The B.A. – M.U.P Path

Urban planners work with civic leaders, residents and businesses to develop new solutions to community problems. They help leaders envision the direction their community will grow and find the right balance of new development and services, environmental protection, and innovative change. 

Urban planners are trained to protect the environment, to create housing for people, to preserve historic buildings and places, to design public spaces, to develop alternative transportation choices, to foster economic development and to craft healthy communities. Good urban planning creates communities that offer better choices for living. Planners help people make their communities more convenient, healthful, efficient, fair and attractive. Good planning improves the welfare of people and communities in the present and for the future.

The B.A.-M.U.P. degree path is offered jointly by the Architecture and Urban Planning departments.  It includes the basic elements of the B.A.--studios, workshops, certificate program, basic professional and general enrichment electives and the KU Core Curriculum, along with  core courses in planning history, theory and methods as well as specialized classes in environmental planning, housing and development planning, land use planning and urban design, and transportation planning.

The Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P.) degree is the normal academic qualification for those who wish to become professional planners.  An M.U.P. degree opens doors to careers in environmental conservation, housing, economic development, historic preservation, real estate development, and many other areas.  State, city and local governments as well as private companies and nonprofit agencies employ planners.  There are planning jobs in such areas as health care delivery, criminal justice, education, public finance and law. 

Students in the B.A.-M.U.P. track have the opportunity to shorten the usual 6-year period required to complete a bachelor’s degree and the M.U.P. by one full year of study.  Students who achieve a GPA of 3.25 by the end of their third year of study, and complete the appropriate B.A. requirements shown in the B.A.-M.U.P. Plan will spend their fourth year in the B.A. degree completing the first year of courses required in the M.U.P.  These urban Planning classes are used to satisfy remaining undergraduate requirements so that students receive the B.A. degree at the end of their fourth year.  This also allows students to finish the second and final year of M.U.P. work in their fifth year at KU, when they would also be awarded the accredited M.U.P. degree.

Undergraduate Admission

First-year and transfer students may be admitted to the B.A. in architectural studies degree program. Contact:

University of Kansas
Michael Swann, Associate Dean,
School of Architecture, Design and Planning
Marvin Hall
1465 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 206
Lawrence, KS 66045-7626

For undergraduate applications, write to:

KU Office of Admissions
KU Visitor Center
1502 Iowa St.
Lawrence, KS 66044-7576


Applications for fall semester should be submitted during the student’s senior year in high school. The priority application deadline is November 1, and the final application deadline is February 1. Completed applications are reviewed, and applicants are notified of their admission status. A complete application includes sixth-semester transcript, rank in class, ACT scores, and a list of courses in progress. Applications received after February 1 are considered but are less likely to be accepted due to space limitations.

Transfer students should apply by October 1 for the spring semester and by the priority deadline of November 1 for the summer and fall terms. The final application deadline is February 1. Space limitations apply to transfer students. Transfer applications received after February 1 are likely to be denied for reasons not connected with the applicant’s academic qualifications. The School of Architecture, Design and Planning encourages applications from women and members of minority groups.

High School Students

High school students are encouraged to apply for admission if they have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and have a minimum ACT of 23 or a minimum SAT of 1050 and if they will meet the following preparation thresholds by the time they graduate:

  • 3 or more years of math ending with calculus (preferred),
  • 3 or more years of natural science including physics,
  • 3 or more art/drawing classes. Art/drawing classes are preferred over additional drafting or technical courses (1 semester of drafting is adequate),
  • 2 or more years of foreign language (recommended).

Although students who do not meet these minimum thresholds may apply to the Department of Architecture, they are encouraged to enroll in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for a preliminary year of study.

During the first semester of this preliminary year, students should complete:

MATH 105Introduction to Topics in Mathematics3
or MATH 115 Calculus I
ENGL 101Composition3
ARCH 103Introduction to Architecture3

During the second semester, students should complete:

ENGL 102Critical Reading and Writing (KU Core, Goal 3, Nat.Science (GEOG 104 Recommended))3

Students already at the University of Kansas may apply to the B.A. in Architectural Studies program by February 1 for admission the following fall. Students must have a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 or higherand space must be available to be admitted to the B.A. in Architectural Studies program.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may be admitted, if space is available, if they have an overall grade-point average of 3.0.

International Students

The School of Architecture, Design and Planning admits only exceptional students from other countries. Standards for admission are set according to the traditions and grading policies of those countries. In some countries, for example, the grade of A is almost never given, while in other countries the A grade is more frequently seen. The number of students admitted depends on the space available on February 1.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

ARCH 1033ARCH 1043
ARCH 1086ARCH 1096
MATH 105, 115, or 3653ENGL 102 or 1053
ENGL 1013KU Core Class, Goal 2, Learning Outcome 23
 KU Core Class, Goal 3 Nat. Science Geog 104 Recommended 3
 15 18
ARCH 3803ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
ARCH 5403ECON 104, 105, 142, or 1433-4
UBPL Elective3UBPL 3003
Free Elective 13ARCH 5413
Free Elective 23KU Core Class, goal 4, Learning Outcome 13
 Free Elective 33
 15 18-19
ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective or ARCH 509 Arch Design IV3-6ARCH Professional Elective or ARCH 509 Arch Design IV3-6
ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
Free Elective 43UBPL 5383
UBPL Elective3GEOG Elective3
KU Core, Goal 3 Social Science Elective3Free Elective 63
Make sure GPA is 3.25  
 15-18 15-18
UBPL 7413UBPL 7053
UBPL 8153UBPL 7423
UBPL Elective3UBPL 7363
UBPL Elective3UBPL Elective1-3
B.A. Architectural Studies conferred.  
Submit Grad Studies form. Make sure GPA is 3.25  
 12 10-12
Total Hours: 118-127

Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Undergraduate Certificate conferred.

Enroll for Summer as Graduate Student

Year 5
UBPL Elective3
UBPL Elective3
Total Hours: 6
Year 5
15 credit hours in Urban Planning1515 Credit hours in Urban Planning15
 15 15
Total Hours: 30

Master of Urban Planning degree conferred.