Graduate Programs

Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development

On this page:
About the Program | News | Alumni Profiles | Public Information | Course of Study | Career Opportunities | Contact

Important Information:
Admissions | MUPDD Faculty | Student Resources | Studio Projects | MUPDD History (pdf) | Student Handbook and Course Information (pdf) | Curriculum Sheet

Planetizen has ranked Levin College's MUPDD program among the top 15 programs in both Economic Development and Community Development. It is also ranked 8th for the most diverse student body and 8th for non-resident tuition.


About the Program

The MUPDD program is fully accredited as a planning program by the Planning Accreditation Board. We have graduated more than 350 students since the program's inception in 1990. Our MUPDD graduates are employed today by cities, townships, community development corporations, social service organizations, real estate and development organizations, and planning firms across Ohio and the United States.

Students who will find value in the MUPDD program are as follows:

  • Recent college graduates and mid-career planners and public sector administrators whose work is focused on economic development, land use, environmental issues, housing, historic preservation, real estate development and urban design;
  • Employees in federal, state, county, and local governments;
  • Employees in regional planning authorities and special districts;
  • Executives and senior staff at nonprofit organizations working at the neighborhood scale on revitalization; andASCP Education Guide
  • Those involved in real estate development

The Master of Urban Planning, Design & Development (MUPDD) program prepares men and women for planning practice in a wide variety of organizational settings and professional pursuits. The curriculum combines an appreciation of planning as a profession, substantive studiesregarding urban challenges and opportunities, and a set of analytical skills useful to planning practice. Together these prepare future planners with the theory, skills, and practical experience needed to fairly and efficiently facilitate the transformation and revitalization of cities and their regions, building better places to live, work and play.


News

On April 10,  2014, a Levin College Forum featured a panel discussion on the Cleveland waterfront. Speakers included Tony Coyne, the chair of the Cleveland City Planning Commission, and Bob Brown, its Executive Director. This Forum was taped and the video will be available in the future. A Campbell Gallery exhibit on Cleveland's waterfront created by the CSU APA can be viewed here. On May 5, 2014, MUPDD students in the Planning Studio will present "Lake Link Trail", their research on linking the Towpath Trail in the Canal Corridor to the Cuyahoga River and the lakefront, in cooperation with the Trust for Public Land, Ohio.

Dennis Keating was inducted into the Urban Affairs Association Honor Roll at its March, 2014 annual meeting. He served two terms on its board and hosted one of its annual meetings.

MUPDD alum Richey Piparinen has been named the Director of the Center for Population Dynamics in the Levin College of Urban Affairs. He is the co-author of a recent study entitled "From Balkanized Cleveland to Globalized Cleveland" that analyzes the effects of migration to "Legacy Cities" like Cleveland.

W. Dennis Keating is the Principal Contributor of the 2013 annual report of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank entitled: "A Successful Stabilization Response for the Present, A Strategic Redevelopment Catalyst for the Future".

MUPDD alum Michael Fleming, Executive Director of the St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, has been named a German Marshall Fellow for Spring, 2015.

MUPDD Alum Andrea Bruno has joined the Board of Directors of the Housing Research & Advocacy Center. She joins MUPDD Program Faculty member Brian Mikelbank on that board. Andrea is Housing Manager for the St. Clair Superior Development Corporation.

Jordan Yin and Norm Krumholz organized a panel on "Big City Plans and Social Equity: Where Are We Going?" for the 2014 American Planning Association national conference in Atlanta in April, 2014.

As a guest columnist for The Plain Dealer, Dr. Stephanie Ryberg Webster highlights the importance of historic preservation in redevelopment. Read More. »

Read about Professor Norm Krumholz's Lifetime Achievement Award for Design from clevelandartsprize.org.

An October 6, 2013 article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer describes the innovative programs of the St. Clair Superior Community Development Corporation headed by MUPDD alum Michael Fleming. These include Upcycling and the Cleveland Flea (a monthly market). In addition to Fleming, three other MUPDD alums are members of the staff. Read More. »

Professor Stephanie Ryberg-Webster presented on "Preserving Cleveland's African-American Heritage at the 2013 Society for American City and Regional History conference in Toronto in October, 2013

Professor Haifeng Qian presented on Regional Economic Development at the 2013 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers and his article entitled "Diversity versus tolerance" was published in Urban Studies, Vol. 50: 2718-2735 (2013). He is PI on a grant on "Skills, regions, and entrepreneurship" from the Regional Studies Association

Professor Alan Weinstein co-authored the 2013 update of "Federal Land Use Law and Litigation" and presented on "Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses" at the March, 2013 International Municipal Lawyers' national teleconference

Professor Norm Krumholz has been named as the recipient of the APA Ohio President's Award for Outstanding Planner. The award was presented on September 27, 2013 at the annual APA Ohio conference in Cleveland.

