Urban and Environmental Planning, MUEP
Accelerated Program Concurrent Program

The MUEP is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. It is a transdisciplinary, professional degree designed to prepare students for leadership roles in planning in the public and private sectors. The curriculum includes a common core of required courses which provide linkage between knowledge and practice and fundamental theories and skills.

As active scholars and teachers in an accredited planning program, our faculty have a wide range of interests and expertise, including in the areas of:

  • climate change
  • disasters and resilience
  • environmental planning
  • housing and community development
  • infrastructure planning
  • international development
  • public engagement
  • the sharing economy
  • smart cities
  • social equity
  • sustainability
  • transportation and land use

 Faculty research and teaching interests especially focus on the following broad interdisciplinary themes:

  • City Building and Urban Structure
  • Environmental and Resiliency Planning
  • Spatial Analytics and Smart Cities
  • Housing, Neighborhoods, and Community Development
  • Transportation Planning and Policy

The master's degree program in urban and environmental planning offers a unique opportunity to integrate urban and environmental aspects of planning in a rapidly developing metropolitan area. Individual practical experience in planning is provided through an optional internship program and applied research. In addition to the planning faculty, the program is enriched by the transdisciplinary participation of faculty from other academic units of the university and leading planning practitioners from the Phoenix area.

Application Process:

To apply to the Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program next fall, complete the Graduate Admissions online application beginning September 1.  As a part of the application you will submit:

In addition, you be asked to submit your Official Transcripts, email addresses for Letters of Recommendation, GRE and English proficiency (non-native English speakers)

  • Official transcript(s) documenting successful completion of a Bachelors' Degree and/or a Master's Degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale). ASU accepts both electronic and physical transcripts.  Electronic transcripts are only accepted from E-Scrip, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse and must be sent to gradtranscripts@asu.edu. Hard copy transcripts should be sent to the address below.
  • Letters of Recommendation. You will be asked to provide email addresses for three letters of recommendation. The recommenders should be from academic professionals or professional colleagues capable of evaluating your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential. We will contact your recommenders at the email address provided. See FAQ for more details.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores should be submitted to the ASU Graduate Admissions Office by using the University Number #4007. This scores are not needed at the time of application, but are needed to evaluate you for admission.
  • If English is not your native language, provide scores for one of the following:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - minimum score of 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT). TOEFL scores need to be reported electronically by the ETS. 4007 is the institution code for Arizona State University (dept code 99). For more information, visit the TOEFL website, http://www.toefl.org.
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no individual band below a 6.0.
    • If you have additional questions related to English proficiency, please see the Office of Graduate College English Proficiency page for more detailed information.


The priority deadline for submitting your application is January 15. All application materials must be received on or before this date to be considered for fall admission. Please allow enough time to obtain the relevant test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. 

Applications received after January 15 will be considered on a rolling basis until the program is full.

For additional questions about admission, please see our MUEP FAQ page.

Send any documents that may not be uploaded to either of the addresses below:

If sending by FedEx, DHL or UPS: Graduate Admission Services
Arizona State University
1151 S. Forest Avenue, #SSV112
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112
If sending by U.S. mail: Arizona State University
Graduate Admission Services
PO Box 870112
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112


Required Coursework

The MUEP curriculum includes 47 credit hours of coursework. The courses are distributed as follows:

Course Title Credits
PUP 501 Planning History and Theory 3.0
PUP 520 Planning Practice, Ethics & Processes 3.0
PUP 571 Socio-Economic Impact Analysis 3.0
PUP 531 Planning & Development Control Law 3.0
PUP 544 Urban Land Use Planning 3.0
PUP 576 * GIS Workshop for Planners 3.0
PUP 642 Urban and Regional Land Economics 3.0
PUP 580/593/599 Culminating Experience (choose one) 5.0 or 6.0
Total Core (Required) Credit Hours 26.0 or 27.0
Total Elective Credit Hours 21.0
Total Credit Hours Required for Urban and Environmental Planning (MUEP) 47.0
* PUP 576 may be waived with ample GIS experience.

