Course & Degree Resources
Urban Planning students are encouraged to take advantage of courses and seminars offered through this department as well as the wide variety of courses offered by other departments and programs at UCLA.
Degree Requirement Handbooks
Faculty Office Hours
Most faculty have “You Can Book Me” links on their faculty webpages, but you can also email any faculty member for an appointment.
Urban Planning Writing TA
MURP students may seek assistance from the department Writing TA on assignments in ANY course in or outside the department. The role of the Writing TA is to help students improve their writing skills.
Writing TA 2021-22
Tom Bassett (he/him)
All appointments will be held virtually on Zoom. Book an appointment for a one-on-one 20-minute session. Students who are unavailable during the designated office hours and would like to book an appointment can email the Writing TA directly.
Students should provide the Writing TA with all materials to discuss at least two business days prior to the scheduled meeting time so that he can devote the time necessary to review the work.
Office hours: Tuesdays: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm PT; Thursdays 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm PT.
Zoom Link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/91643768744
Urban Planning Graphics TA
MURP students may seek assistance from the department Graphics TA on assignments in ANY course in or outside the department. Throughout their degree, students may want advice on how to present reports, papers, resumes/CVs, posters or slideshows in a visually appealing way. The role of the Graphics TA is to help students improve their skills with general visual communications (style, formatting, color, layout, etc.) and graphics software (photoshop, indesign, illustrator, etc.).
All appointments can be booked using the link above. Zoom meetings are preferred, but in-person meetings can be arranged on an as-needed basis. Please provide all relevant materials to Graphics TA at least four days prior to any deadline to allow sufficient time for him to review the files and provide the support you need.
Student Initiated Courses
Any group of twelve or more students may petition any faculty member to organize a new course to be offered during a subsequent term. The petition must be countersigned by
- the faculty member willing to offer and/or supervise the course and
- the students who will take the course if offered.
The petition should be submitted to the Director of the MURP Program and the Curriculum Working Group. Following Curriculum Working Group review and MURP Program Director approval, final approval of the course resides with the Department Chair. Such approval will take into account the demand for courses that the faculty member would otherwise teach.
Student initiated courses can be student-led under faculty supervision (and numbered 298), or may lead to special topics courses taught by faculty or visitors, resources permitting. Students may complete a maximum of two student-initiated (UP 298) courses for credit during their degree program. All UP 298 courses are graded S/U, while special topics courses may be taken for a letter grade or S/U.
Faculty agreeing to supervise a student-initiated course are responsible for determining that the readings, topics, and assignments are appropriate in scope and scale to a graduate course in UrbanPlanning; are expected to attend each of the class meetings, except by special arrangement (as with other courses they teach); and are responsible for overseeing and approving the grading of assignments and the assignment of final grades.
Past Courses & Syllabi
- Abolitionist Planning for Resistance Resource Guide, created by the students in the Winter 2017 Student Initiated Course
Spring 2011: Integrated Environmental Assessment
Links to Campus Resources
The Department of Urban Planning offers a variety of international study opportunities, including summer programs, internships, international/comparative planning workshops, and international exchange agreements.
Schoolwide, the Global Public Affairs at UCLA Luskin program introduces students to an increasingly interconnected world, where global challenges require global solutions. Students in the International Practice Pathway program often seek out individual abroad opportunities, with the help of program faculty. For firsthand accounts of abroad experiences, visit the UCLA Luskin Abroad blog site.
Type: EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Sciences Po is the most prestigious French university in social sciences and public policy, Almost all French presidents, political leaders and business leaders have been trained there. “Sciences Po” is slang for “Political Science” in French, and its full name is the Institute of Political Studies. Sciences Po is highly-ranked internationally in social science, and its student population is 40% non-French, drawn from all over the world, and many of its courses are given in English. The Urban School of Sciences Po has recently been formed by putting together its different master and PhD programs that deal with cities, urban politics and urban policy, with a world-class faculty drawn from many disciplines. The exchange is with the Sciences Po home campus in the historical heart of Paris, the Left Bank. In this urbane and cosmopolitan city center, students will have a once-in-a-lifetime academic and urban experience. But Paris is more than its beautiful core: it is a diverse world city, with populations drawn from every continent, and it is as much an urban laboratory as any great city, with all the opportunities, problems and challenges.
