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The University of Texas at Arlington
Vol LXXXVII - July 2004
Graduate Catalog 2004-2006
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     Note: This Catalog is superseded by the 2005-2006 Catalog.

Program in City and Regional Planning

department web page: www.uta.edu/supa
department contact: www.uta.edu/supa/content/category/2/31/61/
graduate web page:
graduate contact:


University Hall

School of Urban and Public Affairs
Degree Requirements | Dual Degrees | Certificate in Development Review | Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
Courses: CIRP

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, Bright, Cornehls, Goldsteen

Associate Professors

Arvidson, Li, Wegner

Interdisciplinary Graduate Faculty


Cole, Taebel, Wyman

Assistant Professors

Barrett, Hissong, Tees

Assistant Professors

Guignard, Rodriguez, Stokes

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

Fax: 817.272.5008
E-mail: lgordon@uta.edu
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:

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 and emphasis area and to complete a degree plan.

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
[1] CIRP 5332/5333 Project Planning
[2] SUPA 5300 Foundations of Urban Planning and Sociology, and/or
[2] SUPA 5301 Foundations of Urban Politics and Economics, and/or
[2] SUPA 5302 Foundations of Urban Research and Analysis

[1] 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.

[2] 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. For example, a student wishing to emphasize international planning, regional planning, social planning, historic preservation, urban design or comprehensive planning should work with the Graduate Advisor to develop a course block that reflects this emphasis.

Model sets of courses have been developed for the most sought-after emphasis areas, and are available from the Graduate Advisor for the following areas:

Analytic Methods and Skills
Community and Economic Development
Environmental Planning, Policy, and Management
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 believes 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)
[3] 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)

[3] 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.

Courses in City and Regional Planning (CIRP)

Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes. Please refer to www.uta.edu/schedule for a detailed listing of specific course fees.

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