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Master of Community Planning

The MCP program is a PAB accredited professional program that provides an interdisciplinary planning education based on innovative and cutting-edge social and natural sciences, experiential learning, sustainable development, and community engagement approaches. With rich tradition of service to the community of the university and the college, the program provides opportunities for students with a wide range of undergraduate backgrounds to be involved in local and global community development and environmental quality projects. Furthermore, the program’s courses are continually updated to advance the planning and design of livable urban futures. 

Predominant Track

The Master of Community Planning (MCP) program is a two-year professional program that accommodates various geographic scales as well as different planning and design subjects aimed to sustainable urban futures. The program recognizes the wide range of students’ undergraduate backgrounds and trains professionals for distinguished practice in planning and sustainable development. It integrates academic and professional practice with a deep concern for community development, sustainable urban design, and environmental quality. A special feature of the program is global exposure and opportunities provided by several programs and initiatives, including one in association with the Peace Corps. The school also offers joint degrees with the College of Law.

A unique characteristic of the MCP program is the summer Graduate Practicum (Co-op). The University of Cincinnati is famous for its Division of Professional Practice and Experiential Learning (ProPEL) which developed the co-op program over 100 years ago. Over 4,500 students per year participate in this program. The summer of 2015 is the first time that the School of Planning will extend co-op programming to graduate students pursuing the MCP, although the BUP program has participated for 50 years. As a result, MCP students cannot graduate without having paid professional experience. Practicum participation is also formally noted on the university transcript.

The degree prepares students for the professional practice of planning at local, regional, state and federal levels of government, with non-profit comunity organizations and, within the private sector, with planning consultants, land developers, law firms, economic development agencies/corporations or other businesses.

Additional learning opportunities include summer abroad travels with universities in Europe and Asia. The curriculum is designed deliberately to allow for a large number of electives. This allows students to use all the opportunities that a great research university has to offer. Students may build their own specializations, especially using the faculty's particular strengths in urban design, Sustainable development, green infrastructure, environmental planning, physical planning, and economic development. The curriculum also allows students to pursue university certificates in urban design, Geographic Information Systems, historic preservation, real estate, and horticulture, among others. 12 tenure track faculty have substantial experience abroad.

Accelerated Track
(A Degree Program for Mid-Career Urban Professionals)

The Accelerated Track of the Master of Community Planning (MCP) is a three-semester professional degree program. The purpose of the program is to upgrade the skills and methods employed by mid-career community, urban and regional planners through the rigor of a demanding academic program catering to both their current needs and the emerging problems. Many urban planners, especially in small and medium-sized cities have had professional training in planning at the bachelor’s level and have been professionally active for several years. The accelerated MCP program provides them with the opportunity to return to school for an advanced degree. In line with the profile of prospective students as mid-career professionals, the course of study is closely related to professional activities.  

Part-time Option

For those students residing in the Tristate area surrounding Cincinnati, who meet the accelerated MCP admissions criteria, but who are unable to participate as full-time students, the degree is offered on a part-time basis. Several of the courses in the program are offered in the evening each quarter, and with some degree of flexibility in working hours, a student can combine study with full-time employment and finish the program in two years.

The Master of Community Planning program is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, an organization jointly sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

Master of Community Planning


Admission Requirements



Additional Information
for the Master of Community
Planning Program

Joint Degrees

Career Opportunities

Financial Assistance

Additional Educational Opportunities
through the School of Planning

Study Abroad

US Peace Corps