Master of Urban Planning

Assistantships

In recent years, the Department has provided 75 percent or more of qualified MUP candidates with financial support in the form of fellowships, teaching or research assistantships, often with tuition and fee waivers. Fellowships are awarded upon entry into the program, as a part of the admissions process. Assistantship appointments are assigned one of two ways: first, as part of a financial award package offered at the time of admission; second, as research projects, engagement projects, or other activities of the Department and its faculty arise. It is very commont for students who do not receive assistantship appoinments upon admission to find assignments with faculty conducting projects after they arrive on campus and begin their work toward their degree.

Typical Appointments

Most MUP assistantships are for a "25 percent" appointment, which requires 10 hours of work per week on either a research project, in a course, or in support of other departmental activities. Each semester's work period covers 18 weeks (August 16 to January 5, and January 6 to May 16), for a total of 180 hours of work. Such appointments provide a stipend plus waiver of tuition and fees. Enrollment in a minimum of 12 hours of graduate credit per semester, a minimum of 3.0 GPA, continuing satisfactory progress toward the MUP degree, and satisfactory performance in the assignment is required to hold a Departmental assistantships.

The MUP program is designed as a full-time, resident program with the assumption that students take a full course load and may be working up to 10 hours per week. Combined course and work commitments higher than this may compromise a student's academic performance or assistantship obligations. For these reasons, 50 percent appointments at the MUP level are rare.

Teaching Assistantships & TA Orientation

All teaching assistants must complete the Center for Teaching Excellence teaching assistant (TA) orientation. For domestic students, the orientation consists of a two-day session the week before classes begin in the Fall semester (normally the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the start of classes). International students are required to attend a 4-day session the week before classes in the fall semester (normally Monday-Thursday of that week). Before international students can be admitted to the TA orientation, however, they must successfully complete the Oral English Proficiency Testing, also administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Students with teaching assistantships must take TA training in the fall because it enhances student employability and the department's flexibility in making assistantship assignments over the course of the year. The Center for Teaching Excellence also holds TA training in January, prior to the start of the spring semester, for TAs who are appointed later in the fall.