Master of Community and Regional Planning Program

Degree Requirements | Required Courses | Field of Interest | Sample Curriculum Outline

  • Priority Application Deadline: February 1. Visit the apply page for more information.
  • Questions: Contact Bob Choquette ( with questions about admissions procedures and Professor Rich Margerum (, program director of the Community and Regional Planning Program, with questions about the MCRP curriculum.

The MCRP degree program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.
Learn more: Public Information on Program Performance

Degree Overview

The Master of Community and Regional Planning (CRP) program trains policy-oriented planners for leadership positions in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Our program is ideal for students seeking a challenging education with a strong emphasis on applied learning. Our program is flexible, allowing students to develop a focus based on their career goals or pursue a joint degree in programs such as Environmental Studies, Law, Business, Landscape Architecture or Public Administration.

Our CRP program is a professionally accredited master's program that has awarded degrees in planning since 1968. The progressive planning and environmental programs of the State of Oregon and the applied, problem-solving orientation of the CRP program attract an increasing number of students from the U.S. and the Pacific Basin. Our two-year degree program enrolls approximately 25-30 students each year.

Unique Aspects of the Program

Here are some of the many reasons students choose to study planning at the University of Oregon. Each year we survey first and second year students about the program, and these are their highlights:

  • Experiential learning: Our coursework, faculty and alumni create extensive opportunities to learn about planning issues "on the ground." This is highlighted by the award-winning Community Planning Workshop (CPW) in which students work for real projects with paying clients.
  • Strong community: The PPPM students are leaders and active participants in the governance of PPPM. Starting with the fall retreat, students work to build a community of colleagues through social events, field trips and other activities.
  • Nationally ranked program: A national study of planning programs rated the University of Oregon 5th in terms of faculty publications. PPPM is small, with faculty dedicated to teaching and engaged in innovative research. Faculty are friendly and accessible, and often work with masters students to conduct research and co-author articles.
  • Flexible curriculum: The CRP program offers flexibility, allowing you to choose electives that suit your background and career goals. You can also obtain concurrent degrees with several departments or pursue a Graduate Certificate that serves as a concentration and a second qualification.
  • The School: The School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) has a national reputation for scholarship, excellence in education, and strong professional connections. PPPM is both an academic home and a community of students, professors, staff and alumni. This is best characterized by our orientation for incoming students at a retreat center in the Cascade Mountains. The students are key to this community through student-run organizations, social events, and activities. We are supported by a dedicated group of alumni, who provide strong links with the professional community.
  • Applied Learning Opportunities: Our program emphasizes an education that builds both conceptual skills and applied learning in all of their classes. But we do more than just offer applied examples–we do real work in real communities:
    • Community Planning Workshop (CPW) is cited by students as one of their educational highlights. All accredited planning programs require an experiential component, but CPW goes one step further. As a first year student, you will work on a range of projects supervised by experienced CPW planning professionals. These projects are for paying clients. You and your team will engage in "real world" experience working with the clients, conducting surveys and running focus groups or meetings.
    • Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) is a cross-campus consortium of faculty who want to improve how cities are built and function. Several MCRP courses are engaged with the Sustainable City Year (SCY) program where courses from ten different disciplines work on projects nominated by city staff, who also visit with classes and host meetings with community members.
  • Cross-disciplinary: We maintain strong ties to programs across the campus, including:
    • Historic preservation
    • Landscape architecture
    • Architecture
    • environmental studies
    • International studies
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • Sociology
    • Political science
    • The School of Law and Colleges of Business and Education also provide course work and research opportunities important to the professional career preparation of planning students.
  • Research Opportunities: Our CRP program offers you a range of opportunities to become involved in cutting edge research, and be paid through assistantships or summer internships.

Resources include:

The Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE) conducts applied research in conjunction with its mission to assist Oregon communities through planning and technical assistance.

Programs include:

Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) engages you in interdisciplinary research at all levels to balance economic development, environmental sustainability, and policy-relevant research.


    Degree Requirements (72 Credits)

    CRP delivers a broad based curriculum that provides students with theoretical foundations and applied problem-solving skills to plan for a sustainable future. A total of 72 credit hours is required.

