City and Regional Planning

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The mission of the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley is to improve equity, the economy and the environment in neighborhoods, communities, cities, and metropolitan regions by creating knowledge and engagement through our teaching, research, and service. We aim to design and create cities, infrastructure, and public services that are sustainable, affordable, enjoyable, and accessible to all.

Wisely and successfully intervening in the public realm, whether locally, nationally, or globally, is a challenge. Our urban future is complex and rapidly changing. Resource scarcity and conflict, technological innovation, retrofitting of existing built environments, and social empowerment will alter the ways in which planning has conventionally been carried out. We believe the planning academy has a special responsibility to always address social justice, equity, and ethics; to teach and research means of public participation, collective decision making, and advocacy; and to focus on reforming institutions, urban governance, policy and planning practices to make these goals possible.

Master of City Planning 

The two-year Master of City Planning program comprises a solid core of knowledge in the field of city and regional planning, including history and theory, planning methods, urban economics, and urban institutions analysis. The program offers the opportunity to specialize in one of four concentration areas: Environmental Planning and Healthy Cities; Housing, Community and Economic Development; Transportation Policy and Planning; and Urban Design.

Advising

Students plan their individual programs with the help of their assigned faculty advisers. Faculty advisers will also guide students as they plan, develop and write their professional report, client report or thesis. First-year students should set an initial meeting with their assigned advisers during the first or second week of classes. Students declare a concentration at the end of the first semester by completing a study plan, signed by the adviser, and filing it with the graduate student affairs officer (GSAO). Students may change advisers to one in their declared concentration.

PhD in City Planning

The PhD in City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley provides training in urban and planning theory, advanced research, and the practice of planning. Established in 1968, the program has granted more than 170 doctorates. Alumni of the program have established national and international reputations as planning educators, social science researchers and theorists, policy makers and practitioners. Today the program is served by nearly 20 City and Regional Planning faculty with expertise in community and economic development, transportation planning, urban design, international development, environmental planning, and global urbanism. With close ties to numerous research centers and initiatives, the program encourages its students to develop specializations within the field of urban studies and planning and to expand their intellectual horizons through training in the related fields of architecture, landscape architecture and environmental planning, civil engineering, anthropology, geography, sociology, public policy, public health, and political science.

Visit Department Website

Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the PhD in City Planning Program  

The principal admission requirements to the doctoral program in City and Regional Planning are overall excellence in past academic work and research, demonstrated creativity and intellectual leadership in professional activity, and the strong promise of sustained intellectual achievement, originality, and scholarship. The emphasis in the doctoral program is upon scholarship and research. At the same time, because the doctorate is offered in the context of a professional school, doctoral students are challenged to undertake applied research relevant to city and regional planning and policy problems. If you do not want to teach in planning or a related field, or to do advanced research, please reconsider applying to this program. Most doctoral students enter the program with a master's degree in planning or a related field. The Master of City Planning is regarded as a terminal professional degree, and is not comparable to mid-study Master of Arts or Master of Science degrees offered in anticipation of the doctorate.

Admission to the doctoral program is very competitive. Only six to eight students are admitted each year, sometimes from a pool of as many as 80 applicants. All applicants to the doctoral program (even those required to take an English-language competency exam—TOEFL, TOEFL CBT, iBT TOEFL, or IELTS) must take the Graduate Record Examination; tests should be taken before December to ensure timely receipt of scores. Applicants must also secure at least three letters of recommendation that can explicitly evaluate their intellectual capability and past research and academic work.

PhD in City Planning Program Statement

UC Berkeley Admission to the PhD in City Planning Program

Admission to the Master of City Planning (MCP) Program

The MCP Program Committee seeks applicants with keen interests in social justice, equity and ethics; innovative means of public participation, collective decision making, and advocacy; and ways to reform institutions, urban governance, policy and planning practices. We look for applicants with intellectual curiosity, preparation, maturity, and desire to delve into an intense program of study in one of the top-rated professional planning programs in the country. We look at what you have undertaken as an undergraduate, both inside and outside the classroom, and whether you have focused your efforts around planning or related field. Admitted students are drawn from a broad range of undergraduate majors, including social sciences, environmental majors, engineering, geography, economics, and so on. MCP students possess broad perspectives on society and culture, while focusing and grounding their studies in a particular planning concentration.

