Graduate Program

Degree Offered

  • Master of Community and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.)
    Concentrations: Community Development; Indigenous Planning; Natural Resources and Environmental Planning; Physical Planning and Design.

Dual Degree Programs

Master of Community and Regional Planning and Master of Arts in Latin American Studies: The Community and Regional Planning program and the Latin American Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences offer a Dual Degree Program leading to the M.C.R.P. and the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Latin American Studies. See the Graduate and Professional Dual Degree Programs section of this Catalog. 

Master of Community and Regional Planning and Master of Public Administration: The Community and Regional Planning program and the School of Public Administration offer a Dual Degree Program leading to the M.C.R.P. and the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.). See the Graduate and Professional Dual Degree Programs section of this Catalog. 

Master of Community and Regional Planning and Master of Water Resources: The Community and Regional Planning program and several Schools/Colleges offer a Dual Degree Program leading to the M.C.R.P. and the Master of Water Resources (M.W.R.). See the Graduate and Professional Dual Degree Programs section of this Catalog. 

Individual Dual Degree Programs: Individual dual degree opportunities are also available with other departments on campus. The program of study is developed by the student and supported by the participating departments. Students have developed individual dual degrees with the College of Population Health, the Architecture and Landscape Architecture departments, and the Economics department. Students should initiate an individual dual degree by talking with their faculty advisor. See the Graduate Program section of this Catalog.

Shared-Credit Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees Program

Juniors or seniors in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.E.P.D.) in Environmental Planning and Design program with a concentration in Community and Regional Planning or in any undergraduate program with a minor in Community and Regional Planning may seek admission to the M.C.R.P. under the Shared-Credit Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees Program. Refer to the Community and Regional Planning - Undergraduate Program section of this Catalog for specific admission and requirements.


Introduction

The Master of Community and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.) is a professional degree program in the field of planning. The program examines global trends influencing community and regional change and emphasizes culturally responsive planning. The program focuses on both rural and urban areas and their interconnectedness. Formal dual degrees are available with the Latin American Studies program, the School of Public Administration, and the Water Resources program. M.C.R.P. graduates also have developed individual dual degrees with Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Public Health. Students are encouraged to engage in fieldwork and professional internships. 

The M.C.R.P. degree is nationally accredited by The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). The department provides grounding in planning skills, methods and theory, an appreciation of the Southwest as a region, and through the lens of the Southwest, an understanding of the intersections of global, national and regional forces in arid regions.

The department mission is to plan with communities for their sustainable futures in the Southwest region through education, service and research. The department's purpose is to provide future planners and professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to support planning that is responsive to people and place. Students work with communities, including their own, to create community-based plans, programs and policies that sustain and enhance their culture, resource base, built environment and economic vitality.

The M.C.R.P. curriculum is based on the concept of problem-solving as a skill and as a context for broader understanding. Planning and related work involves solving complex social, physical, and resource allocation or conservation problems. The ability to analyze problems is central to the educational process. Necessary assets and skills include: 1) critical thinking; 2) visionary (futuristic or alternative) thinking; 3) graphic, written, and verbal information; 4) the ability to analyze and resolve community and environmental conflicts; and 5) the ability to develop, facilitate and implement community-based planning and social change strategies. Students in the M.C.R.P. program select one or more concentrations in Community Development, Indigenous Planning, Natural Resources and Environmental Planning, or Physical Planning and Design.


