Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning (M.S.C.R.P.), School of Architecture + Master of Science in Sustainable Design (M.S.S.D), School of Architecture

The Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning and the Graduate Program in Sustainable Design offer a coordinated dual degree program. The coordinated program leads to the award of the Master of Science in Sustainable Design (MSSD) and the Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning (MSCRP). Students learn the fundamental technical and conceptual skills necessary to effectively address planning issues, while also studying the natural systems, building systems, and cultural systems required to achieve sustainable urban development.

The Coordinated Program offers research, internship and service learning opportunities through coursework in Community and Regional Planning as well as Architecture, formal programs, and informal engagements with faculty projects. Opportunities are increasing for graduates with specific skills to address the pressing problems associated with the environmental and social aspects of continued growth in our built environment. Students who can combine planning skills with a deep understanding of sustainable design principles and practices are in high demand in both the private and public sector as interdisciplinary teams address the challenges of sustainable development at the level of building sites, neighborhoods and metropolitan regions. The unique set of skills provided by this new dual degree program will be an important addition to the graduate offerings at The University of Texas at Austin.

Program Structure

MSCRP + MSSD Dual Degree Requirements 
MSCRP + MSSD Sample Curriculum 

The Coordinated Program is structured so that students admitted can earn a Master of Science in Sustainable Design and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning degree in three academic years. A student must apply for admission to both programs. Application to the second program can be made concurrently with the first program, or during the first year of enrollment in the first program. The application procedure during the first year of enrollment follows the same general procedure as for new applicants.

All course requirements of both programs must be met, except that each program retains the option to waive or replace any of its required courses with the approval of the Coordinated Program Directors, and appropriate graduate faculty.

Students must complete at least 30 credit hours in Community and Regional Planning, and at least 30 credit hours in Sustainable Design, and a 6 credit hour joint advanced research project for 66 credit hours total.

Students are required to complete the joint advanced research project in the form of either a thesis or a combination of master's project and master's report so as to meet the requirements of both programs. The thesis or project and report must be read and approved by a supervising professor and a second reader. The supervising professor may be chosen from either CRP or MSSD; and the second reader must represent the other program.

Community and Regional Planning (MSCRP)

  • 27 semester hours of core courses. Students may petition instructor to complete a different course that satisfies the core requirements and a minimum of 3 credit hours of electives, which can include an internship. Core MSSD courses cannot serve as MSCRP electives.
  • A joint thesis or combination of project and report*.
  • TOTAL MSCRP: At least 30 credit hours

Sustainable Design (MSSD)

  • A minimum of 18 semester credit hours of core courses. Students may petition instructor to complete a different course that satisfies the core requirements and a minimum of 12 credit hours of electives. Core MSCRP courses cannot serve as MSSD electives.
  • A joint thesis or combination of project and report*.
  • TOTAL MSSD: At least 30 credit hours
  • TOTAL HOURS: 66 credit hours*

*Students must register in the 6 hour Thesis or combination of project and report in either ARC or CRP, according to the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) of the supervising faculty member.  For an ARC Thesis, the total will be 36 credit hours in MSSD and 30 credit hours in CRP. For a CRP Thesis, the total will be 36 credit hours in CRP and 30 credit hours in MSSD.