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Best 15 Masters in Urban Planning in 2021

September 3, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Urban Planning
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Why Choose a Masters in Urban Planning?

A Masters in Urban Planning teaches students how the planet uses and allocates resources. It may teach design and how to structure areas to work best for its occupants. It may also teach sustainability and about the rising need for more resources around the world or in your own community.

With a Master in Urban Planning, you can become a city manager, public policy worker, nonprofit program manager, an economic development professional, or affordable housing professional. Some people go on to work as architects or with their local city councils.

Top 5 Masters in Urban Planning

Rank School Location
1Westfield State UniversityWestfield, Massachusetts
2Minnesota State UniversityMankato, Minnesota
3Appalachian State UniversityBoone, North Carolina
4CUNY City CollegeNew York City, New York
5The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, North Carolina

Choosing a Masters in Urban Planning

A Masters in Urban Planning provides training to work in urban and regional planning. In 2019, there were approximately 39,700 jobs available. There are expected to be around 4,400 more jobs in the field by 2029, growing by 11% (much faster than average). The average pay in this role is $74,350 annually, which works out to around $35.75 per hour.  

Below are the top 15 schools for a Masters in Urban Planning based on our ranking system. We put these in order from best to worst based on overall tuition rates and enrollment. If you want help finding the right master’s program for your educational needs, contact us so we can help.

The Best 15 Schools for a Masters in Urban Planning

1

Westfield State University

  • Westfield, Massachusetts

At the top of our list is Westfield State University. This university offers a strong program in urban and social justice as well as regional planning. The school tops our list for having reasonable tuition rates and lower enrollment than other options. The school has an Environmental Planning Club and awards scholarships to students in the field each year.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $1,890
Enrollment: 5,795
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2

Minnesota State University

  • Mankato, Minnesota

Minnesota State University offers a Master of Urban and Regional Studies and a Master of the Arts in Urban Planning. This is a two-year program with 33 semester hours.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $7,694
Enrollment: 14,325
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3

Appalachian State University

  • Boone, North Carolina

Appalachian State University offers a non-thesis Master of Geography that has a concentration in urban planning. There is an additional certification available to graduate students as well, so they can get a certificate in planning.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $4,839
Enrollment: 19,280
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4

CUNY City College

  • New York City, New York

CUNY City College offers a Master of Urban Design that students can complete in just two semesters. The program is completed on-site and has students work both in New York and in another city domestically or internationally. Only those with a professional degree in landscape architecture or architecture can enter the program.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $11,090
Enrollment: 15,816
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5

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students can obtain a Master in City and Regional Planning. The program offers internship opportunities and research opportunities for students who are interested. There are also assistantships available that pay $11,100 or more.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $10,552
Enrollment: 29,877
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6

University of Iowa

  • Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa offers an MS in Civil Engineering with a joint MS in Urban and Regional Planning. There are five areas to specialize in with this program, giving students an excellent selection of options for their preferred focus.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $10,079
Enrollment: 31,240
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7

SUNY at Albany

  • Albany, New York

Located in Albany, SUNY offers a Master of Regional Planning that can be completed in two years. Students can opt to specialize in one of three areas including transportation planning, housing and local economic development and community planning, or environmental and land-use planning. This program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $11,310
Enrollment: 17,544
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8

Iowa State University

  • Ames, Iowa

Iowa State University offers a Master of Community and Regional Planning. This program offers five areas of focus to concentrate on, such as environmental planning, social policy, and international planning. The program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $9,758
Enrollment: 33,372
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9

University of Georgia

  • Athens, Georgia

The University of Georgia offers a Master of Environmental Planning and Design. This is a studio-based program focused on environmental principles and planning. The entire program consists of 58 credit hours.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $8,878
Enrollment: 38,920
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10

Texas A&M University in College Station

  • College Station, Texas

The Master of Urban Planning at Texas A&M University is ranked No. 2 (by Planetizen) among the nation’s small planning programs. Their faculty rank in the nation’s top 10% (Acamedic Analytics) for academic productivity of all doctoral-granting planning programs. The program is located in the center of the Texas Urban Triangle, a mega-region encompassing Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio. This is one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, offering a unique living laboratory to generate innovative planning solutions that can be translated globally. Students in the program receive hands-on, high-impact training through a unique service-learning approach.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $6,677
Enrollment: 68,726
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11

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

  • Amherst, Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts, which is located in Amherst, offers a two-year program in regional planning at the master’s level. The program requires students to take studio courses. This program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $14,014
Enrollment: 31,350
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12

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Chicago, Illinois

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a Master in Urban Planning and Policy. Its program is accredited through the Planning Accreditation Board and allows specialization in economic development, spatial planning and design, and other areas.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $13,276
Enrollment: 32,324
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13

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, Florida

The University of Florida offers a Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. This program offers an online option or a combined degree program for undergrads who want to go on to the master’s program during their junior and senior years. Those who want to can also move on to a Ph.D. in Design, Construction and Planning with a concentration giving them a specialization in Urban and Regional Planning.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $10,770
Enrollment: 52,407
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14

Michigan State University

  • East Lansing, Michigan

Located in East Lansing, Michigan, Michigan State University offers a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. Students can opt to specialize in areas such as golf course planning or resource economics.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $18,858
Enrollment: 49,809
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15

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota

The University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities rounds out our list of top 15 schools. It offers a Master of Urban and Regional Planning with the opportunity to go on to a 400-hour professional internship and capstone project.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $17,580
Enrollment: 51,327
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Ranking Specifications

In this article, the schools above were ranked based on overall tuition and enrollment. Those with the lowest enrollment rates and tuition costs were ranked highest. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information, but the results here are not guaranteed and this list may change at any time.

If you have questions about how your school was ranked, we’re more than happy to talk to you about it. If your school is not listed here and you’d like to have it ranked, contact us. We’ll discuss the programs you offer and our services.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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