UC Berkeley Admission to the Master of City Planning Program

For statistics on last year's MCP admission cycle statistics, please see admission statistics.

Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • A 3.0 GPA for the last two years of undergraduate study.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (Revised General Test).
  • Applicants coming from universities where English is not the teaching language must take a test of English proficiency (TOEFL, TOEFL CBT, iBT TOEFL, or IELTS).

The MCP Program Committee gives particular weight to letters of recommendation, personal history statement and statement of purpose. The two statements, as a unit, should clearly present why you are interested in a planning career, your goals and the reasons for them, and what you hope to achieve in a Berkeley professional program.

Applicants interested in the Urban Design concentration are also required to upload a single-spaced  8" x 11" electronic portfolio.

Prerequisites

Work in this field requires at a minimum the ability to write well and the ability to master analytic skills in quantitative methods. It also requires some familiarity with political institutions and governmental organizations. DCRP expects entering students to demonstrate basic skills/conceptual understanding in the following areas:

  • Writing Ability: All entering students must demonstrate their ability to write clearly and organize their thoughts in a coherent manner. Evidence of this skill would be provided in an applicant's Statements of Purpose, or a submission of written work.
  • Introductory Statistics: In planning, one must be able to identify the characteristics of and interrelationships between aggregates of one kind or another such as people, places, structures, buildings, or organizations. Some knowledge of descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing is therefore essential for introductory planning studies, especially for those student who seek to master the more advanced statistical methods in planning analysis. Students with no mathematics background may find it helpful to also take some college-level math in addition to the statistics, to enhance their comfort with the field if for no other reason.
  • Economics: Students should have taken introductory microeconomics at a minimum. Most planning issues involve resource allocation problems of one kind or another, and microeconomics analysis can be an immensely helpful tool in such instances.

The above prerequisites are not requirements for admission. For further preparation and to clarify your focus in the planning realm, you may consider taking a course in the department via UC Extensions' Concurrent Enrollment Program prior to applying. You may also wish to arrange internships with public agencies or private companies whereby you can observe what career in urban planning and problem solving might entail.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The PhD in City Planning program has the following goals:

  • To provide critical understanding of the history of thought in city and regional planning and urban studies, and to train students to contribute to theoretical advances in these fields;
  • To enable students to develop their individual specializations within city and regional planning;
  • To prepare students to undertake original research through the formulation of research questions, use of research methods, and application of research design;
  • To encourage students to disseminate their research such that it has an impact in the worlds of social science scholarship, planning education, and national and international policy; and
  • To create and nurture an intellectual community committed to promoting research in city and regional planning.

With these goals in mind, all students must complete the following requirements:

  • Completion of courses in Planning and Urban Theory;
  • Completion of courses in Research Methods;
  • Preparation and completion of inside and outside field courses, statements, and examinations;
  • Completion of the oral qualifying examination; and
  • Completion of written dissertation, which reflects original research, approved by the dissertation committee.

Students must also meet the university’s minimum residency requirement of two years and complete 48 units of coursework. Note that DCRP requires doctoral students to complete several of these requirements through letter-graded courses. In keeping with Graduate Division guidelines, doctoral students must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 on the basis of all upper division and graduate courses taken in graduate standing.

Planning and Urban Theory

Planning and urban theory is a hallmark of the PhD program. All students are required to demonstrate competence in this body of scholarship by completing at least two theory courses. It is recommended that students complete this requirement during their first year of study. Students are also urged to take more than one theory course during their time in the program.

Students must take both of the following courses for a letter grade:
CY PLAN 200History of City Planning3
CY PLAN 290Topics in City and Metropolitan Planning ("Urban Theory")3

Students who have taken any of these courses during their MCP studies at the University of California, Berkeley, may choose another course from the list, or petition the PhD Program Committee to substitute a course.

Research Methods

All students in the PhD program are expected to demonstrate competence in research design, data‐gathering methods, and data analysis and interpretation. To complete the methods requirement, doctoral students must fulfill the first three of the following components of the methods requirement prior to taking their oral qualifying examination and the fourth requirement after advancing to candidacy. Note that advancement to candidacy is contingent upon approval of the student’s methods program by the primary adviser. It is recommended that students start taking their methods courses during their first year of study.

