Prospective Masters Students

Welcome to the City & Regional Planning (CRP) program at Cal Poly! Please see the links below for admissions and program information. CRP is an integral part of the nationally recognized College of Architecture and Environmental Design. The program began in 1968 and has over 1,000 graduates (Bachelors and Masters level) and is accredited by the national Planning Accreditation Board. We are proud of the program's strengths in land use planning, environmental planning, urban design, transportation, climate action planning, and community sustainability.

The profession of city and regional planning is primarily involved in helping people and communities manage growth and change in their physical, social and economic environments. The focus is on understanding how cities and towns (human settlements) function and how to make them better places for people to live and to prosper. Planning has its roots in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, law, social welfare and government reform. The practice of city and regional planning is both science and art. It involves technical competence, creativity, hard-headed pragmatism and the ability to develop a vision of the future and to build on that vision. Planners today combine design, quantitative and people skills to assist communities and society.

The program prepares students for professional careers in the design of human settlements in harmony with the natural environment and the needs of society. Practicing planners work in public agencies and private consulting firms, preparing comprehensive plans for projects, neighborhoods, cities, and entire regions. They deal with the use of land, housing, transportation, public facilities, and open space. In addition, they are responsible for finding the means to make their plans become a reality by budgeting for public projects and programs and by reviewing and regulating private development. The Master’s degree builds on a general undergraduate preparation in the humanities, architecture/landscape architecture, social sciences or natural sciences.

The strength of the Cal Poly Master in City & Regional Planning (MCRP) degree program is its focus on community-based studios that provide students a “real world” planning experience and an opportunity to make a difference in California communities. CRP partners with communities to develop and deliver consultant-quality plans and designs. This planning and design work usually includes meeting with local government staff, conducting workshops with the public, presenting to elected officials, and gathering and analyzing community data. Recent community partners include: San Luis Obispo County, King City, City of Guadalupe, City of Grover Beach, City of Ventura, and the City of San Francisco.

The award winning CRP Department is recognized locally and nationally for its educational excellence. Since 2000, the American Planning Association has chosen three Cal Poly CRP students to receive the Outstanding Planning Award for Distinguished Leadership by a student planner; this achievement is unique among planning schools. In addition, the Department regularly wins awards for student projects and studios from the American Planning Association and our students have twice won the annual Bank of America Low Cost Housing Challenge competing against Stanford, the University of California--Berkeley and the University of California--Davis.

CRP is again a top planning program in North America.  For the past 10 years CalPoly has consistently ranked near the top of programs for planning in the country according to the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs.   According to the 2017 guide, the program is the #5 small program in the country and the #20 program in the country according to planning educators. More information about the Planetizen guide can be found here:  

The application period will open October 1, 2017 for the Masters of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) program for Fall Quarter 2018.  Initial review of applications and all additional required documents for Fall 2018 will begin on January 16, 2018.  The admissions committee will consider applications submitted after that date on a rolling basis, no later than  May 1, 2018.  These dates apply to both Domestic and International applicants. 

To apply to our MCRP Program go to 

Other helpful links for more information:

Graduate Admissions

Cal Poly Graduate Education Office



In the News

City & Regional Planning Brochure

Click here to view the CRP Brochure (PDF)


Job Outlook for Planners

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-2015 Job Outlook Handbook, urban and regional planning jobs are expected to grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022. Click here to read the full report.


MCRP Admissions

Additional Programs



Related Content

CRP's 50th Anniversary: 1968-2018

Focus Journal


Areas of Excellence

  • Urban Design
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Housing, Economic, & Community Development

Support Us


Consider a gift