Joint Master of Urban Planning/Juris Doctor (MUP/JD)
Joint MUP/JD Program
The dual MUP/JD program recognizes the values of interdisciplinary study and encourages students having an interest in both law and urban planning to pursue these degrees simultaneously. Both planning and legal issues pervade most decisions about land use, whether made by government institutions, environmental or business entities, or private landowners. Local control and management of land use requires not only comprehensive and well-informed planning for the future, but also the use of legal tools like zoning and permits, and the consideration of legal authority, rights, duties, and dispute resolution processes. The urban planner who understands legal principles and processes has an advantage in effectuating good planning. Likewise, the real estate, land use, or environmental lawyer who understands the principles and tools of planning has an advantage in representing his or her clients on real property issues. There is a growing set of career pathways involving the integration of planning and law in creative and sophisticated ways. Moreover, the dual MUP/JD program brings together two academic units critical to advancing the University’s metropolitan-oriented mission in teaching, research, and service to the community.
Students who participate in the dual program may reduce the aggregate credit hour requirement by 21 hours and earn JD and MUP degrees in approximately four calendar years.
A student planning to pursue both degrees must submit a separate application and must be admitted to both the MUP degree program and the Brandeis School of Law. Applicants should be aware that separate admissions tests may be required, and that separate admissions criteria will be applied. Applicants should consult the admissions requirements of each academic program. A student who is already enrolled in the first year of one program may apply to the other program and, if admitted to that program, begin the first-year of the second program in the following academic year.
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
After applying and submitting the application fee online, please be sure to send all application materials (transcripts, GRE scores, personal statement of interest, and letters of recommendation) directly to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies University of Louisville, 105 Houchens Bldg. Louisville, KY 40292 and/or email@example.com
The Department of Urban and Public Affairs administers a number of Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs).
GRAs carry a monthly stipend and are granted tuition remission. In return students are required to carry at least nine hours of courses per semester and assist a faculty member for 20 hours per week over a 10-month period. GRAs are required to carry at least 9 hours of courses per semester. Students interested in a GRA should consult the program director and apply here.
There are four different types of GRAs available to students within the Department of Urban and Public Affairs. They all include full tuition remission, a monthly stipend, and health insurance and are all highly competitive. The first is departmental funding awarded primarily based on merit, thus the higher the GRE score and GPA, the better the chances of the student receiving funding. There are typically 1-2 available positions per academic year and thus are highly competitive and students can apply here at the . The second type is offered via grant or contracts obtained by our various research centers within the department: Kentucky State Data Center, Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development, Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility,Center for Environmental Policy and Management. These funds are awarded based on the student’s skills and experience with similar projects. The third type of funding is awarded through departments outside of Urban and Public Affairs. In the past, some students were able to secure funding through positions in the International Center, Cultural Center, Athletics, and Alumni Center and the REACH campus tutoring service. These funds are awarded based upon the student’s skills and experience related to the position. Contact information for these departments is available on the University of Louisville A-Z website. The fourth type of funding is available to qualified Ethnic Minority Students through the graduate school and is awarded through a competitive nomination process.
The deadline for application for the departmental GRA application is March 1st.
Please fill out the application below to be considered for funding.
For more information on general student financial aid (loans, grants, and work study) contact the UofL Financial Aid Office.
Students may begin the dual degree program in either the MUP program or the Brandeis School of Law. In the first year of study, the participating student will follow the full-time academic schedule of the program in which the student enrolls first. In the second year, the student will complete the first-year coursework in the other program.
After completion of first-year curricula in both programs, the student may combine law and urban planning courses during his or her third and fourth years. Careful curriculum planning is required. Some courses in each school are sequenced or have pre-requisites and must be taken in a specific order.
The student must complete all the graduation requirements of each school to be awarded the degree from that school, including upper level required courses in both schools, the Planning Internship and Capstone Studio requirements in urban planning, and the public service requirement in the Brandeis School of Law.
Urban Planning Courses Counting Toward the JD
The Brandeis School of Law will allow students in the dual degree program to apply nine credit hours of approved courses in urban planning as electives toward the JD degree. The Brandeis School of Law will accept each of these urban planning courses on a pass/fail basis, provided that the student earn at least a “B” (3.0) in the course. The following MUP courses are approved to be counted as electives toward the JD degree:
PLAN 501 Urban Environmental Quality
PLAN 601 Planning Theory
PLAN 607 Land Use Planning
PLAN 618 Urban Demography and GIS or GEOG 558 Geographic Information Systems
PLAN 609 Public Budgeting and Finance
PLAN 611 Human Resources Management
PLAN 612 Mediation and Dispute Resolution
PLAN 613 Public Administration and Organizational Theory
PLAN 617 Housing and Community Development
PLAN 620 Environmental Policy
PLAN 621 Urban Infrastructure
PLAN 624 Urban Transportation Planning
PLAN 625 Historic Preservation
PLAN 631 Real Estate Principles
PLAN 633 Real Estate Development
Any other MUP course approved by the Associate Dean of Student Life at the Brandeis School of Law, upon individual petition by a dual degree student.
Law Courses Counting Toward the MUP
The urban planning program will allow students in the dual degree program to apply nine credit hours of approved courses in law as electives toward the MUP degree. The urban planning program will accept each of these law courses on a pass/fail basis, provided that the student earn at least a “C” (2.0) in the course. The following JD courses are approved to be counted as electives toward the MUP degree:
Constitutional Law II
Real Estate Transactions
Water Resources Law and Policy
Any other JD course approved by the Director of the MUP Program in the School of Urban and Public Affairs, upon individual petition by a dual degree student.
Land Use and Planning Law Requirement
In addition to the above cross-application of urban planning credits toward the JD degree and of law credits toward the MUP degree, students in the dual degree program shall be required to take Land Use and Planning Law, a 3-credit interdisciplinary course cross-listed in both law and urban planning. Land Use and Planning Law shall count as a 3-credit graded elective toward the JD degree, and likewise shall count as a 3-credit core course toward the MUP degree.
Degree Completion and Graduation
Students may find it necessary to complete some of their coursework during the summer in order to finish both programs in four calendar years. Students shall not be awarded either degree until the completion of both programs.
David M. Simpson, Ph.D., AICP, Program Director
Phone: (502) 852-8019
Master of Urban Planning Program
Department of Urban and Public Affairs
University of Louisville
426 W. Bloom Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40208
Phone: (502) 852-7906
Professor Tony Arnold
Boehl Chair in Property and Land Use
Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky 40292
Phone: (502) 852-6388