Urban Planning and Development

The Master of Science in urban planning and development from Saint Louis University's Center for Sustainability provides you with in-depth knowledge of urban planning and development theory, research methods, policies and practice.

About the Program

SLU’s interdisciplinary urban planning program operates in conjunction with Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business, School of Law and School of Social Work to offer four areas of specialization:

  • Real estate development
  • Community development
  • Economic development
  • Environmental/sustainability planning

Intimate classes emphasize skill building, discussion and debate. The curriculum's professional focus allows you to develop the knowledge and skills you need to become a leader in supporting urban growth and revitalization.

Funded Research

Faculty and students in SLU’s urban planning and development program have been involved in almost $2 million in funded research, including projects for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Rivers Greenway, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, Missouri Growth Association, and various other regional, state and local entities.

Program Highlights

SLU’s urban planning and development program teaches students the essential knowledge, skills, and values central to the planning profession.

Curriculum and Program Details

SLU’s Master of Science in urban planning and development is the only degree of its kind in Missouri and one of only two at a Jesuit university. Students can pursue the 48-credit-hour degree program on a full- or part-time basis. Students who attend full time, including the summer session, can complete the degree in two years. Those who attend part time, with a minimum participation of six credit hours per semester, can complete the degree in three and a half years.

Foundational courses include:

  • Foundations of Planning
  • Planning and Development Theory
  • Land Use Planning and Analysis
  • Local Economic Development Policy and Practice
  • Infrastructure and Plan Implementation
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Land Use Control

Methods courses include

  • Introduction to GIS
  • Research Methods
  • Spatial Methods for Planners

Field experience courses include

  • Planning and Development Studio
  • Internship
  • Capstone
  • Martin O. Braeske, MCP
  • Dean Burns, AICP
  • Jae-Teuk Chin, Ph.D., AICP
  • Sarah Coffin, Ph.D., AICP
  • Thomas Crawford, Ph.D.
  • Jami Curley, Ph.D.
  • Jack Fishman, Ph.D.
  • Damon Hall, Ph.D.
  • Jason Knouft, Ph.D.
  • John Langa, MCP
  • Allison Miller, Ph.D.
  • J.S. Onesimo Sandoval, Ph.D.
  • Nitish Sing, Ph.D.
  • John Wagner, Ph.D.
  • Abuduwasiti Wulamu, Ph.D.
The Center of Sustainability and its faculty provide a network of alumni to help students obtain internships and develop their careers. 

Graduates of our urban planning and development program work across the public, private and nonprofit sectors holding jobs with state, regional and municipal governments, planning consulting firms, real estate development companies, community development corporations and economic development organizations, to name a few. Our students also have been entrepreneurs, building non-profit organizations and development companies.

A few of the organizations where our alumni find jobs include:

  • Alaska Department of Transportation
  • City of St Louis Development Corporation
  • City of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • City of Cincinnati
  • St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • East-West Gateway Council of Governments
  • Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis
  • Tri-City Port District
  • U.S. BankCorp
  • Development Strategies
  • PGAV
  • Beyond Housing
  • Banana Republic
  • Citizens for Modern Transit
  • Great Rivers Greenway District
  • HOK
  • Metro St. Louis
  • Saint Louis Zoo
  • Wells Fargo Advisers
Scholarships and Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis and include tuition scholarships of nine credit hours per semester during the nine-month academic year. Recipients also receive a stipend and health insurance. Graduate assistants spend no more than 20 hours per week working for the University.

Students can also apply for fellowships and other financial assistance packages. 

Applicant Criteria

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum GRE scores: verbal: 153, quantitative: 151, writing: 3.5

To apply, you'll need:

Application Requirements
Application form and fee
Three letters of recommendation
GRE scores
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Assistantship and Application Deadlines

Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit their application by Dec. 31, the priority deadline for admission. The final deadline for U.S. students is July 1. International students should apply by May 1.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as received, beginning Aug. 1 and continuing until the July 1 general application deadline.