Master of Urban Planning 4 + 1 Program

The 4+1 program allows for students completing the BAUSP degree in the Department to complete the MUP on an accelerated timeline. The 4+1 program is highly selective. Each year, a limited number of outstanding BAUSP juniors are identified and invited to apply to the program. While students can notify the BAUSP Director of their interest in the 4+1 program, the Department will independently review student academic records to identify eligible candidates for the program.

Admissions Process

  • In October, the BAUSP Director, in consultation with the Director of MUP Admissions, MUP Program Director, and other faculty, reviews each candidate's undergraduate record and extends offers of invitation for 4+1 participation to those who qualify.
  • Invited students then provide a statement of purpose (SOP) to the Director of MUP Admissions by December 15. The SOP (1,500 words maximum) should convey information about the student's background, personal experience, and motivation for pursuing a MUP degree at the University of Illinois. The best statements communicate an applicant's career aspirations, not simply his or her technical qualifications.
  • 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. The decision to grant entrance to the program is based on the undergraduate record, the statement of purpose, and evaluations by faculty in the department who have taught or worked with the student. Admission to the 4+1 program does not guarantee admission to the MUP program, although students are initially invited to participate in the 4+1 program based on the high likelihood that they would be admitted to the MUP program.

4+1 Plan of Study

The 4+1 program is split into two components - the senior year of the BAUSP program, and the MUP program year.

BAUSP Senior year

A BAUSP student admitted to the 4+1 program is expected to enroll in the first year MUP core courses in their senior year, although they are not yet admitted to the MUP program. Typically, a 4+1 student will take a senior workshop (4 hours), as required by the BAUSP program, plus the five first-year MUP core courses:

UP 503: Physical Planning (Fall)
UP 504: Urban History and Theory (Fall)
UP 505: Urban and Regional Analysis (Spring)
UP 510: Plan Making (Spring)
UP 511: Law and Planning (Spring)

The MUP core courses meet the BAUSP requirements for UP electives and planning-related electives. In the fall and spring semesters of their senior year, the BAUSP Director will collect feedback on 4+1 student performance from their course instructors, and will make a determination regarding adequate progress in the program.

At the end of the senior year, the 4+1 student is qualified to graduate with the BAUSP degree, having met all the requirements of that program. In the senior year, 4+1 students wishing to complete the MUP degree will formally apply to the MUP program, submitting a full application package including recommendations, GRE scores, and transcripts.

MUP program year

Once admitted to the MUP program, a 4+1 student must take 32 hours of graduate courses, 20 of which must be UP courses. These courses include the capstone requirement (8 credit hours). 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.

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