Rust Belt Chic: MUPDD alum Richie Piiparinen is the co-publisher of the collection of essays under this title published last year. He and his co-publisher Anne Trubek launched Belt on the web on August 22, 2013. Rust Belt Chic and the Belt were featured in the article "A New Magazine Takes on Old Rust Belt Stereotypes" in the August 27, 2013 online issue of The Atlantic Cities Place Matters (www.theatlanticcities.com)

New instructors: Among the part time instructors teaching MUPDD courses in the Fall, 2012 semester are Bob Brown, Cleveland's City Planning Director, and Kathleen Crowther, Director of the Cleveland Restoration Society. (and a Levin College alum). Brown is teaching "Neighborhood Development" and Crowther is teaching "Contemporary Issues in Historic Preservation".

MUPDD Faculty Mittie Davis Jones, Sanda Kaufman, Wendy Kellogg and Dennis Keating made presentations at the ACSP-AESOP Joint Congress in Dublin, Ireland (July 15-19). Ned Hill co-authored a paper presented by Kelly Kinahan. Sanda Kaufman co-chaired the Governance, Institutions, and Civic Initiative track.

AICP Exam Results: During the period 2004-2012, 17 of 27 MUPDD students who took the AICP exam passed (a pass rate of 63% compared to the mean pass rate of 72%).

MUPDD Professors Wendy Kellogg, Haifeng Qian, and Stephanie Ryberg-Webster were winners of 2013-2014 CSU Faculty Scholarship Initiatives Awards by the CSU Office of Research.

MUPDD Professor Roby Simons and a group of students are conducting a Summer 2013 study for the CSU Vice President for Business Affairs and Finance looking at the campus needs for more housing and retail and a business incubator.

The Cleveland APA provided scholarships to five members of the CSU-APA chapter to attend the April 2012 national APA conference in Chicago. In its May/June newsletter (The Ohio Planners News), Ohio APA included articles by two of the five students on their experiences: "Cleveland Section Students Reflect on National Conference"Read More. »

MUPDD alums Hannah Belsito and Justin Glanville were members of the host committee for the fourth annual Next City Vanguard conference held in Cleveland June 10-11. Forty-three young urban planners, academics, developers, economic development experts, community activists, and civic leaders participated in this event.

Hannah Belsito, an MUPDD alum, is featured in an article on " Training program bolsters front line of local tourism" in the June issue of CBC (Cleveland Business Connects) magazine. Read More. »

"Campus District Master Plan Recommendations Created by CSU Urban Planning Students" Campus District Observer (www.campusdistrictobserver.com) June 2013. Read More. »

MUPDD students' Campus District project presentations are discussed in the June CD Observer.Read More. »

Professor Stephanie Ryberg-Webster and 2013 MUPDD graduate Greg Soltis co-authored "Putting Artists on the Map: The Geography of Artists in Cuyahoga County" which was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs (Vol. 35, No. 2).

2013 Student Awards: Greg Soltis has received the AICP Outstanding Student Award (see his profile in MUPDD Alumni Profiles) and Greg and Andrew McMillan shared the Wallace G. Teare Prize

First year MUPDD student Steve Kanner has been named a Summer 2013 intern by the Cleveland Foundation.

Student Achievement: The team that competed in the 2013 ULI Hines Student Urban Design competition which included MUPDD students received honorable mention.

Michelle Johnson, an MUPDD alum who crafted the West 65th multimillion-dollar makeover proposal is mentioned in the
May 2, 2013 issue of the The Plain Dealer. Read More. »

MUPDD alum planner and writer Justin Glanville wrote an article entitled "Take the Sting Out of Gentrification" in the April 2013 issue of Planning magazine.