Admissions Criteria

The Admissions Committee is composed of department faculty members and student representatives. All files are evaluated on the basis of:

  • The persuasiveness of the letter of intent, which should be a statement of professional goals, personal accomplishments, and academic motivation. The Admissions Committee looks for a letter that expresses a commitment to planning practice and assesses the applicant's goals and philosophy in the context of the M.C.R.P. program. Applicants should identify any special attributes that may add to the multicultural and affirmative action goals of the program and why the program can help them to accomplish their goals.
  • The strength of the three letters of recommendation. These should be letters from people who are aware of the applicant's academic and professional accomplishments. The letters should demonstrate the applicant's seriousness and capability as a student and as a future professional.
  • The demonstrated capacity to perform high-quality graduate study, based upon academic transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate courses taken by the applicant. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for the last two years of an applicant’s undergraduate study. 
  • The relevance of the applicant’s experience and background, most commonly based upon a clear curriculum vitae. A CV helps show the applicant's career path, especially with experience in some aspect of community-based or regional planning through employed or volunteer job experience, publications, community service, and other outstanding achievements.
  • The fit with the M.C.R.P. program in terms of its community-based planning philosophy and focus, the natural resources, indigenous planning, community development, and physical planning concentrations, and the program's concern with issues of equity and social justice.
  • Recent and potential personal growth, a more subjective criterion based on the department's desire to admit students who are committed and motivated, who have already begun their intellectual development, and who have potential to continue that development in the degree program and as planning professionals.

Admissions Decisions

The Admissions Committee reviews all applications. Applicants are notified whether they are 1) admitted; 2) conditionally admitted pending receipt of formal contents of the application; 3) placed on the waiting list for admission should a space open up; or 4) not admitted. Those who do not gain admission are encouraged to contact the Department Chair to discuss the feasibility of a successful reapplication.


Applications

The application deadline for Fall admission is January 15. All materials must be received by 5:00 PM on that date. Applications received after January 15 and before April 1 are considered in a second round of admissions held before April 15, on a space available basis. Spring admissions are considered for special circumstances only (contact graduate advisor). Applications are not considered for the summer term. 

The UNM online graduate admissions application allows applicants to upload all of the necessary documents for application to the program of interest. Within the application, click the Application Instructions link to see program specific requirements. To apply to the M.C.R.P. program, the applicant must do the following:

For the UNM Graduate Admissions Application, submit:

  • UNM Graduate Admissions Application (online);
  • Application $50 Admission fee (online);
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended (must be mailed to the UNM Office of Admissions).

For the M.C.R.P. program specific application, upload:

  • Letter of Intent;
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (one must be from an academic source, i.e. a professor or advisor);
  • Curriculum Vitae (Resume);
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts from all higher education institutions attended.

International Students also need to submit the following:

  • An attested copy of diploma;
  • Official TOEFL scores that must meet the University of New Mexico minimum of 79 on the IBT TOEFL, or official IELTS minimum score of 6.5.

Contact

For questions about the M.C.R.P. admissions process, please contact Miquela Ortíz Upston, School of Architecture and Planning Graduate Advisor: (505) 277-1303, miquela@unm.edu


Course of Study and Degree Completion

The M.C.R.P. degree requires 48 credit hours. The degree requirements are comprised of four parts: 1) 48 credit hours of coursework including the requirements below; 2) the Graduate Review; 3) demonstrated competency in two areas described below; and 4) a thesis or professional project to be presented in public (6 of the required 48 credit hours are dedicated to this requirement), or a 6 credit hour capstone studio.

Students enrolled in this program are allowed to take up to 12 credit hours at the graduate level in other UNM programs.

Incoming graduate students are required to take statistics and economics as prerequisites for this program. Students who have not taken these courses may take them simultaneously with their first semester of graduate coursework in the program, and must have the prerequisites completed before beginning their second semester.

Required Graduate Courses

  Credit
Hours 
Core Course Requirements
CRP 500 Planning Theory and Process 4
CRP 511 Analytical Methods for Planning 3
CRP 536 Visualization Tools for Plan Making 3
CRP 580 The Politics of Land 3
CRP 587 Political Economy of Urban Development in a Global World 3
  Total 16

Concentration Course Requirements

  • Students are required to select a concentration in Community Development, Indigenous Planning, Natural Resources and Environmental Planning, or Physical Planning and Design.
  • Students are required to take 6 credit hours including a concentration Foundations course (3 credit hours) and a second methods course (3 credit hours) in their concentration area.

