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The University of Texas at Arlington
Graduate Catalog 2002-2004

Program in City and Regional Planning
Degree Requirements | Dual Degrees | Certificate in Development Review | Certificate in Geographic Information Systems | Courses

Area of Study and Degree

City and Regional Planning


Master's Degree Plans

Thesis and Thesis Substitute

Graduate Advisor

Elise M. Bright
549 University Hall, 817-272-3338

Program Graduate Faculty


Anjomani, Cornehls, Goldsteen

Associate Professors

Bright, Wegner

Assistant Professors

Arvidson, Li

Interdisciplinary Graduate Faculty


Cole, Geisel, Taebel, Wyman

Associate Professors

Barrett, Hissong, Tees

Assistant Professor

Rodriguez, Salazar

And graduate faculty representatives from Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Sociology, Civil Engineering, Geology, Economics, and Finance and Real Estate.

Fax: 817-272-5008
Program in City and Regional Planning,
UTA Box 19588, Arlington, TX 76019-0588


The mission of the PAB-accredited master's degree program in City and Regional Planning (CIRP) is to prepare students for successful careers as professional planning practitioners in responsible positions with public, private and nonprofit organizations; to conduct basic and applied research into community planning and development issues, problems and opportunities, and publish the results thereof; and to deliver planning-related training and services to enhance the effectiveness of public, non-profit and private organizations.

Program Philosophy

In this program, graduate students study the scope and issues as well as the interdisciplinary relationships involved in city and regional planning. The program equips students with an understanding of the dynamics of change, knowledge of problem solving techniques, planning theory and concepts, plan implementation methods, and design controls. Students acquire practical skills in empirical research and analysis, communications and computer applications, and evaluation of the implications of alternative solutions.

Practical Application: An important aspect of the planning curriculumthe practical application of theory and research--is facilitated by research activities and centers within the School and University. Research centers are equipped to investigate planning problems and opportunities with staff recruited from the faculty and student body. These centers, which allow students to exercise professional responsibilities in collaborative endeavors, include: Center for Economic Development Research and Service; Center for Criminal Justice Research and Training; and Environmental Research and Design Center.

The application of planning theory, knowledge and skills to "real world" planning problems in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex gives students practical experience and field orientation to the profession of planning in a variety of planning subject areas.

Unique Planning Emphasis and Specialization: Since students' interests and academic backgrounds will vary, the MCRP Program encourages them to select emphasis areas that fit their own personal needs and goals. They may choose an emphasis in any area, subject to approval by the Graduate Advisor.

Curricular requirements of substantive planning coursework, analytical methods, areas of emphasis and specialization, and practical experience combine to provide the skills needed for guiding development of the future city, region, and nation.

Degree Requirements

A 48 credit hour program is composed of:

Core Courses

CIRP 5303 Planning History and Theory

CIRP 5310 Urban Structure, Policy and Planning

CIRP 5304 Plan and Policy Implementation; or CIRP 5305 Land Use, Management and Development

CIRP 5318 Techniques of Planning and Administrative Analysis

*CIRP 5332/5333 Project Planning

**SUPA 5300 Foundations of Urban Planning and Sociology, and/or

**SUPA 5301 Foundations of Urban Politics and Economics, and/or

**SUPA 5302 Foundations of Urban Research and Analysis

*Non-thesis students must repeat this course once for credit. Substitutions of an elective for the repeat project planning requirement may be granted by the graduate advisor.

**Students should consult with the graduate advisor in their first semester of study to determine appropriate courses.

Emphasis Area Courses

Any combination of courses developed by the student with advice and counsel from an appropriate faculty member may, with approval of the graduate advisor, constitute an emphasis area. A degree plan (listed with emphasis area classification) must be submitted to the Graduate Advisor, and will be placed in the student's file. Each student must see the graduate advisor before the end of the first semester of study to discuss an emphasis area and to complete a degree plan.

Model sets of courses are available from the graduate advisor for the following emphasis areas:

Analytic Methods and Skills
Comprehensive/General Planning
Economic Development
Community and Social Planning
Environmental Planning, Policy, and Management
International Planning
Metropolitan and Regional Planning
Physical Planning
Planning Process, Policy, and Administration

An example of the emphasis area of physical planning is given below to serve as an example of what constitutes an emphasis area course grouping.