Cleveland's St. Clair-Superior Development Corporation, headed by MUPDD grad Micheal Fleming, has been awarded a $375,000 grant by Art Place America to support its "UrbanUpcycle" project to attract artists.Crain's Cleveland Business (www.crainscleveland.com) May 20-26, 2013. Read More. »

Levin College helps design Cleveland's urban future. Read More. »

Congratulations to Jordan Yin (College Associate Lecturer/Director of Undergrad Programs) for his book Planning for Dummies being selected as a top 10 book choice of Planetizen. Read More. »

Alumni Profiles

Michelle Johnson - Senior Planner and Project Manager with Environmental Design Group
Michelle Johnson is a Senior Planner and Project Manager with Environmental Design Group, a planning, landscape architecture, engineering and design firm located in Akron and Cleveland. Ms. Johnson has a Masters Degree in Urban Planning, Design and Development from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning and a Minor in Landscape Architecture from Miami University. Ms. Johnson’s prior work experience includes Continuing Planning & Sustainability Team Manager and Transportation Planner for NOACA, Planner and GIS Specialist positions for Butler County, Ohio, Planner for the New York City Department of City Planning, and private Planning Consultant in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Johnson has served on the APA Cleveland (American Planning Association) Executive Board since 2006, currently as the Vice-Director of programming, and is an active member of WTS (Women in Transportation Seminar). She lives next to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with her husband Dan and two rescue dogs, Madison and Buddy.

Gregory Soltis - Recent MUPDD Graduate
Gregory earned a master’s degree in Urban Planning, Design, & Development from Cleveland State University in 2013. Throughout his education at Cleveland State University, he held a graduate assistantship for Dr. Mark Salling as a researcher, cartographer, and graphic designer at the Northern Ohio Data & Information Service (NODIS). In addition he worked on various other projects at CSU including “Linking Land Use and Ohio’s Waters: Best Local Land Use Practices”, a document produced for the State of Ohio by CSU’s Community Planning Program. He was recently honored as the 2013 American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student, and also presented with the Wallace G. Teare Prize. Before attending CSU, Gregory worked as an architectural designer in Las Vegas and Washington, DC for TAL Studio, a leader in the world of hospitality design. After his return home to Cleveland he quickly became active in volunteer and advocacy work, furthering historic preservation, thoughtful planning and urban design. He holds a B.A. in Geography from Kent State University and a B.S. of Architecture from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. Greg now works at RDL Architects in Shaker Heights and is teaching an undergrad Urban Studies course at the Levin College in the Spring, 2014 semester.

Ann Klavora, AICP - Principal Planner for the City of Shaker Heights
Ann Klavora, AICP, is Principal Planner for the City of Shaker Heights, where she is project manager for long-term planning projects, primary grant writer and staff to the Landmark Commission. Prior to joining Shaker Heights, Ms. Klavora worked for the Summit County (Ohio) Planning Commission and D. B. Hartt, Inc., Planning and Development Consultants. She has been active in the American Planning Association (APA) for over 15 years, currently serving as President of the American Planning Association (APA) Ohio Board of Trustees and Immediate Past Director of the APA Cleveland Section.  Ms. Klavora received a Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development degree from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, and a bachelor's degree from the Miami University (OH) School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Hasani Wheat - Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
Hasani Wheat received a Master's degree in Urban Planning, Design, and Development at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs along with a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. During his time at Levin College, Hasani served as the Secretary of the student chapter of the American Planning Association, where he ran the social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and the CSU/APA website among other various responsibilities and interned at Policy Matters Ohio.In 2011, Hasani was awarded the Ohio APA Cleveland Section Scholarship. A long time resident of the Lee-Miles neighborhood in Cleveland, Hasani completed his undergraduate studies at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH as a History, Urban Studies, and Geography triple major.

Jason Russell - Planner, City of Lakewood Planning and Development Department
Jason Russell, an Ohio native, received a Masterís degree in Urban Planning, Design, and Development at Cleveland State University with a concentration in Neighborhood Development. Through his studies he has become an advocate for social equity and affordable housing. During his time at CSU, Jason served as president of the student chapter of the American Planning Association. Under his leadership, the group has increased membership from about 10 members to 30, while implementing new programs for greater community involvement, including an urban garden project at Jane Addams High School. In 2009, Jason was awarded the American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award. Jason completed his undergraduate studies at Lehigh University as a football student-athlete. Jason is committed to Northeast Ohio and revitalization of its older communities.

Christine Dersi - Planner with APA Ohio
Chris Dersi is the Executive Director of APA Ohio. Christine Dersi received her Masterís degree in Urban Planning, Design, and Development at Cleveland State University with a concentration in Neighborhood Development with a strong interest in regionalism. During her graduate studies, Christine worked as a graduate assistant for the Center for Neighborhood Development at CSU, interned for ParkWorks, a local nonprofit, and served as membership chair of the student chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). She also served a national position with APA as the Region IV Student Representative Council Executive Member and was elected Treasurer/Secretary for the New Urbanism Division of APA. Christine was awarded the Wallace G. Teare Prize, an award presented to a graduating student by the Levin College. Christine completed her undergraduate work at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania as an Environmental Studies major and attended high school at Saint Joseph Academy on the west side of Cleveland.


