The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Master of City & Metropolitan Planning

Imagine Yourself Here

Become a Transformative Urbanist!

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Planning at the University of Utah has emerged as a top tier program in the United States over the last few years. Students at the U become impactful urban planners and designers while also contributing to forge a forward thinking and dynamic Utah. The Master of City & Metropolitan Planning (MCMP) is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. It emphasizes ecological resiliency, economic efficiency, and social justice through effective communication, collaboration, and innovation. The program’s blend of core knowledge and skills with selected specializations prepares students for professional and leadership roles in public, private, and nonprofit planning.

The U is located in Salt Lake City, consistently ranked among the nation’s most livable cities for its vital downtown, distinctive neighborhoods, world class transit system, affordability, quality of life, religious heritage, and magnificent landscapes. Salt Lake City boasts a cosmopolitan population and is becoming known for its alternative lifestyles and bohemian culture – with plentiful music venues, coffee houses and bars, avid mountaineers and river runners, soccer junkies, tattoo parlors, and festivals of all stripes throughout the year. Utah boasts some of the best hiking on the planet and an exhilarating lineup of the “Mighty Five” National Parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches – all within a few hours from the U.

Planning at the University of Utah aims to enhance the health and vitality of towns, cities, and regions through place-based and integrated approaches to quality growth, building in harmony with nature, place making, and capacity building. The Master’s offers four specializations: Smart Growth + Transportation, Ecological Planning, Urban Design, and Small Town & Resort Planning. Students may also elect to incorporate one of university’s many graduate certificates as part of their degree.  Options include certificates in Real Estate Development, Urban Design, Historic Preservation, GIS, Sustainability, Conflict Resolution, and Public Health. Students may also enroll in one of our dual degree programs with Real Estate Development or Law. Plenty of options allow you to customize the program to your interests and goals. Along with coursework in urban processes, history, law, theory, research, and analysis, the program features community-based planning workshops, urban design studios, and an individualized capstone professional project.

Discover Utah. Become a transformative urbanist. Experience a lifestyle of your own making.


Public Information-MCMP 2017
The Master of City & Metropolitan Planning is accredited by the National Planning Accreditation Board which requires the posting of the following information.

2017-2018 Tuition and Fees for MCMP
Resident Per Full-time* Academic Year: $7,070.89
Non-resident Per Full-time* Academic Year: $16,858.53 
*9 credit hours or more is considered full-time. The sum listed here is calculated for 12 credit hours (fall and spring semesters 2017-2018 Academic Year), including tuition and mandatory fees. For detailed calculations, visit:

MCMP Degrees Awarded
2016-2017: 17
2015-2016: 15
2014-2015: 8
2013-2014: 17
2012-2013: 16
2011-2012: 15
2010-2011: 10
2009-2010: 18
2008-2009: 17
2007-2008: 11
2006-2007: 13

Student Retention and Graduation

Percentage of degree-seeking MCMP students who enrolled in Fall 2016 and continued into Fall 2017: 95% Percentage of single-degree MCMP students graduating within 4 years—entering class of 2013: 95%* *Most full-time students graduate within two years. Those obtaining additional Masters Certificates may take up to 2.5-3 years to graduate.

Student Achievement

The Program allows students to pursue a Professional Project tailored to their particular interests and provides an opportunity to apply planning knowledge and skills to real world circumstances. Projects are completed within one academic year. Each professional project is organized under the direction of a Project Supervisory Committee with one Project Advisor who evaluates students on a number of indicators of student performance, which are stated in the Professional Project Guidelines and aligned with the Program’s learning outcomes. (

Professional Projects during the 2016-2017 academic year:

A committee of professors and professionals in the field scored the final presentation for each project. Those projects were scored in the following categories: Core Values, Verbal Communication Skills, Graphic/Visualization Skills, Collaboration, Leadership, and Innovation. The scores below represent averages of students registered for the Professional Project. A score of 5 is the highest score and 1 the lowest. Key: 5 (A) = Excellent; 4 (A-) = Above Average; 3 (B+) = Good/Average; 2 (B) = Fair; 1 (B- and below) = Poor.
Spring 2017: Students registered for Professional Project: 9 Professional Projects Grade: 4.4 Presentation Score by Committee: 4.1 Core Values: 4.1  Verbal: 4.2   Graphic/Visualization: 4.1 Collaboration: 4.0   Leadership: 4.2   Innovation: 4.1 Fall 2016: Students registered for Professional Project: 4 Professional Projects Grade: 5 Presentation Score by Committee: 4 Core Values: 4.2   Verbal: 4.0   Graphic/Visualization: 4.3 Collaboration: 3.8   Leadership: 4.0   Innovation: 3.9


