Urban Planning Career Outlook

MSUP students

Make a real difference as you bring about change in neighborhoods, cities, regions and beyond.

In the Master of Science in Urban Planning program you’ll learn from national experts and seasoned local planners while gaining hands-on experience through small classes, internships, accessible faculty, an engaged alumni network and real-world projects.


of recent MS Urban Planning graduates were employed in the field within a year of graduation. The rest went on to teach or pursue higher ed.


Demand for urban and regional planners is projected to grow in Arizona and the nation, with an expected 3,500 annual job openings nationally.

Our graduates get jobs and become leaders in the field, both here in Tucson and around the world. They work as planners and related professionals in governmental agencies, private-sector firms and nonprofit organizations. Others have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees.

Careers in urban planning include:

  • Community activism and empowerment
  • Community development
  • Comprehensive and long-range planning
  • Economic development
  • Environmental and natural resources planning
  • Community health planning
  • Food systems planning
  • Hazard mitigation and disaster recovery planning
  • Historic preservation
  • Housing
  • Land use and code enforcement
  • Neighborhood planning
  • Nonprofit management
  • Parks and recreation development
  • Project management
  • Public administration and finance
  • Real estate and urban development
  • Smart city planning
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation planning
  • Urban design
Quotation marks

After going through the MS Urban Planning program, I knew I was ready and prepared to tackle a full-time planning job, where I’ve found success.

Connor Harmon '17 MS Urban Planning

Connecting with Professionals in the Community

Our MS Urban Planning program has developed partnerships with government agencies and other organizations by connecting faculty and students with local planning needs. The program has established connections with the City of Tucson, Pima County, Cochise County, Town of Marana, Pima Association of Governments, the Warehouse Arts District, Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona Department of Housing, Arizona Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing, among others. Additionally, students typically join the local and national chapters of the American Planning Association.

The Friends of Planning, a nonprofit organization, was formed to help ensure the strength and longevity of the MS Urban Planning program at the University of Arizona. Through financial contributions and shared expertise, Friends of Planning provides scholarship funds, student awards and mentoring to ensure MS Urban Planning students are workforce ready.

Ready to shape a more resilient future?

Learn more about the Master of Science in Urban Planning by contacting us at capla-grad@arizona.edu, or begin your application:

Start Your Application