URP Combined Degree Programs

Various undergraduate-to-graduate (U2G) and graduate-to-graduate degree options are available allowing students to earn a graduate degree in planning and a second degree in less time than would be required to obtain the two degrees independently. This is because courses for one degree are considered as elective credit for the other degree program.

Undergraduate-to-graduate (U2G) degree options

This is a universal U2G. It is open to students in all undergraduate majors at the University of Iowa

Previously formalized U2G options are available for those in Civil and Environmental Engineering (B.S.E.) and Environmental Policy and Planning (B.S. or B.A.).

Admission and Eligibility

Students should apply before the end of their junior year.

To be eligible for the URP U2G program, students must have the following record:

  • Completion of 80 s.h. of undergraduate work
  • Transfer students need to have completed 30 s.h. at the University of Iowa
  • GPA of 3.25
  • Program is usually completed in senior year (senior classification/standing)

Information about all of the programs is available from the School of Planning and Public Affairs Admissions Coordinator, Anne Nessa. Appointments with Anne may be made through Calendly.

Courses

Under the URP U2G program, students are able to take up to 17 semester hours of credit in the MS in Urban and Regional Planning program that will also count toward the undergraduate degree. Students may select from the following courses (descriptions available in the General Catalog).

URP:6200 Analytic Methods I 3 s.h.
URP:6201 Analytic Methods II 3 s.h.
URP:6202 Land Use Planning:  Law and Practice 3 s.h.
URP:6203 History and Theories of Planning 3 s.h.
URP:6205 Economics for Policy Analysis 3 s.h.
URP:6208 Program Seminar 1 s.h.
URP:6233 Public Finance and Budgeting 3 s.h.

Graduate-to-graduate options with other disciplines

Formalized combined graduate degree options have been established in the following:

It is possible to receive a master's degree in planning in conjunction with a graduate degree in another discipline, even when a formalized graduate-to-graduate degree program does not exist. Examples would be a graduate-to-graduate degree in Journalism or Public Health.

University policy requires that prior administrative approval be granted, and a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate credit be completed to receive two master's degrees. However, courses taken to satisfy one unit's requirements also may be applied to meet the other unit's requirements. Some credits can be shared when one master’s degree requires, or both master’s degrees require, more than 30 semester hours of graduate credit. (No more than ¼ of the credits necessary for one degree may be composed of coursework taken for the other degree.) In all cases, combined degree programs require at least 60 semester hours of graduate credit and each unit's degree requirements must be met. See the Graduate College Manual, section X. G.

Requirements for combined degree programs

While the requirements of each graduate-to-graduate and U2G degree option vary, all have several key features in common. In each case a student must:

  • Complete an approved area of concentration in planning
    Work in the other academic unit does not, in and of itself, necessarily constitute a valid area of concentration (e.g., "law" is not a concentration, although an environmental law course may be part of an environmental concentration).
     
  • For U2G degrees, take at least 50 semester hours of planning courses that have been previously approved to count towards the master’s degree.
     
  • For graduate-to-graduate degrees, take at least 38 semester hours of planning courses that have been previously approved to count towards the degree, except for Law which requires 35 semester hours. Courses in other programs can sometimes be substituted for planning core courses, however this does not reduce the 38-hour requirement.
  • Unless otherwise specified, Field Problems is required of students in combined degree programs.
     
  • Satisfy planning's final examination requirement

Student should verify the most recent degree requirements with the department of interest as courses and requirements in other departments are subject to change with little prior notification.

Admission to combined degree programs

Separate applications for admission to planning and to the other academic unit are required. When applying to each unit, please indicate on the Graduate College Application that you are applying for a combined degree program with planning and the other unit.

Tuition for combined degree programs

U2G students are assessed undergraduate level tuition and fees during their first year of the U2G program (typically students' 4th or senior year), and until the bachelor's degree is conferred.

As a member of a graduate-to-graduate degree program, students may pay the greater of the two programs' tuition costs. Students are encouraged to consult the Graduate College to determine the tuition amount.