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Joint MPA/MUP Program

University of Louisville Joint MPA/MUP Program

Master of Public Administration/Master of Urban Planning

Joint MPA/MUP Program

The Master of Public Administration/Master of Urban Planning Program is a professional set of degrees that enables students to move into managerial positions while also being competitive for technical positions. Both the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Urban Planning play integral roles in the University's urban/metropolitan mission. Through its academic curriculum, the joint program provides students with a strong foundation in the techniques of management, the politics of administration, and the theory and practice of urban and regional planning. Practical real world application is achieved through the internship/practicum and hands on projects.

The joint MPA/MUP Program is designed to prepare students for career placement and advancement in a wide variety of settings. These include positions in the public sector, the non-profit sector, and various planning organizations.

The joint MPA/MUP program offers the opportunity to develop proficiency in the following areas: organizational behavior, policy evaluation, public sector budgeting, human resources management, research methods, statistics, land use and environmental planning, urban design, historic preservation, real estate development, economic development planning, and geographic information systems. In addition, students focus their coursework within two specializations – one from each program area. Master of Public Administration specializations include: Public Policy and Administration, Non-Profit Management, and Human Resources Management. Master of Urban Planning specializations include: Land Use and Environmental Planning, Administration of Planning Organizations, Spatial Analysis for Planning, and Housing and Community Development.

Access to instructors in a variety of academic disciplines offers students a great opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary work. The University's location within a large metropolitan area allows the faculty to give the curriculum an urban emphasis.


Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (any major is acceptable), and provide a completed application form, a transcript of all undergraduate course work, scores for the Graduate Record Examination, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation. Admission is competitive and generally requires a minimum combined quantitative and verbal GRE score of 153 in Verbal and 144 in Quantatative and a GPA of 3.00. Those applicants whose native language is not English and who do not hold a degree from a university where the language of instruction is English, must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 79 on the internet-based test or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with a minimum score of 6.5.

Application Deadlines

The Department of Urban and Public Affairs maintains a rolling admissions policy.  The deadlines include:

Fall semester: July 15

Spring semester: November 15

Summer semester: April 15


Financial Aid

The Department of Urban and Public Affairs offers a number of graduate research assistantships (GRAs), which are awarded competitively and are intended to support full-time study. Students in the joint MPA/MUP Program may receive a maximum of three years of support. The GRAs provide a stipend of $1,350 a month for 20 hours of work per week over a ten-month period. They also provide for remission of tuition and health insurance. Application prior to March 1 is encouraged. Students interested in GRA positions should complete and submit the assistantship application form below along with copies of their resumes.

Graduate Research Assistantship/Fellowship Application

For more information on general student financial aid (loans, grants, and work study) contact the UofL Financial Aid Office.

Core Courses

Students are required to complete 36 hours of core courses as follows:

PADM 600/PLAN 613 Public Administration and Organizational Theory (3 credits)

PADM 601/PLAN 602 Statistics for Public Affairs (3)

PADM 682 Practicum/Internship or PADM 695 Thesis (6)

Plan 604 Applied Research Methods (3)

PLAN 608 Geographic Information Systems (3)

PLAN 601/PADM 607 Planning Theory (3)

PLAN 603/PADM 640 Urban Economics (3)

PLAN 605/PADM 688 Land Use and Planning Law (3)

PLAN 606 Professional Practice (3)

PLAN 636 Site Planning (3)

PLAN 650 Capstone Studio (3)


Please see the MPA web page and the MUP web page for lists of faculty participating in the two programs.

Specializations and Elective Coursework

The program requires 21 semester hours of coursework to complete two specializations or tracks. Students must choose one specialization from public administration (12 hours) and one from urban planning (9 hours). An additional 3 courses (9 hours) of free electives are to be taken from within the Master of Public Administration curriculum while 1 course (3hours) is to be taken in the Urban Planning curriculum.

Available specializations are as follows.

Public Administration Specializations: City Management; Non-Profit Management; Community and Economic Development; Urban Policy; and Human Resources Management. See the MPA web page for a list of courses applicable to each specialization.

Urban Planning Specializations: Land Use and Environmental Planning; Administration of Planning Organizations; Spatial Analysis for Planning; and Housing and Community Development. See the MUP web page for a list of courses applicable to each specialization.

Contact Details

Janet Kelly, Ph.D., MPA Program Director
Phone: (502) 852-2435

David M. Simpson, Ph.D., MUP Program Director
Phone: (502) 852-8019

Yani Vozos, MUP, Student Advisor
Phone: (502) 852-8002

MPA/MUP Joint Program
Department of Urban and Public Affairs
426 W. Bloom Street
Louisville, KY 40208

Phone: (502) 852-7906
Fax: (502) 852-4558

Additional Information

MPA/MUP Joint Degree Student Guide

MPA/MUP Joint Internship Handbook

Graduate Research Assistantship/Fellowship Application

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