Prior to Advancement to Candidacy

  1. Take CY PLAN 280A: Research Design for the PhD, which addresses a variety of research methodologies and assists students in preparing a research prospectus. This course may be taken more than once. It must be taken at least once for a letter grade.
  2. Take TWO advanced methods courses to be decided in consultation with the student’s primary adviser. These courses prepare students for doctoral research. They must be taken for letter grades.
  3. Take CY PLAN 280C: PhD Research Colloquium for at least two semesters. Doctoral students are encouraged to regularly attend the colloquium when they are in residence.

After Advancement to Candidacy

Students must take Doctoral Writing Seminar listed as CY PLAN 290, at least once for a letter grade. This intensive writing course is taken during the process of writing the dissertation, after student is in candidacy and has started or finalized their fieldwork. It may also be taken for the purpose of writing articles for publication and may be taken more than once. 

Field Requirements

In addition to general training in planning and urban theory and in research methods, the PhD program in DCRP encourages students to gain depth of knowledge in at least two fields of their choosing. Completed under the supervision of a faculty committee usually chaired by the student’s primary adviser, the inside field statement and examination is a self-defined specialization of study within city and regional planning. Completed under the supervision of an outside field adviser (a faculty member outside the department), the outside field is a set of courses and assignments that build expertise in an area of study related to city and regional planning.

Inside Field

The inside field is a self-defined specialization of study within city and regional planning. Such a specialization can be a sub-field of city and regional planning (e.g. community development, regional planning, housing, international development, urban design, transportation planning, land use, environmental planning) or it can be a unique field defined by the student in consultation with faculty advisers. Note that the intent of the inside field is not to make a theoretical contribution to the field but instead to demonstrate mastery of existing paradigms and debates within a field of inquiry.

Mastery is defined as:

  1. Demonstrating knowledge of key, foundational texts within the inside field subject of study;
  2. Understanding how the history of thought within that area has developed (including epistemologies and methodologies, critiques and points of contention), and
  3. Engaging analytically with the current state of research and recent work in the field.

To undertake the inside field requirement, each student must constitute an inside field committee of three Academic Senate faculty from the department. This committee is usually chaired by the student’s primary adviser.

Inside Field Statement

Working closely with their inside field committee, the student must prepare an inside field statement, which explains the scope of the field and provides a bibliography encompassing the key conceptual frameworks that make up this field. Typically an inside field statement is 10-20 double-spaced pages in length with a bibliography of at least 50-60 academic books and peer-reviewed journal articles. Note that the length and scope of the inside field will vary depending on the expectations of the inside field committee and the nature of the inside field topic. What is important for doctoral students to keep in mind is that the inside field statement is not the Inside field examination but rather an analytical exercise meant to set the stage for the examination. With this in mind, the inside field statement should generate the analytic categories and concepts that will then be used by the inside field committee to structure the inside field examination.

Inside Field Examination

Once the statement has been approved by the inside field committee, the student may proceed to the inside field examination, a three-day take-home written examination. Students with accommodations approved by the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) may be granted additional time for the examination.

In DCRP, the inside field examination consists of three sections related to the categories and concepts outlined in the inside field statement. Each section contains 2-3 questions and students answer one question in each section, with a limit of 10 double-spaced pages per answer. All sections of the examination are graded by all members of the inside field committee.

The examination is administered by DCRP’s student affairs officer. Students are responsible for arranging the examination date and coordinating the logistics of the examination with the student affairs officer. Students with disabilities should consult with the student affairs officer for campus-approved accommodations. A copy of the inside field statement must be filed with the student affairs officer; this will also be archived in the Environmental Design Library.

Students must successfully complete the inside field requirement before proceeding to the oral qualifying examination. DCRP requires a six-week minimum gap between the inside field examination and the oral qualifying examination, to allow for adequate time for faculty feedback and revision. Grading of the examination is coordinated by the chair of the inside field committee. Possible grades include: distinction, pass, and fail. If one of the three essays receives a failing grade, the student will be asked to rewrite this essay within a time period determined by the committee. If two or more essays receive a failing grade, the committee will ask the student to retake the entire examination. Students who fail the examination twice will be asked to withdraw from the PhD program.