Exchange students will learn about the common problems that world cities face today, but see in Paris a very different context for urban politics and policies, providing an opportunity for comparative and international learning between Los Angeles and Paris. The Urban School of Science Po has many international projects, across the continents, also providing students an opportunity to work with the Sciences Po students and to build a new network of friends and colleagues.
Interested students can apply for this program in the Winter Quarter of their first year. Selected applicants will spend the Fall Quarter of their second year studying at SciencesPo. For more details please see the department graduate advisor.
Hertie School of Governance
Type: EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Initiated in 2011, this reciprocal exchange program allows the exchange of up to three graduate students from each institution per year. The exchange students pay required tuition at their home institution. Although students pay tuition and fees at their home institution, they also need to purchase student insurance at the exchange institution. Students are responsible for travel and living expenses incurred during the exchange program. Although in Berlin, the Hertie School instruction is in English. The period of exchange is normally in Fall Quarter/Semester. Credits and grades earned at the exchange institution are applied toward the degree requirements at the home institution. Exchange students under this agreement are accorded normal student privileges.
Interested students can apply for this program through the Department of Public Policy. Applications are typically collected in March of each year.
International Comparative Planning Workshops
Within the department of Urban Planning student have the ability to organize international/comparative planning workshops. These workshops usually take place during the summer or spring break. Students may receive academic credit for these workshops through a course that is created in conjunction with the trip. The courses have a faculty sponsor and generally meet for half a quarter of instruction with a syllabus, assigned readings and assignments prior to the field trip. Students are required to submit a term paper and do a presentation.
Students develop a strong sense of identification with the department, in part because of a philosophy that encourages everyone to participate actively in governance. Student organizations play an active role in the department.
American Planning Association Student Organization
Description: APA provides students interested in urban planning with networking, leadership, and professional development opportunities on- and off-campus. The department elects one APA student representative per year to serve as the connection between UCLA planning students and the local LA chapter of the APA.
- Chapter meetings and events
- Annual APA LA Student Symposium
Description: The Bike Coalition at UCLA is a collective of students, faculty and staff working to make the UCLA campus and the surrounding area a better place to ride.
- Operation Firefly – bike light giveaways
- Bike to UCLA Breakfast Pit-Stop
- Dockweiler Beach Bike Ride
Black Planners Network
Bruins for Urban Design and Development (BUDDY)
Description: BUDDY is dedicated to the representation and empowerment of UCLA Graduate and PhD students interested in the field of urban design and real estate development. BUDDY also aims to ensure that students have the necessary skills and network to improve their professional development and be competitive applicants in the field.
- AutoCAD Workshop
- Santa Monica Affordable Housing Walking Tour
- Firm tour of Melendrez
The Built Environment and Public Health Council (BEPHC)
Description: The Built Environment and Public Health Council (BEPHC) is a group of students, faculty and staff involved in promoting the intersection of the fields of the built environment (planning, architecture, development, engineering, design, etc) and public health. The purpose of this student group is to provide a place for conversation at UCLA around the built environment and health, to advocate on behalf of students and organizations dedicated to the subject, and to increase the visibility of the research being done on health and the built environment.
- What’s Health Got to Do with It? Career Panel
- National Public Health Week Panels
- Organizing for BEH Certificate
Critical Planning Journal
This PhD student-run journal has been based in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA since 1993. Critical Planning is a peer-reviewed yearly publication that features research from emerging and established scholars in Urban Studies and Planning. Each year focuses on a theme central to advancing critical scholarship on and related to cities. For information on how to contribute to the journal and access all published volumes, visit our website.
