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Master of Urban and Regional Planning

College of Urban and Public Affairs Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning

Spring 2010

“Portland State’s MURP program is about more than a new building with state of the art facilities, or a location just blocks from key city agencies. It’s about the people you’ll meet here, whether relaxing with a prof in the plaza sun or huddled with your fellow students in the studio, planning the future.” Paul Bender, MURP student

Introduction The mission of the School of Urban Studies and Planning is to assist in the development of healthy communities through an interdisciplinary program of teaching, research and public service. Faculty and students engage the intellectual, policy and practice aspects of urban studies and planning from the local to the international levels and actively participate in the analysis, development and dissemination of the innovations for which Portland and the Pacific Northwest are known. Adopted by the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning Faculty on March 17th 2000.

The Portland metropolitan area offers opportunities unparalleled in the United States for the study of urban and regional planning. City, regional, and state institutions have created planning processes and adopted plans that are among the most innovative and far-reaching in the country. Practicing planners look to Portland and Oregon for leadership in sustaining livability, including growth management; integration of land use, transport, and environmental planning; and attention to the housing needs of diverse populations. The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University is both shaped by, and helps to shape, the prevailing culture of planning in the area. State and regional debates are frequently reflected in classroom discussions and class projects. The program trains people to take active roles in planning and managing urban and regional development processes. Technical and political— including ethical—dimensions of issues are explored in classes to prepare students to work in a variety of organizational and functional planning contexts, including the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

College of Urban and Public Affairs


The Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning The Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning is the nation's oldest continuously operating instructional program in urban studies. Beginning with an undergraduate certificate in 1959, the Toulan School now offers a bachelor degree in community development, master degrees in urban and regional planning and urban studies, and doctoral degrees in urban studies and urban studies: regional science. Understanding metropolitan regions and their problems, and analyzing policies to shape their evolution and overcome obstacles are major concerns of the Toulan School’s degree programs. In 2000, the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning moved into the College of Urban and Public Affairs building in downtown Portland. The programs in urban studies and planning are strengthened by the ability to draw on the resources of other units in the College of Urban and Public Affairs, including the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and the School of Community Health; the Institute on Aging, the Center for Urban Studies, the Center for Population Research and Census; and the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies. A number of public and professional leaders also serve as adjunct faculty. The Toulan School's programs are structured to allow students living and/or working in the Portland metropolitan area to take advantage of the broad range of resources available at Portland State University and in the community. Graduate students in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning may take courses in any of the University’s graduate programs. Students may also take courses in the University of Oregon’s urban design program in Portland.

Master of Urban and Regional Planning Overview “One of the main reasons I chose PSU over other planning programs was because of the location. Portland, Oregon has a long tradition of innovative planning. In the classes, professors discuss planning theory with the students and then the students spend time in the field to see how theory looks in practice.” Mindy Correll, MURP Alum The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, which is under the sponsorship of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association (APA), and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). The curriculum includes a 43-credit core that focuses on the history and theory of planning as a field, plan implementation, analytical methods (including Geographic Information Systems [GIS]), the dynamics of metropolitan development, a two-term planning workshop and an internship experience. Experiential learning is an integral component of the program. Internships in the region are plentiful and varied, and include opportunities such as working with Metro's state-of-the-art transportation planning model, with a non-profit community development corporation to revitalize neighborhoods, or with a bistate agency to implement the Columbia Gorge River National Scenic Area Act. The program offers specializations in five areas: community development, environment, land use, regional economic development, and transportation. Remaining credits are taken as electives or as a second specialization. 2

Students can transfer up to 24 credits of course work taken at another university or at PSU prior to admission, provided that the courses were taken within seven years of completion of the MURP program, that they fit within the student’s program of study, and have not been used to obtain another degree.