Outside Field

The outside field is a set of courses and assignments meant to build expertise in an area of study related to city and regional planning. Such a specialization can be a discipline relevant to planning (e.g. geography, anthropology, public health, economics, sociology) or it can be a unique field defined by the student in consultation with the outside field adviser. Note that the intent of the outside field is not to make a theoretical contribution to the field but instead to demonstrate mastery of existing paradigms and debates. Students must successfully complete the outside field requirement before proceeding to the oral qualifying examination.

To undertake the outside field requirement, a student must select an outside field adviser, a member of the Academic Senate faculty in a department other than city and regional planning. The outside field adviser usually serves as the outside member of the oral qualifying examination committee and as the outside member of the dissertation committee. The content of the outside field is determined by the outside field adviser but must include at least two letter-graded courses supplemented by an additional reading list and writing assignments. These specific requirements must be listed by the outside field adviser on a form, which is filed with DCRP’s Students Affairs Office and which serves as a declaration of the outside field. On successful completion of the outside field, the adviser signs a second form, which is also filed with the Student Affairs Office.

Oral Qualifying Examination

The oral qualifying examination marks advancement to candidacy. The examination is governed by policies set by the Graduate Division. In addition, DCRP has requirements for the examination.

Eligibility to take the Oral Qualifying Examination

 To be eligible to take the exam, a student must:

  1. Be registered and enrolled for the semester in which the exam is taken or, if it is taken during the winter or summer sessions, be registered in either the preceding or the following semester;
  2. Have completed at least one semester of academic residence;
  3. Have at least a B average in all work undertaken in graduate standing;
  4. Have no more than two courses graded Incomplete;
  5. Have satisfactorily completed departmental preliminary exam requirements (Planning and Urban Theory; Research Methods; Inside and Outside Fields; preparation of dissertation prospectus).

Applying to take the Qualifying Examination

Graduate Division approval is required to take the oral qualifying examination. In order to allow Graduate Division sufficient time to review and approve the application, students must apply to take the qualifying examination and file the necessary paperwork with DCRP’s Student Affairs Office no later than one month before the examination date. The application is available from the Graduate Division website.

Note that students must list on their applications at least three subject areas to be covered during the examination. These three areas are: Planning and Urban Theory, Inside Field topic, and Outside Field topic.

Also note that in keeping with Graduate Division guidelines, DCRP’s head graduate adviser (chair of the PhD program committee) must also be certain that students who are non-native speakers possess the English skills necessary for participating in an oral exam since the qualifying examination must be conducted in English.

The Oral Qualifying Examination Committee

The oral qualifying exam committee in DCRP is composed of four Academic Senate faculty members (see section F4.9 of the Guide to Graduate Policy). The chair of the qualifying examination committee must be an Academic Senate faculty from City and Regional Planning; the OQE chair cannot also serve as chair of the student’s dissertation committee. The committee must include at least one outside member, i.e., an Academic Senate faculty from a department other than City and Regional Planning. Typically three of the four OQE members will serve on the student’s dissertation committee.

Scheduling the Examination

Scheduling the oral qualifying examination is the responsibility of the student. Students are urged to begin the process of finding an examination date several months ahead of their preferred window of time. The OQE must be scheduled for three hours and all members of the oral qualifying examination committee must be present for the entire duration of the examination.

If the student’s health or personal situation makes it impossible to take the examination as scheduled, or if accommodation for a disability is necessary, the student is required to make this known before the examination so the chair can arrange for a postponement or appropriate accommodation.

The Examination

In DCRP, an oral qualifying examination consists of the main examination followed by a discussion of the dissertation prospectus. The examination starts with a brief biographical introduction (five minutes) provided by the student. During the main part of the examination, the student is responsible for the three areas listed on the application for the examination. In DCRP, these are Planning and Urban Theory, Inside Field Topic, and Outside Field topic. Committee members ask questions in sequence, usually with 20 minutes allocated per faculty, in an order determined by the student. If the student passes the examination, the committee reconvenes for the remainder of the time to discuss the dissertation prospectus. During this section, students present their dissertation research topic and design but their performance here does not determine whether they pass or fail the oral qualifying examination. Note that by Graduate Division guidelines, evaluation of the dissertation prospectus cannot be the primary content of the oral qualifying examination.