In 2016, we had 15 graduates from the MCMP program.
10, or 66.67%, were employed within 1 year of graduation in a professional planning or planning-related job.
1, or 6.67%, were not employed within a planning or planning-related job within one year of graduation.
1, or 6.67%, pursued further education within one-year of graduation.
3, or 20%, have unknown employment status.
Those employed within one year of graduation for 2016 are working in the fields of transportation, envisioning (Envision Utah), community development, environmental planning, sustainability, redevelopment (RDA), landscape architecture, planning education, and historic preservation.

AICP Certification

Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 5 years who pass, graduating class of 2012: 100%

Professional Project (Capstone)

The MCMP Capstone Project is a Professional Project that each student completes during the last year of their degree under the supervision of the student’s Faculty Supervisory Committee, the chair of which is a faculty member whose research interests match that of the student.  Students begin with CMP 6970: Professional Project I during the fall semester of their second year. In this course, students focus on refining their project topic, selecting their Faculty Supervisory Committee Chair, coordinating their research with university research supervisory committees, and producing the literature review and methodological structures for their project. In the following semester, students take CMP 6971: Professional Project II, where they focus on collecting and analyzing data, finalizing their written report, and developing effective oral presentations of their findings.  The Professional Project presentations are held at the end of the spring semester in a college-wide celebration of the students and their accomplishments.

Graduate Certificates

A graduate certificate program is a focused collection of courses that, when completed, affords the student some record of coherent academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines. Graduate certificates can be pursued as stand-alone programs of study or integrated with graduate degree programs, such as the Master of City & Metropolitan Planning.

Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation

Students, professionals, and community activists learn the skills and techniques of historic preservation, with particular focus on the West, while earning a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation. The program is perfect for those seeking a focused approach to preserving historic structures and places in our communities.
Learn More

Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development

The Mountain West (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) is the nation’s fastest growing region. By 2040, the region will double in population to more than 30 million people with nearly 20 million jobs. Most of the existing built environment will be rebuilt. Several trillion dollars will be spent on development in the region over the next generation. Real estate professionals will play a leading role in the development and redevelopment of the region. To meet the educational needs of professionals working in real estate, the University of Utah offers the Graduate Certificate in Real Estate.
Learn More

Graduate Certificate in Urban Planning

This certificate offers students and professionals critical urban planning methods and strategies in order to better engage contemporary planning challenges. This five-course certificate is particularly well-suited for architects, business managers, economists, public agency managers, non-profit professionals, sociologists, or social workers; or for students from related disciplines wishing to work in these fields.

Urban Planning Graduate Certificate Application Form

Urban Planning Graduate Certificate Planning Completion Form

Graduate Certificate in Urban Design
Offered jointly by the departments of Architecture and City & Metropolitan Planning, the Graduate Certificate in Urban Design is for graduate students and professionals interested in shaping the places we live, both how they will look and how they will function. Urban design involves a complex inter-relationship between municipalities, real estate developers, property owners, planners, architects, the construction industry, public administrators, and the general public. Students in this program will learn to engage in this process effectively in order to produce vital and vibrant places.

Graduate Certificate in Urban Design Apply Now!

Program Requirements for the Urban Design Certificate


For additional questions about the Graduate Certificates, please contact:

Patrick Clements
Administrative Officer and Advisor
PH: 801-581-8255

Dual Degrees

City & Metropolitan Planning and Juris Doctor

The Department of City & Metropolitan Planning, together with the S.J. Quinney College of Law, offer a dual degree program that enables students to earn a Master of City & Metropolitan Planning (MCMP) degree and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree simultaneously. This dual degree program seeks to take advantage of complementary intellectual benefits from studying law and city and metropolitan planning in a coordinated program. The subject of city and metropolitan planning in the United States can hardly be broached without directly incorporating some aspect of the American legal system. Similarly, a significant element of modern state and local government law involves topics and processes that are central to planning practices. Thus, any student interested in the problems at the core of growth, development, and state and local infrastructure will benefit from understanding these issues from both planning and legal perspectives. Doing so will enrich their ability to address the relevant problems, serve and attract clients, and provide them with a competitive advantage in the job market.

