Dual Degree Programs

Dual Degree Programs

The School of City and Regional Planning offers several dual-degree programs pairing the Master of City and Regional Planning with allied professional studies. By enrolling in a dual degree program, students are able to obtain two degrees in less time than it would take if the student were pursuing the degrees separately.

Both degrees are awarded simultaneously upon completion of the program of study. Dual degrees position graduates to tackle urban and regional policy problems while benefiting from a multidisciplinary perspective, and to be competitive for work settings that traditionally involve professionals from multiple fields.

MCRP + MS-GIST (Internal Dual Degree)

The dual Master of City and Regional Planning and Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology allows students to earn two complementary sets of strong educational credentials in two years plus one semester, rather than the three years required by the two separate degrees. Graduates of the program are prepared for employment in professions related to both geospatial technologies and city planning.

The program’s graduates work for a wide-variety of employers including private sector consulting companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies at every level of government. MCRP+MS-GIST graduates are also well-prepared to pursue Ph.D. work in city and regional planning or geographic information science.

Student applications are reviewed by each program independently and students are admitted to the dual degree after being accepted by both programs.

Students in the MCRP+MS-GIST degree program will typically complete the program in two years and one semester.  This is achieved by counting three 3-credit GIS classes as both (1) required courses in the MS-GIST; and, (2) electives in the MCRP. 

Additionally, the CP 6024 course (which is required for both degrees) provides four additional credits that are counted toward both degrees. The program requires a total of 76 credit hours rather than the 89 credit hours required for separate completion of the two degrees. 

Aside from counting 13 credits toward both degrees, students must meet all other program requirements for each separate degree, so graduates receive the full curriculum for both degrees.

Students’ first year will consist of normal coursework for either the MCRP or MS-GIST degree. During students’ second year they will take the initial two semesters of coursework from the alternate program.

In the fall semester of the third year students will take the final set of courses for the MCRP degree. In addition, all students will serve a normal summer MCRP internship after taking the initial year of MCRP courses, and in the summer following two semesters of MS-GIST coursework students will take two GIS classes in the summer session.

MCRP + M.Arch

The internal dual Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning degree seeks to educate those who wish to engage directly in the process of city building. Offered jointly with the School of Architecture, the program is intended to meet the needs of planning agencies, consultants, institutions, and architectural firms for graduates who can deal competently with the design complexities of urban areas. 

The curriculum consists of the core requirements for each of the two professional programs and, in addition, a set of dual requirements that focus upon urban design as a common ground linking the theory and practice of the two disciplines. The dual curriculum builds upon five major bodies of material:

  • Design studios as a basis for exploring architectural, urban design and development issues utilizing theory, method and professional practice paradigms
  • Urban history and design theory as a way of understanding the formal and architectural order of the city
  • Economics and development methods as a basis for formulating development projects
  • Process and methods as a means of understanding professional practice and of designing policies and strategies that can be implemented in a private market regulated by public bodies
  • The performance of design interventions in achieving specified economic, social, and environmental objectives

Students wishing to enroll in the dual degree program must apply separately to each program and be admitted independently to both programs. It is strongly recommended that students apply to the dual degree program before beginning studies in either program, and at the very least no later than the end of their first year of study in the first program.

Both degrees must be awarded simultaneously. Students enrolled in the dual degree program may not receive either degree until they have met the requirements of both degrees.

This program requires the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a portfolio. The application deadline is January 15 for admission the following fall semester.

Students earning both the MCRP and M.Arch degrees are expected to meet all requirements of each degree, including all core, specialization and studio requirements, with four modifications:

  • Up to eight credit hours of Architecture courses may be used as electives toward the MCRP degree
  • Up to eight credit hours of planning courses may be used as electives toward the M.Arch degree
  • Students must complete at least 25 credit hours of approved concentration area courses offered in the College of Design
  • Students enrolled in the dual degree program must complete one of the following two capstone alternative: a) a thesis supervised by a committee comprised of faculty of both programs involving at least five credit hours of CP 7000: Master’s Thesis, and at least five credit hours of ARCH 7000: Master’s Thesis; or b) the combination of six credit hours of an approved ARCH 7090: Architecture Masters Project Studio, and at least four hours of CP 8990: Applied Research Paper.

All students must complete a minimum combined requirement of at least 99 credit hours. Course credit required may be substantially greater if the Architecture faculty determines that the student is not fully prepared for graduate architectural education upon admission.

Students enrolled in the Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning dual degree program must complete a “concentration” area. While most students will elect to follow the urban design concentration, other concentration areas are possible, subject to the approval of both schools. For the concentration in urban design, the following courses are required in addition to the core courses required for each degree program:

  • ARCH 6151: Theories of Urban Design OR COA 6151: History of Urban Form (three credits)
  • CP 6834: Urban Design Policy and Implementation (three credits)
  • ARCH 6071 or 6072: Design and Research Studio I (six credits)
  • Joint M.Arch and MCRP Master’s Thesis in Urban Design OR an approved architecture master’s studio and the CP option paper (10 credits)
  • Elective course from approved list (three credits)

Total: 25 required credit hours in Urban Design (in addition to core course requirements in both degree programs)

In the M.Arch / MCRP dual degree program, the required ARCH 6071 or 6072 studio section is jointly taught with COA 6011: Urban Design Laboratory in conjunction with the Master of Science in Urban Design Program.

This course satisfies the Design Research studio requirement in the M.Arch Program and the studio requirement.

MCRP + MSPP

The internal dual degree program in City and Regional Planning and Public Policy provides an education and research experience to students wishing to work in urban, environmental, and/or economic development policy analysis at the national, state, and local level.

Graduates work in policy, planning and/or political settings, building upon the complementary perspectives and skills of the two professions. The dual degree also provides the opportunity to step toward Ph.D. programs in either City and Regional Planning or Public Policy with an emphasis on Urban, Environmental, or Development Policy.

Students wishing to enroll in the dual degree program must apply separately and be admitted independently to each program: the MCRP and MSPP.

For prospective students not yet enrolled in either the MCRP or MSPP program, an application should be submitted to each program separately.

Students currently pursuing either the MCRP or the MSPP and seeking admission to the dual MCRP+MSPP degree program should apply directly to the other program by submitting an online application. The program graduate advisors will forward applications on file to the other program office in response to a request from a student applying to the dual degree program. These materials will be reviewed during the regular admissions process of the respective program office.

It is strongly recommended that students apply to the dual degree program before beginning studies in either program. They must apply no later than the end of their second semester of study in the first program.

All students must complete a minimum combined requirement of 75 credit hours for the dual degree program. Students earning both the MCRP and MSPP degrees must meet requirements for each degree, including all core, specialization (MCRP), and studio requirements (MCRP), with six modifications:

  • Up to 12 credit hours of Public Policy courses may be used as electives toward the MCRP degree.
  • Up to 14 credit hours of City Planning courses may be used as electives toward the MS/PUBP degree.
  • Students must complete either CP6025: Advanced Planning Methods or PUBP 6114: Applied Policy Methods as a core course, but may not receive credit for both.
  • Students must complete either CP6031: Economic Analysis in Planning, or PUBP 6116: Microeconomics in Policy Analysis, but may not receive credit for both.

Students must elect at least one specialization of which the two programs have overlapping/complementary faculty expertise with the approval of faculty advisor.

In the MSPP program, the concentration involves at least 12 credit hours. In the MCRP program, the specialization involves at least 12 credit hours. [Note: either the Public Policy concentration or the City and Regional Planning specialization must be in the area of Economic Development; Urban and Regional Policy; or Environmental Policy, Planning, and Management]

Students shall complete a research paper in each degree program.

  • For the MCRP degree, the student will complete: CP 8990: Applied Research Paper (four hours minimum)
  • For the MS/PP degree, the student will complete: PUPB 6801: Research Paper (four hours minimum).

Students are responsible for sharing the scope of work of both papers with their faculty advisers.

Students must complete both degree programs simultaneously so that the degrees may be awarded simultaneously. Students enrolled in the dual degree program will not receive either the MCRP or the MSPP degree until they have met the requirements of both degree programs.  

For more information, please visit the requirements page of the official GT catalog.

MCRP + MS-CE

This internal dual degree program, administered jointly with the School of Civil Engineering, meets the need of planning agencies and transportation departments for people who combine competence in city and regional planning and transportation engineering. The program consists of course work in city planning, transportation engineering, mathematical and experimental statistics, principles of digital computers, and operations research.

The program in City and Regional Planning and Civil Engineering [Transportation Systems Engineering (TSE)] prepares students for careers influencing public policy and private investment in transportation systems. Such systems (including urban, suburban, ex-urban and rural highways, railways, public transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, rights‐of‐way, ports, terminals, parking and intermodal linkages) involve design and policy coordination that benefits from both engineering and planning. Graduates from this program become instrumental in bringing perspectives from one profession into the lexicon and tools of the other profession.

Students wishing to enroll in this dual degree program must apply separately and be admitted independently to each program. For prospective students not yet enrolled in either program, an application should be submitted to each program separately.

Admission into either the Schools of City and Regional Planning or Civil Engineering does not guarantee a student admission into the dual degree program. Students currently pursuing either the BS/MSCE or the MCRP and seeking admission to the dual degree program should apply directly to the other program by completing an online application. The program graduate advisors will forward applications on file in response to a request from a student. These materials will be reviewed during the regular admissions schedule in place in the relevant program.

It is strongly recommended that students apply to the dual degree program before beginning studies in the program. They must apply no later than the end of their first semester of study in the first program.

After review by the admission committee, the applicant will be notified of his/her acceptance into the program. Admission into the program is heavily influenced by the committee’s perception of the student’s ability to successfully fulfill program requirements. A student whose performance is judged to be inadequate after being admitted into the dual degree program may be dropped from the program on recommendation to the City and Regional Planning Dual Degree Admission Committee and its Civil Engineering counterpart.

Students earning both the MCRP degree and an MS degree with a major in Civil Engineering or MS in Civil Engineering (Transportation Systems Engineering) are expected to meet all requirements for each degree, including all core, specialization and studio requirements, with five conditions:

  • Students may count up to 12 credit hours of Civil and Environmental Engineering courses as electives toward the MCRP degree
  • Students may count up to six credit hours of planning courses as electives toward the MS/MSCE degree
  • Students must complete the standard 12 credit hour transportation specialization under the MCRP degree
  • Students must complete the standard transportation systems engineering specialization requirements under the MS/MSCE
  • Students enrolled in the dual degree program must complete research in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a thesis in City Planning that is supervised by a committee comprised of faculty of both programs. This involves taking at least six credit hours of CP 7000 (Master’s Thesis), and at least six credit hours of CEE 8900 (Special Problems).

All students must complete a minimum combined requirement of at least 67 credit hours. Both degrees are awarded simultaneously.

The scheduling for the dual degree in Transportation and City and Regional Planning has been carefully designed to allow students to complete the degree in two years of intensive coursework. If a student chooses to slow down the pace of working toward the dual degree, they should contact the Program Director in City and Regional Planning and the coordinator of Transportation master’s program to ensure that courses are taken in the proper sequence.

MCRP + Juris Doctor (with Georgia State University)

This dual Georgia Tech Master of City & Regional Planning and Georgia State University Juris Doctor degree program broadens the intellectual horizons of both Georgia State University College of Law and the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture by facilitating interdisciplinary study. The program supports the interest of students who wish to pursue study in the field of both law and urban planning. 

The Planning Law dual degree supports the interests of students who wish to pursue study in the fields of both law and city and regional planning, provides a focal point for exploring the connections between the two disciplines through the research and instruction between the two programs; and provides an educational opportunity that reflects the fact that land management law and city and regional planning have become increasingly integrated and interdisciplinary in nature. The program promotes a broader educational experience for today’s land use law or planning professionals, by providing expertise in both disciplines.

The cooperative J.D./MCRP program will permit students to use credit hours earned in one program to satisfy some of the elective course requirements of the other program, thus permitting them to earn both degrees in a shorter time than would be possible pursuing both degrees separately.

Candidates for the dual degree program will need to meet the separate admissions requirements of the Georgia State University College of Law and the Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning.  Admission into one college will create no presumption favoring admission to the other.  To be admitted to the dual degree program, an applicant must be separately admitted to both the J.D. and the MCRP programs and then must request to proceed in the dual degree program. 

Students interested in the pursuing the dual degree program may apply for admission into the College of Law and the City and Regional Planning Program simultaneously, but they are not required to do so. 

For students who are admitted first into the J.D. program, they should seek admission into the MCRP program as soon as possible and must be admitted into that program no later than the beginning of the fall semester of their third year of full-time law study.  For students who are admitted first into the MCRP program, they should seek admission into the J.D. program as soon as possible and must be admitted into that program no later than the beginning of the fall semester of their second year of full- time study as an MCRP student.

The College of Law will not permit a student to enroll in the dual degree program after the student has completed 31 hours of course work in the MCRP program.  Similarly, the City and Regional Planning will not permit a student to enroll in the dual degree program after the student has completed 65 hours of course work in the J.D. program. 

Students who have been admitted to both programs and intend to pursue the dual degree must, at their first opportunity, complete the first 31 semester hours of required courses in the J.D. program.  After the completion of these 31 hours of law courses, course enrollment in either program or both concurrently is permitted.

The Georgia State University College of Law requires all J.D. candidates to earn 90 credits hours, 43 of which are required courses and 47 of which are elective courses.  For students enrolled in the J.D./MCRP program, the College of Law will accept as course credit 12 semester hours earned from approved courses in the MCRP program.  Students must earn a grade of B or better to receive law credit for their MCRP course work.

All MCRP candidates are required to earn 55 credit hours, 29 of which are core course requirements, 12 of which are specialization requirements, and 14 of which are electives. For students enrolled in the J.D./MCRP program, the School of City and Regional Planning will accept as course credit a maximum of 21 semester hours from approved law courses in the J.D. program. Students may use six of these law hours toward satisfying their MCRP specialization requirement and apply the balance toward their electives.

To complete the dual degree, students must have a minimum of 18 semester hours of law courses. Students must earn a grade of 80 (which is the equivalent of a B) or better to receive MCRP credit for their law course work. If a student receives a grade of less than 80 for a required law course that will be used toward his/her MCRP degree, the student may petition the Program Director for this requirement to be waived.

The MCRP program requires students to earn 12 credit hours toward a planning specialization. Of particular interest to law students are the specializations in Environmental Planning or Land Use. These specializations are noted above in parenthesis next to the qualifying law courses. Students with interests in other planning specializations (land development/housing or transportation, for example) may propose other sets of law courses that would qualify as planning specialization courses. Approval of these alternate courses is needed from both law and planning coordinators.

Neither the J.D. nor the MCRP degree will be awarded until completion of the requirements of both degree programs.

Law courses that may count toward the MCRP :

Students can apply a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 21 hours of law courses toward their MCRP degree from the following list (other courses may be used, with permission of the program director):

  • Law 5050 Property I
  • Law 5051 Property II
  • Law 7010 Administrative Law 
  • Law 7060 Alternative Dispute Resolution (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 7117 Constitutional Law II: Individual Liberties (Land Use)
  • Law 7118 Constitutional Law: State Constitutions (Land Use)
  • Law 7196 Law and Economics
  • Law 7200 Environmental Law (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 7201 International Environmental Law (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 7202 Environmental Justice (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 7203 Natural Resources (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 7238 Law of Hazardous Waste (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 7244 Public Health Law
  • Law 7320 Land Use Law (Land Use)
  • Law 7375 Legislation
  • Law 7385 Local Government Law (Land Use)
  • Law 7433 Race, Ethnicity and the Law
  • Law 7435 Real Estate Transactions
  • Law 7437 Advanced Real Estate Transactions
  • Law 7500 Water Rights (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 8008 Alternative Dispute Resolution Externship (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 8100 Georgia DNR Externship (Environmental Planning)
  • Law 8120 Federal Environmental Law Externship (Environmental Planning)

The MCRP program requires students to earn 12 credit hours toward a planning specialization.  Of particular interest to law students are the specializations in Environmental Planning or Land Use. Certain law courses listed above may be used to satisfy up to six hours of these specializations. These specializations are noted above in parenthesis next to the qualifying law courses. Students with interests in other planning specializations (land development/housing or transportation, for example) may propose other sets of law courses that would qualify as planning specialization courses. Approval of these alternate courses is needed from both law and planning program coordinators.

Planning courses that may count toward the JD:

Students can apply 12 hours of MCRP course work toward their J.D. degree from the following City and Regional Planning courses:

  •  

  • CP 6031 Economic Analysis for Planning
  • CP 6112 Introduction to Land Use Planning
  • CP 6214 Environmental Planning Impact Assessment
  • CP 6223 Policy Tools for Environmental Management
  • CP 6241 Water Resources Planning
  • CP 6311 Introduction to Transportation Planning
  • CP 6452 Urban Development Policy
  • CP 6630 Government and Housing Markets
  • CP 6760 Negotiation, Facilitation, and Conflict Management

Neither the J.D. nor the MCRP degree will be awarded until completion of the requirements of both degree programs.
 

Students enrolled in the dual degree program will have a faculty advisor at each institution to assist them in advising, scheduling, and curriculum decisions. These faculty advisors will work closely with the student to ensure that the student is making appropriate progress toward the completion of the dual degree requirements.

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