The Dissertation Prospectus and other Examination Material

As prerequisites to the oral qualifying examination, DCRP requires the following completed documents to be disseminated to all members of the oral qualifying examination committee at least two weeks prior to the date of the examination. Four hard copies of this material, organized in spiral bound format, must be submitted to DCRP’s Student Affairs Office, by this deadline. An electronic copy must also be submitted to the Student Affairs Office. Both hard copies and electronic copies will be sent out by the Student Affairs Office to the members of the oral qualifying examination committee.

  • Inside Field Statement and Bibliography
  • Inside Field Examination
  • Outside Field List of Requirements + Reading List
  • Dissertation Prospectus

The dissertation prospectus is a statement of research design. Written under the supervision of the primary adviser, the prospectus typically lists the key research questions that guide this research project; explains the significance of these questions in relation to existing empirical and theoretical literature; presents a detailed research methodology and plan for gathering evidence; outlines strategies of data analysis and interpretation; and makes a case for the general application of anticipated research findings. A full-length dissertation prospectus is usually 20-25 double-spaced pages in length and includes a detailed bibliography.

Oral Qualifying Examination Outcomes

The Graduate Division policy regarding grading, reporting, and re-administering oral qualifying exams is as follows:

Pass. The qualifying examination committee unanimously votes that the student passed the examination with scholarship that is at least acceptable.

Failure. A total failure occurs if the qualifying examination committee votes unanimously that the student failed the entire examination. The committee either: 

  1. Recommends that the student take a second and final examination on all examination topics; or
  2. Does not recommend reexamination, the consequence of which will be the student’s dismissal from the program.

If a second and final examination is recommended, the following procedures apply:

  1. The committee must submit its “Report to the Graduate Division on the Qualifying Examination” with its recommendation;
  2. Committee membership for the student’s retake must be the same as for the first exam;
  3. The student may not retake the exam until three months after the first exam unless an exception is approved by the Graduate Division; and
  4. A third examination is not permitted. If the committee wishes to suggest preparation for the second examination through additional course work or special tutoring, this must be communicated to the student in writing with a copy to the Graduate Division.

If the committee does not recommend a reexamination, a written explanation by the committee chair must accompany the completed “Report to the Graduate Division on the Qualifying Examination” and sent to the Graduate Division. If the Graduate Division concurs with the chair’s explanation, the student is sent a letter of dismissal from the program by the graduate dean, with a copy to the department.

A partial failure. A partial failure occurs if the qualifying examination committee votes unanimously that the student passed some topics but failed others. In this instance, the following apply:

  1. A second and final examination is required;
  2. The chair of the committee must write a letter to the student, with a copy to the Graduate Division, conveying information about his or her performance (pass, partial fail, or fail) on each of the three subject areas covered during the examination;
  3. The committee may choose to examine the student on all topics or only on those failed during the first exam, but must communicate its decision in the letter regarding the student’s performance; and
  4. The retake must be scheduled no earlier than three months after the first examination unless an exception is approved by Graduate Division. A third attempt to pass the qualifying examination is not permitted.

A split vote. If the Qualifying Examination Committee cannot reach a unanimous decision concerning a pass, total failure, or partial failure, the chair should:

  1. Determine the areas of disagreement; and
  2. Request that each committee member write, as required, a detailed assessment of the student’s performance for submission to the Administrative Committee of the Graduate Council.

The chair’s letter should outline the progress of the examination itself, the efforts made by the committee to reach a unanimous agreement, the remaining areas of disagreement, and the chair’s own assessment of the student’s performance. Such letters may be released to the student under provisions of the 1972 Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), current Department of Health and Human Services regulations, and California public records legislation.

If the exam results in a split vote, the committee will only inform the student that the matter was sent to the Administrative Committee for a final decision. The student has neither passed nor failed the exam until the Administrative Committee decides the results.

Student Appeals

Student appeals of an oral qualifying examination outcome must be directed, in writing, to the PhD Program Committee. The committee will convene to discuss the appeal and may refer the matter to Graduate Division. If a student is not satisfied with the result of the appeals decision made by the department, the student is permitted to bring the complaint to the Graduate Division under the Formal Appeal Procedure.

