Master of Urban Planning

4 + 1 Program

The 4+1 program allows for accelerated completion of the MUP by students completing the BAUP degree in the Department. The 4+1 program is highly selective, and each year, a limited number of outstanding students in the BAUP program are identified and invited to apply to the program.  Students interested in the 4+1 program are also encouraged to notify the BAUP Director of their interest in 4+1.  In general, the Department keeps the number of 4+1 participants limited, as 4+1 students generally do not have professional experience, one criterion for MUP admission.

In October, the BAUP Director reviews each candidate's undergraduate record, confers with the faculty (especially the Director of MUP Admissions, the MUP Program Director, and faculty who have had the student in courses), and extends offers of invitation for 4+1 participation to those who qualify.  A student invited to apply to the 4+1 program will be asked to provide to the Director of MUP Admissions a statement of purpose.  This is due on or before December 15th.

Applicants should use the statement to convey information about their backgrounds, personal experiences, and intellectual perspectives, in the context of articulating why a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois will help them achieve their professional goals. The best statements communicate an applicant's career aspirations, not simply his or her technical qualifications. The decision to offer participation in the program is based on the undergraduate record, the statement of purpose and evaluations by faculty in the department who have had the student in class.

Students will be notified by the Director of MUP Admissions by January of their junior year if they have been accepted into the 4+1 program.  A student who does participate in the 4+1 program is not yet in the MUP program. However, that student may enroll in any of the MUP core courses in his or her senior year. Typically, a 4+1 student will take a senior workshop (4 hours), as required by the BAUP program, plus five MUP core courses. The MUP core courses meet the BAUP requirements for UP electives and planning-related electives.

The 4+1 program is designed so that it obligates neither the student nor the Department to continue participation.  At the end of the senior year, the 4+1 student is qualified to graduate with the BAUP degree, having met all the requirements of that program. Should the student wish to continue on to the MUP program, he or she must follow the normal MUP admissions process and submit an application in their senior year.  Though students are initially invited to participate in 4+1 based on the high likelihood that they would be admitted to the MUP program should they apply in their senior year, MUP admission is not guaranteed.

Once admitted to the MUP program, a 4+1 student must take 32 hours of graduate courses, 20 of which must be UP courses. They include the capstone requirement. Up to two MUP core courses may be included among the 32 hours.  If more core courses are needed, then correspondingly more than 32 hours will be required for the MUP degree. The 32 hours of graduate courses is a minimum requirement for the MUP degree; it cannot be reduced by UP 590 internship or course waivers.