In addition, successful completion of an approved statistics course, if not achieved by the student as an undergraduate, will be considered a deficiency that must be completed before entry into the program.

To see the variety of urban and environmental planning courses offered at ASU, visit the online catalog.  Search for courses with the prefix PUP.

Plan of Study Worksheet

The Plan of Study Worksheet lists all core courses and presents a suggested course sequence that allows a student to graduate within 2 years.

Thesis and Applied Project

Students doing a Thesis or Applied Project are required to have a committee to provide guidance.  The committee will be comprised of a chair and at least two members.  All members must be approved by the student's committee chair, and the committee must approve the thesis or project prior to its commencement. 

Guidelines for PUP 584 Internship

Apply for a TA position

To learn about TA positions and how to apply for one, see Apply for a TA position.

More information

For more details about program requirements, as well as school policies and resources available to graduate students, see the SGSUP Graduate Programs Handbook.  


Navigate your world

Marking up a map

Have you ever wanted to make your community a better place? Have you ever visited a vibrant community and wondered how you could reshape your own city or neighborhood to have better public transportation, access to healthy food, or a thriving local economy? These are just some of the issues urban planners tackle. Urban planners help people envision better communities and realize those futures.

The MUEP program’s mission is to serve the planning profession and the public good by advancing knowledge and preparing students to assume leadership roles to foster inclusive, equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities, cities, and regions. Our interdisciplinary faculty– scholars in environmental planning, housing and community development, smart cities, urban spatial structure, and transportation planning– help prepare masters and doctoral degree students to address increasingly complex societal changes.

MUEP courses focus on five interest areas that we call ‘topical areas.’ They are detailed here.

City Building and Urban Structure

City building and urban structure focuses on how cities are built in the context of metropolitan spatial structure and land use. Students are introduced to public and private actors that influence urban development, as well as the varying roles that planners play across nations and cities. Courses discuss different theories that explain city and regional structure, land use, and development performance. Furthermore, students explore the drivers of urban structure, such as regional economic forces, consumer preferences, and topography. Students become familiar with the metrics that describe urban structure, as well as policies, programs, and instruments to shape cities, such as land use regulations, project feasibility, evaluation, and impact assessment, economic incentives, and infrastructure planning and investment. City building is surveyed through comparative analyses of North American cities and global city regions.

Faculty: David King, Douglas Webster, Joochul Kim, Deborah Salon

Environmental and Resiliency Planning

Environmental and resiliency planning teaches students how to engage in sustainability practices in cities. Resiliency planning is a process to reduce the stress on human–environmental systems so they can bounce back after disasters and strengthen systems so future impacts are less and manageable. Courses in this topical area examine how planning can respond to problems in the local and regional environment, such as air pollution, hazardous waste disposal and associated brownfields, and toxics buildup. Students learn how to mitigate and resolve these problems through regulations and other actions and address social justice and equity issues arising from food deserts, urban connectivity, and heat island disparities. This topical area also focuses on larger regional issues of conservation, floodplain management, water resources, ecosystem services, and disaster prevention, remediation, and resiliency.

Faculty: David Pijawka, Jason Kelley, Sara Meerow, Deborah Salon, Kelli Larson

Housing, Neighborhoods, and Community Development

Housing, neighborhoods, and community development focuses on the most intimate settings of life—one’s home and neighborhood. Housing is a basic need, a form of self-expression, and a source of wealth. Housing is also a point of access to a broader neighborhood, which has particular jobs, schools, grocery stores, social activities, and parks. Neighborhoods differ widely in their amenities, resources, and conditions, and each of these have tremendous implications on residents’ life outcomes. Housing, neighborhoods, and community development is concerned with understanding current trends and working towards three overarching goals: remedying disparities in conditions; ensuring that diverse groups of people have the ability to live in places where they can thrive; and empowering people to shape planning decisions that affect their communities.