Physical Planning (urban design, land use planning and administration, land development)

Each student in this emphasis would take 5304 Plan and Policy Implementation, or 5305 Land Use Management and Development (whichever one was not taken as the student's core course selection). Select your remaining three courses from these:

5311 Elements of Urban Design
5313 Urban Growth Policies
5316 Land Use Law
5317 Intermediate Data Analysis
5340 Suitability Analysis
5345 Planning and Real Estate Development
5356 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
5364 Economic Base and Industrial Development

Thesis or Thesis Substitute

The thesis option, which requires six credit hours, is designed for those students interested in pursuing a career in research or private consulting, or who intend to obtain another advanced degree. Thesis students will develop a research question that can be tested and examined via extensive and thorough library research, possibly supplemented by field work. Students interested in pursuing a thesis should consult with the graduate school regarding preparation requirements and deadlines. The thesis substitute involves either preparing a professional report on a real-world issue or project (3 credit hours), or taking a comprehensive examination (1 credit hour).

Students selecting the thesis or professional report must select a topic that falls within their emphasis area. They should consult with one of the emphasis area advisors before beginning their work to see whether he or she will serve as chair of the student's thesis or report committee, and to obtain guidance regarding a topic.

Students selecting the comprehensive exam should register for CIRP 5193 and should meet regularly with the faculty member in charge of the course, so that they can adequately prepare for the exam during the semester. The exam may be oral and/or written, at the discretion of the faculty member in charge. It will cover material related to the required core, the emphasis area, and any other material which the faculty believe is relevant.


Any courses may be chosen as electives. However, students without strong skills in writing are strongly urged to take URPA 5341, Professional Report Writing, as one of their electives; students lacking background in architecture, landscape architecture, or graphic communication are strongly urged to take CIRP 5314, Advanced Planning Graphics and Presentation Workshop, as an elective; and students lacking experience in project management and oral presentations are strongly urged to take CIRP 5363, Communication Skills in Planning and Management, as an elective choice.

Dual Degrees

Dual degrees can be arranged with any suitable program. By participating in a dual degree program, students may apply 6-18 total semester credit hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours required to earn both degrees separately (subject to the approval of Graduate Advisors from both programs). Degree plans, thesis or professional report proposals and programs of work must be approved by Graduate Advisors from both programs. The successful candidate will be awarded both degrees rather than one joint degree.

To participate in the dual degree program, students must make separate application to each program and must submit a separate program of work for each degree. Those interested in the dual degree program should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisors for further information on course requirements. See also the statement on Dual Degree Programs in the general information section of the catalog.

Arrangements to offer the following dual degrees have already been made between CIRP and the appropriate Graduate Advisors.

M.C.R.P. and M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration)
M.C.R.P. and M.A. (Master of Arts in Urban Affairs)
M.C.R.P. and M.S.W. (Master of Social Work)
*M.C.R.P. and M.Arch. (Master of Architecture)
M.C.R.P. and M.S.L.A. (Master of Science in Landscape Architecture)
M.C.R.P. and M.S.C.E. (Master of Science in Civil Engineering)/M.Engr. (Master of Engineering)
M.C.R.P. and M.S.Ev.S.E. (Master of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering)

*CIRP students without a Bachelor's degree in Architecture will take Path A in the architecture program; those with an undergraduate degree will take Path B. All 15 credit hours of electives in the M.Arch. program will be taken in the MCRP program. Only in special instances may students select the thesis substitute plan of the MCRP program.

Certificate in Development Review (CDR)

The CDR certificate program provides training in zoning, subdivision plat review, communication skills and private land development for both entry-level planners/planning technicians, and for professionals in allied fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, law, engineering, and real estate. Planning technicians and other entry-level planners often spend the majority of their time reviewing development proposals with very little training. They can meet their immediate training needs with this certificate, then continue on for a master's degree in planning as their careers progress. Professionals in allied fields often become heavily involved in land development-related issues and have a great need for targeted training such as this certificate offers, but do not need a master's degree. The certificate is designed to meet the needs of both groups.

The certificate requires completion of 15 hours of graduate-level coursework. All students must take CIRP 5304 Plan and Policy Implementation. Two courses are selected from CIRP 5305 Land Use Planning, Management and Development; CIRP 5311 Urban Design; CIRP 5316 Land Use Law; or CIRP 5345 Planning and Real Estate Development. One course in communications (either CIRP 5314 Advanced Planning Graphics and Presentation Workshop, or CIRP 5363 Communication Skills in Planning and Management) is required. Finally, students select one course from the above lists or CIRP 5313 Urban Grown Policies; CIRP 5319 Agencies of Planning and Administration; CIRP 5328/URPA 5326 Public Budgeting; or URPA 5341 Report Writing.

