Community Planning


Why study Community Planning?

The challenge this urbanized world poses is the substance of the planning profession. Planners are dedicated to developing innovative approaches to managing cities and planning their development. The constructive management of change is at the heart of the profession. Planning is growing in importance throughout the country, and the number of planners is rising rapidly.

Planners often work in local governments and communities, but their concerns are issues that affect the world - land use, social policy, historic preservation, transportation, housing, economic development, policy planning, environmental protection, urban design and international development. Planners are visionaries working for a better future through improvements in the quality of life in one or more of these areas.

Admission Requirements

The application for the Master of Community Planning program requires:

  • University Application for Graduate Study
  • Two letters of recommendation (3 preferred). However, for fall 2021 admission, only 1 letter of recommendation will be required (2 preferred)
  • Professional resume
  • Results of a standardized test such as the GRE, the GMAT, the LSAT or the MCAT, with the GRE strongly preferred. However, for fall 2021 admission, the results of a standardized test will not be required
  • Unofficial Transcript (to be uploaded with online application). Upon acceptance to the program, official transcripts, stating an undergraduate degree was conferred, must be sent to the Graduate School. (For International Students: Transcripts must be translated to English)
  • Statement of purpose. The two-page paper should describe your broader goals within the field of planning, and why pursuing an MCP degree is the right path for you. Please also describe your significant academic experiences and touch on why you believe that you can successfully undertake graduate study.
  • What Planning faculty members would you like to work with?
  • Applicants interested in a graduate assistantship should upload a one-page description of relevant skills and knowledge (such as teaching experience, computer programming, design software, statistics, languages, drafting/design, knowledge of research tools such as SPSS or SAS) that could be utilized as a graduate assistant. Be sure to include some qualitative judgment of your skills, and describe how you have used these skills in prior academic/work experiences.
  • International Students also need: TOEFL (Minimum TOEFL: 87 (internet-based test), IELTS (Min. IELTS: 6.5), or ELS (Min. ELS: 112) scores.
  • Portfolio optional

People who are successful in urban planning tend to have the following qualities or characteristics:

  • visual and kinesthetic/tactile learning ability.
  • an interest in design combined with a heightened social consciousness.
  • people-oriented.
  • strong communication skills and are comfortable in meeting with many different types of people, as well as being attentive listeners.
  • interested in multidisciplinary issues and enjoy working collaboratively.
  • Many seek international opportunities.

The degree prepares students for the professional practice of planning at local, regional, state, federal and international levels of government and within the private sector with a planning consultant, land developer, law firm, economic development agency/corporation, non-profit organization or other business. 

Students interested in applying to the Master of Community Planning program should start by visiting the program's website. More information can be obtained by contacting the School of Planning at or (513) 556-4943.

  • The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, provides an excellent array of cultural resources for students who intend to pursue a degree in the visual arts. It offers the energy and assets of a larger city, along with quiet neighborhoods steeped in rich traditions. Cincinnati offers live music venues that range from top-notch symphony and opera companies to a growing pop and rock community. Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the city also enjoys the presence of numerous art galleries and a strong support system among practicing artists. Cincinnati is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New York City, allowing DAAP students to take advantage of the rich cultural resources of these cities as well.
  • DAAP students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally. Faculty are innovative in transforming the urban planning design discipline by applying the newest technologies. They inspire students to take advantage of interdisciplinary studio projects and work within corporate partnerships. This, along with a broad liberal arts background, prepares DAAP students to practice their art and design in both local and global markets.
  • The DAAP college library has an outstanding collection of books, periodicals and visual resources supporting architecture, planning, design, art history and related subjects. Access to library holdings is provided by an automated online catalog, UCLID, which provides access to the University of Cincinnati Library information database, and through OhioLINK, the holdings of other academic libraries throughout Ohio.
  • The Computer Graphics Center is a state-of-the-art university facility with hardware that includes PCs, Apple computers and peripherals such as scanners, plotters and digital video-editing suites. Students have access to sophisticated graphics equipment and receive hands-on instruction to augment the use of laptops in the classroom.
  • The college supports a Rapid Prototyping Center, which is the home of state-of-the-art equipment that allows students to create communication aids for their design projects. Using CAD (computer-aided design) models, students are able to create physical models using three basic methods: 3-D printing, large format laser-cutting and CNC (computer numeric control) devices, including a Kuomo CNC Router. This facility is intended for all DAAP students to use in creating large-scale designs.

Application Deadlines

All application materials should be received prior to February 1 to assure first consideration for a financial award from the School of Planning. Assistantships and scholarships are merit-based and extremely competitive. However, the School of Planning will accept applications not requesting financial consideration up to August 1 of each year to begin studies at the end of that month.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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

Contact Information

School of Planning
PO Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
(513) 556-4943

Find related programs in the following interest areas:

Program Code: 23MAS-CMPL-MCP