Dual Degrees

The CU Denver Master of Urban and Regional Planning program believes that successful city building and regional planning requires expertise, breadth, interdisciplinary understanding, and creativity. Our MURP program emphasizes thinking outside of traditional professional silos and we encourage students to explore the planning profession by following a self-directed path and developing expertise in the areas that matter most to them.

In this spirit, the MURP program offers six dual degree options, described below. In order to pursue a dual degree, a student must be accepted into both programs separately. Students may choose to apply to another program to pursue a dual degree after entering the MURP program. Once admitted, students must complete the work for both degrees before graduating from either. Pursuing a dual degree results in a significant reduction in the number of required credits than would be needed if each degree was earned separately, saving both time and money.

The Master of Architecture is the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning’s accredited professional degree for students intending to seek licensure as architects. The MARCH program examines the interplay between architectural form and the complex cultural and technological context in which architects operate. CU Denver’s Architecture and Urban Planning programs share a focus on cross-disciplinary interdependence, research orientation, and real-world relevance. Planners and architects each proceed by asking critical questions that encompass environmental, economic, social, cultural, aesthetic and ethical concerns, then answer them using an appropriate method. By conceiving of architecture and urban planning as an interdisciplinary partnership, MURP + MARCH dual degree students develop the skills to create holistic, healthy, sustainable environments.

The Master of Landscape Architecture is the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning’s accredited professional degree for students intending to seek licensure as landscape architects. Landscape architects design physical spaces supporting healthy, ethical relationships between people, place, and resources. Today, landscape architects are called upon to find design solutions that respond to the pressures of globalization, unprecedented growth, heritage loss, disconnection between people and the natural environment, and environmental degradation. These same concerns occupy urban and regional planners, who search for solutions through engaging communities, researching, analyzing qualitative and quantitative information, and creative planning and visioning. Students who pursue the MURP + MLA dual degree will have the physical design and urban planning tools to create places that hold value for current and future generations.

The Master of Business Administration is offered by the CU Denver Business School. Having this dual degree allows planners to harness private enterprises and initiatives as they plan land use, promote the economy, and maintain valued landscapes. At the same time, the dual degree also helps business leaders to function within the context of public fiscal, participatory, and regulatory constraints, and learn how to place business decisions within the broad array of community interests and aspirations. Both programs emphasize active learning through the analysis of case studies and direct involvement in addressing both business and planning challenges within Denver and its larger region. In an era in which development strategy must enlist the combined energies of the public and private sectors, students with the MURP + MBA degree will have a distinct advantage.

The Master of Public Administration is offered by the CU Denver School of Public Affairs. Planners who obtain this dual degree will gain a broad appreciation for planning’s place within the wider array of governmental functions at the local, regional, state and federal levels. Grounding planning in public administration will encourage a firmer appreciation for institutional arrangements and processes, and for the strategic management of the regulatory and fiscal means for the implementation of plans and policies. At the same time, grounding public administration in the material presence of places emphasizes and encourages the role of the natural and built environment in shaping development capacities, opportunities and outcomes. The MURP + MPA dual degree allows public administrators and planners to better document and direct the course of physical, economic, fiscal and programmatic change within municipalities and larger regions.

The Master of Public Health is offered by the Colorado School of Public Health and is the primary professional degree in the field of public health. It prepares students for a variety of public health careers: epidemiological and health services research, community needs assessment, environmental and occupational health, health policy, health promotion, and administration of public health programs. The MURP + MPH dual degree arises from the commonalities of perspective and purpose shared by its two constituents. Each focuses on populations rather than individuals, and each works to proactively improve the plight of those populations. A subset of public health addresses the health impacts caused by people’s environments—which is the domain of urban and regional planning. Planners recognize that policies, infrastructures, and social and economic conditions contribute to environmental conditions and thus can play a role in human health.

The Juris Doctorate is offered by the CU Boulder Law School. The MURP + JD dual degree pairs two professions with complementary attentions. The focus of planning is public action centered on the natural and built environments, while the focus of law is the constitutional, statutory, and regulatory bases of the social order. Merged, these two fields enable dual degree holders to address issues at the interface of policy and law emphasizing the use of land and the management of the natural and built environments. Dual degree graduates will find an abundance of career opportunities in public sector planning and administration at all levels of governance, and in the private practice of law and in private planning consulting firms. A student enrolled in the dual degree program may commence studies in either program, but is required to take the first year of the JD curriculum as a unit exclusively in the Law School.

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