Program Requirements Curriculum Core Courses (43 credits) Planning Sequence; USP 540 History and Theory of Planning USP 541 Dynamics of Planning Practice Either USP 549 Regional Planning and Metropolitan Growth Management* or USP 594 Planning in the Pacific Northwest* or USP 595 Reshaping the Metropolis* or USP 616 Cities in the Global Political Economy * Methods Sequence: USP 531 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Planners USP 533 Planning Methods I USP 535 Planning Methods II USP 584 Negotiation in the Public Sector Analytical Sequence: USP 515 Economics: Applications to Urban Studies USP 525 Design Analysis in Planning USP 553 Legal Processes in Urban Planning Year 2 USP 558 Planning Workshop USP 559 Internship/Planning Practice Workshop *Students are required to take either USP 549, USP 594, USP 595 or USP 616.

Planning Workshop In the USP 558 Planning Workshop, students work in small groups to initiate, develop and undertake a project for a community client of their choice. Projects have included traditional neighborhood action plans, advocacy for homeless campers, and a transportation access and circulation plan for a popular city park, to more innovative topics such as the impact of food carts on street vitality and neighborhood livability, the availability of public toilets in downtown Portland, and activating vacant spaces for temporary uses in an inner city industrial area. (A complete list of Workshop projects can be found at Workshop projects won the American Institute of Certified Planners Student Project Award for Planning Applications to Contemporary Problems for three consecutive years in the late 1990’s and most recently, in 2010.


Field Area Projects Students may choose to prepare an original research paper or project in their field of specialization. The research paper or project is meant to demonstrate a student’s ability to integrate and apply material from his or her course work and is designed in consultation with faculty.

Internships Each student is required to complete 400 hours of internship. The Planning Practice Workshop (USP 559) provides students with support in finding an internship as well as an opportunity to reflect on the internship experience and share personal assessments with peers. More than 90% of the MURP students obtain internships that pay a stipend. They are available with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private sector consulting firms that work in the areas of land use and transportation planning, environmental management and community development. Pay ranges from $8 to $20 per hour; most pay between $9 and $12 per hour. The majority of students complete more than one internship. Most internships are completed in the Portland metropolitan area, but many students secure out-of-region and out-of-state internships as a means of cultivating different learning and employment opportunities. For a comprehensive list of internship placements completed by students see the school website. Organizations where MURPs have carried out their internship:  American Leadership Forum  Central Eastside Industrial Council (Portland, OR)  Clark County, Washington: Community Services  Criterion Planning Services  Community Development Network  David Evans and Associates, Inc.  Hillsboro Planning Department  Housing Development Center (Portland, OR)  Leland Consulting Group  Metro Council  Metro Growth Management Department  Metro Transportation Department  1000 Friends of Oregon  Port of Portland's Planning and Policy Department  Portland Bureau of Environmental Services  Portland Bureau of Housing and Community Development  Portland Bureau of Planning  Portland Development Commission  REACH Community Development Corporation  Three Rivers Land Conservancy  Tri-Met


Specializations Specializations offer MURP students the opportunity to customize their education to meet particular scholastic and professional objectives. Five specializations are available to MURP students: Community Development, Environment, Land Use, Regional Economic Development; and Transportation. Each student must specialize in at least one field. Descriptions of the following courses can be found on our website at Community Development Faculty: C. Abbott, S. Adler, L. Bates, K. Gibson, C. Heying, C. Ozawa, E. Seltzer, V. Shandas, G. Sussman, N. Toulan Community development planning focuses on the economic, social and physical needs of neighborhoods and smaller cities. Local governments and nonprofit organizations usually take the lead in assessing community strengths, identifying public and private resources, and creating projects and programs to improve the everyday lives of residents. Community development specialists understand social and political dynamics and have skills in such areas as citizen organizing, housing, historic preservation, and economic development. Required Courses: USP 528 Concepts of Community Development USP 550 Concepts of Citizen Participation USP 551 Community Economic Development Choose 2: USP 523 USP 526 USP 527 USP 545 USP 546 USP 547 USP 552 USP 557 USP 580 USP 585 USP 590 USP 616 USP 617 BST 584

