Return to: School of Architecture and Planning
Daniel Campo, Ph.D.
Tel: (443) 885-3514; Fax: (443) 885-8233
Mary Anne Alabanza Akers, Ph.D.
Dean, Professor and Interim Department Chair
Daniel Campo, Ph.D.
Tonya Nashay Sanders, Ph.D.
Siddhartha Sen, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean
Hyeon-Shic Shin, Ph.D.
The program prepares students for careers in city and regional planning and related fields involving cities and urban development. According to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), planning is a systematic, creative way to influence the future of neighborhoods, cities, rural and metropolitan areas, and at larger scales, the country and world. City planners use their professional skills to serve communities facing social, economic, environmental, and cultural challenges by helping residents: 1) preserve and enhance their quality-of-life 2) find methods to protect the natural and built environment; 3) identify policies to promote equity and equality; 4) structure programs to improve services to disadvantaged communities, and; 5) determine methods to deal effectively with growth and development. The Program’s mission is to educate diverse and underrepresented student groups in the planning profession and related fields for careers in public, private, and non-profit sectors, conduct advanced research in city planning and related urban disciplines, and develop leaders in the field. Building on the tradition of providing professional education for African American students at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), and the University’s urban mission, the faculty and students are committed to improving urban communities in the Baltimore region, in Maryland, and across the mid-Atlantic, including metropolitan Washington, D.C. Locally, the program serves as a partner for the University’s Morgan Community Mile initiative, which aims to improve the quality of life for neighborhoods in Northeast Baltimore. We also use the greater Baltimore and Washington regions as a laboratory for applied research and student projects.
The Program’s vision is to be the leading planning program on the east coast by educating and graduating the next generation of innovative, forward-thinking African Americans and other underrepresented leaders in the planning profession; producing cutting-edge research that transforms disinvested communities and regions; and becoming an anchor partner with community groups to lift up the Northeast Baltimore area and mid-Atlantic region.
The Program is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). PAB is jointly sponsored by ACSP (the organization of planning professors), the American Planning Association (the organization of professional planners), and the professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Accredited programs must meet strict standards developed collaboratively by both practicing planners and planning academicians. The curriculum at all accredited schools provides a core set of theories, methods, and techniques which properly prepare students for a career as a practicing planner. Accredited programs are required to make certain performance-related data available to the public. To review this information, please see the following: https://www.morgan.edu/graduate-built-environment-studies/city-and-regional-planning/additional-information
Candidates for the City and Regional Planning master’s degree must complete a minimum of forty eight (48) academic credit hours, including thirty (30) credits in ten (10) required courses, and present and submit a well written professional capstone project or master’s thesis.
A graduate student cannot graduate with grades of C in more than 20% of the academic credit earned as defined by the program’s curriculum guide. The School of Graduate Studies requires that the student must retake a sufficient number of these courses to remedy the overall percentage. This retake must occur even if the Grade Point Average (GPA) remains above 3.0 with the excess percentage of C credits still included in the GPA calculation. Demonstration of the required competency in core courses requires that any grades of C in core courses must be retaken. Student must retake any core course in which a grade of C has been earned, even if the student has not accumulated 20% of the curriculum in C grades.
To be eligible for admission to the Master’s of City and Regional Planning Program, an applicant must:
Have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
Possess an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.0 or better to be considered for regular admission. Students who possess a cumulative undergraduate G.P.A. of between a 2.7 and 2.9 may be considered for conditional admission. Post-bachelor’s undergraduate credits will not be used to enhance G.P.A. requirements for admission to graduate study.
Submit an application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. All required documents must be submitted as directed by the School of Graduate Studies prior to program review and admission decision.
Use the application system to arrange for three letters of recommendation to be placed with the application. These letters must be from officials or faculty members of institutions previously attended who are acquainted with the applicant’s ability for graduate study or from employment supervisors where applicable.
Submit a narrative statement regarding the candidate’s personal academic and professional plans and the reasons for selecting Morgan State University’s City and Regional Planning Program.
Three + Two (3+2) B.S.A.E.D.–M.C.R.P. Program of Study: Students must be conditionally admitted to the program at the end of their second undergraduate year in order to be considered for admission to the 3+2 BSAED/MCRP program. Students must submit a writing sample to the City and Regional Planning Program by April 15. The writing sample should consist of a 10-page paper written for a course in the major.
Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements and submitting all the required documents does not guarantee that an offer of admission will be made to the applicant. The decision of the Program Admissions Committee involves a review and analysis of all the elements of the application as well as the availability of positions in the program. The committee then recommends to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies that an offer of admission should be made based on that review.
Students achieve candidacy by successfully passing their professional capstone project or thesis defense. Prior to achieving Candidacy, the student must enroll in CREP 794: Professional Project in City and Regional Planning or CREP 799: Thesis Defense.
Once a student achieves candidacy, enrollment in any course is prohibited. Students seeking additional skills, knowledge, or a certificate must seek approval through the program up to the School of Graduate Studies. The request must be accompanied with a revised Plan of Study.
Master’s Project/Master’s Thesis Completion
Students must complete a Master’s Project or a Master’s Thesis for degree completion. The Master of City and Regional Planning degree program culminates with a core capstone course sequence where the student researches and prepares work that is specialized and student-driven. A student may choose to articulate their research in one of two ways:
The Master’s Project
This Master’s Project aims to give students the competencies to conduct an applied planning project, write an individual professional report, and make a professional presentation under careful supervision. Each student executes a detailed study of a planning project typical of planning practice. The Master’s Project must follow the format specified by the program.
The Master’s Thesis
The Master’s Thesis aims to challenge the student to apply selected planning concepts and methods to an important substantive area and conducts academic planning research under faculty supervision. The Master’s Thesis has to follow the thesis format specified by the School of Graduate Studies.
Both the Master’s Project and Master’s Thesis require the formation of a committee that guides and evaluates the student’s work. Students choose a core faculty member from the Program as the chair of the committee (a chair from a different program within the School of Architecture and Planning may be chosen with the Program Director’s approval). A thesis requires choosing two other committee members while the project requires one other committee member. The committee members can be from the program or the university at large with the approval of the Program Director. However, all committee members must be Full or Affiliate Graduate Faculty. The selection of chair and members of the committee should be made while a student is enrolled in CREP 792.
As part of the continuous operation of the school, both types of documents become part of a permanent record that is accessible to present and future students, faculty, and scholars. There is a formal closed defense required for both the Master’s Project and the Master’s Thesis.
Program Course Requirements
MCRP City & Regional Planning 48 Credits
Elective Courses 18 credits
The remaining 18 credits may be taken among the electives offered in the Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning or other graduate programs of the School of Architecture and Planning, except for those in the Certificate in Sustainable Urban Communities (CSUC) program. Students may take up to three (3) elective credits in CSUC courses. Students desiring to take further elective credits in CSUC, may do so only in exceptional circumstances and only with the explicit approval of the Program Director. With approval of the program director, students may also take electives in appropriate urban-focused graduate courses across the University. Students also have the option to take a maximum of three urban-focused electives (nine credits) at surrounding universities in the metropolitan Baltimore area. Students must obtain formal permission from the Program Director, the Chair of the Department of Graduate Built Environment Studies and the deans of the School of Architecture and Planning and the School of Graduate Studies before enrolling in courses at other institutions. To obtain credit for such courses, students must also adhere to the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies Catalog (see “Transfer Credit”).
Professional Project or Thesis Defense 3 credits
The student will continuously register in Fall and Spring terms for CREP 797 (Thesis Guidance) until the Master’s Thesis is completed and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for review. The course is used only when the curriculum has been completed, and the student is completing the research and writing of the thesis. The course registration maintains the student status as a matriculated, full-time student (student registers for 3 credit hours each semester, but is acknowledged as having a 9 credit hour load). After the Intent to Defend the Master’s Thesis form has been accepted by the School of Graduate Studies, this course registration will be changed to CREP 799 (Thesis Defense) for the given semester and count for 3 credit hours of curricular coursework (CREP 799 will also count for 9 credit hours of load). Other courses cannot be substituted for CREP 797 (Thesis Guidance). The only eligible grade for CREP 797 (Thesis Guidance) is the grade of “S” and the only acceptable grade for CREP 799 (Thesis Defense) is “P/F” (Pass/Fail).
Suggested Curriculum Sequence
Return to: School of Architecture and Planning