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Community Planning (CMPL)   

Program Title and Classification

Community Planning

Graduate Degree Program

College: Architecture


The Urban Studies and Planning Program offers graduate study leading to the Master of Community Planning (MCP) degree. (The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, in which the MCP program is located, offers a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning and Design -- see URPD for details). The MCP Program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Dual Masters degrees in Planning and Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation, and Planning and Landscape Architecture are offered. There is a transfer of credit agreement with the School of Law on the Baltimore campus as part of a joint JD and MCP program. There is also a cooperative program with the PhD program in Policy Sciences at the UMBC campus. Entering students have diverse academic backgrounds, such as architecture, fine arts, English, history, business, geography, sociology, economics, and political science. The Program’s faculty specialize in metropolitan and regional planning, housing, transportation planning, environmental and land use planning, social policy, quantitative planning methods, urban design, and economic development planning. Employment opportunities remain strong for graduates in a highly competitive field. The Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region offers diverse employment potential in urban planning and program management in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Admissions Information

General Requirements:

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • CV/Resume

The application process consists of the following:

First, fill out the on-line application for the University of Maryland Graduate School. The administrative code for the Community Planning program is "CMPL."

Second, submit all transcripts, three professional letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, resume, official GRE test scores, and portfolio as part of the application.

All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. There is no restriction on the applicants’ previous field of study, and indeed we encourage diversity in all senses

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website:

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
17 Jan
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
17 Jan

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at

Degree Requirements

Master of Community Planning (M.C.P.)

Total CreditsCore RequirementsSpecialization Options

Non-thesis only (capstone project required): 48 credits

URSP 600: Research Design and Application (3 credits)

URSP 601: Research Methods (3 credits)

URSP 603: Land Use Planning: Concepts and Techniques (3 credits)

URSP 604: The Planning Process (3 credits)

URSP 605: Planning History and Theory (3 credits)

URSP 606: Planning Economics (3 credits)

URSP 673: Social Planning (3 credits) or URSP 688Z: Planning and Design in the Multicultural Metropolis (3 credits)

URSP 688L: Planning Technology (3 credits)

URSP 708: Community Planning Studio (6 credits)

URSP 709: Field Instruction (no credits)

Area of specialization (9 credits)

Electives (9 credits)

Local and Regional Economic Development

Land Use and Environmental Planning

Transportation Planning


Graduation requires satisfactory completion of 48 credits of course work. The 24 credits in core courses introduce students to the foundations of city and regional planning, research methods, planning process, planning history and theory, and the physical and socio-economic functions of cities and regions. Nine additional credits are required for a specialization. Specializations include community development, housing, economic development, international planning, land use / environmental planning, social planning, historic preservation, and transportation planning. A studio and internship are required. Courses are listed under URSP. The MCP program accepts up to nine credits from other graduate programs. Applicants to this program should use the CMPL program code.



Facilities and Special Resources

The University of Maryland is an excellent location for the pursuit of community planning, and graduate students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities. The university is eight miles from the incomparable library and research facilities of Washington, D.C. In the nations’s capital, UMCP graduate students have access to, among other resources, the Library of Congress, the specialized collections of professional associations and international organizations, and agencies at all levels of government. The College Park campus is a 45-minute drive from Baltimore City, whose planning programs have gained national attention. At least two planning studio courses are offered each year, in either Baltimore, the Washington metropolitan area, or an international setting. Baltimore city and Washington, D.C. are ideal laboratories for students interested in research on urban issues and planning.

Urban Studies and Planning is one of five graduate degree programs in the University’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The School administers the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, which involves faculty and graduate students from several campus units in: multi-disciplinary research on the fiscal, environmental and social impacts of alternative development patterns; evaluation of growth management strategies (with a focus on Maryland’s Smart Growth programs); technical assistance to state agencies and local jurisdictions; and training programs for federal program managers and state and local officials.

Financial Assistance

Aside from student loans through the university, MCP students are eligible to apply for graduate assistantships with URSP and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. MCP applicants who are also Peace Corps veterans are eligible to apply for the Shriver Peaceworker fellowship program that is administered by the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Please note that competition is high for these financial awards. The program also maintains a list of internships, and many of our students work in part- or full-time jobs while completing the program. Program classes are scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to accommodate our working students.



Casey Dawkins, Ph.D., Director

School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

University of Maryland

College Park MD, 20742

Telephone: 301-405-6795


Associated Information






Urban Studies; Planning; City and Regional Planning; Land Use Planning; Smart Growth; Growth Management; Housing; Economic Development; Community Development; Social Planning; Neighborhood Revitalization; Neighborhoods; Environmental Planning; Transportation Planning; Urban Design


Architecture (ARCH)