Top US Master’s in City Planning Schools

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Master’s in City Planning in the United States – Postgraduate Knowledge in the Industry

A Master’s in City Planning degree helps future industry professionals gain the knowledge for jobs in urban design. This type of program allows people interested in urban development create a career out of this interest. Students are exposed to elements of environmental design, community planning and current urban issues. They also get equipped with the necessary skills to help improve the future of this industry. Generally, students must come into a program with a Bachelor’s degree from an undergraduate program.

What Is a Master’s in City Planning?

City planning is the process in which land and the environment are developed into spaces for public or private use. This type of planning involves street mapping, infrastructure consideration, building materials and much more. Students in this type of program get practise in communicating, analysing, researching and studying various city planning theories. They may also learn about the steps required in the process of land development and city expansion. More recently, the impact of city building and public works projects on the land and environment may also be analysed in programs. The use of technology to help make more efficient urban developments is also an important part of any top program. Some students choose to focus on a specific area of city planning in order to prepare themselves for a career in that specialisation. Many schools that offer this program place it in their design or environmental science departments. Schools in the US that offer a Master’s in City Planning degree include the University of California at Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania and Morgan State University.

Programs that lead to a Master’s in City Planning usually take approximately two years to complete with full-time coursework. Many programs require students to complete an internship within their chosen specialisation. A program may also expect students to create a portfolio of their planning and design work. If you enrol in a Master’s in City Planning degree program, here are a few typical class topics:

  • City Design: Students analyse current practises of urban design, including commercial areas, residential housing and public parks.
  • Housing Development: Different challenges that occur with housing planning are presented, and students learn about designing residential areas.
  • Land Use: Elements of land use are discussed, and students get exposed to laws and methods of using land responsibly.
  • History of Urban Planning: Students get an overview of how urban planning has been used throughout time and look at examples of planned cities.
  • Urban Economics: Students learn about how economics play a role in community planning outcomes.
  • Internship: Near the end of the program, students may be required to complete a field experience in urban planning and development.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in City Planning in the United States?

A Master’s in City Planning degree can benefit someone by giving them a high level of analytical, reasoning, research, communication and planning skills. Students also learn ways to help improve the communities around them, which could help increase the quality of life for the people in the area. Jobs in city planning are easier to secure with a Master’s degree education. For many positions in this field, a Master’s degree gives you access to a higher earning potential.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in City Planning?

The most natural place for the skills and knowledge learned in a Master’s in City Planning degree is within the position of a city or urban planner. Most urban planners work within the public sector or government. City planners may also use their specialised knowledge to perform specific planning duties. Urban planners may focus primarily on traffic or road design, land use and development, natural resources or environmental impact. It is also typical for some graduates to work as economic developers within a region’s economic development office. They may coordinate with businesses and city leaders in order to bring more economic opportunity to a region. Sometimes, students choose to go into a different direction with the skills learned from this program. Jobs like a real estate agent, surveyor, public service administrator or facilities manager are also realistic paths for people with a Master’s in City Planning degree.

The Master’s in City Planning degree is a way for students to achieve their career goals in urban development. There are many different programs in US graduate schools to help you get into this industry.


Arizona State University

Tempe, United States

  • 144SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 23,544Average Tuition
  • 84%Acceptance Rate

The Arizona State University is the largest public university by enrollment in the U.S. ASU comprises 16 colleges and schools that offer more personalized experiences for students, while offering opportunities to collaborate across disciplines and campuses....

University of Illinois - Chicago

Chicago, United States

  • 170SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 42,430Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States and has 15 academic schools through which it offers interesting master’s degree programs in a wide range of subject areas....

University of South Florida

Tampa, United States

  • 256SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,900Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of South Florida (USF) is a public research institution located in the city of Tampa, Florida, United States. The university has three campuses through which it delivers master’s degree courses in the fields of health professions and related programs, business, management, marketing, and related support services, biological and biomedical sciences, social sciences, psychology, architecture, liberal arts, education and visual and performing arts....

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, United States

  • 285SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 24,000Average Tuition
  • 73%Acceptance Rate

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a learning and research institute in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. Students can choose from over 150 master’s degree programs at EMU. ...

University of Massachusetts Boston

Boston, United States

  • 355SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 30,230Average Tuition
  • 70.8%Acceptance Rate

University of Massachusetts-Boston is a public institution that was founded in 1964. The University, also known as UMass Boston, is the third-largest campus in the five-campus University of Massachusetts System. It is the only public University in Boston....

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

Pomona, United States

  • 368SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 35,310Average Tuition
  • 52%Acceptance Rate

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) is a public university in Pomona, California. Cal Poly Pomona offers a wide range of master's degrees through its College of Business Administration; Education and Integrative Studies; Engineering; Environmental Design; Extended University; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Science; Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture; and The Collins College of Hospitality Management. ...

CUNY, City College

New York, United States

  • 436SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,742Average Tuition
  • 34.7%Acceptance Rate

The City College of New York is a multicultural, research-intensive College under the City University of New York (CUNY), with a campus in the heart of New York, USA. The institute offers a wide range of master's degree programs through its various Colleges and schools such as Liberal Arts & Science, Engineering, Education and Architecture....