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Department of Urban & Regional Planning
University of Hawai`i at Manoa
Saunders Hall 107
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Telephone: (808) 956-7381
Facsimile: (808) 956-6870



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Admission to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Most students entering the degree program have concentrated at the undergraduate level in the social sciences, natural sciences, architecture, or engineering. Others have specialized in the humanities, business, or the physical sciences. The Department encourages applicants from a variety of fields.

A student admitted to the MURP degree program is expected to have a basic foundation
in descriptive/inferential statistics. A student who has not achieved competence in statistics may be admitted to the degree program but will need to make up any deficiency prior to being advanced to candidacy for the degree. Remedial coursework in statistics, which may be taken on a credit/no credit basis, will not count toward the degree.

To assist in the admission process, the applicant is required to complete an Admissions Assessment Form and submit it to the Department at the time of application. It is important to emphasize that applicants may cite either academic work or non-academic experience in documenting their competence in an area. In most cases, the level of knowledge or understanding required is that which can be gained from an upper division (junior or senior year) course or sequence of courses considered basic by a discipline in the area of concern. Preference in admission is given to those students with good preparation in these four areas. The four areas are:

  1. Social and natural sciences insofar as they are relevant to urban and regional processes, e.g., coursework in urban economics, regional geography, environmental science;
  2. Research methods, e.g., statistical analysis, survey research;
  3. Physical systems analysis and design, e.g., architecture, transportation engineering, urban design;
  4. Planning or administration, e.g., work in a planning department or consulting firm, experience in administering a program, office, or neighborhood council.

Special consideration for admission is given to students who have had experience with a culture other than their own. Such experience may have been obtained in Peace Corps, Vista, or through less formal involvement.

Native speakers of English and those with a degree from a university in which English is the primary medium of instruction, are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for verbal, math and analytic sections, with a minimum total score of 300. Non-native speakers of English are required to submit either a TOEFL or IELTS Academic score with a minumum of 76 iBT and 6.5 respectively. Candidates are expected to have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average. Students with a lower average may be considered for admission on a conditional basis.

The admissions committee is responsible for evaluating a student's objectives, letters of recommendation, GRE or TOEFL scores, academic record, and experience. The statement submitted by the student as part of his/her application is carefully reviewed by the committee. The committee may request additional data from an applicant. It may also request an interview if arranging one is feasible. Applicants are encouraged to meet with members of the faculty on their own initiative prior to applying if they are in Hawai‘i.


Application to the Master's degree program in Urban and Regional Planning proceeds through two channels. Some materials are submitted to the Graduate Division, which reviews all graduate study applications and sends those meeting basic criteria to the appropriate academic units. Once the Urban and Regional Planning Department receives the official documents from the Graduate Division, it supplements them with additional information provided by the applicant. When the application file is complete, the admissions committee is able to act on it.

The applicant is to submit the following materials directly to the Graduate Division at:

Graduate Student Services
2540 Maile Way
Spalding 353B
Honolulu, HI 96822
  1. Application for Graduate Admission Form
  2. One official copy of transcript(s)
  3. If a native English-speaking applicant, an official report of the GRE or GRE Revised General Test aptitude test scores
  4. If a non-native English-speaking applicant, an official report of the TOEFL score

The following are to be submitted directly to the admissions committee of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Items 1, 2 and 3 should be submitted by the applicant and item 4 by his/her references:

  1. Completed Admissions Assessment Form
  2. Completed Express Information Form
  3. Completed Statement of Objectives
  4. Two letters of reference from persons well-acquainted with the applicant's academic work and/or professional experience

The deadline for receipt of application materials is March 1 for admission the following fall semester and September 1 for admission the following spring semester. Application materials, including all relevant forms, may be obtained from the Department. Official notification of admission or denial is issued by the Graduate Division, not by the Department.