Urban Planning & Environmental Policy



The mission of our program is to train policy-oriented planners and environmental policy analysts for leadership positions in planning and environmental policy-related organizations, with special emphasis on issues of significance to the communities and regions of the Southwest. The goal of the program is to equip future professionals with analytical and policy formulation skills that will enable them to address with vision and foresight, the current and future environmental problems caused by our impact on the environment. Students will be prepared to be professional planners, environmental policy and community development specialists prepared to help solve the pressing urban and environmental problems of our city, the region, the nation, and the world.Our MUPEP program is the only accredited planning program in the Greater Houston region and the fourth accredited planning program in the State of Texas. It was first accredited in 2009. Recently it was awarded a seven year re-accreditation to December 31, 2018 (the longest period allowable) by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB).

The objectives of the Department of Urban Planning & Environmental Policy are:

  • Train students for professional careers in planning and equip them to function in generalist and specialist roles
  • Provide students with an understanding of the history and theory of cities and urban regions and the environmental influences on city and regional planning
  • Prepare students with life-long analytical, research and communication skills
  • Provide students with the specific knowledge and skills needed to become successful, practicing planners in a wide range of planning areas
  • Educate students about the relationship between the developed environment and the natural environment
  • Provide students with scientific and technical skills that can be applied professionally to solve environment problems

Student Achievements

Our students often distinguish themselves in local, regional and international forums. The following are some of our recent accomplishments:
  • Nekya Young, PhD student from UPEP is invited to join the plenary session “Celebrating Student Success” at the 2013 Esri Education GIS Conference . (05/16/2013)
  • Krislynn Thompson, an MUPEP student, won the Student Presentation Competition at the 2012 Texas APA Conference, October 3-6, 2012, at Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Kimberly Adams, a UPEP PhD student, won the 2012 POCIG (The Planners of Color Interest Group) Travel Award to the 53rdACSP Conference at Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Zhonghua (Tony) Jin,a UPEP PhD student, was selected as an Executive Fellow in the 2013 IRF Road Scholar Program for international students.
  • Jamaal Schoby, a UPEP PhD student, is the 2012 recipient of the Dr. George M. Smerk Scholarship award sponsored by Houston METRO.
  • Jamaal Schoby, a UPEP PhD student, is a 2012 Dwight D. Eisenhower HBCU Fellow.
  • Zhonghua (Tony) Jin, a UPEP PhD student, was honored to represent TSU attending a summer school at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China, August 2-16, 2012

Student Achievement Measures

Student Achievement Measures




Tuition and Fees are calculated for one full academic year (Fall and Spring semesters).  The Tuition and Fees for Graduate Studies with 18 semester hours for Academic Year 2017-2018 is:

  • In-State Residents: $7,041
  • Out-of-State and International Students: $13,611

For a complete list of student fees and estimated cost of attendance, please refer to the University’s Tuition and Fees fact sheet:  http://www.tsu.edu/about/administration/finance/business-affairs/student-accounting/pdf/fall2017-spring2018-graduate-and-professional-tuition-and-fee-schedule.pdf


Student Retention and Graduation Rate       Percent
Percentage of degree-seeking Master’s students who began studies in Fall 2016 and continued into Fall 2017


Percentage of degree-seeking Master’s students who began studies in Fall 2015 and continued into Fall 2016


Percentage of single-degree Master’s students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2013


Percentage of single-degree Master’s students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2012


Number of degrees awarded 2015-2016 Academic year = 5

Number of degrees awarded, 2014-2015 Academic year = 4


To become a certified planner, members of the American Planning Association (APA) must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Exam.  The pass rate is the percentage of test takers who pas the examination within 3 years of graduating from a master’s program. And/or within 5 years of graduating from a bachelor’s program.

Graduation Years 2014 2015 2016
Number taking exam 0 1 0
Pass Rate n/a 100% n/a


The employment Rate measures the percentage of UPEP graduates who obtain positions or elect to pursue an advanced degree within one year of graduation.

Among our 2015-2016 graduates, 60% were employed in a full-time or planning-related position within one year of graduation.  Planning or planning-related jobs include:  Community Redevelopment Community Specialist, Liaison for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Planner for the City of Houston, Atlanta Housing Authority.


Students will develop the understanding, sensitivity, and skills necessary to pursue professional careers in a variety of public, private, and nonprofit roles. The Department values environments where cities have vital centers and efficient means of movement, and where neighborhoods offer opportunities for all to live affordably and safely. Our curriculum introduces students to the theories of planning, methods of analysis, effective means of communication, a range of planning processes, and creative strategies for implementation. U.S. News has rated planning as one of the top 50 best careers of 2011.

Department of Urban Planning & Environmental Policy Strategic Plan

Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs Strategic Plan

Texas Southern University Strategic Plan