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Information on this page is primarily for graduate students. Undergraduate students use this page for Urban Studies major, minor in Urban Studies, and Minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program information.

Program Requirements

Degree-seeking students are governed by the policies in effect in their first semester registered in the program. Official policies are detailed in the Student handbooks.

MUPP Handbook 2016-2017

MUPP Handbook 2015-2016

MUPP Handbook 2014-2015

MUPP Handbook 2013-2014

PhD Handbook 2016-2017

PhD Handbook 2014-2015

PhD Handbook 2013-2014

PhD Handbook 2012-2013

PhD Handbook 2011-2012

PhD Handbook 2010-2011

Certificate students please refer to the Certificate Programs page for specific information about program requirements.


Students are required to submit a Plan of Study form to the UPP Program office by the end of the fifth week of their second semester of study or they will not be allowed to register for the following semester.

The Plan of Study should be developed in consultation with and approved by the student's advisor.

Two-year plan

For developing the Plan of Study, refer to the Two Year Plan for Course Availability. Please note that the UPP Two Year Plan for Course Availability is for planning purposes and is not the official schedule.

Registration information is on this page.

The current semester's official Schedule of Classes is on this page (click on "Schedule of Classes Department View").

If you note discrepancies between the UIC Schedule of Classes and the Two Year Plan for Course Availability, please email uppwebmaster@uic.edu.

A list of UPP courses, with brief Course Descriptions including credit hours and prerequisites, is available in the online catalog.

For more detailed information about specific classes, refer to the Course Syllabi page.

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Important dates

A calendar list of important dates about registration, submission of proposals, projects, theses, exams, graduation, etc.

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Masters Project Library

Examples of Masters Projects are available for viewing to help students gain an understanding of the range of topics, scope, and presentation of the project. A maximum of six projects at a time may be checked out for 2-3 hours, must stay in the building, and be returned by 5 p.m. A full list of projects available for viewing is available here. Please cut and paste the title, author, semester and year of projects you would like to view and email them to Ann Barnds at least 48 hours in advance of intended viewing.

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Financial Awards

There are several types of awards to support UPP student education.

The Group Educational Experience Award

This award is intended to create educational experiences that enhance the experiences of students in the Urban Planning and Policy Program. Appropriate uses for these funds include bringing conferences and speakers to campus, providing workshops for students, or sponsoring group trips. The purpose of these funds is to make opportunities available to the entire UPP program. Complete information and an application packet can be downloaded here.

Student Travel Award

Intended to help defray the travel expenses of UPP graduate students who are presenters of research, scholarly work or professional practice at a meeting of a nationally-recognized scientific, scholarly or professional society. (Maximum amount: PhD students, $400; MUPP students, $200).

MUPP students are eligible for travel funding to attend a national, state or regional conference of the American Planning Association by participating in travel arrangements made by the Urban Planning and Policy Student Association (UPPSA). Travel to other nationally-recognized urban planning conferences may also be eligible on a case-by-case basis in exceptional circumstances. Check for eligibility of venue before travel (maximum amount: $150 to reimburse travel costs).

Complete information and an application packet for the Student Travel Award can be downloaded here. PhD students should note that they must fill out both the Student Travel Award application and the PhD Proposal for Funding application.

Additional matching funds for students presenting at conferences are available through the Graduate College, see here for details and the Graduate Student Council, see here for details.

UPP students who apply for the Provost’s Award for Graduate Research are eligible for up to $300 in matching funds from the department. More information on the Provost's award is available on the Graduate college website. UPP Matching funds are only provided if the student receives the Provost's award. A full packet and application can be downloaded here.

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There are three scholarships administered through the department for UPP students: The Rob Mier Scholarship, the Anna B Memorial Scholarship, and the Thelma Jackson Scholarship.

The Rob Mier Scholarship

$1000 is awarded annually to a UPP student who exemplifies the qualities and commitment of Rob's commitment to UPP, CUPPA, and Chicago, its neighborhoods and citizens. Rob Mier, activist and professor of urban planning and public affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, died in February, 1995, at the age of 52 as a result of exposure during the Vietnam War to the exfoliant Agent Orange. He founded the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University in 1978 to help communities help themselves through technical assistance and research. He served as Chicago's director of development under Mayors Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer, and was the chief architect of the city's highly regarded 1984 Chicago Works Together development plan, which emphasized jobs, neighborhoods, and the equitable distribution of resources and opportunities to combat racism and poverty.

