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URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master’s Degrees:

M.S.

Doctoral Degrees:

Ph.D.

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

45 credits

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

51 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

32 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of degree coursework (23 out of 45 total credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or above, or in courses outside of URPL that have been identified as graduate level by the courses’ subject owner.

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

Half of degree coursework (26 out of 51 total credits) must be completed in courses numbered 700 or above, or in courses outside of URPL that have been identified as graduate level by the courses’ subject owner.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

A maximum of 21 credits are allowed from Planning Accreditation Board–accredited coursework taken at other institutions. In all other fields, 25% of credits completed up to a maximum of 11 transfer credits are allowed. Special conditions for applying prior coursework may be found in the program’s Policies and Procedures.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

Any course taken as part of an undergraduate degree (whether required or optional) may not be applied.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

The Master’s Program Committee (MPC) will not accept a more than 12 credits of prior coursework taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. The MPC does not necessarily guarantee that all credits (up to 12) taken as a Special student may be applied. All courses accepted for must have a B or better. The decision as to what prior coursework may be applied will be made by the MPC on the recommendation of the student’s advisor, and must be based on information indicating that the courses for which credit is given fit logically into the student’s overall program.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Requests for prior coursework to be applied to credit requirements should be submitted to the PhD Committee for evaluation. The committee may approve up to a maximum of 18 credits of prior coursework toward program requirements. No graduate work taken at other institutions counts toward the Graduate School minimum graduate credit requirement.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from any undergraduate degree may be applied toward the Ph.D. program.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

A maximum of 15 credits may be applied from the UW–Madison University Special career; requests for prior coursework to be applied to credit requirements should be submitted to the Ph.D. committee for evaluation.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

URPL 741 Introduction to Planning, 721 Methods of Planning Analysis, 781 Planning Thought and Practice, 833 Planning and the Legal System, 590–1 Pre-Workshop Module, 912 Planning Workshop, and one course that fulfills the Structure and Function of Cities and Regions requirement (URPL 601 Site Planning; 731 Introduction to Regional Planning; 734 Regional Economic Problem Analysis; 751 Introduction to Financial Planning; 761 Central City Planning: Issues and Approaches; 839 Transportation and Infrastructure Systems Planning; 841 Planning the Ecological City; 844 Housing and Public Policy).

Program-Specific Courses Required

All doctoral students are required to complete three courses (9 credits) on the structure and processes of cities and regions. These courses shall cover the nature of urban and regional development processes over time and the impact of urban and regional development on the social, economic, environmental, institutional, and physical structure of cities and regions. They should also cover the response of federal, state and local governments to the issues and problems generated by such development and the planner’s role in developing public policy and programs to deal with those problems and issues.

Courses satisfying the requirement for this component of doctoral studies must be approved by the student’s Ph.D. advisor and then by the Ph.D. program committee, and shall be recorded on a form provided by the committee. Courses satisfying this requirement shall be drawn from a list provided by the Ph.D. program committee.

For more information please reference the program’s Policies and Procedures.

Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of planning, the department requires all Ph.D. candidates to fulfill the requirements of a minor field. The purpose of the Minor field requirement is to supplement and support the student’s program of study in the major field. There are two options that can be pursued for the minor. Option A requires a minimum of 10 credits in a single department/major field of study. Selection of this option requires the approval of the minor department under the guidelines of that department and on forms developed for that purpose by the selected department. Option B requires a minimum of 10 credits in one or more departments and can include coursework in URPL. Selection of this option requires the approval of the department’s Ph.D. program committee. Forms for the filing of Option B minors are available from the Ph.D. program committee.

Ph.D. students and their advisers are responsible for filing copies of executed minor agreements with the Ph.D. program committee. The minor field requirement must be satisfied prior to filing the warrant for the preliminary examination.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required

Other Grade Requirements

In addition to Graduate School requirements, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning requires that all core courses and all courses in a student’s area of specialization (other than research credits) be taken on a graded (i.e., not satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.)

In all core courses and all courses in a student’s area of specialization, a minimum grade of BC is considered satisfactory. Grades of C or below in core and specialization courses may not be counted toward degree requirements, but are still counted in the cumulative GPA. If a student receives a grade of C or below in a department required core course, the student must retake the course and achieve a satisfactory grade.

In elective courses, a grade of C or above is considered satisfactory.

Any course in which a student receives a grade of D or F may not be used to satisfy any department graduation requirements. However, these courses will still be counted in the cumulative GPA.

Other Grade Requirements

The minimum average GPA in courses satisfying the Structure and Processes of Cities and Regions requirement shall be 3.5. If a student does not achieve this GPA in the three courses s/he identifies, they may continue to take courses (within the general departmental Ph.D. program policies of how long a student may be a pre-dissertator) from the list provided until they have three courses where their average GPA is 3.5.

Probation Policy

The status of a student can be one of three options:

1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).

2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status. To the extent possible, students admitted on probation are encouraged to take core courses as a part of their first semester schedule. In all other matters, students admitted on probation are subject to the same standards and requirements as students admitted in full standing (e.g. residency requirements, satisfactory student performance, minimum grades in core courses [BC], and so forth.

3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).

Probation Policy

A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.0 is not attained during the subsequent semester of full time enrollment (or 12 credits of enrollment if enrolled part-time) the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for 1 additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.

Advisor / Committee

Student should meet regularly with the advisor to plan academic career. The advisor is required to approve and sign the plan of study form, which is then submitted to the graduate coordinator prior to the student being allowed to graduate.

Advisor / Committee

All students are required to conduct a yearly progress report meeting with their thesis committee after passing the preliminary examination.

Assessments and Examinations

To obtain a master of science degree in urban and regional planning, a student must be able to demonstrate a high level of competency in the theories, methods, applications, and ethics of planning. Students must demonstrate competency over the broad field of planning in general, as well as within an area of specialization as defined by the student, in consultation with a faculty advisor.

For information on competency requirement options, including details regarding a master’s thesis or a professional project, see the program’s Policies and Procedures.

Assessments and Examinations

The department administers three preliminary field examinations. The purpose of the preliminary examinations is to satisfy the department that the student is knowledgeable about the central theoretical and methodological perspectives common to the field of planning, and has sufficient knowledge about the design and conduct of research to undertake the dissertation.

For more information concerning the preliminary exams, see the program’s Policies and Procedures.

Time Constraints

The master’s program takes two full years of study.

Time Constraints

All courses for the Structure and Processes of Cities and Regions requirement must be taken and successfully completed within the doctoral student’s first five semesters (i.e., two and one-half academic years) in the Ph.D. program. This coursework requirement must be met before the student is advanced to candidacy (awarded dissertator, ABD status).

Language Requirements

Prospective students whose native language is not English must also provide evidence of English language proficiency. A TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or above typically indicates an ability to successfully meet the written and spoken communication requirements of graduate level courses.

Language Requirements

Prospective students whose native language is not English must also provide evidence of English language proficiency. A TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or above typically indicates an ability to successfully meet the written and spoken communication requirements of graduate level courses, the department’s preliminary examinations, and the dissertation.