A group of students having some fun on steps stones across a pond

Urban planning offers significant and diverse opportunities to solve the complex problems of communities and to shape their built environments. This profession is uniquely dedicated to the quality of life affected by place, to visions and policy consequences that extend beyond the near term, and to problem solving that relies on multiple disciplines.

The following values and themes are integrated throughout the curriculum of our master’s program. You can choose from one of three areas of concentration:

  • sustainable and comprehensive planning
  • community and economic development
  • a customized option you create

We also offer two tracks for completing your degree:

  • a standard path if you’re new to urban planning and don’t already have a
    degree in this discipline
  • an accelerated path if you already have experience in the field
Graduate studies in urban planning disciplines are a great way to weave past career or education experience into a deeper understanding of our built and natural environments. From finance to grass roots community development, the MURP program at Ball State allows graduate students to explore the complex and ever-changing world of community renewal, real estate, and human interaction with our environment.
— Julie Collier, alumna, vice president of development at Flaherty & Collins

Program Highlights

  • physical planning
  • holistic approach
  • multicultural perspective
  • field-based practicum
  • learning community

Required Courses

Bruce Frankel - Faculty

Our Faculty

At Ball State, students know their professors, and their professor know them. You will work closely with nationally recognized faculty who excel not only in the classroom but in the profession.

Get to know them.

If you’re pursuing a degree in planning for the first time, this two-year, 48-credit program is for you.

The standard track is also for students already in the workforce.

For course descriptions and complete information on program requirements, please consult the Ball State University Graduate Catalog.

Sanglim Yoo Faculty

Our Faculty

You will never be a number at Ball State. You will work closely with nationally recognized faculty who excel not only in the classroom but in the professional field.

Get to know them.

This one-year, 36-credit course of study is for students who’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in planning, accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. The program leads to a second professional degree that hones your implementation skills of planning and develops further specialization.

For course descriptions and complete information on program requirements, please consult the Ball State University Graduate Catalog


We offer three concentration options that reflect our values in the public interest. Each of the areas requires 12 credit hours, which include a core course, a studio, and two elective courses particular to that area. With faculty approval, you may pursue a customized course of study, such as international planning. A capstone project also is typically included in the selected concentration area.

Sustainable Comprehensive Planning

Concentration in Sustainable and Comprehensive Planning

The comprehensive plan constitutes the planner's central public role. As a planner, your commitment is to interdisciplinary problem solving that includes both the short and long term.

What Is Comprehensive Planning? 

The comprehensive plan provides a frame of reference within which a city, town, county, or even a regional collection of such bodies can make decisions—decisions about how to spend public resources, where to encourage development and where to discourage it, where to invest in new infrastructure, and how to regulate private land use and development.

What You’ll Learn

This concentration weaves together the process of physical analysis of the natural and human-made environments with the multiple goals of the many constituencies who inhabit and depend upon the community for which the plan is developed.

Although the comprehensive plan itself typically emphasizes the physical and fiscal tools used by the community to implement it, the policies within the plan are guided by socioeconomic factors, social needs, and the physical context.

Comprehensive planning draws broadly on many of the planning methods courses offered in the curriculum and is informed by a century of planning theory that has evolved with the practice in the United States. It also draws on specialized tools such as GIS (for analysis), modeling (for examining possible futures), survey techniques (for analysis of public needs and desires), and urban design in some contexts.

Concentration in Community and Economic Development 

The ultimate purpose of planning is the development of land in the public interest. Simply, plans in the public interest are made useful if they are implemented. Traditionally, the channel for this is community development, and this remains our focus.

Community development shifts the focus of planners to community organization, to neighborhoods, towns, and cities in distress, and to action plans that guide a vision through a process of implementation.

What Is Community and Economic Development?

This field infuses the real estate development process with the values of planning and renders both more sophisticated and effective. Development demands the partnering of players in all three economic sectors: for-profit land developers, financiers, and both professional and industrial entities; nonprofit community development corporations, affordable housing sponsors, and other such public interest organizations; and public agencies, serving as regulator or partner in the enterprise.

What You’ll Learn

This concentration focuses on inducement and action, on risk-taking and the rewards of an ambitious enterprise, providing public benefits while addressing the bottom line for each participant group. The development process for the entrepreneurial planner requires high levels of innovation and sound judgment, negotiation in forming strategic alliances, the ability to control events, technical knowledge of site assessment, finance, marketing, and project management, and the quality of perseverance.

Public-private partnerships, development that is community- or neighborhood-based, affordable housing, economic development and downtown revitalization, and private development guided by the public interest are all subsets of this concentration.

Concentration in an Area You Customize

If you would like to create your own concentration, you may do so with the approval of a faculty member. 

Under the customized option, you may choose courses from each of the other two concentration options.

Contact Our Faculty

Career Readiness

By completing a required internship with a professional planning or land development firm, you will learn new skills and make new connections that will help you achieve. Learn more

Internship Fair

What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning?

With a master’s degree from Ball State’s Department of Urban Planning, you’ll get a high return on your investment. Our alumni go on to work for nonprofits, land development and professional service firms, planning and housing agencies, and community development agencies. And we offer plenty of career-related resources to get you there. Explore careers.

Paying for Your Education

Graduate Assistantships in the Department

Pay for school through meaningful, relevant work you’ll do closely with our expert faculty. Learn more.

Scholarships for Our Students

On top of the dozens of university scholarships you may apply for, the College of Architecture and Planning offers several to its own students. Search our scholarships.

Ready to Apply?

Applying to our master of urban and regional planning program is a two-part process. You’ll need to apply to Ball State’s Graduate School as well as the program itself.

Get Started