Regional and City Planning Degree Requirements – Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture

Regional and City Planning Degree Requirements

REGIONAL + CITY PLANNING PROGRAM INFORMATION

Graduate Program

Degree Requirements (PDF) | Accreditation Information (PDF)

 

Program Offerings

Our division values close and extensive contact between students and faculty; our size allows the faculty to dedicate time to each student’s success. We also have the ability to focus on each student’s interests and work one-on-one to tailor individual courses of study within the curriculum’s format. Our rich curriculum emphasizes skills development, with training in the latest computer technologies, and our well-equipped computer laboratories provide an extensive software library. Geographic information systems (ArcView, ArcMap), scanners, GPS receivers, color printers, and plotters are all found in our computer laboratories. Furthermore, our program offers many opportunities to gain practical experience by working in local agencies or with faculty on research projects.

Our Master’s program comes with concentrations in Physical Planning and in Community and Economic Development, both of which are in high demand in the modern planning environment.  Our course materials and projects are focused on relevant, real-world planning issues and events that result in our graduates’ immediate employability.

Dual Master’s degree options can be arranged with other programs.

RCPL Curriculum

Students are required to complete 44 credits for non-thesis students and 48 credits for thesis students.

Students will select one of the two specializations: Physical Planning or Community & Economic Development.

Each student should complete all three breadth courses within their selected specialization (9 hours) and select 9 hours of depth coursework within their selected specialization. One breadth course (3 credits) within the non-selected specialization is also required.

Core Courses (23 Credits)

RCPL 5013 History and Theory of Regional and City Planning (3 credits) (Fall)
RCPL 5113 Research Methods (3 credits) (Fall)
RCPL 5203 Urban Land Use Controls (3 credits) (Spring)
RCPL 5173 Urban and Regional Analysis (3 credits) (Spring)
RCPL 5463 Computer Mapping and GIS in Planning (3 credits) (Fall)
RCPL 5525 or 5523/5522 Comprehensive Planning Studio (5 credits)
RCPL 5053 Planning Management (3 credits) (Spring)

Physical Planning Specialization

Breadth Courses (9 hours)
1. RCPL 5513 Subdivision and Planned Unit Development (Spring)
2. RCPL 5970 Infrastructure Planning (Fall)
3. RCPL 5813 Environmental Planning Methods (Spring)

Depths Courses (9 hours)
RCPL 5483 Urban and Regional Transportation Planning
RCPL 5463 Public Mass Transportation RCPL 5493 Transportation and Land Development (Spring, alternating years)
RCPL 5663 Sustainable Urban Design
RCPL 6643 Urban Design Theory (Fall)
RCPL 6653 Urban Design Seminar
RCPL 5970 Public Health and the Built Environment (Spring, alternating years)
RCPL 5970 Food Systems Planning (Spring, alternating years)
RCPL 5990 Special Topics courses such as: Water issues, Sustainability Issues, Climate Change Issues, Hazard/Disaster Planning

Or other approved graduate level course in another college/department that helps the student meet educational and career goals. (See Graduate Liaison to discuss options)

Community & Economic Development Specialization

Breadth Courses (9 hours)
1. RCPL 5723 Community Development and Revitalization (Spring)
2. RCPL 5713 Urban Economic Development Planning (Fall)
3. RCPL 5353 Public Budgeting and Finance (Fall)

Depth Courses (9 hours)
RCPL 5733 Real Estate Development in Planning
RCPL 5853 World Economic Development RCPL 5823 Rural and Regional Planning (Spring, alternating years)
RCPL 5990.026 Historic Preservation (Fall)
RCPL 5033 Sociology of Housing
RCPL 5990 International Development (Spring)
RCPL 5990 Special Topics courses such as: Housing Policy, Participatory Methods, Public School Planning (Spring, alternating years)

Or other approved graduate level course in another college/department that helps the student meet educational and career goals. (See Graduate Liaison to discuss options)

Other Graduation Requirements

Comprehensive Exam
Requires a minimum 44 credit hours, including 23 credits in the core curriculum, 9 credits (three courses) of breadth courses and 9 credits (3 courses) of depth courses in an approved specialization, and a comprehensive exam usually taken in the semester of graduation.

Learning Portfolio
Non-thesis students are required to prepare a learning portfolio of their work within the program. This is submitted prior to oral defense for the faculty committee to review. Three copies of the portfolio are required. Details on the requirements for the portfolio will be provided to the students the semester prior to graduation or upon request.