Public Information

Student Achievement: The exit survey of the May, 2013 graduating MUPDD class showed significant improvements for the students between their entering the program and upon their graduation in all PAB 21 categories in the Knowledge, Skills, and Values requirements for accreditated urban planning programs. In citing the best aspects of the program, they overwhelmingly cited practical skills, interaction with planning professionals, and real world class assignments.

Tuition and Fees

2013-14 Academic Year Tuition Fees Total for Year
In-State: $520.95/credit hour - $ 12,502.80
Out-of-State: $979.40/credit hour - $ 23,505.60

See http://www.csuohio.edu/treasury-services/tuition-and-fees for more information.

Student Retention and Graduation Rates

Student Retention and Graduation Rates Percent
Percentage of degree-seeking Master’s students who began studies in Fall 2012 and continued into Fall 2013 82%
Percentage of single-degree Master’s students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2009 89%

Number of degrees awarded, 2013-2014 Academic year = 8
Number of degrees awarded, 2012-2013 Academic year = 17
Number of degrees awarded, 2011-2012 Academic year = 18

AICP Exam Pass Rates

Professional Certification Percent
Percentage of Master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 3 years who pass, Graduating class of 2011 100%
Percentage of Master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 3 years who pass, Graduating class of 2010 100%
Percentage of Master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 3 years who pass, Graduating class of 2009 66.6%

AICP Exam pass rate data are collected by the APA. For a complete list of pass rates for all PAB-accredited institutions see: http://www.planning.org/certification/passrates/?print=true

Employment Rates

Graduates - 2012 Percent
Responses 8
Response Rate 45%
Employment Within One Year of Graduation: Professional Planning Job 50%
Employment Within One Year of Graduation: Professional Planning-Related Job 50%
Employment Within One Year of Graduation: Pursuing Advanced Degree 0%
Total Employed Within One Year of Graduation 100%

Graduates - 2013 Percent
Responses 8
Response Rate 47%
Employment Within One Year of Graduation: Professional Planning Job 37.5%
Employment Within One Year of Graduation: Professional Planning-Related Job 50%
Employment Within One Year of Graduation: Pursuing Advanced Degree 12.5%
Total Employed Within One Year of Graduation 87.5%

Graduates Employment data: Of the almost half of the 50 MUPDD graduates in 2010 and 2011 who responded to an employment survey, 23 were employed, 22 in planning-related jobs.


Course of Study

The MUPDD Program curriculum includes twelve (4 credit hour) classes for a total of 48 semester hours. A full-time student can complete the program in two academic years. The program is structured to accommodate both full-time students and working part-time students. Most of our required classes are offered in the evenings, with some courses offered during summer sessions and weekends. The planning core consists of eight classes (32 credits), leaving four classes (16 credit hours) for electives. For those students so inclined, six specialization fields are offered, which require completion of three or more classes. Internships are available for elective credit. Courses taken in a specialization area, electives, or an internship must total 16 credit hours.


Required Planning Core Courses: (32 credit hours)
The planning core courses are required, and are designed to provide students with a solid analytical, methodological and theoretical basis for work in the planning specializations or elective courses.

The planning core includes three largely quantitative courses (Applied Quantitative Reasoning I, Public Finance and Economics, and Urban Spatial Structures), and four topical courses on key planning areas: Urban Planning, Urban Design, Planning Law and Development Process/Market Analysis. Students should strive to take UST 601 and 603 in their first or second semester. These classes should be completed prior to taking UST 605 and 610. After completing the balance of their coursework in electives and/or a specialization, students generally take the UST 611. This integrative course synthesizes the tools and skills around a collective project in a studio environment.

The planning core is as follows:

Core Courses Typical Schedule Offered

UST 601: Applied Quantitative Reasoning I

Fall, Spring, Summer

UST 603: Public Finance and Economics

Fall, Spring, Summer

UST 605: Urban Spatial Structures

Fall, Spring

UST 607: Introduction to Urban Planning

Fall, sometimes Summer

UST 608: Urban Design Seminar

Fall, Spring

UST 609: Planning Law

Spring only

UST 610: The Development Process/Market Analysis

Fall only

UST 611: Studio

Spring only


Areas of Specialization:
The Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development Program offers six specializations in subfields of planning. Students generally complete a minimum of 16 credit hours in one of these optional specializations:

