The Master of Urban Planning program has four integrated components: a core curriculum, an area of concentration, an internship, and a studio. Its purpose is to train planners who, like their counterparts throughout the nation, have general expertise in planning theory and methods, an understanding of urban structure, specialized knowledge of a chosen planning concentration, and the skills and intellectual maturity to operate in the professional arena.
The 54-credit program is structured to provide students with the expertise essential to professional practice and to allow for flexibility to accommodate individual professional and academic aspirations. The core curriculum (21 credits) provides basic training in planning. It has a dual purpose: to place planning in its societal and theoretical context and to teach the skills of the profession. The area of concentration (12 credits) allows for in-depth training in a specific subfield of general planning practice. The studio (6 credits) provides experience in applied planning. Unrestricted electives (12 credits) allow for the exploration of a range of planning topics in elective courses and through independent research.
In organizing their programs, students work closely with faculty advisers.
Each student must also take one 3-credit internship. As interns, students may work for city and suburban planning agencies, neighborhood development groups, banks, municipal housing or budgeting units, planning journals, and other groups approved by the department. For many students, field experiences have led to full-time employment in their internship agencies after graduation.
In addition, the department has several internal work opportunities generated by the faculty and the Center for Community Planning and Development, which count towards the internship requirement. Faculty members routinely include in their research grant proposals funds to support graduate research assistants.
The Hunter College graduate program in urban planning is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board of the American Planning Association, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, and the American Institute of Certified Planners. Students with multiple professional interests may wish to pursue joint degree programs with other New York universities. For example, a joint master of urban planning/juris doctor, available through a cooperative program with Brooklyn Law School, allows students to earn the two degrees in four years of full time study. Other joint degree programs may be pursued with the approval of the department.