Master of Community and Regional Planning
Graduate Planning Degree Program
The Iowa State University Community and Regional Planning Program offers the professionally accredited, STEM-designated, and nationally ranked Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) degree with areas of concentration in land use and transportation, community design and development, and rural and environmental planning. Students may design their own area of concentration with the assistance of their major professor.
Double-degree programs are offered with architecture (MCRP/MArch), business (MCRP/MBA), landscape architecture (MCRP/MLA), sustainable agriculture (MCRP/MS), sustainable environments (MCRP/MDesSE) and urban design (MCRP/MUD). We also offer an online masters degree in Community Development, and participate in the interdepartmental Master of Science in Transportation program.
We also offer a 13-credit graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) emphasizing spatial analysis, GIS applications and program management. The program is open to graduate students in all disciplines of the university. Information about the graduate certificate may be obtained from the GIS Lab website, or download a brochure (PDF).
The application deadline for priority consideration for the Master of Community and Regional Planning is Feb. 1, but applications will continue to be reviewed as they come in.
The primary focus of the MCRP degree is to prepare students with the education and practical skills to be leaders in the practice of planning. Our graduate program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). The Planetizen 2019 Guide to Gradate Urban Planning Programs ranks our MCRP program 5th in the nation among programs that do not grant a PhD, 6th in the nation among small programs, and 6th overall among all Midwestern graduate urban planning programs (including those that offer a doctoral degree). It also ranks 4th nationally among small city programs.
Degree requirements include completion of a two-year, 48-credit program, including a required core (21 credits), electives (21-23 credits) and one of the following: capstone studio (4 credits), professional report (4 credits), or thesis (6 credits). The required core consists of CRP 563, 564, 561, 565, 566, 532 and 592. Students select electives in consultation with their Program of Study (POS) committee. View MCRP requirements (PDF). View MCRP learning outcomes (PDF).
Admission to the MCRP program is by application to the department and to the Graduate College. Students with a bachelor’s degree in planning or students who have taken highly relevant coursework may be able to waive up to 9 credits of course requirements. Students must petition the Graduate Coordinator in writing prior to the first day class of the student’s first semester in the program to have credits waived. Students are encouraged to complete an internship in a planning office. No foreign language is required for the degree master of community and regional planning.