  • Housing and Neighborhood Development
    The specialization in Housing And Neighborhood Development provides an introduction to the planning, production, financing, and management of housing. It also analyzes housing policies and programs and legal issues that arise from these, as well as land use and zoning. It provides an overview of neighborhood planning, including housing, and the factors, policies and organizations that influence neighborhood development. This specialization will provide the necessary background for those interested in working for nonprofit community development corporations and housing providers, public agencies that engage in housing and neighborhood development activities, and for-profit development and planning organizations.
  • Economic Development
    The specialization in Economic Development introduces planning students to urban economic development. Economic development is focused on the process of creating jobs and wealth. It is the role of the private sector to create wealth by producing tradeable goods and services and engaging in these exchanges. It is the role of the public sector to facilitate and promote the creation of jobs and wealth by the private sector, and to ensure that it does so in a way that serves the short and long-term interests of the broad population. The economic development specialization helps planning students acquire the skills to responsibly invest public money on behalf of worthy job-creating ventures.
  • Real Estate Development and Finance
    The specialization in Real Estate Development and Finance focuses on financing built improvements in the urban environment. This focus is most often needed because the planner is responsible for providing or seeking government loans or grants. Types of urban development projects may include housing for sale, rental housing, retail/commercial investment property, office buildings, and industrial development. Because of brownfields and other problems in assembling and developing urban projects on previously used land, a typical real estate deal would have a financing “gap”. This specialization familiarizes the student with financing issues such as mortgage subordination, valuation, and tax issues so that these difficult multi-layered financing structures can be devised.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    The Specialization in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is designed to provide students with skills in the use of GIS, a computerized data base management system for capture, storage, retrieval, analysis and display of spatial (locationally defined) data. GIS has been widely spread into fields such as land use, transportation, utility management, housing, emergency services, natural resource management, environment, demographics, public safety, and public health. The application of GIS technology in the planning context is becoming increasingly common as large and small planning offices begin to take advantage of all this information system has to offer. Through the GIS specialization, students gain both an understanding of the theoretical foundations of GIS, and hands-on experience in the use of this technology.
  • Environmental Sustainability
    The environmental sustainability specialization provides students with an understanding of concepts, methods, and practice in environmental planning. Environmental planning entails integration of ecological and human health concerns into other areas of planning, most particularly in land use decisions, land development regulation, ecological function (surface water, ground water, habitat, etc.) and ambient quality of life for humans. Environmental planners work on planning problems such as storm water management, land use and stream quality, wildlife habitat preservation, open space and parks, urban sprawl/growth management, air quality, land remediation, and water quality.
  • Historic Preservation
    The specialization in historic preservation introduces students to the context and techniques required to preserve America's material culture in its cities and countryside. Historic preservation in America as a movement began in the 1960s to protect buildings and sites with cultural, economic, or historic value from destruction or inappropriate renovation. Historic preservation planners work within a framework developed by the United States Secretary of the Interior and the National Trust for Historic Preservation with local, regional, and state governments and with nonprofit agencies and organizations.

Graduate certificate programs in the economic development, real estate development and finance, and GIS specializations are also offered through CSU and the College of Urban Affairs. Students may also be admitted only to the Certificate seeking program and earn a certificate in Urban Economic Development, Urban Real Estate Development and Finance, and Geographic Information Systems(GIS). Students should meet with the Graduate Advisor or the MUPDD Program Director to plan their schedules.

Elective Credit:
Students who do not wish to specialize in a single area may fill out their program of study from a number of graduate classes. Four classes beyond the planning core are required. These may be in planning, public administration, or outside the College of Urban Affairs. These courses should be chosen in consultation with the Program Director.

Internships
An internship is not required; however, students without related work experience are encouraged to seek an internship placement. Paid and unpaid internships are arranged through the Office of Student Services. Interested students may receive elective credit for internship work.

Career Opportunities

Graduate level training in urban planning offers students the opportunity to pursue careers in city or regional planning, housing and neighborhood development, real estate finance and development, economic development, environmental planning, historic preservation, and geographic information systems (GIS). Courses are designed to train new planners in the latest techniques and theories and to upgrade the skills of existing planners.

Planning program graduates are employed in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Many graduates pursue careers in:

  • City and county planning agencies
  • City and county economic development agencies
  • Metropolitan planning organizations
  • Community development organizations
  • State and federal government agencies
  • Watershed organizations
  • Public or non-profit housing agencies
  • Private sector planning, development, and design firms
  • Public park systems
  • School districts
  • Nonprofit advocacy organizations
  • University research centers
  • Philanthropic foundations
Contact Information

Faculty Program Director:
Dennis Keating

Levin College Graduate Academic Progam Specialist
Telephone: (216) 523-7522
E-mail: urbanprograms@csuohio.edu Fax: (216) 687-5398