Mar 04, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

City and Regional Planning, MCRP

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Program Description

The two-year Master of City and Regional Planning program is a professional degree emphasizing applied study in preparing tomorrow’s leaders for planning and developing the nation’s towns, cities and regions. The curriculum emphasizes applied study preparing for the challenge of planning vibrant and sustainable communities. Graduates are well-equipped for careers in private sector planning and development, as well as public sector planning and administration. The nationally accredited program began in 1968.

The program emphasizes sustainable land development, applying appropriate technology and recognizing the balance of physical, economic, financial, social and policy dimensions of planning. The program has a professional application focus mainly concerned with providing a solid planning education to qualified students, primarily to meet the needs of South Carolina, the southeastern region and the nation, but also with a strong awareness of global and international planning issues. The generalist approach is employed with the flexibility for concentrations in four areas: environmental planning, GIS/land use planning, transportation planning, and housing/community development/urban design. A substantive core emphasizes the general framework, theories, methods and applications of the planning process. Strong ties with the professional community reinforce the professional application focus.

Students come from a variety of undergraduate majors and professional backgrounds-primarily liberal arts, the social sciences, environmental science, business, management and design-and from many states and several countries. The MCRP program typically has annual classes of approximately 15-20 students, providing the opportunity for extensive faculty involvement in teaching, research and public service.

While the curriculum covers theory and policy issues, the principal focus emphasizes the applied skills students need to enter the job market as professional planners and to evolve as leaders in the field. Classes use real-world situations for analysis and for the application of planning skills in dealing with land use planning, development and issues of the built and natural environment.

Planning students are equipped to meet opportunities facing communities in many creative ways. Many first-year students work two days per week as department assistants for professors or in planning related entities. Students typically work full time as interns in planning or development organizations during the summer. During their second year, many students work two days a week with a public, private or nonprofit entity as student public service assistants (PSA). This allows them to gain additional professional experience.

Clemson’s graduates have been successful in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, attaining key positions in traditional planning agencies, development groups, nonprofit organizations and private consulting firms. This practical, applied program is recognized throughout the region for its outstanding graduates. Most alumni of the program serve as agency directors, department heads and staff planners at  the local, regional and state levels. Some graduates work as generalists while others are specialists in GIS, housing and community development, environmental and coastal planning, historic preservation, transportation planning, or economic development. A growing number are employed in the private sector as planning or urban design consultants, developers, and market research or environmental analysts.

Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

For more information about the Master of City and Regional Planning program, please visit

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