Community & Regional Planning
Community & Regional Planning
The Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program is a nationally-accredited, professional degree with a focused orientation towards excellence in urban, suburban, rural, and regional planning practices. A master's degree serves as the normal academic credential for roles in planning and planning-related domains. Our accomplished MCRP graduates demonstrate exceptional skills and expertise in diverse careers spanning the public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
Why MCRP at UNL?
The MCRP program stands as a distinguished two-year master's program, holding national accreditation since the 1970s. We have successfully equipped hundreds of aspiring planners for successful and fulfilling careers across a dynamic spectrum of disciplines, including transportation planning, urban development, urban design, land use planning, affordable housing, environmental conservation, historic preservation, hazard mitigation, governance, non-profit initiatives, advocacy, consultancy services, and more. The integration of real-world planning opportunities serves to reinforce our unwavering belief that your time as a MCRP student at UNL will be genuinely transformative. The influence of our MCRP graduates extends not only within the borders of Nebraska but also radiates across the nation and throughout the world.
Strengths of MCRP program at UNL:
- Real-World Project Immersion: Our program is characterized by semester-long real-world projects that offer hands-on learning experiences and skill development for students.
- Personalized 1-1 Mentorship: The student-practitioner mentorship program provides personalized and insightful guidance to foster students' career development.
- Flexible Learning Options: We accommodate the needs of both full-time and part-time working students through a range of options, including online, remote access, and night-time courses.
- Abundant Internship Opportunities: Situated in the state capital, the City of Lincoln, our program capitalizes on its location to offer rich internship opportunities within city, state, and federal agencies, providing students with a diverse array of professional experiences.
- Gateway to Globally Recognized Industries: The Omaha area, renowned for its world-class top-tier architectural and design industries, presents exceptional prospects for students interested in community development, urban design, and planning professions. This unique setting enhances learning through real-world engagement.
- Addressing Critical Needs: Our program is dedicated to serving the critical needs of the state of Nebraska and beyond, contributing to sustainable development, thoughtful urban planning, and resilient communities through the education and expertise of our graduates.
MCRP Program Overview
Planning is a dynamic profession that helps communities create sustainable, attractive, healthful, efficient, and supportive places for present and future generations to inhabit and enjoy. Planners serve in a variety of roles that positively impact the physical, environmental, social, and economic vitality of the communities in which they are working. Among the functional areas in which planners focus their professional skills are land use, economic development, transportation, housing, human services, and various aspects of the physical and natural environment.
Today’s professional planners are adaptive, engaged, and collaborative—using knowledge and skills that are developed in UNL’s Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program. UNL’s MCRP program is the only planning degree program in Nebraska.
Nationally accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, the program has a respected tradition of educating and graduating students who can facilitate positive change in the communities in which they are working. Students in the MCRP program reflect the diversity of the field of planning, entering the program at various points in their academic and personal lives with diverse academic backgrounds and professional experiences. The MCRP program includes required core courses, as well as sufficient elective credit hours to enable students to develop specialized skills and interests within the field of planning. These skills are in high demand.
Our program places a strong emphasis on cultivating diverse internships, actively engaging in real-world projects, and fostering compassion for both self and others. The content of our program reflects the cutting-edge dynamics of policy planning and analysis, planning education, and the practice of planning itself. Within our MCRP curriculum, there exists a flexibility that empowers us to effectively respond to the evolving demands of society and the planning profession. Our teaching equips students with the practical skills necessary for entry-level professional roles, while also instilling a robust foundation in planning knowledge and skills to facilitate career advancement and advanced study. Guided by our curriculum, students embark on a journey to cultivate personal attributes essential for effective professional planners, including leadership, communication, analytical, coordination, facilitation, and writing skills, within the context of collaborative teamwork.
Program options (specializations, dual degrees, certificates, accelerated program, and minors)
- Students in the MCRP program can pursue three interdepartmental specializations: Environmental Studies, Great Plains Studies, and Water Resources Planning and Management.
- Students in the MCRP program can pursue four dual degree: MCRP/Juris Doctor (MCRP/JD), MCRP/Master of Architecture (MCRP/MArch), MCRP/Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MCRP/MS-CE), and MCRP/Master of Public Health (MCRP/MPH).
- Students in the MCRP program can pursue two graduate certificates as a part of the 48 credits of the MCRP degree: Graduate Certificate in Public Management Curriculum and Graduate Certificate in Urban Design.
- For the undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies (BSES) degree program at UNL can pursue the accelerated graduate program of BSES and MCRP.
- Students in other majors can pursue the Graduate Minor in Community and Regional Planning, and Minor in Community and Regional Planning - Undergraduate.
Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)
The Master of Community and Regional Planning graduate program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), which ensures a high quality of urban planning education among accredited degree programs. The MCRP degree program at UNL has been continuously accredited by the PAB since 1972.
Natural hazards, such as severe winter storms, flooding, and tornadoes play a major role in how cities develop and plan. It is because of their natural and inevitable occurrence that there is very little we can do to control them; and all communities are vulnerable to a list of natural and man-made hazards, especially that of flooding and severe storms. The hazards listed in these attached student plans have the potential to threaten the safety of residents, to damage or destroy both public and private property, to cause environmental degradation, and to disrupt the local economy and overall quality of life.
Mitigation planning is defined as having the potential to produce long-term and recurring benefits by breaking the repetitive cycle of disaster associated loss, as defined by these communities. It is largely assumed that investment in mitigation strategies will greatly reduce the demand for post-disaster assistance (i.e. emergency response, repair, recovery, and reconstruction). However, the benefits of mitigation planning go beyond reducing hazard vulnerability. See how these mitigation plans compare and differ. Is your community prepared?