Real Estate Development I Neighborhood Conservation and Change Downtown Revitalization Cities and Third World Development Real Estate Development II Planning for Developing Countries Urban Poverty in Critical Perspective Information Cities Political Economy of Nonprofit Organizations Housing and Environments for the Elderly Green Economics and Sustainable Development Cities in the Global Political Economy The Sociology and Politics of Urban Life African American Community Development

Environment Faculty: J. Dill, L. Lutzenhiser, B. Messer, C. Ozawa, E. Seltzer, V. Shandas This field focuses on the physical environment, including resource management and the protection and promotion of environmental quality (pollution prevention). It is located at the interface between natural and political institutions that direct human (individual and collective) behaviors. Salient issues include intergenerational impacts, scientific uncertainty, how to place value on non-market effects of actions, and the proliferation of non-governmental organizations working in the policy and planning arenas. USP 571 should be one of the earliest courses taken in this field.


Required Courses: USP 512 Environmental Planning Methods USP 571 Environmental Policy Choose 1 or 2** USP 524 Site Planning USP 536 Policy Evaluation Methods USP 543 Geographic Applications to Planning USP 569 Sustainable Cities and Regions USP 577 Urban Environmental Management USP 578 Impact Assessment USP 588 Sustainable Development Practices USP 590 Green Economics and Sustainable Development USP 592 Geographic Information Systems II: Applications USP 660 Policy Process ECON 532 Environmental Economics ECON 533 Natural Resource Economics ESR 529 Environmental Impact Assessment Choose 1 or 2** GEOG 546 Water Resources Management GEOG 548 The Urban Forest GEOL 561 Environmental Geology ESR 520 Ecological Toxicology ESR 524 Wetland Ecology ESR 525 Watershed Hydrology ESR 526 Ecology of Streams and Rivers ESR 528 Urban Ecology **A total of three courses from these two lists are required. Land Use Faculty: S. Adler, E. Basset, E. Seltzer, N. Toulan The traditional core of planning programs, the land use specialization is characterized by a generalist, comprehensive approach to addressing multiple and interrelated issues. Thus, land use planning includes, but is not limited to, a focus on housing, infrastructure, open space, and economic development. The scale of land use concerns range from a specific site as in the application of development standards for a convenience store, to the region as a whole, as in the shared responsibility for providing housing for lowand moderate-income households. Required Courses: USP 524 Site Planning USP 542 Land Use Implementation USP 555 Land Use: Legal Aspects USP 579 State and Local Public Finance


Choose 1 USP 526 USP 543 USP 547 USP 550 USP 568 USP 569 USP 570 USP 573 USP 578 USP 588

Neighborhood Conservation and Change Geographic Applications to Planning Planning for Developing Countries Concepts of Citizen Participation Oregon Land Use Law Sustainable Cities and Regions Transportation and Land Use Housing Economics Impact Assessment Sustainable Development Practices

Regional Economic Development Faculty: M. Fogarty, L. Lutzenhiser, S. Martin, T. Rufolo, E. Seltzer, J. Strathman, N. Toulan Regional Economic Development is concerned with the policies and processes that lead to different rates of economic development within regions, but also within cities and neighborhoods. The economic development planner is often called upon to measure the impact of policy changes and how the benefits of economic development are distributed. The Center for Urban Studies and Institute for Portland Metropolitan Studies offer research opportunities in this field. Required Courses USP 517 Economic Development Policies USP 572 Regional Economic Development Choose 1: USP 554 Data Analysis II USP 578 Impact Assessment Choose 2: USP 510 USP 520 USP 521 USP 546 USP 547 USP 551 USP 566 USP 569 USP 579 USP 590 USP 592 USP 598 USP 616

Tourism and the City Applied Demographic Methods I Applied Demographic Methods II Real Estate Development II Planning for Developing Countries Community Economic Development National Urban Policy Sustainable Cities and Regions State and Local Public Finance Green Economics and Sustainable Development Geographic Information Systems II: Applications Real Estate Finance I Cities in the Global Political Economy


