Jun 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Urban and Regional Planning [M.S.]

The Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning prepares students to work in a city and regional planning agency, and private consulting firms, where they will be highly desired because of this degree’s emphasis on skills in land use, environmental planning, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Program Website

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Fall or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school requirements.

  • A minimum 2.75 GPA from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution.
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation, preferably one from a professor in the student’s major/minor field of study and one from an employer. If the student does not have related work experience, two letters from faculty members in the student’s major or minor field of study will be required.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript from all previously attended institutions.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Graduate Assistantships
Graduate assistantships are available to Urban and Regional Planning (URP) graduate students on a competitive basis. URP graduate assistants support faculty members in instructional, research, service, and administrative projects. Placements for URP students are also available in the GIS Program and the Institute for Geospatial Research and Education (IGRE).

If you are a new applicant and wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship beginning in the upcoming Fall semester, in addition to completing your application to our program through EMU’s Graduate School, please send the following three documents directly to the URP Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Heather Khan Welsh, by March 15:

  1. A Writing Sample (10-20 pages)
  2. A Letter of Application for Funding (maximum 500 words). In this Letter of Application, please address the following: 1) your preparedness to assume the position of a URP Graduate Assistant, 2) which faculty member(s) you are interested in working with, and any knowledge, skills, and experience you feel you can contribute to that faculty member or research group, and 3) any other considerations that you think might be relevant for our decision including additional skills and experience, software proficiency, and financial need.    
  3. An Updated Resume or CV

GA applications received by March 15 will be eligible for full consideration for a Graduate Assistantship in the following academic year. GA applications received after March 15 will only be considered if unassigned assistantship positions remain.

Department Information

Geography & Geology 140D Strong Hall, 734.487.0218

Christine Clark, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Heather Khan-Welsh, PhD, 140E Strong Hall, 734.487.8021

Michael R.J. Koscielniak, PhD, 140FF Strong Hall, 734.487.4818

Degree Requirements: 36 hours

The M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning requires 36 credit hours of course work distributed among required, elective, and thesis or internship courses, as follows.

Internship and Restricted Electives: 8 hours

Students will complete an additional eight credit hours as follows.

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.