City & Metropolitan Planning and Real Estate Development

The Department of City & Metropolitan Planning, together with the David Eccles School of Business and the Department of Finance, offer a dual degree program that enables students to earn a Master of City & Metropolitan Planning (MCMP) degree and a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) degree simultaneously. A student enrolled in the dual degree program will be able to earn both degrees in less time and with fewer overall credit requirements than if that student enrolled in each degree program independently.

For additional questions about our Dual Degree opportunities, please contact:

Patrick Clements

Academic Adviser | Administrative Officer
PH: 801-581-8255

Student Testimonials & Alumni

“The Program’s interdisciplinary and hands-on approach helped me to develop the skills necessary to succeed in a demanding professional environment.”

Tammy Hunsaker
2012 MCMP Graduate






“My experiences in the Planning program and internships with local government and private consulting firms was essential to landing my current job, and have helped to shape career choices.”

Max Backlund
2014 MCMP Graduate





“While in the master’s program I could not forget my home country where forces of rapid urbanization and poor planning have resulted in a myriad of urban challenges. I believe that African cities have a great opportunity to develop a unique form of urbanism that reflects the culture, values, and day to day life of the people.”

 Florence Buaku
2014 MCMP Graduate



“Graduate school provided consulting opportunities to explore options, ultimately transforming a personal interest in transit into a career. My time with the CMP department and involvement with the Point B student club allowed me to gain the knowledge and connections necessary to join the industry.”

Tam Guy
2015 MCMP Graduate




More information about our alumni!


Apply Now!

Learn more about admission requirements.

Financial Aid

Learn more about financial aid & assistantships!

MCMP Handbook

Learn more about the program’s policies & procedures.

Why Utah?

Learn more about what SLC has to offer!

Imagine U!

Learn more about the U of U!

MCMP Specializations

The Master of City & Metropolitan Planning offers four specializations that reflect the strengths of the program’s faculty and represent major currents in the planning profession today: Ecological Planning, Smart Growth & Transportation, Urban Design, and Small Town and Resort Town Planning. Students who choose to pursue a specialization take an introductory course, a methods course, and two electives in the area of specialization.

MCMP Specializations

Ecological planning addresses the challenges and opportunities of human settlements in the 21st century by creating a human habitat that is ecologically integrated, builds on local assets and values, and optimizes social and ecological well-being. The Ecological Planning specialization is designed to develop ecological literacy in a planning context and to empower students with research and methods to implement an ecological worldview in the practice of urban planning. The acquired language, skills and understandings are valued in a range of employment opportunities including departments of sustainability, health and environmental quality at all levels of government, metropolitan planning organizations, municipal planning departments and planning consultancies.

Introductory Course: 6610 Urban Ecology
Methods Course: 6960 Green Infrastructure
Electives: 6370 Landscape Architecture & Design, 6030 Leadership & Community Engagement, 6620 Negotiation & Dispute Resolution, FCS 6730 Community & Environmental Change, 6390 Sustainability Planning, 6380 Green Communities

MCMP Specializations

Urban design is the practice of shaping cities and settlement patterns. The field bridges the professions of city planning, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, government, and real estate development. Although the design of cities has been practiced for millennia, the field was reborn in the late 1950s in response to dissatisfaction with modern urbanism and the ill effects of placelessness. Since then, a prime concern for urban designers has been the creation of valued and memorable places that contribute to larger social, economic, and environmental goals. Growing in importance, urban design is critically embedded within the debates and issues of contemporary society: natural resource depletion, sustainability, sprawl, climate change, the wealth gap, economic and environmental resiliency, and urban livability.

Students who graduate with field expertise in urban design typically work for the public sector in a city’s urban design and planning division, engaged in municipal project management, civic engagement, development control, and design review. Alternatively, graduates in urban design work in private sector design firms where they are involved in designing and managing projects of both a private and public nature. Studios in Urban Design are collaborative undertakings by students from Architecture, Planning, and Real Estate Development. They are frequently associated with and funded by client cities looking for ideas and proposals that address specific issues in their municipality.