Transportation Faculty: S. Adler, R. Bertini, J. Dill, J. Gliebe, T. Rufolo, J. Strathman Transportation planning is concerned about mobility – moving people and goods – and accessibility – providing access to services and destinations. Transportation planning plays a role in achieving many community objectives, including livability, environmental protection, health, economic development, and sustainability. It also influences our land uses and vice versa. The scale of transportation planning ranges from the intersection or neighborhood up to the region and state, with influences from national policies. The courses in this field focus on understanding these complex relationships, the policies and processes that influence transportation, and the analytical tools needed in planning transportation systems. Required Course: USP 556 Urban Transportation: Problems and Policies Choose 3: USP 537 USP 544 USP 570 USP 587

Economics of Urban Transportation Urban Transportation Planning Transportation and Land Use Travel Demand Modeling

Choose 1: (Note: If all four classes in the above list are taken, then a class from the list below need not be taken.) USP 507 Transportation Seminar (1 credit; can be taken more than once)* USP 543 Geographic Applications to Planning USP 565 Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning CE 510 Cost Benefit Analysis in Transportation (1 credit; can be taken only once)* CE 550 Transportation Safety Analysis CE 553 Freight Transportation and Logistics CE 555 Intelligent Transportation Systems CE 558 Public Transportation Systems CE 559 Transportation Operations *Take a combination of these 1-credit courses to total 3 credits.

Select MURP Faculty profiles: Professor Carl Abbott B.A. (History) Swarthmore College, M.A. (History), Ph.D. (History) University of Chicago 1971. Carl’s teaching and research interests include urban history, urban revitalization, and regional development in the United States. Dr. Abbott is widely known for writings on the history of urban development and planning in twentieth century United States.

Professor Sy Adler B.A. (Urban Studies) University of Pittsburgh; M.C.P. Harvard University; Ph.D. (City and Regional Planning) University of California at Berkeley 1980. Dr. Adler believes that the Portland metropolitan area and the Northwest offer a wealth of opportunities to study innovative approaches to understanding and addressing a wide range of crucial planning and development issues, and conveys his excitement to students. 8

Assistant Professor Ellen Bassett B.A. (Double Major: History and Political Science) University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; M.S. (Urban and Regional Planning), M.A. (History), Ph.D. (Urban and Regional Planning) University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Bassett teaches courses in planning methods, land use, and international development planning; she is currently teaching the capstone workshop for the MURP. Her research interests focus on land use planning, property rights/land tenure, and urbanization in the developing world.

Assistant Professor Lisa Bates B.A. (Political Science) The George Washington University; Ph.D. (City and Regional Planning) University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 2006. Dr. Bates' research examines urban neighborhood revitalization planning and its effects on the housing market, decision-making by low-income and minority households about housing investment, and post-Hurricane Katrina housing recovery in New Orleans.

Associate Professor Jennifer Dill BS (Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning) University of California, Davis; M.A. (Urban Planning) UCLA; Ph.D (City and Regional Planning), University of Berkeley 2001. Dr. Dill’s research interests focus on transportation and environmental planning, travel behavior, air quality, and transportation- land use interactions.

Associate Professor Karen Gibson B.A. (English and Creative Writing) San Francisco State University, M.S. (Public Policy and Management), Ph.D. (City and Regional Planning) University of California at Berkeley 1996. Dr. Gibson teaches courses on urban poverty, community and economic development, urban housing and development, and community and identity.

Assistant Professor John Gliebe B.S. (Journalism) Bowling Green State University; M.R.P. (City and Regional Planning) University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Ph.D. (Civil Engineering) Northwestern University 2004. Dr. Gliebe’s research interests focus on travel behavior analysis and methodological advances in transportation and land use modeling. He teaches courses in transportation planning, travel demand modeling, and discrete choice modeling.