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate program provides education, skills, applications, and training for graphic displays of neighborhood, city, regional, and small-scale areas. GIS is a powerful computer-based software tool having capabilities to store, manipulate, analyze, and display spatially referenced information. GIS software programs are being used at all levels of government at increasing rates. GIS is a new and effective tool for business, industry, and institutions.

Upon completion, students will be proficient in selecting, using, and applying appropriate computer hardware and software to display graphic information about their subjects of studywhether their field is business, geology, biology, social work, architecture, landscape architecture, or any other discipline.

The certificate requires completion of CIRP 5356 (Introduction to GIS), CIRP 5357 (Intermediate GIS), and CIRP 5331 (GIS Workshop) as well as one or two additional courses to be selected by the student with approval of the GIS Certificate Program advisor. Examples of courses that would be approved include ARCH 5329, CIRP 5320 and 5340, CSE 5330 and 5356, GEOL 5303, and INSY 5310 and 5335.

City and Regional Planning (CIRP)

Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes at Please refer to this Web site for a detailed listing of specific course fees.

5303. PLANNING HISTORY AND THEORY (3-0). Various theories of planning including rational comprehensive planning, communicative action, social learning, radical planning. Sets theories within their historical contexts, and examines the social and political details of each era to show the development of diverse planning practices and theories of planning. Evaluates the values embodied in different theories and the effects of different theories on practice and social change. Should be taken in the first year of study.

5304. PLAN AND POLICY IMPLEMENTATION (Zoning, Subdivision Ordinances, Capital Budgets) (3-0). Development of skills in document preparation including proper methods in preparing and administering the development controls of zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and other municipal codes and regulations.

5305. LAND USE, MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (3-0). Assesses land use, management and development and considers new directions. Relates comprehensive planning, environmental management, and land use.

5306. URBAN REVITALIZATION (3-0). Study of the opportunities and challenges faced by the public and private sectors in improving the quality of life in urban downtowns, original neighborhoods, aging suburbs, fringe suburbs and/or edge cities. Issues of safety, service provision, shelter and social capital will be discussed as they apply to revitalization strategies such as infill housing, smart growth, sustainable development, neotraditional planning, and new urbanism.

5307. URBANIZATION IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD (3-0). Explores the social, political and spatial dimensions of urbanization processes in developing countries. Covers urban, social, and cultural movements as well as development, processes of urban-rural migration, and globalization. The course will cover all developing regions of the world with an emphasis on Latin American countries. Also offered as URPA 5327. Credit will be given only once.

5309. TRANSPORTATION/LAND USE MODELING AND POLICY ANALYSIS (3-0). Overview of transportation/land use with specific transportation models and simulation methods; topics include economic theory of travel demand, land use models, UTPS framework for travel demand estimation, disaggregated travel demand models and abstract mode models.

5310. INTRODUCTION TO URBAN STRUCTURE, POLICY AND PLANNING (3-0). Overview of spatial structure and substantive planning areas (e.g., urban design, housing, transportation, etc.); fundamentals and general information necessary for professional planners, including social, economic, and urban planning and political issues and problems; introduction to fiscal impact analysis.

5311. ELEMENTS OF URBAN DESIGN (3-0). Study of contemporary urban form and environmental design, emphasizing visual-spatial qualities, social needs and economic linkages. Examination of processes, methods and techniques for solving urban design problems.

5312. STRATEGIC PLANNING, POLICY AND MANAGEMENT (3-0). Readings and case studies of strategic planning and management in the public and non-profit sectors; application of principles to an actual situation, involving stakeholder identification, environmental scanning, and formulation of mission statements, goals, and strategies.

5313. URBAN GROWTH POLICIES (3-0). Study of the political, societal and physical policies involved in urban growth management.

5314. ADVANCED PLANNING GRAPHICS AND PRESENTATION WORKSHOP (3-0). Techniques of presentation, use of graphic tools, and review of recent media advances.

5315. TRANSPORTATION POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND HISTORY (3-0). Transportation and related programs and policies in relation to city development and housing patterns. Interdependencies of land use, building development, and social change are explained as transportation-related.

5316. LAND USE LAW (3-0). Explores the law of land use in the context of the American legal, economic and political systems. Examines leading court decisions and precedents for their background, content and applicability to contemporary land use.

5317. INTERMEDIATE DATA ANALYSIS (3-0). Context and role of data analysis, computers and descriptive and inferential statistical techniques in urban analysis and planning. Fundamentals of inductive statistics, probability and sampling theory, hypothesis testing, chi square, variance analysis, and bivariate and multivariate regression analysis. Also offered as URPA 5342; credit will be given only once.

