Master of City Planning

The Master of City Planning (MCP) at Boston University’s Metropolitan College prepares students for a wide variety of professional roles in urban planning and management, including as city planners, city managers, community development directors, research analysts, and policy experts in federal, state, and local governments; nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations; corporations; and research institutions.

During the course of their study, MCP students can specialize in an array of complex issues and policy areas that include: environmental sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation, housing and community development, transportation planning, and applied urban informatics. The MCP is a professional graduate degree intended for those pursuing careers in planning-related fields, and can be completed within three semesters of full-time study.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and apply knowledge of the history and theory of urban and regional development, the structure and functions of urban systems, local and national policymaking processes, and the role of planning to create sustainable outcomes.
  • Explain and assess the economic, environmental, political, social, and equity issues inherent in policy work and planning practice.
  • Apply quantitative and qualitative research skills to theory-building, data-gathering and analysis, and planning and policymaking processes.
  • Create relevant policy and planning solutions that incorporate the diverse perspectives of various stakeholders, including those of minority and disadvantaged communities.
  • Mediate and communicate effectively in public (community) and policy settings.

For more information about the City Planning & Urban Affairs programs at Boston University, including admissions information, faculty bios, student resources, events, and more, please visit the program website.

Admissions Information

For current admissions information, please visit the Metropolitan College website.

Degree Requirements

A total of 12 courses (48 credits) is required. Students are encouraged to participate in the Directed Internship Program for course credit through MET UA 804 Supervised Fieldwork.

Required Courses (five courses/20 credits)

  • MET UA 515 History, Theory, and Planning Practice
  • MET UA 664 Planning and the Development Process
    MET UA 715 Planning and Land Use Law
  • MET UA 703 Urban Research Methods
  • MET UA 704 Urban Economics
  • MET UA 805 Urban Studies Capstone
    MET UA 761 Planning Thesis

Elective Courses (seven courses/28 credits)

Up to two elective graduate-level courses may be taken outside the program offerings. Under special circumstances, additional outside electives may be approved upon consultation with a faculty advisor.

Combined Certificate Options

With prior departmental approval, MCP students may receive up to two additional graduate certificates upon the successful completion of specific electives. The City Planning & Urban Affairs program offers a Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability, Graduate Certificate in Applied Urban Informatics, and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Policy & Planning. Please contact to inquire about additional graduate certificate options associated with this degree.

Graduate certificates consist of four courses specific to the area of study, including required and elective courses. Elective courses can be selected from a pre-approved list of a wide range of multidisciplinary electives offered across Metropolitan College, the University, or the Boston Area Consortia. The courses from the graduate certificate can be credited to the master’s degree program.

Course Waivers for Related Programs

Master of City Planning students may pursue a certificate program in Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate Practice, or Real Estate Finance at Boston University’s Center for Professional Education (CPE). MCP students who earn a CPE certificate in Commercial Real Estate or Real Estate Finance will be granted a waiver of two graduate-level elective courses (8 credits) toward their degree.