City Planning Program Degree Requirements

Each student must complete an approved program of study consisting of at least 48 units of approved 500-, 600-, and 700-numbered courses, with no more than 9 units of 500-level courses, to include:

  • City Planning 625, Quantitative Techniques in Urban Planning (3)
  • City Planning 630, Seminar in Urban Planning Implementation (3)
  • City Planning 640, Seminar in Urban Planning Theory (3)
  • City Planning 660, City Planning and GIS Applications (3)
  • City Planning 670, History of Urban Planning (3)
  • City Planning 675, Seminar in Environmental Policy and Planning (3)
  • City Planning 690, Seminar in Land Use Planning Principles and Techniques (3)
  • City Planning 695, Computer Applications for Urban Design (New required class effective Fall 2014) (3)
  • City Planning 700, Urban Design and Land Use Planning Studio (3)
  • Nine units of 600- and 700-numbered courses in planning elective courses, readings and research.
  • City Planning 796, Internship in Urban Planning (3-6) Cr/NC
  • Public Administration 604, Methods of Analysis in Public and Urban Affairs (3)
  • Other electives to complete program selected with the approval of advisor.

Students choose between two courses of study:

  1. Students who have approval of the graduate adviser to pursue Plan A must include on their programs City Planning 799A, Thesis.
  2. Students in Plan B are required to pass comprehensive written examinations in four areas of study.

Students need to submit a Master in City Planning Official Program of Study Form in consultation with the graduate advisor. The OPS should be submitted as early as possible but no later than the semester prior to anticipated graduation. The OPS can be submitted following the successful completion of at least 24 units of graduate course work and have at least a 3.0 GPA. With the successful submission and approval of the OPS students will Advance to Candidacy. Students cannot advance to candidacy and graduating in the same semester. You must be advanced to candidacy before you will be allowed to submit your thesis or comprehensive exams.

At least 30 units must be completed in residence at SDSU, and at least 24 units of program courses shall be enrolled in and completed after advancement to candidacy. Not more than a total of nine units in courses 797 and 798 will be accepted for credit toward the degree.

Program Core Courses

The MCP Program core requirements consist of 33-36 units:

PA 604 Methods of Analysis in Public and Urban Affairs (3 units)

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a working knowledge of a variety of quantitative tools and techniques employed in planning analysis. The course is taught from a practical standpoint with emphasis on hypothetical planning problems that the student is likely to encounter as a planning professional. Topics include basic statistics, chi square, analysis of variance, regression analysis, population projection techniques, economic models, and index numbers.

PA 625 Quantitative Techniques in Urban Planning (6 units)

Three lectures and nine hours of laboratory. The prerequisite for this course is PA 604. It is a project-oriented course in which the student is exposed to a variety of alternative philosophies and techniques. The course focuses on the stages of the comprehensive planning process by emphasizing the methods of collecting information, analyzing alternative plans, implementing feasible plans, and evaluating ongoing problems. The course includes the practical application of survey research, the use of the computer in analyzing data, cost/benefit analysis, linear programming, social indicators, systematic analysis, and the public budgeting process.

CP 630 Seminar in Urban Planning Implementation (3 units)

This course covers comprehensive plan making and the general plan as well as growth management techniques and their legal basis. The course also includes traditional planning implementation such as zoning, subdivision regulations, capital programs, taxation policies and other techniques used to implement plans and policies. Historical and contemporary case studies are utilized.

CP 640 Seminar in Urban Planning Theory (3 units)

The prerequisite for this course is CP 630. Planning theory consists of a range of topics dealing with normative, or prescriptive theories of planning, and related readings on the behavior of the planning function in government. Topics consist of epistemic modes of thought and planning, values, ethics, styles, roles, administrative structures, and decision theory. The course is taught in a critical fashion, with various theories such as synoptic, advocacy, transactive, incremental and radical theories treated comparatively and non-didactically. Readings are gleaned from journal articles and other sources, including research of the instructor.

CP 660, City Planning and GIS Applications (3)

ArcGIS mapping software extensively utilized in city planning. Proficiency necessary to use software in professional context for work required by public and/or private sector planning employment.

CP 670 History of Urban Planning (3 units)

This course demonstrates how the evolution of social, economic, and political structure affects urban form. The role of the state in urban and regional planning throughout various historical periods is covered. Also, comparative planning is studied.

CP 675 Seminar in Environmental Policy and Planning (3)

Theoretical elements of environmental policy, sustainability; application to urban planning. Green site planning, urban design, and transportation policy.

CP 690 Seminar in Land Use Planning Principles and Techniques (3 units)

Two lectures and three hours of laboratory. The prerequisite for this course is CP 630. This course is designed to provide students with the experience of developing community plans and policies. Students travel to selected communities, work with local planning personnel and community groups and develop sample community plans. Students are provided information on land-use and physical planning principles and techniques at the regional, community, specific and subdivision planning levels.

CP 695 Computer Applications for Urban Design (3 units)

One lecture and six hours of laboratory. Acquisition of computer graphics skills to successfully communicate urban design ideas and plans. Focus on laboratory work and the production of planning related graphic pieces.