Elective Course Requirements

  • Students must take 18 credit hours of approved elective coursework.
Exit Course Requirements

Credit
Hours
CRP 588 Professional Project/Thesis Preparation Seminar 2

CRP 599
-or-

CRP 589
-or-
CRP 597
-or-
CRP 598
Plan I
Master's Thesis

Plan II
Professional Project

Capstone Planning Studio

iTown Studio
6
  Total 8


The Graduate Review

The Graduate Review should take place at the student’s request after the completion of 12 credit hours and must take place before the student can enroll in CRP 588. A faculty committee consisting of the student’s advisor and one other CRP faculty member reviews the student’s prior academic records, proposed Program of Studies, evidence of courses focused in a concentration, a Student Self-Assessment filled out by the student, and the thesis, professional project, or capstone studio proposal. The student shall also show completion of courses fulfilling the competencies in the student's chosen concentration. Assessment of the student’s performance in the program to date and proposals for future work guide the committee’s recommendations for the student’s remaining efforts to complete the M.C.R.P. degree and the approval of the Program of Studies form.

Spatial Analysis and Professional Deliverable Competencies

Students in the M.C.R.P. program must demonstrate competency in the following two areas. Students have the option of completing internships or projects, and completing spatial analysis courses or other work to demonstrate competency in these areas. This requires faculty consultation to determine coursework or internships that help demonstrate each competency, and approval from students’ advisors.

  • Competency 1: Providing a real-time professional deliverable to a client.
  • Competency 2: Using spatial analysis to analyze planning problems and develop planning solutions.

To fulfill Competency 2 (spatial analysis), students may complete a GIS course from any department or another course with significant spatial analysis content such as CRP 539. Students are responsible for consulting with their advisor regarding the best way to meet this requirement.

Thesis, Professional Project, or Capstone Studio

The thesis or professional project is a formal document prepared in consultation with the student’s faculty committee and presented in public. The thesis or professional project committee, which is nominated by the candidate, evaluates the scope of the work, the quality of analysis and the content of the findings and/or recommendations. Students who choose to complete the capstone studio option complete 6 credit hours of studio work and are evaluated by a committee. The committee is established by the course instructor.

Licensing for Planners

There are no licensing requirements for planners in New Mexico. Planners may be certified through the American Institute for Certified Planners (AICP).


Minor Study

Graduate Minor in Community and Regional Planning

Graduate students interested in a minor in Community and Regional Planning must schedule an appointment with the School of Architecture and Planning Graduate Advisor in George Pearl Hall, room 115 to complete a Minor Declaration form.

Requirements

  Credit
Hours 
  Select two of the following foundations courses:
CRP 531 Foundations of Community Development
CRP 532 Foundations of Natural Resources
CRP 533 Foundations of Physical Planning
CRP 534 Foundations of Indigenous Planning
Subtotal 6
A CRP methods course in community development, indigenous planning, natural resources or physical planning chosen in consultation with faculty advisor. 3
An additional emphasis elective in community development, indigenous planning, natural resources or physical planning selected in consultation with faculty advisor. 3
Total 12

Courses

CRP 165. Social Issues in Urban and Regional Development [Community and Regional Planning, Introduction]. (3)



CRP 181. Environmental Issues in a Changing World [Introduction to Environmental Problems]. (3)



CRP 265. Sustainable Community Planning Methods. (3)



CRP 330. Introduction to Urban Design. (3)



CRP 335 [435 / 535]. Community Economics for Planners. (3)



CRP 376 / 576. Human Settlements. (3)



CRP 403 / 503. Community-Based Practice. (3)



CRP 413 / 513. Qualitative Research Methods. (3)



CRP 416 / 516. The Natural History of Watersheds: A Field Approach. (3)



CRP 420. Community Placemaking Studio [Environmental Design Studio]. (5)



CRP 421. Urban Design Studio. (3)