Mier was a nationally recognized expert on urban economic development and equity planning, and served as a consultant for numerous cities, including Oakland and Los Angeles, California, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. He published several books, the most recent of which was Social Justice and Local Development Policy (Sage Publications 1993). In the years preceding his death, his interests turned to regional antipoverty coalitions and global networking of equity planners. An article “Some Observations on Race and Planning” by Mier is available to download here.

A complete packet and application for the Rob Mier Scholarship can be downloaded here.

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The Thelma Jackson Scholarship

Established in honor of Thelma Jackson, who was Assistant to the Director of Urban Planning until her retirement after 35 years of service in 2002. The award, a $500 scholarship is given annually to a student of outstanding achievement with financial need.

Application is made through a personal statement (300 to 500 words) that includes personal goals and academic achievements with information on progress to date and timetable for completion; and one Letter of Recommendation. Applications will be judged on the applicant's academic preparation and ability to accomplish the work, feasibility of timetable for completion, and financial need.

Application material should be submitted to upp@uic.edu with the subject line THELMA JACKSON. Failure to use the correct subject line will result in your application not being reviewed.

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The Anna B Memorial Scholarship Award

UPP annually awards a scholarship in honor of Anna Bachman to a MUPP student who exemplifies her passion and commitment to affordable housing. The AY2015-2016 award consists of a $3,000 cash prize, which is paid into your student account. Any MUPP student who will be enrolled in Spring 2017 is eligible for this award. Complete details of application are here.

Anna Bachman 1/16/88 – 1/12/2014

Excerpt from Obituary

Anna, 25, was a child of the universe – a loving, generous and thoughtful sister, daughter, niece, cousin, friend and coworker who will be missed by all who knew her. Throughout her short life, Anna was unique in her continual efforts to be a better person – to be more understanding, more patient, more helpful to all individuals in her life. She loved her life and had many achievements for someone so young.

Anna was raised in Cotati, a small town about an hour north of San Francisco. She attended UC Berkeley as an undergrad student. While at UC Berkeley, Anna was a dedicated student who developed a passion for urban planning and the politics of developing countries. This took her abroad to study in Mexico, where she lived with the Zapatistas. UC Berkeley was a perfect fit for Anna as she embraced the liberal ideals as well as the independent thinking and action supported by most of her professors.

Anna was always willing to lend a supportive hand. Alongside her dad – Rick and sister - Gail, Anna volunteered her time to work with an international veterinary group, Compassion Without Borders. She made a number of trips to impoverished areas of Mexico to aid in medical and surgical camps.

After graduation from Berkeley, Anna worked for two years with Habitat for Humanity. Anna’s manager, Doug Stimpson, wrote “Anna had three qualities that made her a star: a hunger for new challenges, a sharp intellect and a desire to treat everyone she encountered with kindness and respect”. Through this work, she became inspired to learn more about Urban Planning in order to promote housing opportunities for lower income families.

Anna was attending a graduate program at University of Illinois, Chicago to achieve a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy. Through this program, she was able to identify her career path which would involve improvements in community development through policy change. According to Dr. Janet Smith, Anna’s major professor at UIC, “Anna’s commitment to affordable housing stems from a conviction grounded in social justice and the dignity of all human beings. She did not just believe that we needed more of it, but that it was foundational to a strong community and economy and our humanity.”

Anna was an inspirational individual who continues to have a positive effect on many individuals due to her persistence, kindness, support, thoughtful nature and love.

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Career Development

The department annually organizes an internship event in the spring to assist in matching students with agencies seeking interns. Agencies conduct individual, scheduled interviews and students have the opportunity to present resumes and work samples. The department also organizes a series of career development presentations on a variety of topics to help students improve their ability to present themselves as developing professionals. Individual consultation about resumes and internship/job search strategies can be scheduled by email with Ann Barnds.

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Graduate College

Graduate students in Urban Planning and Policy are governed by policies of UIC’s Graduate College. Check their website for information on Academics & Programs, Funding your Education, Graduate Studies Step-by-Step, Graduate Student Forms & Publications, and Graduate Catalogs.

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Campus Information

Check the UIC website’s Current Students page for information on registration, finances, campus events, technology access, and other topics.

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Student Life

The Urban Planning & Policy Student Association (UPPSA) provides professional, social, and volunteer opportunities for MUPP students at UIC. Check their website for more info.

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All department-specific forms can be found on this page.

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