City and Regional Planning


Degrees Offered


The City and Regional Planning Program is offered by the Department of City Planning and Real Estate Development (CPRED) located in the College of Architecture, Arts & Humanities. This professional masters’ degree program was established in 1968 and has been fully accredited since 1973 with more than 550 graduates. As the only graduate planning program in South Carolina, the program plays a pivotal role in the development of the planning profession in the state and region. Graduate planning students come from a variety of undergraduate majors and professional backgrounds. The MCRP program typically has annual classes of approximately 15-20 students providing the opportunity for extensive faculty involvement in teaching, research, and public service. Students come from many states and several countries.

The MCRP program taps the diverse resources of other planning-related departments in the University such as architecture, landscape architecture, economics, political science, civil engineering, industrial management, sociology, environmental and transportation engineering, and construction science and management. Several studios and courses focus specifically on an interdisciplinary approach to planning and land development with students from several departments and colleges. 

The program emphasizes sustainable land development applying appropriate technology and recognizing the balance of physical, economic, financial, social, and policy dimensions of planning. While the curriculum covers theory and policy issues, the principal focus emphasizes the applied skills that students will need to enter the job market as professional planners and to evolve as leaders in the field. Classes use real-world situations for analysis and for the application of planning skills.

The primary mission of the City and Regional Planning Program is to serve the local, state, regional, national, and global environment by integrating theory and practice in dealing with challenges of community growth and change in an increasingly diverse society by engaging in research and service activities that address critical planning issues.

The program focuses on creating a sustainable built environment by applying policy, appropriate building practice, technology, innovation, and natural, physical, economic, and social dimensions of planning.

This program will consider applicants for conditional letters of admission (CLA’s) pending successful completion of an approved English as a Second Language (ESL) program. More information can be found on the Conditional Language Admission page.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

No specific undergraduate discipline is required for admission to this professional program. Students come from a range of disciplines, such as architecture, political science, sociology, civil engineering, urban affairs, economics, geography, English, environmental science, psychology, landscape architecture, business and history.

The two-year program contains a core curriculum, a one-credit summer internship, elective courses, research and a terminal project or thesis. The core courses include planning and substantive theory, analytical methods,GIS modeling,  implementation techniques and applications. Elective courses will allow you to develop further expertise in a particular area. A summer internship between the first and second years requires 10 weeks of supervised professional employment. If approved, you may take additional course work in place of the internship. An oral examination is required to present and defend the results of your terminal project or thesis.


Study space, computer workstations, studios and a lounge area are available to students in the program. Lee Hall houses the School of Design and Building resources in the Emery Gunnin Library, with more than 85,000 books, a rare book collection, film and video recordings, electronic article indexes and research databases, professional journals, and periodicals, The GIS student computing lab includes various software and hardware resources, including ESRI ArcGIS and CityEngine, ERDAS Imagine, and Adobe Software. The GIS lab has small and large-format printing and scanning capabilities. The library has a circulating equipment collection that includes digital cameras, laptops, LCD projectors and more.

Our Students

Students come from various undergraduate majors and professional backgrounds. Most have degrees in liberal arts, the social sciences, business, management or design. Students come from many states and several countries. To maintain the personal scale of the program, entering classes are kept to fewer than 20 students per year. The program has an excellent professional reputation, and its graduates are very competitive, especially in the Southeast.  Alumni have responsible careers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors throughout the country.


Application Information

As an applicant, you must meet the minimal conditional admission requirements established by the University’s Graduate School. The department does not have minimum requirements but has a goal of students achieving a GRE score of at least a 300 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Meeting these requirements is not a guarantee of admission, as applicants are reviewed by an admissions committee. The department admits students with lower scores when they have demonstrated experience or exceptional performance or capacity for the planning profession. Successful international applicants most often have a TOEFL score of at least 600/250/100, complementing their scores on the GRE.

You may apply on the web at Your application should be received no later than five weeks prior to registration. Every required item in support of your application must be on file by that date. However, the University uses a rolling admission procedure that enables applications to be reviewed as soon as they are received, so early applications are encouraged. Applicants who wish to be considered for financial aid (e.g. graduate assistantships) should submit all of their application materials by March 1. Spring admission is possible, but highly discouraged.

Full application details are listed on the program web page at

Required Documents


The program has approximately 11 Graduate Assistantships for first-year students.  These usually involve working on campus for MCRP professors two days each week. The program requires a 10-week summer internship with a planning entity anywhere in the world. During the second year in the program, many students have Public Service Assistantships which involve working two days a week for public, private or nonprofit entities in the Upstate. Both types of assistantships involve a significant reduction in tuition plus a stipend. The Public Service Assistantships require that students have transportation in order to reach their places of work, usually within a 60-mile radius.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)