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.

Students are bound by the requirements that were in place the year they were admitted to the program. The current policies are listed in the handbooks below. If you need to see the policies from your admission year please see the department Graduate Advisor.

MURP Handbook

PhD Handbook

Course # Course Name
M201 Theories of Architecture
202A Land Use
M203 Housing Segregation, Housing Discrimination, and Evolution of Public Policy
M204 Research Design and Methods for Social Policy
205A MURP Comprehensive Examination: Applied Planning Research Project I
205B MURP Comprehensive Examination: Applied Planning Research Project II
M206A Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
M206B Advanced Geographic Information Systems
207 Applied Microeconomics for Urban Planning
208A Colloquium in Planning Research
208B Introduction to Research Design
208C Advanced Research Design
211 Law and Quality of Urban Life
212 International/Comparative Planning Workshop
214 Neighborhood Analysis
M215 Spatial Statistics
216 Food Studies Graduate Certificate Colloquium
217A Comprehensive Planning Project
217B Comprehensive Planning Project
218 Graphics and Urban Information
219 Special Topics in Built Environment

220A Quantitative Analysis in Urban Planning I
220B Quantitative Analysis in Urban Planning II
222A Introduction to Planning History and Theory
222B Advanced Planning Theory: Production of Space
222C Advanced Planning Theory: Social Life and Difference
225 Planning in Black Communities
228 Visual Communication Skills
229 Special Topics in Planning Methods

M230 Introduction to Regional Planning
232 Disaster Management and Response
C233 Political Economy of Urbanization
M234A Development Theory
M234B Ecological Issues in Planning
235A Urbanization in Developing World
235B Civil Society, Nongovernmental Organizations, and Social Movements in Developing World
M236A Regional Economics and Development
M236B Globalization and Regional Development
237A Sectoral Analysis
237B Urban and Regional Economic Development Applications
C237C Southern California Regional Economy
238 Global Labor Markets
239 Special Topics in Regional and International Development

M240 Local Government
M241 Foundations of Social Welfare Policy
242 Poverty and Inequality
244 Urban Poverty and Planning
245 Urban Public Finance
M246 Poverty, Poor, and Welfare Reform
M248 Law and Poor
249 Special Topics in Transportation Policy and Planning

M250 Transportation and Land Use: Urban Form
C251 Transportation and Land Use: Parking
252 Transportation and Land Use: Transportation and Urban Design Studio
M253 Travel Behavior Analysis
254 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning
M255 Shared Mobility Policy and Planning
M256 Transportation Economics, Finance, and Policy
257 Transportation and Economic Outcomes
M258 Transportation and Environmental Issues
260A Environmental Assessment of Urban Systems
260B Green Urban Studio: Designing Living Neighborhoods
261 Land-Use Planning: Processes, Critiques, and Innovations
262 Urban Environmental Problems: Water Resources
M263 Introduction to Environmental Policy
264A&B Environmental Law
265B Urban Environments and Socio-Ecologies
M265 Environmentalisms
265C Food Systems
C266 Global Environment and Development: Problems and Issues
M267 Environmental and Resource Economics and Policy
M268 Policy Analysis of Emerging Environmental Technologies
269 Special Topics in Environmental Analysis and Policy

M270 Homelessness: Housing and Social Service Issues
271A Community Economic Development
C271B Labor and Economic Development
M272 Real Estate Development and Finance
272B Advanced Real Estate Studio
273 Site Planning
274 Introduction to Physical Planning
M275 Community Development and Housing Policies: Roles of State, Civil Society, and Nonprofits
277 Historic Preservation: Principles and Practices
278 More Jobs, Better Jobs: Work and Policy
279 Seminar: Public Space
280 Affordable Housing Development
281 Introduction to History of Built Environment in U.S.
282 Urban Design: Theories, Paradigms, Applications
283 Community Research and Organizing
C284 Looking at Los Angeles
M287 Politics, Power, and Philanthropy
M288 Leadership, Development, and Governance of Nonprofit Organizations
M291 Introduction to Sustainable Architecture and Community Planning
294 Housing in Developing Countries: Policy Objectives and Options
M295 Introduction to Urban Humanities
297 Current Issues in Urban Planning
298 Special Topics in Emerging Planning Issues
M404 Joint Planning/Architecture Studio
M470 Improving Worker Health: Social Movements, Policy Debates, and Public Health

Student Resources

Most faculty have “You Can Book Me” links on their faculty webpages, but you can also email any faculty member for an appointment.