CRP 425 / 525. Water and Energy in New Mexico: Conversations on Our Common Future. (3)



CRP 427 / 527. Watershed Management. (3)



CRP 429 / 551. Problems. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



CRP 436 / 536. Visualization Tools for Plan Making. (3)



CRP 462 / 562. The Housing Process. (3)



CRP 467 / 567. Regional Planning Process and Theory. (3)



CRP 470. Seminar. (1-3, no limit Δ)



CRP 473 / 573. Planning on Native American Lands. (3)



CRP 474 / 574. Cultural Aspects of Community Development Planning. (3)



CRP 480. Community Growth and Land Use Planning. (3)



CRP 482 / 582. Graphic Communications. (3)



CRP 483 / 583. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). (3)



CRP 485 / 585. Practice of Negotiation and Public Dispute Resolution. (3)



CRP 486 / 586. Planning Issues in Chicano Communities. (3)



CRP 500. Planning Theory and Process. (4)



CRP 503 / 403. Community-Based Practice. (3)



CRP 508. Design and Planning Assistance Center. (3-6 to a maximum of 12 Δ)



CRP 511. Analytical Methods for Planning. (3 [4])



CRP 513 / 413. Qualitative Research Methods. (3)



CRP 516 / 416. The Natural History of Watersheds: A Field Approach. (3)



CRP 520. Planning Studio. (4)



CRP 521. Advanced Planning Studio. (5)



CRP 525 / 425. Water and Energy in New Mexico: Conversations on Our Common Future. (3)



CRP 527 / 427. Watershed Management. (3)



CRP 530. Internship. (2)



CRP 531. Foundations of Community Development. (3)



CRP 532. Foundations of Natural Resources. (3)



CRP 533. Foundations of Physical Planning. (3)



CRP 534. Foundations of Indigenous Planning. (3)



CRP 535 [535 / 435]. Community Economics for Planners. (3)



CRP 536 / 436. Visualization Tools for Plan Making. (3)



CRP 537. Urban Systems. (3)



CRP 538. Community Participatory Methods. (3)



CRP 539. Indigenous Space, Place and Mapping. (3)



CRP 540. Pueblo Design and Planning. (3)



CRP 541. Navajo Design and Planning. (3)



CRP 543. Transportation Planning. (3)



CRP 546. Contemporary Indigenous Architecture. (3)



CRP 551 / 429. Problems. (1-3, no limit Δ)



CRP 562 / 462. The Housing Process. (3)



CRP 567 / 467. Regional Planning Process and Theory. (3)



CRP 569. Rural Community Development. (3)



CRP 570. Seminar. (1-3, no limit Δ)



CRP 573 / 473. Planning on Native American Lands. (3)



CRP 574 / 474. Cultural Aspects of Community Development Planning. (3)



CRP 576 / 376. Human Settlements. (3)



CRP 577. Practice of Policy Development. (3)



CRP 578. Development and Latin America [Latin American Development Planning]. (3)



CRP 580. The Politics of Land [Community Growth and Land Use Planning]. (3)



CRP 582 / 482. Graphic Communications. (3)



CRP 583 / 483. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). (3)



CRP 585 / 485. Practice of Negotiation and Public Dispute Resolution. (3)



CRP 586 / 486. Planning Issues in Chicano Communities. (3)



CRP 587. Political Economy of Urban Development in a Global World. (3)



CRP 588. Professional Project/Thesis Preparation Seminar. (2 to a maximum of 6 Δ)



CRP 589. Professional Project II. (1-6, no limit Δ)



CRP 590. Historic Research Methods. (3)



CRP 591. Introduction to Preservation and Regionalism. (3)



CRP 597. Capstone Planning Studio. (1-6, no limit Δ)



CRP 598. iTown Studio. (1-6, no limit Δ)



CRP 599. Master's Thesis. (1-6, no limit Δ)



CRP 691. Sustainable Settlements. (3)



CRP 694. Urban Design Methods. (1-3)



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