The Dissertation

The final requirement of the PhD program is the completion of a written dissertation, which presents original research, and which has been approved by the dissertation committee. On completion of the oral qualifying examination, a student advances to candidacy (see the following section) and is allowed to establish a dissertation committee. The committee is composed of three Academic Senate faculty, two from the department and an outside member from another department. Of the two inside members, one serves as chair of the dissertation. Note that in keeping with Graduate Division guidelines, the dissertation chair cannot be the faculty member who served as chair of the student’s oral qualifying examination committee. In some cases, a dissertation is chaired by more than one faculty. At least one of the co-chairs is a member of the department. The dissertation committee must be approved by the Graduate Division.

During the fieldwork and data analysis phase of the dissertation, students are urged to stay in close touch with their dissertation committees. The department expects students to be in residence during the dissertation writing phase of their study, a practice that has proven successful in ensuring that students finish their dissertations in a timely manner.

Note that all students are expected to complete a final research methods requirement, the doctoral writing seminar, during the post-candidacy phase of their doctoral training.

In Absentia Status

In absentia registration is available to graduate students undertaking coursework or research related to their dissertation outside of California. Students registered in absentia are only assessed full health insurance fees, and 15 percent of the combined University educational and registration fees. Students in absentia must be enrolled in 12 units (usually 299 independent study units with their dissertation adviser). The student’s dissertation advisers signature is required on the form.

Students may hold University fellowships and GSR appointments, but may not hold GSI, Reader, or Tutor appointments during the in absentia period.

International Students planning on registering in absentia. Those students in F and J status who plan to be outside California must register in absentia and also inform the Berkeley International Office (2299 Piedmont Avenue, 510-642-2818) of their plans.

Filing Fee

The filing fee is a reduced fee, one-half of the student services fee, for doctoral students who have completed all requirements for the degree except for filing the dissertation. The filing fee may only be used once during a student’s career, and the student must have the approval of their dissertation adviser.

To use the filing fee the student must be registered the semester (or summer session) prior to the semester they plan to use filing fee. If a student does not complete the dissertation during the semester for which the filing fee is approved, the student must pay regular registration fees during the semester in which the requirements are completed, unless they file during summer session while registered for a minimum of three units. Additional information is located on the graduate division website.

Filing Fee status and international students. Filing fee status can satisfy the SEVIS requirement for international students only if the student has obtained the signature of the BIO student adviser (contact the Berkeley International Office, located in International House, 2299 Piedmont Avenue; 510-642-2818).

Health insurance for students on Filing Fee: US resident students may purchase Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) coverage for the semester they are on approved filing fee status if they have not already purchased SHIP during a period of withdrawal beyond one semester. UHS allows purchase of SHIP if a student is in a non-registered status for two semesters only, which pertains to both filing fee and withdrawal. For eligibility information and enrollment details, refer to the UHS website

Residency and Unit Requirements

The university requires a minimum of two years of residence and 48 units of coursework (or equivalent) for the PhD degree. Full-time students are expected to take a minimum equivalent of four courses or twelve units per semester. Credit for pre-candidacy examination preparation (CY PLAN 602) is limited by the University to 16 units total, and 8 units per semester. Units in CY PLAN 299, independent study, may also be taken by arrangement with a faculty instructor.

Professional Development

The PhD program encourages its students to build intellectual community and to participate in national and international venues of scholarship. Doctoral candidates regularly present their research at the annual conferences of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Association of American Geographers, Association of European Schools of Planning, World Planning Schools Congress, Urban Affairs Association, and American Anthropological Association. They organize and participate in a weekly research colloquium and manage the Berkeley Planning Journal, a peer-reviewed academic publication. Such activities utilize the vast intellectual resources available to doctoral students at the University of California, Berkeley, both within their departments and across the campus.

PhD students are encouraged to seek appointments as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) or Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) during their residency. The GSI Teaching & Resource Center offers classes in pedagogy, and all students are expected to finish a departmental pedagogy course.

Master's Degree Requirements

Unit Requirements

The Master of City Planning (MCP) Degree Requirements:

  • 48 units of coursework within two consecutive years of residence, or 36 units in concurrent degree programs (normative time to degree).
  • The core curriculum:
  • A concentration curriculum; and
  • A Client Report, Professional Report, or Master’s Thesis.

