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. We offer one formal specialization, in the area of Historic Preservation.

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.


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: CRP 381M-2 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


*   Attendance in Thesis A, Thesis B and Research Design is required for those students selecting a thesis as their advanced study option.  Research Design is suggested, but not required if a Professional Report (PR) is selected as the advanced study project option.

** The CRP program will offer one or more Practicum Courses in the summer term and in fall and spring terms of the second year. Because Thesis students must take Thesis A and Research Design in the fall of their second year and may want to choose a summer or two-semester Practicum in order to balance their fall and spring schedules.

*** Students with significant relevant experience or who have taken a similar graduate level class may petition instructor to waive the core course requirement. This does not reduce the number of credit hours required to graduate, but it allows the student to take an elective in lieu of the core course.

**** To graduate with a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning, students must obtain an overall grade point average of B or better and receive a grade of B or better in all of the CRP core courses. Also see the Graduate School minimum grade requirements and the Graduate Catalog.

***** Students will not be able to register for a future semester if they have more than two temporary incomplete (X) grades.

****** Six-credit studio courses offered in other SOA programs only count as 3-credit CRP electives, unless arrangements are made in advance with Instructor and Graduate Adviser and the studio course is approved as a CRP Practicum.

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.

For those entering prior to Fall 2016, it is possible to choose to specialize in a particular area of planning. In this case, the student will select  4 or more courses in a designated CRP specialization area (as described below). To complete their specialization, students must also complete a Professional Report or Masters Thesis on a subject related to the specialization.

The following is a list of recent elective course offerings. Please note that not all courses are offered every year. Elective courses may follow a traditional lecture and discussion format, or be conducted as research seminars, independent studies, studios, or workshops. Since many courses share the same number; students are encouraged to focus on the course title and current course description.

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. Below is a partial list of recent offerings:

  • Affordable Housing (CRP 388)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (CRP 383)
  • Applied GIS (CRP 386)
  • Applied Techniques in Environmental Analysis (CRP 383)
  • Bioregional Planning (CRP 383)
  • Brownfield Seminar (CRP 383)
  • Community Development (CRP 385C)
  • Cultural Landscapes (CRP 388)
  • Deep Democracy (CRP 388)
  • Designing Digital Communities (CRP 390)
  • Design of New Communities (CRP 386)
  • Environmental Impact (CRP 383)
  • Environmental Readings (CRP 383)
  • Growth Management (CRP 390)
  • Historic Preservation Practice (CRP 389C)
  • History of Landscape Architecture (CRP 388)
  • Housing Demand and Production (CRP 388)
  • Housing in Latin America (CRP 388)
  • Independent Research in Community and Regional Planning (CRP 396)
  • International Sustainable Social Development (CRP 381)
  • International Transportation Issues (CRP 384)
  • Land Development (CRP 389C)
  • Metropolitan Transportation Studies with TransCAD GIS (CRP384)
  • Migratory Urbanism (CRP 388)
  • Natural Resource and Environmental Planning (CRP 388K)
  • Neighborhood Transportation Planning (CRP 384)
  • PhD Colloquium (CRP 391D)
  • Planning and Visual Communication (CRP 386 - Design for Planners II)
  • Preservation and Economic Development (CRP 389C)
  • Preservation Law (CRP 381-2)
  • Principles of Physical Planning (CRP 369K)
  • Public/Private Land Development Process (CRP 389C)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (CRP 386)
  • Regional Planning (CRP 386)
  • Research Design (CRP 391D)
  • Resource Management and Recycling (CRP 383)
  • Sustainable Urban Economic Development Planning (CRP 383)
  • The Built Environment and Public Health (CRP383/ SW387R)
  • Topics in Sustainable Development (CRP 383)
  • Transit-Oriented Development (CRP 381)
  • Transportation, Environment and Health (CRP 384)
  • Urban Agriculture Systems (CRP 384)
  • Urban Environmental Analysis (CRP 383)
  • Urban Land Institute Workshop (LAR 388R)
  • Urban Politics Seminar (CRP 388)
  • Urban Politics Seminar (CRP f388)
  • Urban Poverty and Community Development Seminar (CRP 388)
  • Urban Public Places (CRP 386 - Design for Planners I)
  • Urban Transportation (CRP 384)
  • Water Resource Planning (CRP 383)
  • Water Resources (CRP 387C)

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 PR and Thesis guidelines section of this website. 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. 


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. 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