College of Architecture, Construction and Planning

The College of Architecture, Construction and Planning offers the following graduate degrees and certificates:

  • Master of Architecture Degree - The Professional Program
  • Master of Science Degree in Architecture - The Research Program
  • Master of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning
  • Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation
  • Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning

Master of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning

The Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning is designed to prepare students for leadership roles and careers in the public and private sectors for the purpose of planning and designing communities and regions. The degree is in collaboration with the Department of Public Administration in the College of Public Policy. The program has a strong focus on land use planning; design; policy; and economic, environmental, and cultural issues that shape urban and regional land development patterns in terms of infrastructure, housing, and open space systems. Emphasis is placed on developing research capabilities and graphic skills needed in planning and design. The program’s primary focus is to prepare students to become practitioners in the planning profession.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy University-wide graduate admission requirements.

A complete application package consists of the following:

  • Completed Application form
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Two Letters of Recommendation addressing the applicant’s academic and/or professional skills
  • Letter of Intent, outlining the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning and career plans
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for international applicants whose first language is not English.

Applicants may be admitted as unconditional or conditional, degree-seeking graduate students, or as non-degree-seeking students. Admission as a special graduate student or as non-degree-seeking does not guarantee subsequent admission as a degree-seeking ­student; such students must reapply for degree-seeking status.

An application fee and all application materials must be sent directly to the UTSA Graduate School at One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249. Please consult the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning Web site (http://utsa.edu/architecture/) for applicable dates when the review of applications will begin and for more information about the College and its programs.

Degree Requirements

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove deficiencies is 48. Students may pursue a thesis or nonthesis option.

Degree candidates must complete 48 semester credit hours of coursework consisting of the following requirements:

A. 27 semester credit hours of the following required courses:
1. 18 semester credit hours of the following required courses:18
Community Planning and Design
Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
History and Theory of Urban and Regional Planning
Urban Planning Methods I
Urban Planning Methods II
Urban and Regional Sustainability
2. 9 semester credit hours of public administration courses in the College of Public Policy:9
Planning and Land Use Law
Land Use Policy
Urban and Regional Economic Development
B. 15 semester credit hours of electives, chosen in consultation with and approved by the Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Advisor of Record to meet degree candidates’ individual needs. Students can select an area of specialization or take courses from a variety of areas that pertain to urban and regional planning. Electives may also be taken in other graduate programs with approval of the Graduate Advisor. The specialization areas include: historic preservation; housing and sustainable community development; environmental, transportation, and infrastructure planning; and urban policy and management.15
To satisfy the major area coursework for the historic preservation specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours of specialized electives:
History and Theory of Preservation
Legal and Economic Aspects of Preservation
Architectural Conservation Theory
To satisfy the major area coursework for the housing and sustainable community development specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours from the following specialized electives:
Housing Design and Neighborhood Planning
Planning and Design of Suburbs
Planning and Housing for Rural Communities
Community Development
To satisfy the major area coursework for the environmental, transportation, and infrastruture planning specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours from the following specialized electives:
Structure and Function of Cities and Regions
Transportation Planning
Environmental Planning and Assessment
Introduction to Health Planning
To satisfy the major area coursework for the urban policy and management specialization, a student must complete 9 semester credit hours from the following public administration courses from the Department of Public Administration in the College of Public Policy:
Introduction to Public Service Leadership and Management
Public Policy Analysis
Public Policy Process
Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
C. 6 semester credit hours of the following “capstone” coursework consisting of either the Thesis or Nonthesis Option described below.6
Thesis Option Requirements. All candidates for the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a thesis option must complete 6 semester credit hours of URP 6983 Master’s Thesis (includes thesis defense/seminar presentation).
Nonthesis Option Requirements. All candidates for the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a nonthesis option must complete 6 semester credit hours consisting of URP 6943 Professional Internship and URP 6933 Planning Professional Report.
D. Degree candidates in the thesis option and nonthesis option are required to pass a written comprehensive examination, and enroll in URP 6961 Comprehensive Examination if no other courses are being taken that term.
Total Credit Hours48

Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning

The purpose of the professional certificate in Urban and Regional Planning is to provide students with an introductory understanding of the historical, social, international, and physical context of comprehensive land use planning and sustainable urbanism.

The Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning is a 15-semester-credit-hour program. Degree-seeking, special graduate or non-degree-seeking students from any discipline at UTSA are allowed to complete the Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning (URP) program. Students will be advised by the URP Certificate Program Coordinator/Advisor. Interested individuals should contact the Urban and Regional Planning Certificate Program Coordinator within the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning.

Admission Requirements

New and existing graduate students in “good standing” shall declare the intent to seek the Certificate by requesting permission to enter and complete the program. Students not currently enrolled in a graduate program may apply according to UTSA admission requirements for certificate programs (see Chapter 3, Certificate Programs, in this catalog). The Certificate Program Coordinator may determine that a student requires prerequisite background courses to adequately prepare for the courses of the Graduate Certificate Program.

Certificate Program Requirements

The Urban and Regional Planning Certificate curriculum consists of 9 semester credit hours of required planning courses and 6 elective hours. Courses taken for the Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning can be applied toward the Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning, Master of Architecture, and Master of Science in Architecture degrees. Students will be advised by the Urban and Regional Planning Certificate Program Coordinator/Advisor.

