Master of Urban Planning Admissions

Quite good, though it may take you one semester to get to know the faculty and find projects requiring assistants. In recent years, about half of MUP students enrolling without assistantships were subsequently able to obtain an assistantship and tuition waiver for at least one semester of the MUP program.

The University has a fellowship program for domestic students from traditionally underrepresented groups. We nominate two outstanding applicants each year for this highly competitive program. Our nominations for minority student fellowships must be submitted to the Graduate College by no later than January 15th. Therefore, to be considered, you should submit all of your application materials no later than December 15th, to provide us with sufficient time to consider all candidates. Include a note that states your interest in the minority fellowship program.

We receive approximately 150 applications each year and make admissions offers to slightly less than half of those. We aim to enroll 30-35 students in our MUP program each year.

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us determine your ability to successfully complete our program, your potential to make significant professional contributions, and your commitment to the field of urban and regional planning. At least one of your letters should be from an academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letters from colleagues or supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning has no minimum or maximum length for your Statement of Purpose, however, the online application system allows for up to 1,500 words. Applicants should use the statement to convey information about their backgrounds, personal experiences, and intellectual perspectives, in the context of articulating why a masters in urban planning from the University of Illinois will help them achieve their professional goals. The best statements communicate an applicant's career aspirations, not simply his or her technical qualifications. If you have specific interests in your proposed field of study or are interested in working with any particular faculty members, please tell us about them as well.

Yes. In recent years our new students have come to us with bachelor's degrees in over 25 different fields, from architecture to zoology.

We require that all incoming students have had at least introductory courses in microeconomics and statistics. If you have not had those courses, or you took them many years ago, you may have difficulty completing some of our core courses, especially if your quantitative skills are limited. If you feel rusty in the subject matter of introductory microeconomics and statistics, we strongly recommend that you do independent review and reading or take refresher courses at a local college or community college in the summer prior to the fall semester.

Very few, and only to students enrolled in our program.

Our entering MUP class each year is typically between 30 and 35 students.

It is a very affordable community. Housing accessible to campus is readily available, and rental vacancies exist throughout the year. Students can usually find acceptable housing ranging from $300 to $700 per month. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment is about $500 to $600 per month. Although you can find apartments as late as August, you can find better, less expensive places if you line them up in May or June or even earlier. Graduate dormitory rooms and university apartments are also available from University Housing for prices similar to those above. If you must live more than a mile or two from campus, the bus system is excellent, and your student fees cover unlimited bus use.

According to the American Library Association, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library is the sixth largest library in the United States and the second largest public university library, holding more than 10.71 million volumes, more than 90,000 serial titles, and more than six million manuscripts, maps, slides, audio tapes, microforms, videotapes, laser discs, and other non-print material. The Krannert Center for Performing Arts maintains a busy schedule of events throughout the year. Campus recreation and exercise facilities are extensive, and include, among many others, the new Campus Rec Center-East (CRCE) and the newly renovated Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) building. There are scores of clubs and interests groups on campus. See the Student Affairs website for more information. As the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign enrolls more international students than any other public university in the U.S., programs, resources, clubs, and supporting programs for international students and domestic students with interests in international issues are many. The Illinois International website is a resource for international programs at the University.

Please see the visiting page.

Yes. MUP graduates matriculating in 2018 or later who are studying on an F-1 Visa are eligible to apply for the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension during their post-completion OPT period. F-1 visa holders may participate in 12 months of OPT, and may apply for an additional 24 month extension to their OPT period because the MUP degree is classified as a STEM degree. More information about the STEM OPT extension can be found through the Office of International Student & Scholar Services or through the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service.

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