Program accreditation
Planning Accreditation Board

Program goals

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program advances social justice and quality of life through planning, designing and evaluating options to create, enhance and sustain the social, economic and environmental conditions that improve communities. The program maintains a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. The goals for the program are to:

  1. Prepare students to be effective practitioners in a variety of planning-related organizations, especially in mature communities and regions, with competence in the preparation, presentation and implementation of professional plans and in doing planning-related work
  2. Produce scholarship that increases knowledge and understanding of sustainability and planning support systems as well as the development of innovative methodological approaches and solutions to address issues related to sustainable community development
  3. Provide useful planning services to mature communities and regions, in cooperation with private and public planners, as appropriate
  4. Address issues of historic and current inequity, social justice and sustainability in built environments, neighborhoods and communities

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will acquire knowledge of planning and other related fields relevant to real-world and theoretical settings.
  2. Students will be able to pose and solve urban planning problems using planning skills, including: 
    1. research methods,
    2. plan creation and implementation,
    3. public engagement, and
    4. effective communication and leadership.
  3. Students will understand how to use the values and ethics of professional planning to inform and guide planning decisions.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.