Masters in Urban Planning

“The education I received as an SJSU MUP student prepared me to enter the world of planning and land use development. The principles, experiences, and relationships developed during my time at SJSU have transferred globally and helped me grow as a professional and a citizen.”

— Rick Gosalvez      
   Department Alum 

San Jose State University's Urban and Reginal Planning & Development Master's Program was ranked in the top 10 in the West Region by the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs' 7th Edition.


San Jose State University has Silicon Valley's only accredited Master of Urban Planning program. Urban planners work with stakeholders to solve growth and transformation issues. Urban planners tackle complex issues like affordable housing, climate change mitigation, economic development, environmental conservation, public health, and transportation management. Formal and informal institutional frameworks address these issues. For planning issues, the program has extensive partnerships with local communities.

Urban Planning's graduate program attracts a diverse student body, including many non-traditional students who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. The program's main goal is to provide planning education to a wide range of students, including employed part-time students. One of the few fully accredited MUP programs to offer part-time graduate study is ours.

Interested in applying please contact the MUP Graduate Advisor,Professor Rick Kos

Apply now

PAB Accreditation

SJSU's Masters of Urban Planning program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board and has consistently received high praise in their reviews. The Public Information Page provides details on our student assessment processes, tuition and fees, and other performance data required by the PAB. Much of this information can also be found in the program requirements described below and in our Strategic Plan [pdf]

Urban Planning Focus Areas

Our program is designed to prepare skilled professionals grounded in the theories, methods, and techniques of planning in local and state government as well as the private and not-for-profit sectors. MUP students may choose to select courses based on six topical focus areas to gain added expertise in different planning subfields. Each focus area corresponds to one of the six advanced certificates that MUP students may choose to earn on top of their masters degree:

Detailed information on each of these focus areas can be found in the Course Information and Student Resources section of this site.   

MUP Program Requirements:

The program leading to the degree of Master of Urban Planning (MUP) consists of 48 semester units of coursework, normally requiring the equivalent of two years full-time graduate study to complete.  In addition, students without prior planning experience complete a professional work experience requirement.

Core Seminars and Laboratory/Fieldwork Courses

Students take a series of eight required courses (26 units total) that, collectively, provide a comprehensive background in the theories, methods, and practices underpinning contemporary planning practice.

Course descriptions and syllabi can be found on the Course Information and Student Resources page.

Planning Report (Thesis)

While working on their capstone Planning Report, MUP students enroll in URBP 298A (3 units) and 298B (3 units) during the last two semesters of study.  In these classes, students prepare this major research report (our version of a master's thesis), which represents an independent contribution to the field of planning.


MUP students complete a minimum of 16 units of elective courses (typically four, 4-unit courses). Students are encouraged to take at least three from within a single focus area (see above). Electives (upper-division undergraduate or graduate courses) from outside the Urban and Regional Planning Department may be taken, but must first be approved by Dr. Bill Lester, our MUP Graduate Advisor, at this link.

Professional Work Experience 

To graduate, students must have at least 180 hours of professional work experience in urban and regional planning or a closely related field.  Students fulfill the requirement with an internship or professional employment during their time in the program.  (If the student has completed such work on a paid or voluntary basis within five years of entering the program, then additional professional experience is recommended, but not required.  Paperwork confirming the experience must be submitted to the department.)

When students have completed their work experience, they should download the Internship Completion/Professional Work Experience Form [pdf] and ask their supervisor to complete it.  The completed forms should be sent to the Administrative Coordinator of the department.

Visit our career resources page to learn more about finding internships and information about joining our SJSU_UrbanPlanConnect-group (formerly SJSU_MURPs) that distributes information about planning jobs and internships.