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 2023-24
Tam J. Guy (they/them)

All appointments will be held virtually on Zoom. Book an appointment via email for a one-on-one 20-minute session. Students who are unavailable during the designated office hours may propose an alternate meeting time.

Students should provide the Writing TA with all materials to discuss at least two business days prior to the scheduled meeting time so that they can devote the time necessary to review the work.

Office hours: Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm PT


2021 Orientation Slides
Writing Example
Writing Tips for Urban Planners

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.).

Graphics TA 2023-2024
Evan Bruetsch

Evan Bruetsch is a graduate student pursuing a dual masters degree in architecture and urban planning at UCLA. He is interested in the history of cooperative and decommodified housing models and their contemporary implications for designers. Prior to joining cityLAB, Evan worked professionally for design/build firms in Boston, New York City, and London, as well as volunteered with Detroit’s Urban Development Corporation, the Hip Hop Architecture Camp, and Boston’s City Life / Vida Urbana. He received his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan –⁠Ann Arbor, where he was born and raised.

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.


2017 Orientation Slides
Luskin Schoolwide Graphics and Infographics Training CCLE

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

  1. the faculty member willing to offer and/or supervise the course and
  2. 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

Winter 2017: Abolitionist Planning in Today’s Political Conjuncture

Spring 2016: Abolitionist Planning: Incarceration, Injustice, & Communities

Spring 2011: Integrated Environmental Assessment

International Programs

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.


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.

For UCLA students

For Sciences Po students

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.


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.

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.

Proposal Requirements

Sample Syllabus

Student Organizations

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.

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.

Sample Activities

  • 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.


Sample Activities

  • Operation Firefly – bike light giveaways
  • Bike to UCLA Breakfast Pit-Stop
  • Dockweiler Beach Bike Ride


Instagram: @bpnucla

Twitter: @bpnucla

DescriptionBUDDY 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.


Sample Activities

  • AutoCAD Workshop
  • Santa Monica Affordable Housing Walking Tour
  • Firm tour of Melendrez

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.


Sample Activities

  • What’s Health Got to Do with It? Career Panel
  • National Public Health Week Panels
  • Organizing for BEH Certificate


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.


Claire Nelischer (PhD):

Andrés Ramirez (PhD):

Sample activities:

  • Review and edit articles
  • Contribute research articles, images, and other visual/written material
  • Work as a designer for the journal or website

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 for website access.

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.


Sample Activities

  • 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.


Sample Activities

  • On-campus Happy Hours
  • Progressive Planning magazine
  • Organizing in solidarity with community-based efforts and organizations

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.


General Email:


Antonia Izuogu:

Isabelle Garvanne:

Mel Liu:

Emma Ramirez:

Sample Activities

  • PCSE Alumni Mixer
  • Urban Planning Youth Empowerment Conference
  • Admitted Student PCSE BBQ


General Email:

MURP Reps:

Keenan Do:

Kevin Liu:

Nick Stewart-Bloch:

Hayat Rasul:

Kyla Foreman:

Other Depts:

Abhilasha Bhola (MPP):

Jhorna Islam (MSW):

Alex Ferrer (MURP ’22, now Geography PhD):

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.


Sample Activities

  • Attend monthly board meetings

Audrey Jang (MURP-JD):

Andrés Ramirez:

Gus Wendel:

Chris Giamarino:

Adam Lubitz (PhD student in architecture):

Claire Nelischer:

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.


Sample Activities

  • Little Tokyo Spelunk
  • Koreatown Spelunk
  • Culver City Spelunk

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.


President: Miguel Miguel (

Events Chair: Bailey Lam (

Events Chair: Abby Koshollek (

GSA Rep: George Karam (

Sample Activities

  • Mid-term instructor and course evaluations
  •  The “Good, Bad, and the Ugly” annual capstone event Grad Night

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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.


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

Elizabeth Greenfield:

Brittany Montano:

Sample Activities

  • Firm visits (e.g. Fehr & Peers)
  • Expo Line Phase II Rail Yard Tour
  • Career development panels