CP 700 Urban Design and Land Use Planning Studio (3 units)

One lecture and ten hours of laboratory. The prerequisite for this course is CP 690. This course is an application of the comprehensive planning process. The following topics are covered: analysis of factors affecting land developability; land use and transportation elements; site planning and design principles; the application of planning implementation techniques; comprehensive plan report writing; and subdivision design and review process.

CP 796 The Internship (3-6 units)

The City Planning internship is considered an important adjunct to the planning student’s instructional program. Each student is required to complete an internship either during the summer or during the regular school year. The internship is closely monitored and directed by a member of the City Planning faculty. Internships may be secured in public or private agencies and they may be served either inside or outside the San Diego region. At the completion of the internship, students are required to prepare a paper in which they describe their work experiences and evaluate this experience in terms of their overall training as a professional. Also, during the course of the year, the faculty Internship Coordinator calls the interns together for purposes of sharing their experiences. Almost all internships are paid. Some of the planning internships have become full-time positions upon the student’s graduation. (See Internship for more details)

Other Graduate City Planning Courses

Graduate MCP students must take an additional 9-12 units of elective courses. With the help of an advisor, students put together a program of study specifically tailored to their needs and professional aspirations.

The MCP Program offers a variety of elective courses that can be taken by students to complete their degrees. These courses include specialized courses in housing policy, readings in urban planning, environmental planning, geographic information systems, urban transportation planning, theories of urban design, land use and environmental law, planning graphics, and independent research in urban planning. Students are also encouraged to take elective courses within the School of Public Affairs such as the management of urban governments, public financial administration, and decision making in the urban community. The following are elective courses in the MCP Program:

CP 635 Seminar in Housing and Housing Policy (3)

Study, definition and analysis of housing needs and problems. Public policies and programs addressed to housing issues. Alternative solutions and the role of the private and public sectors.

CP 665 Seminar in Urban and Regional Planning Analysis (3)

Theories and techniques of urban and regional planning analysis.

CP 710 Seminar in Theories of Urban Design (3)

Perspectives and methodologies of contemporary urban design and its contribution toward improving the quality of the physical, social and economic environment.

CP 730 Seminar in Urban Transportation Planning (3)


Issues, techniques and practices in urban transportation planning with general emphasis on interrelations between transportation and land use planning.

CP 797 Research in Urban Planning (3) Cr/NC/RP

The prerequisite recommended is the consent of MCP Coordinator. Research in one of the areas of urban planning. See class Schedule for specific content. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.

CP 798 Special Study (1-3) Cr/NC/RP

The prerequisite recommended is the consent of an individual MCP faculty member. The subject of study is to be arranged with the MCP Coordinator and the appropriate faculty member. Individual study. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.

CP 799A Thesis (3) Cr/NC/RP

Prerequisites: An officially approved thesis committee and advancement to candidacy. Preparation of a project or thesis for the master’s degree.

CP 799B Thesis Extension (0) Cr/NC

Prerequisite: Prior registration in Thesis 799A with an assigned symbol of SP. Registration required in any semester or term following assignment of SP in CP 799A in which student expects to use the facilities and resources of tecific area of planning. However, over the years students, with the assistance of the MCP Program faculty, have identified several areas of specialization within the MCP Program: generalist, urban design, transportation, housing and community development, and environmental policy and planning. With the assistance of the Faculty Advisor, students can construct a program of study with elective courses both within the School of Public Administration and Urban Studies and in related departments. These specializations seek to take advantage of the professional strengths and talents of the School and Program Faculty.

Generalist

  • CP 665 Seminar in Urban and Regional Planning Analysis
  • CP 710 Seminar in Theories of Urban Design
  • CP 730 Seminar in Transportation Planning Analysis
  • FIN 783 Seminar in Real Estate Investment/Development
  • GEOG 554 World Cities
  • Geog 572 Land Use Analysis
  • Geog 584 Geographic Information Systems Application
  • PA 512 The Metropolitan Scene
  • PA 520 Decision Making in the Urban Community
  • PA 530 Negotiation and Bargaining in the Public Service
  • PA 650 Seminar in Public Financial Management
  • PA 660 Administration and Public Policy Development

Urban Design

  • CP 710 Seminar in Theories of Urban Design
  • GEOG 554 World Cities
  • Art 577 History of Architecture
  • Art 650 Creative Environmental Design

Transportation

  • CIV E 621 Transportation Demand Analysis
  • CIV E 622 Mass Transit Engineering
  • CP 730 Seminar in Urban Transportation Planning
  • PA 650 Seminar in Public Financial Management

Housing and Community Development

  • CP 635 Seminar in Housing and Housing Policy
  • CP 665 Urban and Regional Planning Analysis
  • CP 710 Seminar in Theories of Urban Design
  • Econ 710 Seminar in Urban and Regional Analysis
  • FIN 783 Seminar in Real Estate Investment and Dev.
  • PA 530 Negotiation and Bargaining in the Public Service
  • PA 540 Public Administration System Analysis
  • PA 620 Seminar in the Management of Urban Government
  • PA 650 Seminar in Public Financial Management

Environmental and Policy Planning

  • Econ 710 Seminar in Environmental Issues
  • Geog 570 Environmental Resource Conservation
  • Geog 572 Land Use Analysis

Graduating from the MCP Program

In order to graduate from the MCP program students will need to:

Additional graduate program forms required can be found at the Graduate Affairs Website.

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