Oral Defense
The formal requirement for graduation is the oral defense. Upon successfully passing the written comprehensive exam, the Graduate Liaison will request from the Graduate College the ability for the student to sit for the oral defense. The student’s faculty committee (three faculty, at least the chair needs to be RCPL faculty minimum) will ask similar questions to the written comprehensive exam to assess that important fundamentals of the planning discipline have been attained by every RCPL graduate.

Thesis
Requires a minimum of 48 credit hours, including 23 credits in the core curriculum, and 4 thesis credits. A thesis is the product of individual research. It should represent an original contribution to the academic field of knowledge; and it must represent original research by the student. Students considering a thesis should discuss their ideas with faculty members sometime during their first year of study.

Thesis vs. Non-Thesis Degree Options

Thesis: Requires a minimum of 48 credit hours, including 23 credits in the core curriculum, and 4 thesis credits. A thesis is the product of individual research. It should represent an original contribution to the academic field of knowledge; and it must represent original research by the student. Students considering a thesis should discuss their ideas with faculty members sometime during their first year of study.

Comprehensive Exam (Non-Thesis): Requires a minimum 44 credit hours, including 23 credits in the core curriculum, 12 credits in Breadth courses and 9 credits in Depth Courses , and a comprehensive exam usually taken in the semester of graduation.

Please contact either Dr. Charles Warnken at cwarnken@ou.edu  or Dr. Meghan Wieters at kmeghanwieters@ou.edu if you have questions about our program.

Accelerated Program

Degree Requirements (PDF)

The Division of Regional and City Planning offers an accelerated Master’s program in collaboration with the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Science, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability (DGES). Any of the DGES undergraduate degrees can be combined with a Master of Regional and City Planning in a 4+1 year program (5 years total). Please visit the DGES website for more information on their undergraduate degree offerings.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Process & Requirements

The Masters of Regional and City Planning (MRCP) degree requires two-years of full-time graduate study. The degree is designed for people seeking a professional degree in urban and regional planning, community and economic development, urban design and transportation planning in the public and private sectors.

Requirements for Admission:

Prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university. A minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required for full admission.  However, conditional admission is granted for those students demonstrating ability to succeed in our program beyond simply the GPA measurement tool.  Conditional admission may require a limited load of courses, some initial preparatory courses, or language skill preparatory courses.

International students must have a minimum score of a 79 on the internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT). Also, the IELTS is accepted.  The minimum score on the IELTS is a 6.5 overall band score.  For more information about the English Proficiency requirement please click here

When to Apply:

RCPL has what is called “rolling admissions”.  We work to admit students throughout the year.  Although Fall semester admission is recommended to take advantage of the scheduled sequence of courses, Spring and Summer admissions are also possible.

However, there are application deadlines for out-of-country (international student) applications. Out-of-country application deadlines are April 1st for admission to the Fall semester and September 1 for admission to the Spring semester.

Admissions Process:

To be admitted to the Regional and City Planning program, a student must first be admitted to the Graduate College of the University.

Supplemental materials required for the application for our RCPL Program include:

  • 3 letters of reference (upload names and emails into the online application; references may complete the form and also may upload a formal letter)
  • Statement of Intent or Interest in the RCPL program

The first step to the process is to apply online through the Graduate College. The links to the Graduate College Admissions process are below:

Get Graduate Student Admission Info | Get International Grad Student Admission Info

The supplemental materials required  for our program can be uploaded into the online applications form.  The letters of reference are also included within the online application system (the online system is called CollegeNet and is used by several universities for admissions).

Please note: transcripts need to be sent to the Graduate College as part of the online application. For those who have attended undergraduate school in the United States – unofficial transcripts can be used during the admissions process (eventually an official transcript will be required by the Graduate College).

If you have individuals providing letters of reference/recommenders that prefer to mail (postal or electronic) directly to our division, you may provide the following address:

Graduate Liaison
Division of Regional and City Planning
College of Architecture
University of Oklahoma
830 Van Vleet Oval, Gould Hall
Norman, OK 73019

Email to the Graduate Liaison (Dr. K. Meghan Wieters at kmeghanwieters@ou.edu)

Scholarships & Graduate Assistantships

Get information concerning tuition waivers

Get information about scholarship process

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