MASTER'S DEGREE OVERVIEW
The MURP degree program is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. It is a professional program designed to:
- Equip students to fill professional planning and policy analysis roles in public agencies, international organizations, private firms, and community groups, particularly in Hawai‘i, Asia, and the Pacific Basin
- Develop and apply new knowledge in the field of planning; and
- Provide service to public agencies, communities, and others concerned with urban and regional planning.
Students normally take from two to three years to complete the MURP program. The program requires a minimum of 42 credit hours. Please refer to the Curriculum in Brief for a detailed review of the course requirements and the Course Streams.
Both thesis (Plan A) and non-thesis (Plan B) programs are available. All students are required to pass a final examination, including successful defense of the thesis (Plan A) or the selected area of concentration (Plan B) and to meet the departmental standards for graduation (Plan A and B).
No one course of study is appropriate for all, or even a majority, of the students in the Department. Much emphasis is therefore placed on advising. When the student is admitted to the Department, he/she is initially advised by the Department Chair. The emphasis is on assuring that students understand their opportunities and obligations during their ensuing graduate work. At the initial advising session after admission, each student specifies his or her field of interest:
- Community planning and social policy
- Environmental planning and natural resource management
- Urban and regional planning in Asia and the Pacific
- Land use, transportation and infrastructure planning
Students may subsequently change the designation of field of interest in consultation with his/her advisor. It is important that each student embark on a well planned course of study. Attention must be paid to the correct sequencing of courses.
By the end of the first semester of study, students should select a member of the Urban and Regional Planning faculty to serve as the student’s ongoing advisor.
As the student progresses, more emphasis will be laid on his/her interests, in particular as they are to be expressed through a thesis (Plan A) or work in an area of concentration (Plan B). The area of concentration may either fall within one area or bridge interest across two or more areas of interest. At this later stage a committee is formed for each student at his/her invitation. The committee, consisting of at least three faculty members, two of whom must be from the Urban and Regional Planning Department, carries the primary responsibility for assuring that subsequent coursework is appropriate for the student.
The chairperson and committee ultimately certify that the student has met the standards for graduation. Committee formulation is a formal process, initiated by the student and approved by the Department chairperson and the Graduate Division.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completing their MURP degree program, graduates are expected to have achieved the desired competencies to:
- Describe and explain historic, social and economic processes leading to the transformation of human settlements and their habitats;
- Articulate justifications for planned interventions;
- Think critically about how to create more socially just and environmentally sustainable regions, cities and communities.
- Apply methods of social and spatial analysis to gather, organize, display and interpret social-spatial information at a variety of scales;
- Work with clients to clarify organizational, neighborhood or regional problems, generate and assess potential strategies to address these problems and assemble strategies in a plan or professional report.
- Collaborate with residents, agency officials and others to design and implement strategies for identifying, acknowledging, gathering, and collectively assessing and prioritizing individual and group perceptions and knowledge;
- Make a public presentation of a plan, professional report or public commentary in a coherent and persuasive fashion;
- Acknowledge and take responsibility for the ethical implications of the choices we make as professionals.