    • Core courses: 33 credits
    • Experiential Learning: 11 credits
    • Field of Interest: 22 credits
    • Synthesis: 4 credits

    Required Courses

    Core Courses (33 credits)

    • PPPM 534 or 508, Urban GIS / Advanced GIS (4 credits)
    • PPPM 611 Introduction to Planning Practice (4 credits)
    • PPPM 612 Legal Issues in Planning (4 credits)
    • PPPM 613 Planning Analysis I (5 credits)*
    • PPPM 616 Planning Theory and Ethics (4 credits)
    • PPPM 617 Human Settlements (4 credits)
    • PPPM 610 Research Skills (2 credits)
    • PPPM 610 Research Design (1 credit)
    • PPPM 610 Professional Project Colloquium (1 credit)

    Plus one of the following classes addressing design/land use (4 credits):

    • PPPM 610 Land Use Policy
    • PPPM 610 Growth Management

    *You must complete the equivalent of an advanced undergraduate or graduate-level introductory course in statistics as a pre- or co-requisite to Planning Analysis. No credit toward the M.C.R.P. degree is allowed for the statistics course, and the requirement is waived if you have taken equivalent courses or have work experience. We urge you to satisfy this requirement before enrolling in the program.

    Experiential Learning (11 credits)

    • PPPM 623 Professional Development (1 credit)
    • PPPM 625 & 626 Community Planning Workshop (2 terms required, 10 credits)

    Field of Interest (22 credits)

    As a planning student, you will select a set of courses in consultation with your advisor that focuses elective work in an area of special interest. This focal area consists of at least 14–19 credits, depending on whether you do a thesis or professional project. PPPM is particularly strong in the following:

    • Community Development
    • Land Use and Built Environment
    • Environmental Planning
    • Public Involvement
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Public Policy
    • Sustainable Cities
    • Sustainable Transportation
    • Ecological Design
    • Arts and Cultural Leadership 

    Synthesis (4 credits)

    The synthesis requires you to conduct an original investigation of a practice-based issue or research question. This provides an opportunity to explore in-depth and gain skills in research, analysis, and writing. Most students interested in a professional career choose a Professional Project (currently titled Terminal Project), but a research advisor can help make the final decision.

    • PPPM 609 Terminal Project (2 terms required, total minimum 4 credits)

    See also: Graduate School Summary of Master's Degree Minimum Requirements


    Sample Curriculum Outline

    Fall Term, First Year

    14 Credits

    611 Intro to Planning Practice (Core)
    4 Credits
    613 Planning Analysis I (Core)
    5 Credits
    617 Human Settlements (Core)
    4 Credits

    623 Professional Development (Experiential Learning)

    1 Credit

    Winter Term, First Year

    9-17 Credits

    534 Urban GIS (CORE), or spring advanced
    4 Credits
    610 Research Skills
    2 Credits
    625 Community Planning Workshop (Experiential Learning)
    5 Credits

    Option: Land Use Requirement (Core)

    4 Credits

    Option: Elective (Synthesis/Field of Interest)

    4 Credits

    Spring Term, First Year

    9-17 Credits

    610 Research Design (Core)

    2 Credits

    626 Community Planning Workshop (Experiential Learning)

    5 Credits

    Option: 508 Advanced GIS (Core)

    4 Credits

    Option: 540 or 542 Land Use Requirement (Core)

    4 Credits

    Fall Term, Second Year

    12 Credits

    616 Planning Theory & Ethics (Core)
    4 Credits
    610 Professional Project Colloquium (Core)

    2 Credits

    Elective (Synthesis/Field of Interest)

    4 Credits

    Winter Term, Second Year

    9 Credits

    612 Legal Issues in Planning (Core)
    4 Credits
    609 Terminal Project (Synthesis/Field of Interest)
    1 Credits
    Elective (Synthesis/Field of Interest)

    4 Credits

    Spring Term, Second Year

    10 Credits

    609 Terminal Project (Synthesis/Field of Interest)
    3 Credits
    Elective (Synthesis/Field of Interest)
    7 Credits

    Careers in Planning

    Our students graduate with a broad-based planning education that provides a range of employment opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Examples of graduate careers include:

    Public sector jobs
    (local, state and federal):
    • Local government land use planner
    • Community development director
    • Social services staff
    • Impact assessment specialist
    • Environmental planner
    • Emergency services director

    Private sector employers:

    • Planning consultant firms
    • Private developers
    • Utility companies

    Nonprofit and
    research employers:

    • Sustainable business organizations
    • Economic development corporations
    • Advocacy groups
    • Political associations
    • State research bureaus

    Internships and Career Support

    Although internships are not required for the MCRP, we encourage you to gain experience outside of the classroom.

    • The PPPM Internship Program offers an array of career and professional development services. The internship director provides:

      • individual consultations
      • classroom instruction
      • resume and cover letter reviews
      • mock interviews
      • announcements of internships
    • UO Career Center offers a range of internship and job search support services. Located upstairs from PPPM, the Career Center maintains databases and offers job search support and one-on-one consultation.