Urban Planning and Development, M.S.

The Master of Science in urban planning and development from Saint Louis University 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

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
  • Applied Statistics

Field experience courses include

  • Planning and Development Studio
  • Internship
  • Capstone
  • Sarah Coffin, Ph.D., ACIP - Program Director
  • Martin O. Braeske, MCP
  • Dean Burns, AICP
  • Kathleen Carson, M.A.
  • Jae Teuk Chin, Ph.D., AICP
  • John Langa, MCP
  • Robert Lewis, FACIP, CDcD
  • Pete Salsich, J.D.
  • J.S. Onesimo Sandoval, Ph.D.
  • John Wagner, Ph.D.
  • Abuduwasiti Wulamu, Ph.D.

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. 

The typical graduate is employed in the profession within three months of graduation; 100 percent of our students are employed within one year.

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

Public Sector
  • America's Central Port
  • City of Cincinnati
  • City of Ferguson
  • City of St. Louis
  • City of Webster Groves
  • East-West Gateway Council of Governments
  • St. Louis County
  • St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce
Private Sector
  • Banana Republic
  • Development Strategies real estate consultant
  • PGVA (Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, Inc.) architecture, design and planning firm
  • U.S. Bank Corp
Nonprofit Sector
  • Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis
  • Park Central Development Corp.
  • Washington University Redevelopment Corp. 


Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2017-2018 Tuition and Fees
Cost Calculator
Financial Aid

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
Interview (optional)
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Assistantship and Application Deadlines

Students who want to be considered for scholarship and assistantship support must submit their application by Dec. 31, the priority deadline for admission. The final application deadline for U.S. students is July 15. 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 15 general application deadline.