Introductory Course:  6440 Urban Design Principles
Methods Course:  6405 Urban Design Methods
Electives: 6470 Case Studies in Urban Design & Development, 6445 Urban Design Studio I, 6446 Urban Design Studio II, ARCH 6271 Contemporary Theory, 6150 City in Literature, 6400 Visualization, 6410 Site Development, 6960 Green Infrastructure, 6710 Intro to Transportation

MCMP Specializations

America’s built environment is being transformed. The transformation is being driven by new demographic and economic trends; changing aspirations about homes, neighborhoods, and communities; and a growing awareness of the role that human relationships with natural resources have on sustaining quality of life. The purpose of this specialization is to improve our metropolitan areas while acknowledging constraints on the various costs of transformation. Smart Growth is a field of planning practice and research that aims to preserve public goods such as air, water, and land; secure positive land-use interactions and avoid adverse ones; effectively enhance economic/fiscal benefits; create desirable and resilient places; and apportion benefits and burdens equitably. Multi-modal transportation systems are a key driver of smart growth. A highway dominated transportation system encourages sprawl, while a multi-modal system encourages compact development.

Introductory Course: 6710 Introduction to Transportation Planning
Methods Course: 6322 City & Metropolitan Economics
Electives: 6620 Negotiation & Dispute Resolution, 6460 Real Estate Market Analysis for Planning & Development, 6960 Real Estate Development Due Diligence, 6720 Land Use & Transportation, 6150 City in Literature, 6410 Site Development, 6030 Leadership & Community Engagement, FCS 6730 Community Development & Environmental Change



MCMP Specializations

This specialization introduces students to the planning issues particular to small and resort towns as well as planning in rural areas. Some of these issues include community and economic development, community engagement, historic preservation, land conservation, and interfacing with large and small farming enterprises.

Introductory Course:  6960 Small Town & Resort Planning
Methods Course: 6030 Leadership & Community Engagement
Electives: FCS 6730 Community Development & Environmental Change, PADMN 6390 Local Government Administration, 6500 Historic Preservation, 6620 Negotiation & Dispute Resolution, 6405 Urban Design Methods, 6460 Real Estate Market Analysis for Planning & Development ARCH 6581 Main Street Revitalization



MCMP Core Course Curriculum

Below are course descriptions for the MCMP Core Courses.


Urban Research

Applied quantitative data analysis using spreadsheet and other software. Data sources, dataset development, descriptive statistics, trend analysis, measure of concentration, similarity, and distribution. Planning applications of demographic and economic analysis including population estimation, residential segregation, economic base identification and shift share analysis.

Urban Theory & Form

Introductory survey course about theories of urbanism, urban formation, spatial structure, comparative urbanism, the dynamics of urban areas, contemporary urban challenges, economic restricting and globalism, and strategic responses for evolving human settlements. The course also covers the history of urban form and city-making.

Reason, Power, & Values

This course considers the tension that exists in democratic societies between scientific and experiential reason, political power, and human values as seen in the process of city-building. Exploration of this nexus is pursued through historical review, case study and emerging forms of planning practice.

Land Use Law

Case law analysis of common law, constitutional, statutory, and regulatory principles inherent in American land use planning and zoning.

City & Metropolitan Economics

Economic foundations and their application to such planning studies as city and metropolitan form, public facilities, housing, economic development and the environment.

Planning Communication

Tools for planning communication including data display, graphic visualization, oral presentation, writing, audience targeting, community engagement, qualitative methods, and survey techniques.

GIS in Planning

The principles and concepts of geographic information systems (GIS) technology and its applications to planning problems through lectures, assigned readings and discussion. Laboratory session offer hands-on practice with GIS software. Together, these provide students with a working knowledge of GIS design principles and a software package for later use in other courses and professional practice.

Urban Ecology

The interplay of natural systems with human habitat and civilization. The course explores the potential for synthetic co-operation between natural and cultural systems, offer opportunities for corresponding design and planning applications and advancement methods for enhancing local ecosystem services. The course also includes a service-learning component.

Graduate Workshop

Places students in a real-world planning context while providing a Westside Community with planning services. Students partner with specific Westside groups to map assets and design projects that address the community’s needs.

Urban Design Studio I

Inter-disciplinary urban design studio on city-making elements and processes, including master planning, site design, project development, economic and environmental factors, infrastructure, strategic visioning, integrative design of building, public realm and urban systems. Note: Students pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Urban Design should take 6445 in the spring of their first year.

Professional Project (Capstone)

See Professional Project tab for examples and more about our individualized capstone experience.

Department Chair

Reid Ewing, PhD

MCMP Coordinator

Keith Bartholomew
Associate Dean

Admissions Officer

Patrick Clements
Administrative Officer

Academic Advisor/Recruitment

Lorilie Spegar
Academic Advisor/Recruitment