City Planning Program Overview

students studying
The Master of City Planning (MCP) Program was inaugurated in the Fall of 1968 under the auspices of the formerly named School of Public Administration and Urban Studies in the College of Professional Studies. Since 1970, the program has graduated over 300 students who have secured responsible positions in planning agencies at all levels of government, in private and public institutions concerned with planning and urban affairs, and in academic and research institutions. (Past Positions Held By MCP Program Graduates) A number of graduates have proceeded to doctoral programs at such schools as the University of Washington and the University of California, Los Angeles.

The MCP Program has attracted students from all geographic regions of the country, and from a number of noted schools across the nation, including Stanford, Yale, Syracuse, Colorado State, NYU, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, Columbia, and the University of California. Its students have also come from a wide variety of undergraduate majors—principally from economics, geography, sociology, political science and urban studies, but also from philosophy, psychology, the arts, biology, and engineering, among other majors. This diversity reflect our philosophy that the student body and curricular offerings are enriched by a wide diversity of students from different academic backgrounds and locales.

The MCP Program is designed to provide the students with the generalized skills and experience necessary to approach creatively and professionally the process and problems of urban and regional planning. A generalist background is provided by stressing a theoretical and historical understanding, critical thinking and technical and methodological skills. While providing for a common core of courses, the program optimizes the opportunity for students to adapt the field to their personal values, aspirations, talents and career orientations. Accordingly, the students are encouraged to pursue personal and special interests through course offerings from a variety of other departments in the University, through special studies courses, and the planning internship. The MCP Program is highly integrated into San Diego’s professional public, private, and non-profit sectors. It is felt that participation by students and faculty in ongoing planning concerns and local issues is critically important to the learning experience.

The program fosters a non-competitive, mutual learning, participatory experience in which students are committed to the norms of academic excellence, sound professional preparation, and devotion to public service. Graduates of the planning program are trained to become active and competitive participants in various facets of the planning field. It is ensured that students receive a general urban planning education which enables them to secure responsible positions throughout the San Diego region, throughout California, and elsewhere in the United States. Students obtain specific marketable skills in design, quantitative techniques, and economic analysis which the professional community finds very useful. Students also receive a thorough understanding of fiscal affairs and intergovernmental relations since their work will most likely be in a public agency or will in some way interface with the public sector. This education and training is designed to be transferable to all sections of the economy. For example, our graduates have chosen to participate in academia, industry, private consulting, nonprofit community development organizations, and real estate development.


STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND DATA

Download a printable pdf of the below Student Achievement and data charts

Summary of SDSU MCP Alumni Opinions on Preparation Received in the Program - MCP Alumni Survey June 2017

             
Presentation TopicStrongly AgreeAgreeDisagreeStrongly DisagreeTotal Responses
                                                                                                                                           
SDSU’s MCP program prepared me to understand the economic, social, and cultural factors in city and regional growth and change.34.62%
18
65.38%
34
0.00%
0
0.00%
0
52
SDSU’s MCP program prepared me for understanding issues of equity and social justice. 26.92%
14
57.59%
30
15.38%
8
0.00%
0
52
SDSU’s MCP program helped me to develop specialized planning skills and knowledge related to, for example, transportation, housing, urban design or the environment.32.69%
17
53.85%
28
13.46%
7
0.00%
0
52
SDSU’s MCP program prepared me to develop clear accurate and compelling text, graphic and maps.23.08%
12
50.00%
26
23.08%
12
3.85%
2
52
SDSU’s MCP program prepared me to assemble and analyze ideas and information from diverse sources.35.29%
18
56.96%
29
7.84%
4
0.00%
0
51
SDSU’s MCP program prepared me to analyze data, both quantitatively and qualitatively.41.18%
21
47.06%
24
9.80%
5
1.96%
1
51
My SDSU MCP education helped me build skills to create and implement sound plans.31.37%
16
60.78%
31
5.89%
3
1.96%
1
51
My SDSU MCP education helped me build skills to involve stakeholders, engage the community, and work with diverse communities.25.49%
13
58.82%
30
13.73%
7
1.96%
1
51
SDSU’s MCP program provided me the opportunity to gain on-the-job training through internships that strengthened in-class learning.46.00%
23
26.00%
18
14.00%
7
4.00%
2
50
My SDSU MCP education gave me and appreciation of key ethical issues in planning and public decision-making.21.57%
11
76.47%
39
1.96%
1
0.00%
0
51

COST:  Tuition and fees for a full-time student for one academic year

         
Graduate California ResidentsGraduate Nonresident Out-of-State
                               
Basic Tuition and Fees*$8,894$8,894
Nonresident Tuition-$7,128
Estimated Off Campus Food and Housing$14,168$14,168
Total***$23,062$30,190

MASTER OF CITY PLANNING STUDENT RETENTION RATES

                 
Academic Year2010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-16
                               
Retention Rate: Full-time*22
(88%)
10
(91%)
8
(89%)
14
(88%)
11
(79%)
11
(100%)
Retention Rate: Part-time*2
(67%)
4
(100%)
2
(100%)
4
(80%)
1
(100%)
5
(100%)

*Retention rate is calculated for graduate students as the percentage of first-year students who return in the 2nd year. 

MASTER OF CITY PLANNING STUDENT GRADUATION RATES

                 
Academic Year2010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-16
                                                                                                                                               
# New Students admitted who Enrolled: Full-time*25119161411
# New Students admitted who Enrolled: Part-time*342515
Graduation Rates
Graduation Rate - 2 year: Full-time1610599
Graduation Rate - 2 year: Part-time0001
Graduation Rate - 3 year: Full-time1910814
Graduation Rate - 3 year: Part-time0002
Graduation Rate - 4 year: Full-time22109
Graduation Rate - 4 year: Part-time112

Note: Fulltime and part-time status are identified with the initial cohort being tracked.  Graduation is counted as of the end of the academic year.  For example, students in the fall 2010-11 new student cohort who graduate by the end of the 2011-12 year (as late as summer term 2011) are considered 2-year graduates.

AICP EXAM DATA

AICP PASS RATE:  The percentage, based on the number who take it, of master’s graduates who pass the AICP exam within 5 years of graduation, and/or the bachelor’s graduates who pass the AICP exam within 7 years of graduation.

             
Graduating Years EndingMay 2005May 2006May 2007May 2009May 2011
                                 
Master’s program graduates who take the exam within 5 years of graduation
# Who take exam94231
% of takers who pass the exam5/9
(55%)
4
(100%)
2
(100%)
1
(33%)
1
(100%)3

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT DATA

The 2017 MCP Alumni Survey showed that our students are well-employed in the planning field, with just over 85% of alumni reporting being employed.  Approximately 40% are employed in local government, 10% in state or federal government, 35% for private consulting firms, about 2% with non-profits, and the remainder are unemployed.

             
Graduating Years EndingBefore 2013*May 2013May 2014May 2015May 2016
                                                                                                                                                     
Graduates employed within 1 year of graduation in a professional planning or planning-related jobNumber301071112
Percent75%63%70%73%65%
Graduates who pursue further education within 1 year of graduationNumber20000
Percent5%0%0%0%0%
Graduates not employed in planning or planning-related jobs or unemployed within 1 year of graduationNumber42200
Percent10%13%20%0%0%
Graduates with unknown employment statusNumber44145
Percent10%24%10%27%35%
TotalNumber4016101517
Percent100%100%100%100%100%

* The employment data for graduates from 2012 and prior is a sample obtained from responses to the 2017 MCP Alumni Survey.