Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Urban and Regional Planning
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Erected in 1916 as Blacksburg High School. Purchased by the University as part of three building package totaling $310,000 at auction in 1965. Used as the main office for the School of Public and International Affairs, and Urban Affairs and Planning.
203 Architecture Annex, Mail Code: 0113 140 Otey Street NW Blacksburg VA 24061
Architecture Annex Building
Degree(s) Offered:
MURPL Degree in Urban and Regional Planning
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
National Capital Region
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Aug 01
Spring: Jan 01
Summer I: May 01
Summer II: May 01
To get Google Maps directions from:

The Graduate School
Architecture Annex Building

Get Directions

Department Chair : Todd Schenk
Graduate Program Director(s) : Ralph Buehler (Professor), Diane Zahm (Associate Professor), Todd Schenk (Associate Professor)
Emeriti Faculty: James Bohland; Charles Koebel; John Randolph
Professors: Ralph Buehler (National Capital Region); Ralph Hall; Thomas Sanchez (National Capital Region); Max Stephenson
Associate Professors: David Bieri; Margaret Cowell (National Capital Region); Steven Hankey; Shalini Misra (National Capital Region); Todd Schenk; Diane Zahm; Yang Zhang
Assistant Professors: Theodore Lim; Paroma Wagle
Professor of Practice: Shelley Mastran (National Capital Region)

Urban and Regional Planning Introduction

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program is a two-year (48 credit hour) interdisciplinary professional degree open to students from a wide variety of undergraduate fields. The program's mission is to prepare students to become professional planners who can address the economic, environmental and social consequences of growth and change; and to provide leadership in fostering a more just and sustainable world through our teaching, scholarship, and service.

The required core courses provide a foundation of planning theories and skills and constitute approximately one-half of the MURP curriculum. The remaining credit hours are selected by students and their advisors to develop individualized areas of specialization using coursework from across the university. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector. The program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.

The UAP graduate program is offered in two locations: the main campus in Blacksburg and in Arlington (Washington, DC metro area).

Rolling admissions are possible until 1 August for the fall semester and 1 January for the spring semester. The application deadline for full consideration for graduate assistantships is 1 March.
Offered In (Blacksburg, National Capital Region)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
    • Original Test
      • 550.0
    • IELTS
      • 6.5
    • IBT Test
      • 90.0

MURP students must take 48 credit hours of work, with a 3.0 GPA or better. These credit hours are divided into the planning “core” courses, plus the individualized area of specialization.

The core requirements include:

UAP 5014 Gateway to Planning

UAP 5084 Collaborative Planning and Community Involvement

UAP 5174 Planning Theory and History

UAP 5224 Planning Methods and Technologies

UAP 5234 Urban Economy, Equity, and Society

UAP 5554 Land Use Law and Planning

UAP 5125-5126 Planning Studio:  Real World Problems and Solutions


UAP 5994 Research and Thesis 

Applying for Admission: Interested students should use Graduate School's on-line system to apply. The MURP program requires applicants to submit an on-line application form, application fee, official transcripts of previous academic work, personal statement, three (3) letters of recommendation, and resume. The program does not require GRE scores. All international applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL scores (see for Graduate School requirements).

Note that the Graduate School requires a minimum cumulative grade point average for admission of 3.0 or better. This requirement may be relaxed based on an applicant's professional experience and accomplishments.

Advanced undergraduates may apply for early admission into the accelerated undergraduate/graduate degree program, the combined architecture program, or for dual enrollment status. Interested undergraduate students should meet with an academic advisor to determine eligibility. Please also see admissions information provided on the Graduate School website.

Simultaneous degrees : MURP students have the ability to pursue simultaneous master’s degrees in other departments. The student must apply and be accepted into both programs, have an approved plan of study for each degree, and submit an Application for Simultaneous Degrees to the Graduate School.

Graduate Certificates : The Graduate School at Virginia Tech offers a wide array of graduate certificates that are available to MURP students. Many students use a certificate program as the foundation for an individualized area of specialization related to the MURP degree. Urban Affairs and Planning offers certificates in Economic Development, Global Planning and International Development, Urban Planning Analytics, Transportation Planning and Policy, and participates in several others (Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought, or ASPECT; Geospatial Information Technology; Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management; Public and Nonprofit Financial Management; and Watershed Management). MURP students have completed certificates in a variety of other areas as well. More information on graduate certificates is available from the Graduate School.

Urban and Regional Planning Facilities Introduction

Architecture Annex in Blacksburg and Virginia Tech Research Center (VTRC) 900 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA, Northern Capital Region (NCR). 

Architecture Annex, Blacksburg

In Blacksburg the MURP degree is offered in the Architecture Annex. The Architecture Annex is the main administrative building for the School of Public and International Affairs. The building was erected in 1916 as Blacksburg High School. It includes a computer lab and classrooms with wi-fi and video-conferencing capabilities. 

VTRC (Virginia Tech Research Center)

In the Washington, DC metro area, the MURP degree is offered at the Virginia Tech Research Center (VTRC) in Arlington, VA. The VTRC comprises a seven-floor, 144,000-square-foot LEED-certified facility, with direct fiber access to Internet 2 and multiple federal networks. High-performance connectivity links this research center to Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg, as well as to other major universities. The network provides access to international peering points in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Florida, and the building includes a secure data center for high performance computing (HPC)-based research. All rooms have wi-fi, projection facilities, external phone line access, and video-conferencing capabilities—equipment available to support research includes an 18-seat networked computer laboratory. 

The VTRC represents the hub of Virginia Tech’s research activities in the National Capital Region and has been designed to further the university’s mission to expand its research portfolio and partnerships with corporate research entities, federal agencies, and other public and private-sector organizations. Other labs and centers housed at the VTRC include the Advanced Research Institute, Arlington Innovation Center for Health Research, Center for Energy and the Global Environment, Computational Bioinformatics and Bioimaging Laboratory, Crowd Intelligence Lab, Discovery Analytics Center, and the Hume Center for National Security and Technology.

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