Joint Master of Public Administration/ Master of Urban Planning Program

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: sustainability, policy evaluation, public non-profit finance, 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 concentrations – one from each program area. Master of Public Administration concentrations include: Urban Governance, Non-Profit Management, and Sustainable Urban Development. 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


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

Financial Aid

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 Graduate Research Assistantship/Fellowship Application. 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 Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods, 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.

Graduate Research Assistantship/Fellowship Application

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

Degree Requirements

The Dual MUP/ MPA degree requires 69 credit hours of coursework for graduation.  The credit hour requirements are broken down as follows:

Core Courses                  39

MPA Concentration          9

MPA Elective                     3

MUP Concentration          9

MUP Elective                     3

MUP Internship                 3

MPA Internship                 3

TOTAL                                69

Core Courses

Students are required to complete 45 hours of core courses as follows:

PADM 600 Foundations of Public Administration (3 credits)

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

PADM 604 Public Budgeting and Finance OR PADM 611 Financial Mngmnt for Non-profits (3)

PADM 603 Policy Analysis and Program Eval OR PADM 650: Urban Policy and Admin. (3)

PADM 642 Human Resources Management (3)

PLAN 604 Applied Research Methods (3)

PLAN 618 Urban Demography and GIS (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)


Specializations and Elective Coursework

The program requires 18 semester hours of coursework to complete two concentrations or tracks. Students must choose one concentration from public administration (9 hours) and one from urban planning (9 hours). An additional elective  (3 hours) is to be taken in the Urban Planning curriculum.

Available concentrations are as follows

Public Administration concentrations: Urban Governance; Non-Profit Management; Sustainable Urban Development; Urban Policy; and Human Resources Management. See the MPA web page for a list of courses applicable to each concentration.

Urban Planning concentrations: 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 concentration.


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

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

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