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Master of Urban Planning - Accelerated Degrees

The accelerated master’s programs offered by the Urban Planning Program allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a professional master’s degree in urban planning in less time than both degrees pursued separately, including one year of graduate school at the undergraduate tuition rate.

Our Programs

About the Programs

  • Students will engage in learning opportunities across campus to address real-world issues in building healthy communities, constructing quality neighborhoods and housing, and designing effective transportation systems.
  • Most of all, students will be a part of a growing career field that allows them to serve their community and better our world.
  • Urban planning will prepare students to strengthen communities and inspire hope for the future as they learn how to identify and solve problems related to people and nature living next to one another.
  • A degree in urban planning will put students on track to make the world a better place with career opportunities in sustainability, transportation, housing, community building, environmental conservation, governance, non-profits, and more.

Accelerated Programs Only for KU Undergrads

  • Only current KU undergraduate students are eligible to apply to the accelerated master's programs the Urban Planning Program has to offer.
  • If you are not a current undergraduate student at KU, please consider the Master of Urban Planning.

Admissions Deadlines

  • Fall Admission: July 1

  • Spring Admission: December 1

  • Summer Admission: May 1

Learn More


Accelerated Master of Urban Planning

  • This accelerated master’s program combines a College of Liberal Arts & Sciences undergraduate major and Master of Urban Planning and is designed for students who have a passion for problem solving and helping communities engage with their futures.
  • It allows well-qualified students to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years, rather than the six years it would take to earn each degree separately.
  • This program combines in-depth training in the major of the student’s choice with an accredited professional master’s degree in urban planning.
  • Graduates are prepared for careers in the public, private and not-for profit sectors helping make communities better places.

Additional Program Details

  • Officially declare your interest in the Accelerated Master of Urban Planning program by completing an Accelerated Master's Inquiry Form.
  • All prospective students should discuss their interest in the accelerated master’s with their undergraduate advisor and the program director of Urban Planning as soon as possible.
  • A meeting with the program director of urban planning should take place no later than the student’s junior year.

Prospective students are eligible to apply to the graduate program in the spring semester of their junior year.  The following requirements must be met by this time:

  • Major and cumulative GPA of at least 3.25;
  • On track to complete all requirements for a CLAS degree from KU by the spring semester of the senior year

Required Application Materials

  • Statement of interest that succinctly summarizes the students’ interests, education, long-term career goals, and how the accelerated degree program will help them achieve those goals;
  • A copy of their advising report
  • Three reference forms or letters of recommendation.  Provided references should be qualified to comment on the applicant’s academic abilities and probable success in graduate study.  At least two should be faculty members who have had the student in class.

An official copy of the student’s undergraduate transcript will be required if final admission is granted.

  • Upon review of the application for admission, the Urban Planning Program will notify the student of their eligibility to begin graduate level coursework in the program.
  • Approved students will meet with the Urban Planning Program director to plan the urban planning graduate courses to be taken for elective undergraduate credit. 
  • Students should continue to work closely with their undergraduate advisor to ensure all requirements for the undergraduate degree(s) are met.
  • In the final spring semester of undergraduate study, the student will meet with the Urban Planning Program director to review the student’s performance in urban planning courses. 
  • The student must earn a grade of “B” or better in these courses to be eligible for regular admission to the Master of Urban Planning.

Final acceptance to the Master of Urban Planning graduate program will be contingent upon the following:

  • Successful completion of all requirements for the bachelor’s degree;
  • Grades of B or above in all urban planning graduate-level coursework taken in the student’s senior year

Following completion and award of the undergraduate degree, the admitted student will again meet with the Urban Planning Program director to review the course plan for the fifth year of study and update as needed. At this time, the student will meet with a faculty advisor who is overseeing that specialization to ensure the course plan is on track.

For those students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of 3.25 in the first semester of year 5 an alternative plan of study to address the student’s deficiencies may be developed, at the program’s sole discretion. Students may also be dismissed from the program.

Ready to Express Your Interest?

Contact your CLAS undergraduate advisor at collegeadvising@ku.edu or 785-864-3500.


Accelerated Master of Urban Planning/B.A. in Environmental Studies

  • This accelerated master’s program combines a B.A. or B.G.S. in Environmental Studies and Master of Urban Planning and prepares students to understand the impacts of human activity on the natural environment while developing the knowledge and skills to enable sustainable community futures.
  • As a student, you will have engaged learning opportunities to address real-world issues, as well as opportunities for research.
  • Top faculty across campus will help you prepare for careers ranging from land conservation, to policy and plan development, to program implementation.
  • This accelerated master's program at KU allows students to earn a bachelor's and a professional master's degree in less time than both degrees pursued separately, including one year of graduate study at the undergraduate tuition rate.

Additional Program Details

  • Officially declare your interest in the Accelerated Master of Urban Planning/B.A. in Environmental Studies program by completing an Accelerated Master's Inquiry Form.
  • All prospective B.A. and B.G.S. students should let their Environmental Studies advisor know they are interested in pursuing the accelerated master's as soon as possible.  
  • A meeting with the program director of urban planning should take place no later than the student’s junior year.

Prospective students should apply to the Accelerated Master of Urban Planning/B.A. in Environmental Studies during the 2nd semester of their junior year at KU.  Applications will be reviewed by environmental studies and urban planning faculty who will be looking for following criteria to begin graduate coursework:

  • Achieve a 3.0 GPA in Environmental Studies major and overall KU GPA
  • On-track to complete all the requirements for the bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies by the end of the Senior year

Required Application Materials

  • Statement of interest that succinctly summarizes the students’ interests, education, long-term career goals, and how the accelerated degree program will help them achieve those goals;
  • A copy of advising report
  • Three reference forms or letters of recommendation.  Provided references should be qualified to comment on the applicant’s academic abilities and probable success in graduate study.  At least two should be faculty members who have had the student in class.

An official copy of the student’s undergraduate transcript will be required if final admission is granted.

  • Upon review of the application for admission, the Urban Planning Program will notify the student of their eligibility to begin graduate level coursework in the program.
  • Approved students will meet with the Urban Planning Program director to plan the urban planning graduate courses to be taken for elective undergraduate credit. 
  • Students should continue to work closely with the Environmental Studies advisor to ensure all requirements for the undergraduate degree(s) are met.
  • In the final spring semester of undergraduate study, the student will meet with the Urban Planning Program director to review the student’s performance in urban planning courses. 
  • The student must earn a grade of “B” or better in these courses to be eligible for regular admission to the Master of Urban Planning.

Final acceptance to the Master of Urban Planning graduate program will be contingent upon the following:

  • Completion of all requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. in Environmental Studies with an overall GPA of a 3.0
  • Achieved grades of B or higher in all urban planning graduate-level coursework taken during the senior year

Following completion and award of the undergraduate degree, the admitted student will again meet with the Urban Planning Program director to review the course plan for the fifth year of study and update as needed. At this time, the student will select a specialization area within the planning degree, and will meet with a faculty advisor who is overseeing that specialization to ensure the course plan is accurate.

For those students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of 3.25 in the first semester of year 5 an alternative plan of study to address the student’s deficiencies may be developed, at the department’s sole discretion. Students may also be dismissed from the program.

Ready to Express Your Interest?

Contact Lisa Hamblen, Environmental Studies Program at lhamblen@ku.edu or 785-864-3500.

Questions? - MUP Program

MUP Program and Application Questions
Bonnie Johnson, Urban Planning Program
ubpl@ku.edu
785-864-4184

Issues Submitting Application
KU Graduate Studies
graduateadm@ku.edu
785-864-3140