Core Curriculum

For days/times offered, check the Online Schedule of Classes.

History and Theory Requirement
The following course must be taken during the first year:
CY PLAN 200History of City Planning3
Skills and Methods Requirement
The following courses must be taken in the first year:
CY PLAN 201APlanning Methods Gateway: Part I4
CY PLAN 201BPlanning Methods Gateway: Part II4
Planning Practice Requirement
The following course must be taken during the first year:
CY PLAN 202Practice Gateway: Introduction to Planning Practice3
Planning Law Requirement
Select one of the following:
CY PLAN 205Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law3
CY PLAN C251Environmental Planning and Regulation3
CY PLAN 252Land Use Controls3
Urban Economics Requirement
Select one of the following:
CY PLAN 207Land and Housing Market Economics3
CY PLAN 220The Urban and Regional Economy3
Studio Requirement
Select one of the following: 4-6
Plan Preparation Studio
Transportation Planning Studio
Research Workshop on Metropolitan Regional Planning
Development--Design Studio (CY PLAN 235 is a prerequisite)
Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning (CY PLAN 208 is a prerequisite for students with no design background)
Community Development Studio/Workshop
Special Projects Studio in Planning
Environmental Planning Studio
Professional Report/Client Report/Thesis Workshop
CY PLAN 290Topics in City and Metropolitan Planning (PR/CR/Thesis Class)1

Concentrations

MCP Students declare one of four concentrations by the end of their first semester of study. Each concentration provides an opportunity for students to develop deeper knowledge and skills in a particular sub-area of planning. (Note: The same course may not be used to satisfy core and concentration requirements.)

Concentration in Environmental Planning and Healthy Cities

Faculty Advisers: Charisma Acey, Jason Corburn, Malo Hutson (on leave AY 2017-18), Elizabeth Macdonald, John Radke, Jennifer Wolch (on leave as Dean of CED)

The concentration in environmental planning and healthy cities is designed to give MCP students the broad knowledge necessary to analyze pressing urban environmental and health challenges, such as climate change, natural resource depletion, access to basic services and infrastructure, as well as ecologic and human health risks. The concentration emphasizes the theory and practice behind the related ideas of urban sustainability, environmental risk and justice, political ecology, and human health. Students will study urban and regional environmental and human health issues in a comparative perspective, with a focus on both US and international settings. The concentration introduces students to the relationships between natural, built and social environments in cities, as well as the local, regional and global impacts of urban ecosystems and the political institutions that aim to manage these environments. The emphasis on healthy cities engages in the practices of urban public health, recognizing that planners are increasingly required to analyze and act upon how the urban environment influences human well-being.

Concurrent degree programs with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (MCP & MLA) and the School of Public Health (MCP and Masters in Public Health, MPH) are available for select students who wish to pursue dual Masters in these fields.

Required Courses
CY PLAN 254Sustainable Communities3
CY PLAN C256Healthy Cities3
Recommended Electives
CY PLAN 205Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law3
CY PLAN C251Environmental Planning and Regulation (Not offered in AY 16-17)3
Studio from CORE list4-5

Concentration in Housing, Community and Economic Development (HCED)

Faculty Advisers: Nezar AlSayyad, Teresa Caldeira, Karen Chapple (on leave AY 2017-18), Carol Galante, Malo Hutson (on leave AY 2017-18), Carolina Reid

The housing, community and economic development concentration focuses on the equitable development of neighborhoods, cities, and regions in the United States and internationally.  This concentration is distinguished by its attention to issues of racial, social and economic justice within the built environment, often from the perspective of historically disinvested and segregated communities.  Faculty in this concentration work on topics such as:

  • Planning for sustainability, including issues related to regional governance, affordable housing, and the linkages between land use and climate change
  • Gentrification and displacement
  • Housing and real estate development, including access to credit, the financing and construction of affordable housing, and housing policy
  • Spatial segregation and social discrimination in both the United States and in the Global South
  • Forms of political participation and resistance
  • International development, including the provision of housing, water, and sanitation in informal settlements
  • Community development and community organizing, including programs and policies designed to remediate concentrated poverty and longstanding patterns of residential segregation

Faculty within the HCED concentration draw on multi-disciplinary perspectives, including research in anthropology, economic, history, and sociology, and incorporate both qualitative and quantitative methods in their research.  Students in this concentration go on to work in a wide variety of roles in both the public and private sectors.  We encourage students to take classes in all three concentration subfields since in practice the fields are closely intertwined. 

