Regional Planning & Sustainability Science (MRP/MS3)


The Master of Regional Planning Program (LARP) and the Master of Science in Sustainability Science (Environmental Conservation) Program is offering a dual degree program for students to earn the Master of Science in Sustainability Science and the Master of Regional Planning within two years (plus summers) of full-time study. The professions of planning and sustainability science are intertwined in numerous ways. Many positions in government and in the private and nonprofit sectors can best be filled by persons who possess the technical knowledge and skills of systems analysts, consultants and planners. For example, sustainability planners in local governments often aspire to be researchers/analysts within government agencies and organizations. Conversely, sustainability analysts, especially in rapidly growing enterprises or organizations, may be hampered if they cannot exercise the skills to formulate and implement plans in a municipal or regional context. This connection is already reflected in the fact that there is a high degree of crossover between MS students in the urban sustainability concentration taking LARP courses as well as MRP students in the environmental concentration taking ECO courses.

The MS in Sustainability Science core curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong analytical foundation, applicable to a range of sustainability issues. The MRP core focuses on combining theoretical, historical, social, political, and technical dimensions of planning practice with strong emphasis on practice through studio and service to area communities. This two+ year dual-degree program would offer its students a rich educational experience in many areas of science, management and planning, including infrastructural development, systems analysis and implementation, science policy and planning, information technology, and sustainability tools and techniques. The MRP/MS degree program will provide its graduates with comprehensive education for professional careers in systems policy, management, development and planning careers at the national, state and local level. 

Degree Requirement

Dual degree candidates will be required to fulfill the coursework equivalent of 36 credits in the MRP program and 30 credits in the MS program, 66 total. Students will be required to complete the full core curricula of both programs. MS core and program elective courses will be considered as an equivalent substitute for the nine concentration credits required by the MRP program. Likewise, MRP core and elective planning courses will be accepted as fulfilling MS general concentration electives.
Students will also fulfill the joint requirements for MS practicum and MRP Thesis, Project, or 3-Course Option on a topic of relevance to both programs. A student taking the MRP Thesis or 3-Course Option/MS practicum option will receive 9 + 4 = 13 credits total, a student taking the MRP Project/MS practicum option will receive 6 + 4 = 10 credits total.
The remainder of the minimum dual program requirement of 66 total credit hours will be filled through electives. To meet the minimum 36 credit hour requirement of the dual MRP program, students will be required to take the 24 core credits plus 6-9 thesis, project, three-course option + 3-6 additional elective credits from the MRP program (depending on whether the student opts for an MRP thesis or project). These elective MRP courses may be filled by any MRP concentration course, including concentration electives that, while closely related to planning, are often offered in other graduate departments (especially from Environmental Conservation).




Applicants are required to apply to each school individually, and must meet the respective admission requirements for each program. Once admitted to both schools, a student will qualify for the joint degree program. Applicants to both programs are expected to have taken the GRE. In addition, applicants whose native language is not English must take Test of English Language (TOEFL). Students already enrolled in one of the programs can apply to the other during their first year in the program.


In the MRP portion of the program, students are primarily advised by the Graduate Program Director of the MRP program. In the MS portion of the program, students are primarily advised by the Graduate Program Director of the MS program. Students will have access to consultation advisors in both programs at all times.