5318. TECHNIQUES OF PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATIVE ANALYSIS (3-0). The use of quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques in urban and regional planning including problem solving processes, group techniques and Delphi; population projection, project evaluation, land use and transportation models; economic base analysis, input-output, and shift and share.

5319. AGENCIES OF PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION (3-0). Contemporary managerial functions involved in running public, private, or non-profit organizations: goal setting, planning, organizing, delegating and motivating others, personal productivity and motivation, time and stress management, controlling, and project management.

5320. DATABASE MANAGEMENT FOR URBAN PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION (3-0). Concepts and computer applications of data management. Topics include data sources, data models, database design, data query, data analysis, and database management techniques for urban planning, management and administration. Also offered as URPA 5349. Credit will be given only once.

5321. COMPUTER GRAPHICS AND MAPPING (3-0). Provides an introduction to the techniques and applications of computer graphics and mapping for presenting socioeconomic information and graphic and spatial form. Includes bar and pie charts and methods of producing maps of social data through utilization of computer packages such as AUTOCAD, SASGRAPH, etc.

5322. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING AND POLICY (3-0). Introductory seminar in subnational economic development programs in the U.S. Covers basics of location theory, economic planning, budgeting, incentives, public and private revenue sources, analysis methods such as central place and economic base, intergovernmental efforts, redevelopment, high tech, trade and/or tourism.

5323. HISTORIC PRESERVATION (3-0). Covers elements of historic designation, rehabilitation, financial incentives, district regulations, and preservation impacts.

5324. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (3-0). Focuses on current problems of community development and neighborhood revitalization. Housing, community assets, the roles of community development corporations and social capital in cities, and community economic development will be analyzed. Federal, state and local policies, with grassroots initiatives evaluated for effectiveness on promoting alternatives for community building and organizing. Also offered as URPA 5313; credit will be granted only once.

5326. REGIONAL PLANNING (3-0). Surveys the theories that have become realities in the practice of regional planning and development. Focuses on understanding the location and flight of economic activities and their impact on reshaping cities, regions, and countries. Emphasizes U.S. regions and plans with some reference to other economic regions and blocs.

5328. PUBLIC BUDGETING (3-0). Rationale of public budgeting including legal, political, social, and administrative perspectives; budgeting techniques and revenue sources. Also offered as URPA 5326. Credit will be given only once.

5331. GIS WORKSHOP (3-0). Skills, practical experience, problem-solving methods and techniques in geographic information systems. Capstone course for GIS Certificate Program.

5332. PROJECT PLANNING (0-9). Skills, practical experience, problem-solving methods and techniques in mapping, design, planning, and research projects. Studio and seminar for field studies in the practical application of city and regional planning. This course is designed to provide experience working under contract with a "real world" client. It should be taken in the second half of the student's program of study; exceptions may be made for those with architectural or landscape architectural training. May be repeated as topic changes.

5333. PROJECT PLANNING (0-9). Skills, practical experience, problem-solving methods and techniques in environmental planning, pollution and contamination studies, mapping, design, planning and research projects. Studio and seminar for field studies in the practical application of city and regional planning. May be repeated as topic changes.

5340. GIS AND SUITABILITY ANALYSIS (3-0). Acquaints students with theoretical and practical aspects of suitability analysis process or activity allocation on land use/environmental policies. Uses Geographic Information System (GIS) and computer models for overlaying map analysis, buffering, market demand and activity locations, etc. to incorporate environmental and ecological factors into the determination of land development potential including soils, slope, drainage, vegetation, and related factors.

5341. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS: LAWS AND PLANNING (3-0). Federal, state, and local environmental regulations which have effect on the practice of city and regional planning. Specific articles, laws, and directives contrasted and compared to local city design and development controls. Subjects include CERCLA, RCRA, SARA, TSCA, OSH Act, among others.

5342. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY (3-0). Focuses on the physical environmental dimensions of urbanization including such factors as pollution, waste disposal, and land use; stresses the role of economic, social, and political institutions as these affect environmental quality of the city. Also offered as URPA 5317; credit will be granted only once.

5344. HUMAN SERVICE PLANNING (3-0). Needs assessment, funding, agency management, priority setting, service providers, long range planning, and federal, state, local, private, public, and volunteer roles.

5345. PLANNING AND REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT (3-0). The goals, strategies, methods, and achievements of major participants in the urban land and building markets are examined. Land owners, speculators, real estate brokers, developers, bankers, lawyers, non-profit builders, and government agencies are studied, as well as such business tools as: market and feasibility analysis, appraisal techniques, proforma analysis, and others.

5346. QUALITATIVE METHODS (3-0). The study of qualitative research and analysis methods. Also offered as URPA 5344; credit will be given only once.