A. 9 semester credit hours of the following required courses:9
Community Planning and Design
Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
History and Theory of Urban and Regional Planning
B. 6 semester credit hours of graduate elective courses approved by the Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Advisor6
Total Credit Hours15

Urban and Regional Planning (URP) Courses

URP 5313. Housing Design and Neighborhood Planning. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. An examination of the evolution of housing and neighborhood design and planning with emphasis on sustainable planning and design methods, and solutions. (Formerly ARC 5313. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5313 and ARC 5313.).

URP 5323. Community Planning and Design. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. A study of sustainable design, planning, economic, financial, and environmental issues that shape multicultural communities, regions and borders. (Formerly ARC 5323 and ARC 6233. Credit cannot be earned for more than one of the following: URP 5323, ARC 5323 or ARC 6233.).

URP 5333. Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. An introduction to planning for human needs as related to the physical layout and spatial design of communities and regions. (Formerly ARC 5333. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5333 and ARC 5333.).

URP 5343. History and Theory of Urban and Regional Planning. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. A survey of the history and theories of urban and regional planning. Includes consideration of the values and ethics of the planning profession and methods of participation. (Formerly ARC 5343. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5343 and ARC 5343.).

URP 5353. Structure and Function of Cities and Regions. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. A study of the social, political, economic, and changing physical design, form, and infrastructure of cities and regions. (Formerly ARC 5353. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5353 and ARC 5353.).

URP 5363. Urban Planning Methods I. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Introduction to research tools and methods used in planning. Topics include: demographic and employment analysis and forecasting, visualization, database graphics, and GIS for applications in urban and regional planning. (Formerly ARC 5363. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5363 and ARC 5363.) (Formerly titled “Intermediate Urban Planning Methods.”).

URP 5373. Planning and Design of Suburbs. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. A survey of the historical evolution and relationship between suburbs and central cities, contemporary trends in suburban planning, and sustainable development options. (Formerly ARC 5373. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5373 and ARC 5373.).

URP 5383. Planning and Housing for Rural Communities. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. A survey of the comprehensive planning of small towns and housing in rural areas. Includes consideration of growth management techniques. (Formerly ARC 5383. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5383 and ARC 5383.).

URP 5393. Urban Planning Methods II. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Advanced use of geographic information systems (GIS) and other planning modeling systems to analyze real-world problems or issues requiring spatial data analysis and modeling. (Formerly titled “Advanced Urban Planning Methods.”).

URP 5413. Planning Practice, Law, and Ethics. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. This course covers the fundamentals of the administrative and legal aspects of regulating land use at various levels of government. Participants will gain an understanding of the changing legal framework of regulations, such as zoning, urban renewal, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, landmark preservation, growth management, and environmental laws. The course describes the institutions that undertake planning and the roles and practices planners employ in them. Key ethical and moral considerations that planners face in applying these laws and practicing community and environmental planning are also addressed. (Same as PAD 5103. Credit cannot be earned for both URP 5413 and PAD 5103.).

URP 5423. Graphic Communication for Planners. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. This course is designed for graduate students in urban planning who are interested in graphic communications. The course goal is to obtain skills in graphic production that enable planners to communicate their ideas and plans to the public.

URP 5433. Transportation Planning. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Seminar on urban transportation systems and policies, trends, economics, and land use and transportation interactions and evaluation techniques.

URP 5443. Community Development. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Introduction to contemporary trends in urban development and redevelopment, focusing on planning and development techniques used to develop or revitalize urban and regional areas.

URP 5453. Urban and Regional Sustainability. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Seminar on the main challenges involved in the global planning and developing of sustainable cities and regions. Issues covered include land use, transportation, housing and infrastructure, economic and social equity.

URP 5463. Environmental Planning and Assessment. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Analysis of environmental issues and planning problems that impact metropolitan areas; air and water quality, solid waste, habitat conservation; and techniques for planning assessment and remediation.

URP 5473. Introduction to Health Planning. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to fundamental concepts, principles, and methods of health planning aimed at the provision of health services, health-supportive facilities and the design of healthy communities.

URP 5483. Planning Workshop. (2-2) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. A seminar/workshop involving an application of theory and practice relating to an urban or regional scale project. May be repeated for credit.

URP 5493. Planning and Economic Development. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. An introduction to economic development as a critical element of neighborhood, community, regional, and national planning. The course addresses current economic development practices and theory.

URP 6933. Planning Professional Report. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: URP 6943 and approval of the urban and regional planning Graduate Advisor of Record. The directed planning research course is offered only for nonthesis option students who have completed URP 6943 Professional Internship. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours may be applied to the Master’s degree.

URP 6943. Professional Internship. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing, 18 semester credit hours of graduate work, and consent of instructor. Supervised professional practice experience with public agencies or private firms. Individual conferences and written reports required. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

URP 6951. Independent Study. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member, for students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

URP 6952. Independent Study. (0-0) 2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member, for students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

URP 6953. Independent Study. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member, for students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

URP 6961. Comprehensive Examination. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of the urban and regional planning Graduate Advisor of Record to take the comprehensive examination. Independent study course for the purpose of taking the Comprehensive Examination. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination). Credit earned in URP 6961 may not be counted toward the Master of Science degree. May be repeated once.

URP 6973. Special Topics. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Topic courses may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of URP 6973 or 12 hours of URP 6976 will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

URP 6976. Special Topics. (6-0) 6 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Topic courses may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of URP 6973 or 12 hours of URP 6976 will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

URP 6981. Master’s Thesis. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of the urban and regional planning Graduate Advisor of Record. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress.

URP 6983. Master’s Thesis. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of the urban and regional planning Graduate Advisor of Record. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress.