Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Prospective Students
Our students come from a diverse arrays of professions and experiences all with the intent to explore urban professions in a more concentrated way. Our community is comprised of students from all over the globe, each bringing his/her own unique experience to classroom seminars. A small number of students come to us directly from undergraduate institutions. The majority find their way to our department via some other path; these include: architecture, construction, finance, advocacy, art, publishing and even fashion as well as more traditional public sector careers. This unique blend enriches classroom discussions and adds an additional layer of complexity to workshops and studios.
You can start by reviewing our website. Each program page has an in-depth explanation of the objectives and requirements for completion. The faculty bios introduce both full-time faculty and adjuncts. Faculty features provide a glimpse of specific research projects and honors. Meet some of our students and alumni via their web profiles. Review the schedule of courses and the course descriptions in the online catalog to get a better sense of what we do here.
Each semester we host an Information Session for our graduate programs. The dates and times will be listed on our events page. If you still have questions, you may contact our Program Coordinator, Marisol Otero-morales, at email@example.com.
Unfortunately, Urban Policy & Planning is not granting permission for non-matriculated students to take our classes. Interested students will have to go through the admissions process to gain entry to the classes in our department.
Course schedules can be accessed one of two ways:
- The current semester schedule is on view if you look under the “Academic Programs” menu under “Course Offerings and Semester Schedule” – for a general listing of the Hunter Urban graduate offerings with course descriptions, a link to the Graduate Course Catalog is also available.
- The Registrar’s Office has a searchable course schedule. Enter the year and semester you want to search and for the department, select “Urban Affairs and Planning.” Click on the course title to access a full course description and syllabus. The great thing about this site is that you can search past semesters to get a sense of how often and what times courses have been offered. It’s not a sure way of knowing how things will be in the future, but it gives you a sense of the general pattern.
MASTER OF URBAN PLANNING (MUP)
- Fall Admissions: February 1
- Spring Admissions: October 1
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN URBAN POLICY & LEADERSHIP (MSUPL)
- Fall Admissions: March 15
- Spring Admissions: November 1
If you’re concerned about a low GPA provide some explanation in your essay or as an addendum to your essay. You might also consider taking some planning classes at another school as a non-matriculated student and get high marks that can bolster your application. If you’ve been out of school for a long time, emphasize in your essay how you’ve grown beyond what your GPA reflects.
Taking the GRE is not required, but if you do take it and get high scores, this will demonstrate to the admissions committee that the GPA doesn’t tell the whole story of your abilities.
You’ll need to apply to both programs and be admitted to both to start the joint program. Doing the programs jointly reduces your overall course burden. For more information, see the joint-degree program offerings on the Brooklyn Law School website.
The following are generally used to evaluate applications for admission:
- undergraduate GPA (GRE is not required but is advised when undergraduate GPA is below 3.0);
- quality of personal statement, showing interest and prior experience in planning-related issues and fit with our program;
- letters of recommendation that can attest to work experience and/or prior academic achievements.
Because of significantly increasing applications in the last three years, our acceptance rate has declined, and admission to the program now more consistently requires high performance in all three areas noted above.
Every effort is made for students to hear back regarding application status before April 15. Depending on the size of the applicant pool, decisions may be sent out as early as the last week in March but not before. Due to the high number of application we receive each semester, we do not respond to inquiries until decisions have been made.
If you do not get in, you are welcome to reapply. Review and revise your personal statement. Consider taking some planning classes at another school as a non-matriculated student and get high marks that can bolster your application. Finally, consider your recommenders and see if it might make sense to add others to strengthen your application.
Tuition & Financial Aid
The good news is that getting accepted to Hunter Urban Policy & Planning is a fellowship in and of itself. We pride ourselves on the ability to provide quality education at a reasonable price. The bad news is that there is very limited internal funding for scholarships for master’s level students at Hunter. Our department periodically offers research assistantships, but these are very few and dependent on the college’s budget. When fellowships are available, students are identified through the admissions process to receive funds.
You might want to check out grant offerings and scholarships from other organizations:
- The Scholarships and Grants section of the Hunter College website includes some of the more well-known, nationally competitive awards.
- It also includes an A-Z listing of grants, fellowships and scholarships from both private and governmental sources.
- You can also search for scholarships available from professional organizations that focus on planning, such as the American Planning Association.
- Information about financial aid can be found through the Hunter College Financial Aid Office.
The Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program is an accredited program in urban planning that trains students in the management of the built environment through a balance of social, political and economic factors that contribute to its overall development. The Master of Science in Urban Policy & Leadership (formerly Master of Science in Urban Affairs) program is a flexible program that does not focus on the physical urban environment in the same way. Student in the MS program concentrate in urban policy, neighborhood development and non-profit management while students in the MUP program concentrate in land use, infrastructure, housing, transportation, sustainability, community and economic development. Both programs allow students to create their own concentrations.
Most classes range from 15 to 20 students, depending on the topic/format.
Urban Policy & Planning students can take classes in other departments at Hunter or at other CUNY schools so long as they correspond to your program of study and/or concentration. Permission must be received from the Hunter department in which the outside class is offered. For courses at other CUNY schools, an e-permit must be filed through the CUNY portal. MS students are able to take up to 9 credits outside the department. MUP students are able to take 12 credits outside the department.
Yes, with the permission of the program director. Once you are admitted, you will need to meet with the program director to complete a course equivalency form. You will need to provide a course description and course syllabus for each course you wish to transfer.
Students in both programs must fulfill an internship during the course of their degree.While completing the internship, students are required to take a seminar class to get credit for the internship. While students are encouraged to do as many internships as they want, credit is only given for the internship complete in conjunction with the seminar. Students intern at a variety of public, private and non-profit agencies. Here are some examples: NYC Office of Emergency Management, Mayor’s Office of Long-term Sustainability, MTA/NYC Transit, Department of Transportation, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Economic Development Corporation, Louis Berger, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Brooklyn Partnership, Borough President Offices, and Community Boards.
Students find internships and job placements on their own with some assistance from faculty. Hunter Urban Policy & Planning keeps a listing of potential internship sites and internship and job announcements on our e-community, which is accessible to enrolled students. Many students turn their internships into full-time jobs.
For more information on retention and graduation rates, view our MUP Program Snapshot — this document contains outcomes-related information, required by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), which has accredited Hunter’s MUP program through December 2017.
On average, approximately 40 students graduate from our MUP program each year. Specifically, over the past 3 years:
- 2011/2012 academic year: 44 students
- 2010/2011 academic year: 47 students
- 2009/2010 academic year: 35 students