Master of Community and Regional Planning

Students discussing impact of bike lane

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. This 48-credit hour program gives students the tools they need to enter an in-demand field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook for planners over the next decade is excellent, with a job growth prospect of 11% (much faster than average) and an attractive median pay (2020) of $75,950 per year.

Prospective Students

If you are interested in the MCRP program, please visit our MCRP application page to learn more about the financial aid, funding, and application deadlines. 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.

MCRP Curriculum

The MCRP curriculum requires 48 graduate credit hours for graduation and are divided into two main curriculum areas: Core Courses and Completion Tracks.

Core Courses

The core curriculum consists of 8 required courses, each 3 credit hours, comprising a total of 24 graduate credit hours:

  • CRPL 800 "Introduction to Planning"

  • CPRL 802 "Planning Theory"

  • CRPL 804 "Legal Aspects of Planning"

  • CRPL 810 "Qualitative Techniques"

  • CRPL 830 "Planning with GIS"

  • CRPL 840 "Planning Methods and Analysis"

  • CRPL 900 "Professional Planning Practice"

  • CRPL 990 "Planning Studio"


Completion Tracks

Master's Thesis

Master's Thesis in an area of interest • CRPL 899: "Master's Thesis" (6 graduate credit hours); 18 graduate credit hours of elective courses
(Master's Thesis Policies)
(Master's Thesis Proposal Guidelines)  

Professional Project

Professional Project in an area of interest
• CRPL 898: "Professional Project" (6 graduate credit hours); 18 graduate credit hours of elective courses
(Professional Project Policies)
(Professional Project Proposal Guidelines)

Capstone Studio

Capstone Studio (3 graduate credit hours); 21 graduate credit hours of elective courses)

Comprehensive Written and Oral Exam covering required core courses

• Comprehensive Exam (0 graduate credit hours); 24 graduate credit hours of elective courses
(Policy for Comprehensive Examination)

Specializations, Dual Degree Programs, Graduate Certificate Programs and Minor


Students can elect to take on an interdepartmental specialization in Environmental Studies, Great Plains Studies, or Water Resources Planning and Management.

Dual Degrees

Four dual degree programs are offered in tandem with the MCRP Juris Doctor (JD)Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS-CE) or Master of Public Health with a specialization in either transportation, environmental or water resources engineering.

Graduate Certificates

A Graduate Certificate in Public Management may be included as part of the MCRP degree. The certificate consists of 15 graduate credit hours and is offered online by the Public Administration program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Click here to learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Public Management.

A Graduate Certificate in Urban Design  may be included as part of the MCRP degree. The certificate consists of 14/15 graduate credit hours of interdisciplinary curriculum that synergizes the strengths of design, planning, architecture and landscape architecture. Click here to learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Urban Design.

BSEC Accelerated Program

For the undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies (BSES) degree program at UNL, the accelerated program is to provide students with a more efficient approach in the areas of community sustainability planning, environmental planning, and natural resources planning at local and regional scales. (attach PDF to hyperlinked section)


We also offer a Graduate Minor in Community and Regional Planning. Read more!

Meet Our Students:

Current Students

Graduate students, please check the UNL’s Office of Graduate Studies website to understand the Steps to Program Completion (Master's Degree Milestones). A master’s degree student is expected to complete all degree requirements within five years of their first term of admission to the master’s degree program, unless the student is enrolled in a program with a different time limit that has been approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. New students who start on or after Fall 2021 semester are subject to the new five-year time limit.

Contact Info

College of Architecture
232 Architecture Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0106
( On-campus, 2-4065 )