Professor and Director of Urban Studies and Planning Connie Ozawa B.A. (Environmental Studies) University of California, Berkeley; M.A. (Geography) University of Hawaii; Ph.D. (Urban Planning) Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1988. Dr. Ozawa teaches courses on environmental policy and management, planning theory and practice, and negotiation and dispute resolution. Her research interests focus on the use of scientific and technical information in public decision making, the role of the professional, and public participation methods.

Professor Ethan Seltzer B.A. (Biology) Swarthmore College; M.R.P. Ph.D (City and Regional Planning) University of Pennsylvania 1983. “Planners never get to start with a blank slate. Places have tremendous inertia, and planners need to work creatively with the world as we find it.”


Assistant Professor Vivek Shandas B.S. (Biology with a minor in Sociology) University of California-Santa Cruz; M.S. (Economics), M.S. (Environmental Management and Policy) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Ph.D. (Urban Design and Planning) University of Washington-Seattle 2005. Dr. Shandas teaches courses in environmental planning methods, geographic information systems, global cities, and ecosystem services. His research interests, which are domestic and international, focus on three areas: (1) the impact of urban development patterns and air and water quality; (2) drivers of human behavior and decision making; and (3) effectiveness of interdisciplinary approaches in higher education.

Employment Graduates of the MURP program find employment in city, county, state and federal government; the private sector; and educational institutions depending on their skills and experience.

Where our graduates work now…. 

Bureau of Environmental Services


City of Portland, Office of Transportation


City of Portland, Bureau of Planning


City of Portland, Office of Finance and Administration

Parametrix, Inc

City of Sherwood Planning Department

REACH Community Development

Clark County, Long Range Planning

Port of Portland



Housing Development Center

Urban Visions

The PSU Career Center offers a variety of resources about typical responsibilities, qualifications, career paths, job outlook, and salary for urban and regional planners. Please visit them online at For additional information on careers, salaries, and certification in urban and regional planning please see American Planning Association, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20036-1904. Internet:


Admissions Admission to the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program is restricted to the Fall term of each academic year. The application deadline for Fall term admission is January 15. To be considered for admission as a regular degree student, the applicant must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all undergraduate courses or must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all graduate credits earned at accredited institutions (at least 12 credits). Applications will not be considered unless they are complete. International students must submit TOEFL scores of 550 or better (taken within two years) if the native language is not English. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required, but is recommended. Please Note: Applications can be downloaded and completed online. Application instructions and answers to frequently asked admissions questions may be found on our website as well. If you have any questions about the admissions process, please call the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning Office at (503) 725-4045 or email

Financial Aid Graduate research assistantships are awarded annually to several qualified students. Assistantship awards are reviewed annually and can be renewed for no more than one additional year of full-time study for masterslevel students. These assistantships cover tuition and pay a monthly stipend. Research assistants divide their time between their studies and various assignments such as assisting faculty in research, classroom instruction, or related work in a research institute. Students may also find additional funding through assisting faculty on research projects or in one of the School’s centers or institutes. All qualified applicants may be considered for financial aid in the form of student loans. Contact Portland State University’s Financial Aid Office at (503) 725-3461.


The Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning on the World Wide Web Our website is an excellent resource for new and prospective students to learn about our faculty, browse through course descriptions, download syllabi and applications, get involved with student organizations, and learn about related urban studies and planning organizations in Oregon and elsewhere around the country. Returning students can benefit by downloading program forms, internship information, and becoming aware of new courses and curricular changes. Feel free to call us at (503) 725-4045 if you have any questions.

Spring 2010


College of Urban and Public Affairs Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning Phone: (800) 547.8887 ext 4045 (outside Portland) Phone: (503) 725.4045 (within Portland) Facsimile: (503) 725.8770 Post Office Box: P.O. Box 751-USP Portland, OR 97207-0751

Street Address: 506 SW Mill Street Suite 350 Portland, OR 97201

Email: Website:

PSU, Master of Urban and Regional Planning  

Program overview for Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Portland State University.

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