- Review and edit articles
- Contribute research articles, images, and other visual/written material
- Work as a designer for the journal or website
Doctoral Student Planning Committee (DSPC)
Description: The purpose of DSPC is to give UP PhD students a space to voice and discuss issues that are important to us, and for us to organize more effectively when taking our concerns to the Urban Planning faculty and Luskin as a whole.
Website: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for website access.
GSA Social Sciences Council
Description: The thirteen Councils of the Graduate Students Association are made up of the representatives of the various departmental graduate student associations in their respective domains. Each Council supervises and allocates funding drawn from the “Councils” portion of GSA membership fees, and amounts are assessed on the basis of graduate student enrollment in the departments. The UP student body elects 1 representative from each MURP cohort.
- Winter social by SSC
- Grad Games
- Graduate student leadership dinner
Description: Planners Network at UCLA is informally affiliated with Planners Network, an international network of professionals, activists, academics, and students committed to progressive planning. We believe in fundamental change in our political, social, and economic systems and institutions to promote social, racial, economic, and environmental justice and equity.
- On-campus Happy Hours
- Progressive Planning magazine
- Organizing in solidarity with community-based efforts and organizations
Planners of Color for Social Equity (PCSE)
Description: PCSE creates space for the ideas and practice that reflect the experiences of planners of color and the low-income marginalized communities they help serve. We provide academic and emotional health support, including activities that encourage community engagement and foster professional development. Our organization also advocates for curriculum and faculty that provide analysis and tools to work towards institutionalizing social justice. PCSE membership is open to any UCLA graduate or undergraduate student.
- PCSE Alumni Mixer
- Urban Planning Youth Empowerment Conference
- Admitted Student PCSE BBQ
Southern California Planners Congress (SCPC)
Description: Founded in 1925, the SCPC is an association of cities, counties, public utilities, private consultants, and professionals interested in resolving interjurisdictional and regional planning issues. The department elects one MURP student per year to act as a liaison between the SCPC and the students.
- Attend monthly board meetings
Urban Spelunkers of UCLA
Description: Urban Spelunkers of UCLA explore the urban environment with the goal of expanding understanding of the forces that shape Los Angeles and similar city environments. The group investigates urban areas through a series of predetermined excursions throughout the region.
- Little Tokyo Spelunk
- Koreatown Spelunk
- Culver City Spelunk
Urban Planning Student Association
Description: UPSA is the Urban Planning Students Association at UCLA. We are the elected student government for the department. We act as a liaison with the department and represent students in departmental decisions such as improving and creating new programs, processes, certificates, and courses. We also organize department-wide social and educational events and act as the conduit for university funding for MURP student groups.
- Mid-term instructor and course evaluations
- The “Good, Bad, and the Ugly” annual capstone event Grad Night
Urban Planning Womxn of Color Collective
Urban Planning Womxn of Color Collective (UP WOCC) provides a supportive community space for all womxn of color including but not limited to Asian & Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA), Multi-Ethnic, gender fluid, and/or trans people of color. UP WOCC is culturally responsive and relevant to the needs of its members in the following ways:
- Support: Hold meetings and/or social events for group discussion of critical issues to promote interaction between womxn of color and allies in urban and regional planning; Organize wellness sessions that promote creativity, self-care, and community building;
- Recruitment: Continue and advance the pipeline of womxn of color into the urban and regional planning field; Foster the growth of incoming womxn of color students;
- Empowerment: Cultivate and support members to take on leadership positions; Provide our membership an opportunity to gain skills; Share knowledge relevant to career and personal development.
Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS-UCLA)
Description: WTS-UCLA is dedicated to the representation and empowerment of women interested in the field of transportation. Our aim is to ensure students have the necessary skills and network to improve their professional development and be competitive applicants in the field.
Website: WTS-UCLA Student Chapter
- Firm visits (e.g. Fehr & Peers)
- Expo Line Phase II Rail Yard Tour
- Career development panels