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MSUP Part-Time Option

Beginning in Fall 2021, Columbia GSAPP will offer a part-time option allowing students to complete the Master of Science in Urban Planning (MSUP) degree over the course of four years (eight semesters) as an alternative to two years (four semesters) of full-time study. This part-time option is specifically intended for active practitioners in the field who wish to maintain professional positions while completing their degree. To qualify, an applicant must have work experience in planning or a related field for at least two years of full-time or four years of part-time employment prior to application.

The MSUP part-time option is based on the same academic requirements as the full-time option, and successful completion results in the same degree. Students must maintain enrollment with a minimum of 6-9 points per semester to complete the degree requirements within a continuous four-year (eight-semester) period beginning in the Fall semester. Optimal completion is within four years of continuous study, and no more than five years if a leave is granted for extenuating circumstances during the course of studies. A typical curriculum and course sequence is shown below, and a student may follow a different sequence upon consultation with the Program Director.


Admissions requirements are the same for the part-time and full-time MSUP options, with the exception of the required prior work experience. If this requirement is not met, applicants should select the two-year, full-time MSUP program. Applicants cannot submit to both full-time and part-time options in the same application cycle.

Continuing GSAPP students who are currently enrolled in a full-time course load and are interested in the part-time option for the following academic year must first schedule a meeting with the Program Director to confirm qualifications, and then complete an application to the part-time program by the January 15 application deadline.

Learn more about applying.

Tuition is charged per registered points at the rate established for that academic year. Please see the Tuition and Aid page for details. GSAPP Scholarships are not available to part-time students.
Students in the MSUP part-time option complete the same courses as the full-time program with a half course load typical of full-time study each year. Please see the MSUP Program page for a detailed description of the curriculum and overview of its faculty and courses. A typical course sequence for part-time students is shown below, and a student may follow a different sequence upon consultation with the Program Director.
Course Sequence Sem. 1
Sem. 2
Sem. 3
Sem. 4
Sem. 5
Sem. 6
Sem. 7
Sem. 8
(6 pts)
Planning Studio
(6 pts)
(6 pts)
Thesis I/
Capstone I
(3 pts)
Thesis II/
Capstone II
(3 pts)
Required Courses
(18 pts)
History & Theory of Planning (3 pts)

Planning Methods (3 pts)
Economics for Planners (3 pts)

Planning Law (3 pts)
Geographical Information Systems (3 pts)
Elective/Concentration Courses
3 pts 6 pts 6 pts 6 pts 9 pts 3 pts
Total Points
9 6 9 6 9 6 9 6
  • Students are required to complete a minimum of 60 points for the M.S. in Urban Planning, of which 27 points are from core requirements, and 33 points in electives and concentration courses.
  • Tuition cost for part-time students is based on total credits taken each semester.