Faculty: Deirdre Pfeiffer, Meagan Ehlenz, Joochul Kim, David Pijawka, Bjoern Hagen, Kevin McHugh

Spatial Analytics and Smart Cities             

Spatial analytics and smart cities teaches students how to leverage geospatial data and technology to visualize, monitor, and manage cities. Skills in Geographic Information Science and geospatial data analytics offer students market-ready tools for turning novel sources of spatial data into informed planning practice and prepare students to address issues such as climate change, population growth and aging, and active transportation. SGSUP offers an interdisciplinary Graduate Geographic Information Science Certificate for graduate students from all disciplines and GIS professionals, which allows for concentrated study of spatial analysis and modeling. Students are also encouraged to get involved with the Spatial Analysis Research Center (SPARC), which focuses on developing and applying novel geospatial approaches.

Faculty: Stewart Fotheringham, Soe Myint, Wenwen Li, Daoqin Tong, Trisalyn Nelson

Transportation Planning and Policy

Transportation planning and policy focuses on transportation systems from a multimodal and interdisciplinary perspective. Students gain expertise on issues such as land use, public health, economic development, our environment, and the transition to sustainable transportation. SGSUP offers an interdisciplinary Graduate Transportation Certificate for master’s students or current transportation professionals, which allows for concentrated study of transportation systems. Other opportunities include TransportLab, a working group of faculty and graduate students that meets weekly during the academic year to share ongoing research progress and to discuss major new findings from industry literature, and Teaching Old Models New Tricks (TOMNET), a multi-institution Tier 1 University Transportation Center, which focuses on travel behavior modeling.

Faculty: Michael Kuby, Deborah Salon, David King, Jason Kelley, Daoqin Tong, Trisalyn Nelson


Photo by Ryan Scherzinger (CC BY-NC 4.0). Copyright 2016 American Planning Association.

The Planning Accreditation Board, which oversees accreditation for all planning degree programs in North America, mandates that all accredited Planning programs publish specified program information. Additionally, each university is to highlight their program's performance indicators and detail the current achievement of those goals. We hope you find this information useful in deciding whether our graduate program is a good fit for you. Additionally, you can view our Strategic Plan. The Planning Accreditation Board requires this information be posted for the Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning program:


Student achievement as determined by the program:

The Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning program assesses student achievement based on 5 indicators:

Areas of achievement and expected outcomes
Fall 2015 - Spring 2017
Integrated knowledge of urban systems, processes & skills in planning applications
80% will perform at or above mastery based on final grade in PUP 501 Planning History & Theory
80% will perform at or above mastery based on final project  in PUP 580 Planning Capstone Workshop
Mastery of advanced methods for planning applications
80% will perform at or above mastery based on final grade in PUP 571 Socio-Economic Impact Analysis
80% will perform at or above mastery based on final grade in PUP 576 GIS for Planners
Experienced exposure to external/real world perspective
80% will perform at or above mastery based on final project  in PUP 580 Planning Capstone Workshop
Participation  in internship/mentoring
40% of graduating students will have completed an internship while in the program
80% of enrolled students will participate in the Professional Mentoring Program
Achieved proficiency in knowledge and application of planning ethics, processes and practice
80% will perform at or above mastery based on final grade in PUP 520 Planning Practice, Ethics and Processes


2017-2018 Academic Year
*Costs are estimated based on enrollment in a minimum of 12.0 credits in fall and spring semesters. For the most up-to-date information, see the ASU Tuition Estimator.


Student Retention Rate

The retention rate is the percentage of first-year students who return the next academic year.

Academic year
First-year enrolled students
Retention rate
2016-2017 21 95%
2015-2016 22 100%
2014-2015 28 79%


Student Graduation Rate

The graduation rate is the percentage of students who graduate within 4 years of enrolling.

Academic year
Graduation rate
2016-2017 100%
2015-2016 100%
2014-2015 79%


Number of MUEP Degrees Awarded

Academic year
Degrees awarded
2016-2017 26
2015-2016 27
2014-2015 25


AICP Exam Pass Rate

To become a certified planner, members of the American Planning Association (APA) must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Exam.

