Sustainable Urban Management, MS

for the degree of Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Management

department head: Rolf Pendall

director of the MUP program: Bumsoo Lee

MUP admissions director: Andrew Greenlee

director of the PhD program: Faranak Miraftab

director of the MSSUM program: Dustin Allred

overview of admissions & requirements:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

department website: Urban + Regional Planning

program website:

department faculty:

college website: College of Fine & Applied Arts

department office: 111 Temple Buell Hall, 611 Taft Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

phone: (217) 333-3890


The Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Management is a full-time degree program designed to be completed in one year providing analytical and strategic skills for professionals to help them manage change in urban areas. All students take core courses in Urban History and Theory and Urban and Regional Analysis. They also take the two-course sequence designed solely for this degree program, Urban Skills and Applications I and II, in which they integrate their skills into an urban systems framework. Students select their specialization courses from one of three areas of study: Regional Systems and Informatics, Energy and Environment, or Governance and Community.

Graduate Degree Programs in Urban Planning

Sustainable Urban Management, MS

Urban Planning, MUP

Regional Planning, PhD

joint programs:

Urban Planning, MUP & Architecture, MARCH

Urban Planning, MUP & Law, JD

Urban Planning, MUP & Landscape Architecture, MLA

                 Urban Planning, MUP & Public Health, MPH

Urban Planning, MUP & any Illinois master's degree in related field

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Urban Planning and Doctor of Philosophy in Regional Planning as well as a Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Management. Students can also apply to obtain a joint degree with another graduate degree simultaneously. The most popular joint degrees are with Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Law and Agricultural and Applied Economics. Joint degrees with any related field are possible. In addition, a small number of the department's Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning (B.A.U.S.P.) students participate in the highly selective 4+1 program to complete the B.A.U.S.P. and M.U.P. in five years.


We welcome applications from people from a wide variety of backgrounds who have demonstrated potential for extraordinary professional achievement. Students seeking a graduate degree in planning come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds. The most frequent are sociology, economics, political science, geography, environmental sciences, architecture, engineering, public administration, urban planning, and public policy, but the natural sciences, humanities, and other fields also provide excellent foundations for graduate study in planning. Prospective students must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 computed from the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and any subsequent graduate study, but the average GPA of admitted students is considerably higher. International applicants must meet additional minimum requirements based on their country of origin, including the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

We place particular emphasis on each applicant's statement of purpose. Applicants should use the statement to convey information about their backgrounds, professional and personal experience, and intellectual perspectives, in the context of articulating why a Master's in Urban Planning or Ph.D. in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois will help them achieve their professional goals. We seek an applicant pool that represents a mix of racial and ethnic populations, a range of social and economic backgrounds, different philosophies and perspectives, and a variety of life experiences. We are especially interested in applicants with professional experience, though that experience need not be in planning or closely related fields.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are admitted when they meet the standards of the Department and have a faculty member prepared to serve as their mentor and, if necessary, primary source of financial support. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Regional Planning should communicate with the Director of the Ph.D. Program and faculty most closely aligned with their interests, in addition to completing the formal application process.

Consult the M.U.P. admissions and Ph.D. admissions web pages for more information.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the doctoral experience in this program and is strongly encouraged for those intending to pursue an academic career.

Faculty Research Interests

The mission of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning is to teach and conduct research to improve understanding of human settlements and of planning situations. The department’s faculty studies the ecological, economic, social, and institutional aspects of urban and regional development, and the theory and practice of planning processes. Planning is viewed as the achievement of outcomes based on interrelated actions over time and space, and close communication and collaboration with a wide range of disciplines and professions is inherent in the department’s approach. The basis of that collaboration is a faculty whose academic training and degrees are in architecture, economics, geography, history, law, political science, regional science, and zoology, in addition to planning. Planning faculty and doctoral students pursue interdisciplinary research and make scholarly contributions to planning and fields closely allied with planning.

Facilities and Resources

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning shares Temple Hoyne Buell Hall (TBH) with the Department of Landscape Architecture and the School of Architecture. The majority of urban planning classes are held in TBH. The department has a 24-hour instructional computing laboratory. Research project and doctoral student workspace is provided in Noble Hall.

The City Planning and Landscape Architecture Reference and Resource Center is located in Funk Library. The planning collection is one of the finest in the world, with books and reports gathered since the collection started over eighty years ago.

Financial Aid

Students compete for departmental and Graduate College fellowships and departmental teaching and research assistantships. Selection is based on the academic achievement and qualifications of the student.

for the degree of Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Management

UP 504Urban History and Theory4
UP 512Urban Skills & Applications I: Colloquium4
UP 505Urban and Regional Analysis4
UP 513Urban Skills & Applications II: Chicago Practicum4
Primary Area of Study: Students will pick one (Regional Systems and Informatics, Energy and Environment, Governance and Community12
Elective Hours4
Total Hours32