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MLA/MUP Degree Requirements

To earn both MLA and MUP degrees, a student must complete two separate sets of degree requirements, while a number of credits can be shared and applied to both programs (see below).

Currently, a total of 70 credits minimum (400+ level) are required for the MLA degree, and a total of 72 credits minimum are required for the MUP degree. Under the concurrent degree program, a first-professional degree student may take a minimum of 154 credits, of which 35 credits may be shared.(9 credits of thesis; 5 credits of advanced studio; 3 credits of advanced methods selective; 3 credits of history selective; 3 credits of legal/policy elective; 12 credits of unrestricted electives). The total number of required credits a second-professional degree student depends on her or his prior course work and qualifications.

The following outlines which and how credits can be shared between the two programs:

  • Shared Thesis (9 credits) – Only one thesis is required for the concurrent MLA/MUP degrees program. One graduate faculty member from each department shall co-chair the thesis committee for each student. Format is determined in consultation with the thesis committee members. A total of 9 credits are required, with a minimum of 3 in one program (for example, 6 from MLA and 3 from MUP). Intellectual components from both degree programs should be present in the shared thesis.
  • Research Methods/thesis preparation (6 credits) – Students are required to take both LARCH 570 and URBDP 512 methods classes. LARCH 600 thesis prep is not required.
  • Advanced Studio requirement (5 credits) – Concurrent degree students may take LARCH 507 or an equivalent, in place of the second URBDP 508, or vice versa.They may also choose to take an interdisciplinary studio when it is offered.
  • Advanced Methods requirement (3 credits) – The MLA required methods seminar LARCH 571 serves as one choice from a set of Advanced Methods selectives.
  • History requirement (3 credits) – This requirement can be fulfilled by any of the courses that fulfill the MUP History/Theory/Ethics selective.
  • Law requirement (3 credits) – The MLA policy elective requirement – an upper-level undergraduate or graduate course in policy, law, or finance – is replaced with the MUP core course URBDP 580 Legal and Administrative Framework.
  • Electives requirement (12 credits) – A total of 12 credits of unrestricted electives are required for students in both the 3- and 4-year concurrent MLA/MUP program.
  • Graphic/visual communication (3 credits) – In the 3-year program for students with prior BLA and BArch degrees, the MUP core course requirement in graphic and visual communication (URBDP 503) is waived, and replaced with 3 credits of unrestricted electives. These 3 credits do not count toward the shared 38 credits because students pursuing only the MUP program who have a prior design degree are allowed to waive this core MUP course.

Typical length of study

The typical length of study for students pursuing the concurrent degrees is three years for students with a prior BLA, BArch or equivalent design-related degree, and four years for students without prior design background. The typical length represents one less year of study than what would be required by the existing programs otherwise. The length of study is comparable to that of other concurrent MLA/MUP programs in other universities.

MUPMLA_3yr_entering 2022
MLA MUP 3 yr typical sequence_2022
MUPMLA_4yr_entering 2022
MLA MUP 4 yr typical sequence_2022

Student Advising and Expectation

The faculty in each program should define what constitutes minimal progress toward, and achievement of the standards for conferral of both degrees. The students shall consult and work with the Graduate Program Coordinators of both programs to ensure the successful completion of degree requirements.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Julie Parrett (

This degree leads to licensure. For further information refer to the following table.