Pass rate for MUEP graduates who pass the examination within 3 years of graduation.

Graduation year
Planners taking exam
Pass rate


Percent of graduates obtaining full-time planning or planning-related employment within 12 months of graduation.

Graduation Year

Graduates employed within 1 year of graduation in a professional planning job

Graduates employed within 1 year of graduation in a planning-related job
Graduates employed in other professional jobs within 1 year of graduation

Graduates who pursue further education within 1 year of graduation

Graduates with unknown employment status

Total (percentages are rounded)

Batty is a distinguished visiting professor with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. He is director for the Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis and professor of planning at University College London.

Asst Professor

Ehlenz, a certified planner with AICP, focuses research on urban revitalization and community development, with specializations in the role of anchor institutions in urban places and mechanisms for building community wealth.


Fotheringham is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea whose work focuses on the analysis of spatial data in relation to a variety of areas including health data, crime patterns, and migration.

Research Professor

Gober is the founding co-Director of the National Science Foundation's Decision Center for a Desert City and previously served on the National Research Council's Committee on Geographical Sciences.

Asst Research Professor

Hagen's research contributes to improving climate change communication efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase the adaptive capacity and resiliency of urban environments.


Kelley researches transportation planning, sustainable design, as well as impact of pricing strategies on low-income and transportation-disadvantaged groups.

Assoc Professor

An expert in community and economic development planning and housing, Kim has a long history of community involvement with government organizations throughout his career.

Asst Professor

King, an assistant professor in urban planning, focuses his research on the codependence of transportation and land use planning. King is also a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Paratransit Committee.


Dr. Michael Kuby specializes in transportation, energy, optimal facility location and network design models, and alternative fuels, stations, and vehicles. His research has been funded by NSF, US Dept of Energy, and NASA.

Assoc Professor

Francisco Lara-Valencia's major areas of inquiry include socio-environmental vulnerability, urban health, regional development, binational planning, and the role of community networks on sustainable development.

Assoc Professor

Kelli Larson, a professor of geography and sustainability, focuses her work on human-environment interactions and the implications for water governance and urban sustainability.

Assoc Professor

Kevin McHugh is a cultural geographer with research interests in geographical thought & theory, geohumanities, post-phenomenology, and more-than-human geographies in the Anthropocene.

Asst Professor

Meerow combines the disciplines of geography and urban planning as she researches how to make cities more resilient in the face of climate change as well as other social and environmental hazards.

School Dir & Professor

Nelson's work currently focuses on using spatial and spatial-temporal analyses to track wildlife movement and active transportation. She is also the founder of BikeMaps.org, a crowdsourcing app for bike safety and ridership.

Assoc Professor

Pfeiffer's work focuses on housing and health, the outcomes of the foreclosure crisis and its lasting impact, and issues of equity in relation to housing.


Pijawka's research focuses on sustainable planning and design, disaster management and recovery, environmental justice, and Native American community planning.

Asst Professor

Salon researches travel behavior and the built environment, climate policy for transport, and government and transit agency institutions with the goal to inform policies that reduce global automobile dependence.

Assoc Professor

Tong's research primarily focuses on the use of spatial analytics including spatial optimization, geographic information system, and spatial statistics to support urban and regional studies concerning location.


Webster's current interests are in comparative city building and urban dynamics, urban competitiveness and resilience, and peri-urbanization with a primary geographic focus on East Asia.

Dean & Professor

Her research interests include: shape and pattern analysis, geographic information science, applications of GIS to urban environment, urban remote sensing and water resource management.

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning offers three concurrent degree programs:


Concurrent degrees are streamlined programs for earning two masters' degrees in a 3-year period. The skills you gain with two degrees can give you a significant career advantage, integrating knowledge in two related areas.

Fewer credits and semesters make concurrent degrees less expensive and faster than pursuing two degrees separately.

Degree Offered

Urban and Environmental Planning, MUEP
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Interested in learning more?

For questions about the Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning, send a note to geoplan.gradprograms@asu.edu, or complete the form below.

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