UMass Boston

Urban Planning & Community Development MS

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Become an expert in planning urban spaces and economies.

UMass Boston's Urban Planning and Community Development master's program is designed to make you an expert in the theory and practice of planning urban spaces and economies. The program brings together the expertise of faculty from several colleges and builds upon decades of research and community engagement by the university’s institutes and centers. which focus on the metropolitan area’s diverse population, governance, and its built and natural environments. In addition, the program takes advantage of partnerships with community-based organizations to provide you with hands-on experience.

In the Urban Planning and Community Development MS with UMass Boston, you will:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of urban planning and community development theories, principles, and practices to propose sustainable solutions for urban development
  • Acquire proficiency in urban planning methods and techniques, including spatial analysis and data utilization, to inform decision-making and develop comprehensive urban plans
  • Cultivate effective communication and collaboration skills to engage with diverse stakeholders and advocate for inclusive and sustainable urban development

Career Possibilities

Conduct research, analyze data, and collaborate with stakeholders to create sustainable, livable, and equitable communities as an urban planner. Engage with communities to identify their needs and develop strategies for community revitalization as a community development specialist. Or, assess the environmental impacts of urban development projects and develop strategies for environmental protection as an environmental planner. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Become a(n):

  • Urban Planner
  • Community Developer
  • Environmental Impact Specialist
  • Land Use Planner
  • Transportation Planner
  • Urban Planning Educator

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

In addition to the criteria below, applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements.

  • Personal statement - Express interest in promoting robust, equitable, and resilient neighborhoods, communities, and regions.

(Public Information/PAB Required)

Public Information

The Planning Accreditation Board requires this information be posted for the University of Massachusetts Boston Master of Science in Urban Planning Program.

Student Achievement

More than ninety-five percent of the students who have enrolled in the program since its establishment in 2015 have successfully completed the Master of Science in Urban Planning Program. All but three of the students completing their professional degrees during the past three years have secured full-time positions in planning and/or planning related positions. More than ninety percent of the program’s sixty-five graduates are currently employed as planners within the Greater Boston Region.

2023-2024 Tuition and Fees

In State Residents, per full-time academic year


Out of State Residents, per full-time academic year


Student Retention Rate

Percentage of students who began studies in fall 2022 and continued into fall 2023


Student Graduation Rate

Percentage of students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2019


Percentage of students graduating within 6 years, entering class of 2017 (for accredited undergrad)



Number of Degrees Awarded

Number of degrees awarded for 2022-2023 Academic Year


AICP Pass Rate

Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 3 years who pass, graduating class of 2019


Percentage of bachelor’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 5 years who passed, graduating class of 2017 (for accredited undergrad)

NA – No BA/BS prog


Percentage of all graduates obtaining professional planning, planning-related, or other positions within 12 months of graduation, graduating class of 2022



Deadline & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall, December 1 for spring

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to


Core Courses (28 Credits):

  • ENVSCI 623L - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 4 Credit(s)
  • PUBADM 621 - Analytic Skills II: Research Methods 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 600 - History and Theory of Urban Planning 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 601L - Social Vulnerability to Disasters 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 611 - The City in History 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 620 - Analytic Methods for Urban Planning and Community Development 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 630 - Urban Information and Institutional Systems 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 631 - Land Use Controls 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 632 - Law, Ethics, and Practice in Planning 3 Credit(s)

Concentration Required Courses (9 Credits):

Complete three courses from one of the concentrations below.

  • Community Resiliency Planning Concentration
    • CRSCAD 601L - Social Vulnerability to Disasters 3 Credit(s)
    • CRSCAD 602L - Climate Change, Food & Water Resources 3 Credit(s)
    • CRSCAD 603L - Reconstruction After the Cameras Have Gone 3 Credit(s)
  • Environmental and Land Use Planning Concentration
    • ENVSCI 674L - Climate and Energy: Law, Policy and Management 3 Credit(s)
    • UPCD 667 - Environmental Planning and Impact Assessment 3 Credit(s)
    • UPCD 701 - Urban and Regional Environmental Planning 3 Credit(s)
  • Housing and Community Development Concentration
    • UPCD 622 - Citizen Participation and the Right to the City 3 Credit(s)
    • UPCD 720 - Community Development for Urban Planners 3 Credit(s)
    • UPCD 725 - Contemporary Community Development 3 Credit(s)

Concentration Electives (6 Credits):

  • Complete two additional courses approved by your advisor.

Capstone Course (6 Credits):

  • UPCD 750 - Planning Studio 6 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 49 credits from 15 courses including nine core courses, three concentration required courses, two concentration electives, and one capstone course.

Concentration: Select a concentration in environmental land use and planning, housing and community development planning, or community resiliency planning.

Capstone: Completion of UPCD 750.

Statute of limitations: Five years.


Graduate Program Director:
Ken Reardon
(617) 287-7454
kenneth.reardon [at ]

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Urban Planning & Community Development

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