored for working students and professionals, as many of the classes are offered at nights or weekends. The 36-credit-hour program takes about two years to complete, with a new cohort of students established each fall.
|School Name||Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|University of Southern California||Master of Urban Planning||$44,712|
|University of California, Berkeley||Master of City Planning||$11,442 in state, $26,544 out of state|
|California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo||Master of City and Regional Planning||$7,176 in state, $16,680 out of state|
|California State Polytechnic University, Pomona||Master of Urban and Regional Planning||$7,176 in state, $16,680 out of state|
|San Jose State University||Master of Urban Planning||$7,176 in state, $16,680 out of state|
|San Diego State University||Master of City Planning||$7,176 in state, $16,680 out of state|
|University of California, Los Angeles||Master of Urban and Regional Planning||$11,442 in state, $26,544 out of state|
|University of California, Irvine||Master of Urban and Regional Planning||$11,442 in state, $26,544 out of state|
|California State University, Northridge||Master of Urban Planning||$7,176 in state, $16,680 out of state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Urban Planning Master's Degree Program Admittance Requirements
Master of Urban Planning and similar programs in California often request a rigorous personal statement and/or statement of purpose. In these statements, applicants expound upon their personal, professional, and academic experience as well as their goals. In addition, applicants can expect to furnish letters of recommendation, transcripts, resumes, and GRE scores, as well as pay an application fee. Many schools require a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA to apply.
California has many different options for someone interested in earning a master's degree in urban planning. Nine different schools are listed in this article, and they offer master's degree programs in city planning and urban and regional planning, among others.