Facts + Figures

The Master of Urban Planning (MUP) is the usual educational credential for professional planning practice. It is normally a two-year, or six-quarter program on a full-time schedule. Requirements for undertaking graduate-level study include a satisfactory academic record and undergraduate training in one of a variety of disciplines including urban planning and environmental design or other appropriate fields, such as geography, economics, or other social sciences; English and other humanities; civil engineering and environmental studies; landscape architecture and architecture.


The Master of Urban Planning program enrolls ~30-40 students each year and grants 30-40 degrees annually. The MUP program is designed as a 2-year degree program; however, many of our students elect to pursue concurrent graduate degrees with other programs at the University of Washington which extends their length of study. Given this, many students graduate within 3.5 years.

Number of Degrees Issued

  • Academic year 2016-17: 28
  • Academic year 2015-16: 34
  • Academic Year 2014-15: 37

Retention Rate

The retention rate for a master’s program is the percentage of first-year students who return the next academic year.

Student Retention Rates Percent
MUP students who began studies in Autumn 2016 and continued in Autumn 2017 91%
MUP students who began studies in Autumn 2015 and continued in Autumn 2016 100%
MUP students who began studies in Autumn 2014 and continued in Autumn 2015 98%
MUP students who began studies in Autumn 2013 and continued in Autumn 2014 97%

Graduation Rate

The graduation rate for a master’s program is the percentage of single-degree students who graduate within 4 years of enrolling.

Student Graduation Rates Percent
MUP students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2014 100%
MUP students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2013 94%
MUP students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2012 92%
MUP students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2011 82%


The estimated cost for one year tuition and fees for full-time enrollment during the academic year 2018-2019, assuming enrollment during Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters:

Resident tuition and fees: $17,514
Nonresident tuition and fees: $30,345

A complete list of tuition rates, student fees and a per-credit-hour breakdown of tuition rates is available at the University of Washington’s Office of Planning and Budgeting website.

MUP students pay the College of Built Environment – Const Mgmt, Land Arch, Urb Des Plan tuition.


AICP Certification Percent
Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 5 years who pass, graduating class of 2012 100%
Percentage of bachelor’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 7 years who pass, graduating class of 2010 *No bachelor graduates who graduated in 2010 took the AICP exam NA

AICP Exam pass rate data are collected by the APA. For a complete list of pass rates for all PAB-accredited institutions see:

AICP Pass rates


The Employment Rate measures the percentage of MUP graduates who obtain planning positions within one year of graduation.

Of the alumni who graduated in academic year 2016-2017, 90% secured employment in a planning or planning-related position within one year of graduation or pursued further education within one year of graduation, 7% were employed in other industries, and 3% had unknown employment.

Alumni from 2016-2017 reported a range of positions including: Transportation Planner, Bike Share Program Manager, Development Coordinator, Environmental Analyst, Planner 1, Landscape Designer, National Scenic Area Planner, Project Manager, Transportation Engineer, Urban Designer/Planner, Architect and Freelance Designer, graduate student, and more.

For a representative selection of current positions of MUP Alumni who graduated in 2010 onward, please see our Resources page under the heading Alumni – Where Are They Now.

Student Achievement

We are proud of our students and their achievements. In the academic year 2017-2018, the average GPA of enrolled MUP students was 3.7. Although an internship is not required, more than two out of three students have one while enrolled in the program, ranging from transportation to housing to data analysis and design, employed by a range of cities, organizations and private firms.

Furthermore, in 2018, the program utilized a two-year exit survey of graduates of the program from 2015-2016, with the following results:

  • 100% of respondents were satisfied with their overall experiences in the MUP program.
  • 92.9% of respondents were employed in a planning or design-related job; 7.1% cited other
  • 100% of respondents felt prepared for a job in the design/planning field or related field upon graduation from the program.
  • Respondents cited the following aspects of the MUP program that prepared them for their current positions in design/planning:
  • Respondents provided the following comments regarding how the MUP program prepared them for professional work:
    • “The program prepares students very well for the professional world.”
    • “I really enjoyed the opportunities to work on real-world planning projects through the Studio Course and the access to professionals via the Professionals Council.”
    • “So far, some of the most immediately applicable skills I gained from the MUP program have been the technical ones (e.g. GIS, graphic communications using Adobe software).”
    • “The professional connections and development was a huge factor in providing me experience that would make me qualified for a planning position. The opportunity to work with organizations outside of the classroom was a huge factor in me finding employment!”

Notable Alumni

Many of our MUP’s achieve great success after graduation. We are fortunate that many of our alumni choose to stay local and help contribute to what shapes the built environment in Seattle and all over the Northwest.

Kate Lichtenstein recently MUP alum Kate Lichtenstein was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 in Mass Transit Magazine. Her career, most recently with Sound Transit, has spanned from wetland mitigation strategies for bus and rail projects to multiple transit infrastructure projects.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive. Dow is also currently the Seattle Transit Board chairman and has championed the successful Seattle Link Light Rail which is helping to connect our city now more than ever.

Diane Sugimura, Director, City of Seattle Department of Planning & Development
Linda Dalton, FAICP, Vice President, Planning & Enrollment & Management & Student Affairs, California State University, East Bay
Ron McConnell, FAIC, Former Executive Director, Washington State Land Use Planning Commission
Al Levine, Former Deputy Director, Seattle Housing Authority
Paul Ong Professor and Former Chair of Urban Planning, UCLA
Larry Cottrill Director of Master Planning, Port of Long Beach, CA
Grant Murakami, AICP, Vice President, PBR, Hawaii
Peter Orser, Former President, Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co.
Brad Collins, FAICP, Deputy Mayor, City of Port Angeles, WA
Michael Kimmelberg, AICP, Chief Operating Officer for the Seneca Nation of Indians


PAB Criterion 1F/Public Information
The Planning Accreditation Board requires the below information (click link) be posted for the University of Washington MUP program

PAB Criterion 1F/Public Information