The School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture is committed to a model of professional education that embraces design and planning creativity, social responsibility, historical perspective, technical competence, and global environmental consciousness; and that prepares our students for leadership in their respective disciplines and in their communities. The allied degree programs within the School have enjoyed a strong reputation for the abilities of our graduates and the quality of our faculty, and are consistently ranked among the best in the country in their respective disciplines.
This program prepares students to become creative, analytical and effective planning professionals in both the public and private sectors. Building on the interactive and interdisciplinary educational experience within the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, planning students use the Southeastern United States as a laboratory to engage a range of urban communities. Students learn to create and to implement innovative plans that improve and protect the quality of life, culture, resource base, built environment, natural environment and economic vitality. Our faculty and graduates are critical and comprehensive thinkers who assume leadership in the improvement of urban communities through the practice of planning.
Master of Community Planning
The Master of Community Planning (MCP) is a professional, non-thesis degree. Students earn the degree by successfully completing 45 credit hours of course work, including a capstone (or synthesis) project, and a comprehensive examination. The plan of study incorporates lecture, studio, and seminar courses, the latter of which are arranged into five topical groupings. The curriculum model offers several concurrent degree options (see below), and is structured to allow select students the opportunity to complete their final semester (or final academic year) at the School's Center for Architecture and Urban Studies in Birmingham.
FAQ's on applying to the School's Graduate Programs, in addition to applications, downloads and other resources.
The Master of Community Planning (MCP) curriculum model offers a breadth and depth of course material necessary to ensure that graduates are competent contributors to professional planning practice. The degree requirements are intended to be completed in two academic years of full-time study (four semesters), with a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester. Students are permitted to take up to sixteen (16) credit hours per semester.
Typical plan of study [45 credit hours]:
CPLN 6010: Introduction to Community Planning (3)
CPLN 6050: Urban Economics (3)
CPLN 7460: Digital Applications for Planners (2)
CPLN 7200: Urban Design Studio (5)
CPLN 7240: Quantitative Methods for Planning (3)
CPLN 7420: Planning History and Theory (3)
CPLN 6000: History and Theory of Urban Form (3)
CPLN 7430: Planning Law and Ethics (3)
CPLN 6970-001: Seminar in Transportation and Mobility (3)*
CPLN 6970-002: Seminar in Planning and the Environment (3)*
CPLN 6970-003: Seminar in Housing and Neighborhood Conservation (3)*
CPLN 6970-004: Seminar in Community and Economic Development (3)*
Comprehensive Examination (required)**
CPLN 7600: Synthesis Studio (5)
CPLN 6970-005: Seminar: Current Issues in Planning (3)*
* Directed elective courses are arranged into five "topical" seminar groups. Students are required to complete at least one seminar from each topical group, but may select the specific seminar from several course offerings included within each group.
** The comprehensive examination must be passed prior to enrollment in the capstone course (Synthesis Studio), and will typically be taken at the end of the second semester (spring).
In addition to the MCP degree, the program offers concurrent degree options with the Master of Landscape Architecture, and Master of Public Administration degree programs; an Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's degree with the undergraduate Environmental Design degree program; and a graduate Minor in Community Planning.
Information about graduate assistant opportunities and requirements.
As a student in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC), you will be required to pay a professional fee in addition to your normal tuition. This fee is used to support our professional programs in regard to the provision of information technology infrastructure and the general needs of professional instruction.
The Master of Community Planning (MCP) program has a laptop requirement.
Students can study abroad in Rome through the School's partnership with the University of Arkansas' Rome Center. For more information, visit the Auburn Abroad website
Concurrent degree options exist in conjunction with the Master of Community Planning degree for students in Landscape Architecture and Public Administration; and an Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's degree option exists for students in Environmental Design.
The (Graduate) Minor in Community Planning is a non-degree option for graduate students in the Master of Building Science and Master of Landscape Architecture degree programs. To earn this minor, students must take a total of nine (9) CPLN-listed credit hours. Course approval must be received from the program advisor.
The Community Planning program also participates in the Minor in Economic Development non-degree option, along with seven other graduate degree programs. As a participant, the Community Planning program allows students in the other participating degree programs the option of completing some CPLN-listed coursework toward earning the minor.
The MCP comprehensive examination must be passed prior to enrollment in the capstone course (CPLN 7600: Synthesis Studio), and will typically be taken at the end of the second semester (spring). The exam is closely modeled on the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) professional certification exam -- and courses are structured, in part, to enable success in passing it. Students will be tested on the content of all prior required courses (studio and lecture) comprising their plan of study.
Should a student not pass the exam, they will be allowed one re-take during the first week of fall semester classes. If the exam is not passed after this re-take, however, the student will not be allowed to enroll in the capstone course, and must wait until the exam is next offered.
Course names, numbers and descriptions
Each program in the School of Architecture has a professional advisory council composed of practitioners and alumni that helps to guide program development and to enhance connections with professional practice.
In recent years, students in our program have won the following recognition and awards: American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award (2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007); American Planning Association Urban Design and Preservation Fellowship (2010); Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association Student Distinguished Leadership Award (2012, 2011, 2010); Auburn University Graduate School Outstanding Student Award (2010, 2008); Auburn University Distinguished Women in Leadership Student Award (2009). This year 5 papers prepared by Auburn University Community Planning students were selected to present at the Georgia Chapter of the American Planning Association Annual Conference “First Ever Southeast Student Planning Conference.”
Cost of the Program (Tuition and Fees):
The cost per year for tuition and fees (including the professional fee charged for programs in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, see above) is the following: Alabama resident - $13,766; non-resident - $29,510.
Student Retention and Graduation Rates:
From 2007 – 2012 the average number of degrees awarded by our program per year was 15. Over the same period the percentage of students who entered our program and graduated within four years was 95%.
Approximately 15% of our students take and pass the AICP exam within five years after graduating.
Student Employment Rate
Approximately 90% of our students find employment in a professional planning or planning-related job within one year of graduation.
Adjunct Professor Justin Steinmann, AICP
Adjunct Professor Matt Leavell, LEED AP