Master of City & Regional Planning

The Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) degree is awarded after the successful completion of 48 semester hours. The MCRP degree establishes credentials for certified planning practice and is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB).

Degree Requirements

The 48-hour program of study is divided into three parts as follows:

Core Curriculum (24 hours):

These courses are required of all students in the program and provide knowledge and skills essential to the discipline. With previous training or experience, credit by examination can be given for a portion of the required courses.

Focused Electives (18-21 hours):

A bundle of electives provide the student with a sequence of special interest courses chosen from throughout the University. The 18 hours of electives allow the student to extend basic knowledge gained in the core curriculum and can include such subjects as economic development planning, urban design, land use and transportation planning, planning information systems, housing and community development planning, planning law, environmental planning, etc. Electives are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Terminal Project Requirement  (3 or 6 hours):

Students have two options for meeting the Terminal Project requirement: an individual capstone research option or a group studio option.

  • Terminal Project Option 1. Students who wish to pursue individual research can complete a 3-hour Capstone Project, submitted as a written report and orally defended, as a terminal experience designed to demonstrate mastery of planning process and substance.
  • Terminal Project Option 2. Students seeking more community engagement opportunities and experience in field-work and group development of planning policies and interventions can complete two additional studio courses for a total of six (6) hours from among PLAN 6801 Design Collaborative Studio or PLAN 7007 Project Planning Studio.

A comprehensive examination must be successfully completed by the end of the semester in which the student expects to graduate.

Sequence of Courses

The sequence of courses is designed so that a student may be admitted to the program during either the fall or spring semester. A full-time student enrolls in 12 hours of course work during each semester. A majority of the core courses are offered during the first year to provide a basis for second year electives. The second year Comprehensive Planning Studio (7006) is a workshop course for the application of basic principles learned during the first year. The typical sequence of courses for a full-time student who starts the program in the fall semester is outlined below:

Fall - 1st Year

Planning the American City (7000)
Analysis for Community Planning (7012) 
Site Planning (7008)
Land Use Controls (7004)

Planning Innovations Technology Lab*

Spring - 1st Year

Land Use Planning (7202)
Planning and the Metro Economy (7011) 
Planning Theory and Perspectives (7002)

Fall - 2nd Year

Comprehensive Planning Studio (7006)
Elective or Studio

Spring - 2nd Year

Capstone Project or Studio

*Planning Innovations Technology Lab

Participation in the Planning Innovations Technology (PIT) lab is a common requirement for all first-year fall core courses. PIT lab sessions are designed to incorporate the development of technology-based skills sets into the curriculum. These 3-hour sessions are held on Friday afternoons. Full-time students participate in common weekly PIT lab sessions during the fall of the first-year. Part time students are required to participate in selected PIT lab sessions.


The Planning Program at The University of Memphis offers a wide range of elective courses:

Urbanization and Environment (6201)

Community Economic Development

Community Organizing

Urban Food Systems

Planning Sustainable Cities & Regions (6261)

Water Resources (6231)

Transportation Planning (6443)

Geographic Information Science (6515)

Regional Planning (7101)

Community Facilities Planning (7201)

Urban Revitalization Planning (7204)

Seminar in Urban Design (7205)

Housing (7206)

Economics of Cities (7208)

Geographic Environmental Analysis (7302)

Seminar in Geographic Information Systems (7504)

Research Problems Seminar (7710)

Planning Practice (7708)

In addition to planning electives, other departments have courses regularly recommended for planning students. Some of these include Anthropology, Civil Engineering, Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography, Health Administration, Political Science, Public Administration, Real Estate, and Sociology.