Master of Community Planning Admission Requirements

Planning integrates knowledge of many disciplines, therefore, a student may enter the program with an undergraduate degree in any field of study. The student brings his/her previous knowledge to a curriculum, which provides complementary scientific knowledge, analytical thinking, design and problem formulations skills, as well as an understanding of the legal, political, social, economic and physical context within which planning occurs.

Accelerated Track

While all normal admissions requirements for the MCP degree at the University of Cincinnati must be satisfied for acceptance into the accelerated MCP course of study, additional requirements must also be met. This program is intended for experienced professionals. Consequently, admission is limited to graduates of Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) certified BUP programs with five years of professional experience after graduation. In exceptional circumstances, applications from individuals with degrees related to planning (e.g., architecture, geography, civil and environmental engineering, public administration, etc.) and eight years of experience in planning positions after graduation will be considered. Students applying from non-PAB accredited programs will be admitted only if the curriculum of the university where the degree was earned and the work experience of the particular applicant meets all SOP admissions standards.

Please note that as of June 6, 2013, changes were made to the admission requirements below. Please review the new changes, effective June 7, 2013. If you were already in process with the old version prior to this date, please contact for more information.

All of your application materials must be submitted electronically through the University Application for Graduate Study. Application requirements include:

  • Completion of a University Application for Graduate Study that requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee ($5 surcharge for international applicants).

  • A 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.
  • Submission of two required (three preferred) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your potential to complete professional graduate study (at least one should be an academic contact). These must be submitted by your recommenders online.
  • A professional resumé

  • unofficial transcript(s) from all colleges/universities attended. Note: Official transcripts are not required during the admissions process, and only unofficial transcripts are required for the application. Applicants should not send official transcripts until they are offered admission. For complete requirements please visit the Graduate School transcript requirements

Note: An electronic portfolio or examples of design work are optional. You may upload an e-portfolio no larger than 2 MB into the online University Application. Alternatively, you may upload a PDF that includes a link to your work for portfolios larger than 2MB. We will view your work externally, though we do not accept hard copies of portfolios.

  • 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.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and TOEFL scores, sent to Institution Code 1833 (GMAT and MCAT scores also accepted). 
  • Applicants from outside the U.S. are required to have test scores higher than the following minimums for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 84-85 (internet-based), 223 (computer-based), or 563 (paper-based). Other acceptable scores include above a 6.5 minimum on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or above a 53 on the Pearson (PTE).
  • Please upload a PDF of scanned copies of your transcripts (and in the case of foreign students, an official record of prior academic study in English). At the time of admission, we will require that you send your official transcripts over to the university.

Note: Admission to the School of Planning is contingent upon receipt of the final official transcript stating the date the degree was conferred. Please mail these to the following address:

The Graduate School
2614 McMicken Circle
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210627
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0627

Application Deadline

We strongly suggest that application materials be received prior to February 1 to assure first consideration for a financial award from the School of Planning. Our assistantships and financial awards are merit-based and extremely competitive. The School of Planning will accept applications up to August 1 of each year to begin studies the following August.

Program Costs

For details about tuition, fees, and other associated costs, please visit the following link. Please note that these costs are for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Additional Information

If you have additional questions about the admissions process, please email or call 513-556-4943.

For information regarding electronically submitting your application or attaching required materials, please contact the Graduate School Help Desk at 513-556-1496 or email

Master of Community Planning





Additional Information
for the Master of Community
Planning Program

Joint Degrees

Career Opportunities

Financial Assistance



Additional Educational Opportunities
through the School of Planning

International programs

US Peace Corps

Study Abroad