The Master's Program in Community and Regional Planning (CRP) provides the theoretical foundations, specific skills and practical experience to succeed in professional planning and related policy careers. The program consists of 48 credit hours of coursework that includes preparation of a Masters Professional Report or Thesis.

Each student is expected to complete 3 core courses, 4 methods courses, a 6 hour planning practicum, and a professional report or thesis. An internship, while not required, is highly recommended for those choosing the professional report option. Students choosing to write a thesis must enroll in Thesis A, Thesis B and Research Design. Students writing a professional report enroll in Professional Report. A typical program of coursework is laid out below. The core courses are designed to be taken in sequence.

Students have a wide range of elective courses to choose from and are encouraged to select electives that they feel will best prepare them for their future careers. Please see the Program Strengths section of this website for more information about faculty research and teaching areas.

Students are resposible for reviewing the Community and Regional Planning Canvas site for detailed program requirements and policies.

Annual Progress Reporting

The Graduate School requires each program to annually review the progress for all students. Graduate Coordinator will initiate your annual Progress Report via DocuSign for Graduate Coordinator and Graduate Adviser comments and signature.  The Graduate Office will maintain the official copy in your file. See the Community and Regional Planning Canvas site for forms and deadlines.

Core Curriculum

(effective Fall term 2015, as adopted by the CRP Graduate Studies Committee)

The core curriculum is designed to provide the foundation and skills for professional planning practice and an understanding of the institutions and social, economic, and physical environments that constitute the context of contemporary planning. The core curriculum provides a breadth of planning knowledge, including planning methods, history, theory, law, and finance.

See the Community and Regional Planning Canvas site for specific requirements.

Fall - Yr 1 Hours Spring - Yr 1 Hours
Core 1: CRP 380F-1 Planning History, Theory, and Ethics 3 Core 3: CRP 386-9 Sustainable Land Use Planning 3
Core 2: CRP 380F-2 Foundations of Planning Law 3 Method 2: CRP 381M-1 Quantitative Methods 3
Method 1: CRP 386-6 Introduction to Viz-Com and GIS 3 Method 3: Qualitative and Participatory Methods 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Semester credit hours: 12   12
Fall - Yr 2 Hours Spring - Yr 2 Hours
Method 4: 380F-3 Public Economics and Finance 3 Elective 3
CRP 685D Planning Practicum/Studio** 6 Elective 3
Elective OR CRP698A (Thesis A) * 3 CRP698B (Thesis B)* or CRP 398R (Professional Report) 3
CRP 386-8 Research Design (thesis students)* (3) Elective (PR students) (3)
Semester credit hours: PR students
Semester credit hours: Thesis students

Qualitative and Participatory Methods Core Requirement

The core course requirement in qualitative and participatory methods is critical for the mission of our program. We seek to foster planners who value and seek to serve the public interest, are able to work effectively in diverse contexts and cultures, and who engage all stakeholders with compassion, professionalism, honesty, and dedication.

These courses will prepare students to work well in culturally and ethnically diverse environments and understand important practices and techniques of public participation and dispute resolution.

These courses also help students develop strong written and oral communication skills and provide training in advanced visual communication techniques.  The ability to present information effectively in multiple media is critical for planners, especially those working in diverse communities and complex planning situations.

Planning Practicum

The Planning Practicum is an intensive, applied research course, where students apply the skills they have learned to real world planning problems, often in partnership with a client. In some cases, a Practicum may be spread over two semesters (summer and fall, for example) in two three credit hour courses. Information about courses will be distributed before registration occurs in the spring (for summer and fall options) and fall (for spring options). In some cases, a Studio course in urban design, historic preservation or another field may satisfy the Practicum requirement. Such cases must be approved by the CRP Graduate Adviser. 

CRP Electives

Electives are normally selected based on student interests.  Students are encouraged to discuss electives that match their interests with either the Graduate Adviser or faculty members sharing their interests. Elective coursework may include up to 6 hours of electives from outside the School of Architecture.
You can search for current or upcoming CRP courses here.  Course descriptions are also posted for past years, in case an upcoming course does not yet have a description posted.

CRP Professional Report or Thesis

The CRP Master's program culminates in an individual project demonstrating professional competence. Students may choose to demonstrate professional competence by completing either an approved Masters Thesis or a Professional Report. Advanced study leading to either the thesis or professional report is conducted under the supervision of a faculty committee selected by the student and approved by the Graduate Adviser. The committee chair must be a member of the CRP Graduate Studies Committee.

Those choosing the Professional Report option must enroll in Master’s Professional Report (CRP 398R) the semester that he or she will graduate and will receive three credit hours for the report and the research leading to it. Please note that it is not possible to receive an incomplete in this course. A student that does not finish his or her report in this semester will be required to enroll in the PR course again.

Those choosing the Thesis option must enroll in the two course sequence CRP 698A and B (Masters Thesis), during the fall and spring of their second year, for a spring graduation. These two courses are individual instruction research and writing courses. In addition, they must enroll in CRP 386 (Research Design) in the fall of their second year.  Thesis research is conducted under the supervision of a faculty committee consisting of two or three members. Thesis students must enroll in Thesis B (CRP 698B) the semester that he or she will graduate. Please note that it is not possible to receive an incomplete in this course. A student that does not not finish his or her thesis in this semester will be required to enroll in the Thesis B course again.

For more information on writing a PR or Thesis proposal, including resources for developing a good topic and important deadlines, see the Community and Regional Planning Canvas site. Every year an award is given for the best PR and/or Thesis produced that year at graduation. Winners are selected by the Central Texas chapter of the American Planning Association from a list of nominees selected by CRP faculty. See our Canvas site for winning PRs and Theses!


While internships are not a program requirement, many students choose to do them and find them to be a valuable experience. To receive credit for an internship, students must enroll in Planning Internship (CRP 397) in the semester when they complete their internship hours. Interns typically work in a public, nonprofit or private institution in a planning related field or activity. To receive credit, you must submit a letter from your employer confirming you have offered an intership at the time of enrollment, work for 300 hours as an intern, and submit another letter confirming completion of the internship along with either a summary report on your internship experience or a sample of the work you completed to the CRP Graduate Adviser. Internships can only be taken once for credit towards the MSCRP degree. For detailed information, please see our Internship FAQs. For assistance finding an internship, please contact Julie Latcham, the school’s Director of Career Services.



Bjørn Sletto
Graduate Adviser for Community & Regional Planning
Associate Professor


Dominican Republic Practicum students, spring 2018.jpg

Dominican Republic Practicum
Dominican Republic Practicum students, spring 2018

Fall 2019 Tokyo Practicum student group.jpg

Fall 2019 Tokyo Practicum student group
Fall 2019 Tokyo Practicum student group

Jacob's Well Practicum student presentation.JPG

Jacob's Well Practicum student presentation
Jacob's Well Practicum student presentation

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CRP PhD students in Goldsmith Courtyard, November 2015