5347. URBAN PROBLEMS (3-0). Specific urban problems examined in depth, traced to their historical origins to see how they or similar problems have been dealt with in other times and places. Students will then propose possible solutions to the problems in their contemporary form.

5350. ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING (3-0). Overview of environmental planning issues and problems, including basic ecological principles; development and effects of the chemical industry; policies on international issues; environmental justice and ethics; environmental economics, including externalities and public goods; sustainable development; overviews of planning for air quality, water quality, solid waste, pollution prevention, habitat conservation, etc.; and plan implementation, including enforcement, regulation and funding.

5351. TECHNIQUES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (3-0). Analysis of impact assessment documents from a variety of projects; study of federal laws and regulations governing the process; state impact assessment laws and regulations; and procedures used in other nations. Students will prepare an environmental assessment for a real-world project. Overviews of environmental site assessment, MIS documents, and environmental auditing will also be given.

5353. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (3-0). This seminar examines the role of environmental law within the political-institutional framework of the American system. Emphasis is on the legal-judicial aspects of environmental regulation. Analyzes the decision of U.S. courts as these affect and interpret environmental laws and regulations for their legality and constitutionality.

5354. HOUSING I: PLANNING, POLICY AND FINANCE (3-0). Evaluation of the effect of state, local, and federal housing policy on the urban arena. Topics will be selected from federal subsidy programs, tax subsidies, operations of financial intermediaries, and related areas.

5355. HOUSING II (3-0). Examination of housing policies and programs in developing and developed nations, and implementation programs.

5356. INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3-0). Introduction to GIS and the application of computer graphics systems in the storage, processing, and retrieval of geographic urban and regional information; case examples and related projects and issues of system management.

5357. INTERMEDIATE GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3-0). Applications of GIS to typical urban and regional geographic information problems and projects. Prerequisite: CIRP 5356 or consent of instructor.

5358. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS (ITS) AND PLANNING (3-0). Concepts, components, deployments, and implementations of ITS; methods for ITS evaluations; linkage between ITS and traditional transportation planning; and issues related to ITS planning and deployment.

5360. COMPUTER METHODS FOR TRANSPORTATION PLANNING (3-0). Applications of computer software (for example, TransCad, Tranplan) in transportation planning modeling. Theories of residential location choice and travel behavior. Topics may include land-use and travel demand models, trip distribution models, mode choice models, and network equilibrium.

5362. URBAN DIVERSITY (3-0). Examines the growing spatial and social diversity of cities; how physical as well as socioeconomic urban structures have fostered race, class, and gender inequalities; how urban policies have dealt with these inequalities; and what can be done to address these problems and the needs of traditionally disempowered groups. Also offered as URPA 5362.

5363. COMMUNICATION SKILLS IN PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT (3-0). Principles of and practical communication skills for planners and administrators: interpersonal communications, critical analyses, effective writing, oral presentations, creative thinking, team building, participative decision making, and conflict management.

5364. ECONOMIC BASE AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY (3-0). Theories and methods of local and regional economic base analyses; techniques for inventorying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of local capital, labor and land resources; alternative policy responses to industrial development issues arising from economic base analysis.

5365. GENDER, SPACE, AND PLANNING (3-0). Theoretical and professional issues, including: expression and reinforcement of gender roles through urban spatial organization; critiques of rational planning paradigm; contributions of women to the planning profession; threats and opportunities facing women planners today.

5191, 5291, 5391. CONFERENCE COURSE. Special subjects and issues as arranged by individual students and faculty members. May be repeated for credit. Graded P/F/R.

5193. MASTER'S COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION (1-0). Directed study, consultation and comprehensive examination over coursework leading to thesis substitute for MCRP degree. Required of all thesis substitute students not enrolled in other courses during semester in which they plan to graduate. Graded P/F/R only.

5195-5695. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PLANNING. Selected topics in City and Regional Planning. May be repeated for credit.

5197-5397. PROFESSIONAL REPORT. Preparation of final professional report as a thesis substitute for MCRP degree. Required of all thesis substitute students not enrolled in CIRP 5193. Graded P/F/R only.

5398, 5698, 5998. PLANNING THESIS. 5398 graded R/F only. 5698 and 5998 graded P/F/R.

6346. ADVANCED DATA ANALYSIS (3-0). An introduction to selected advanced techniques related to planning analysis. Subjects include advanced applied regression analysis, multivariate logit analysis and multinomial logistic regression. Applications of projection techniques, land use and transportation models and methods of regional analysis. Also offered as URPA 6346; credit will be given only once.


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