Students in the HCED concentration must take at least one course from each of the following groupings:

Students must take 2 courses from the following list:
CY PLAN 220The Urban and Regional Economy3
CY PLAN 230U.S. Housing, Planning, and Policy3
CY PLAN 231Housing in Developing Countries3
CY PLAN 235Methods of Project Analysis3
CY PLAN 260Theory, History, and Practice of Community Development3
CY PLAN C261Citizen Involvement in the City Planning Process3
Studio from the CORE list. (recommended studios)
CY PLAN 228Research Workshop on Metropolitan Regional Planning (Not offered in AY 15-16)4
CY PLAN 238Development--Design Studio (CY PLAN 235 is a prerequisite)4
CY PLAN 268Community Development Studio/Workshop4
1

Check the Online Schedule of Classes

Concentration in Transportation Policy and Planning

Faculty Advisers: Daniel Chatman, Karen Frick, Elizabeth Macdonald, Daniel Rodriguez, Paul Waddell

The Transportation and Land Use Concentration focuses on planning for urban transportation and land use systems, and interactions of transportation and land use with the built, natural, and social environments. In presenting the social, economic, and environmental implications of transportation and land use plans and policies, the courses in the concentration are focused around themes of equity, environmental justice, and social welfare. We emphasize the planning and policy challenges encountered by attempting to increase the use of environmentally sustainable travel modes such as walking, cycling, and public transit, and the creation of environmentally sustainable land use patterns such as compact growth and transit-oriented development. Topics covered in the core courses include the impacts of transit and highways on urban form and economic development; the impacts of urban form, transit-oriented development and new urbanism on travel behavior; governance, finance, and implementation challenges in making sustainable transport investments; the importance of highway and transit finance, municipal finance, and development finance; the promises and pitfalls of innovative sustainability solutions such as congestion pricing, parking pricing, and master development plans; streets and pedestrian-oriented designs; transportation and land use planning in the developing world; and comparative international transportation and land use policies.

As concerns heighten over regional mobility, air quality, global climate change, energy, and equality of access, it is increasingly important that transportation and land use planners apply a multi-disciplinary approach to the field. Accordingly, students in the concentration are encouraged to augment the department’s transportation course offerings by designing a study program, in consultation with their adviser, that involves course work in other fields and departments.

Students in the Transportation and Land Use Planning Concentration have the option to pursue the concurrent degree program in transportation planning and engineering. This option confers both MCP and MS degrees upon students who complete 60 units of course work (normally over five semesters) that satisfy both city planning and transportation engineering degree requirements. For further information about the concurrent degree requirements, contact Professor Dan Chatman at dgc@berkeley.edu.

Required Courses
CY PLAN C213/CIV ENG C290UTransportation and Land Use Planning3
CY PLAN C217/CIV ENG C250NTransportation Policy and Planning3
Recommended Electives
CY PLAN 205Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law3
CY PLAN 216Active Transportation3
CY PLAN C240Theories of Urban Form and Design3
CY PLAN 252Land Use Controls3
CY PLAN 254Sustainable Communities3
Studio from the CORE list4-5

Concentration in Urban Design

Faculty Advisers: Nezar AlSayyad, Elizabeth Macdonald

Urban designers are concerned with how communities look, how they feel, and how they work for the people who use them. The urban design concentration is structured to give MCP students the knowledge necessary to design urban built form in relation to social, environmental and economic concerns. “Design” is a key, operative word: urban designers design urban physical environments both directly through the design of actual projects and indirectly through plans. Work ranges in scale from small public spaces and streets to neighborhoods, citywide systems, and whole regions. The emphasis is typically on the public realm of cities, with central concerns being livability, identity, place-making, and the quality of everyday life. The concentration is equally concerned with conceptions of the “urban” and it draws on approaches from the disciplines of city planning, architecture, landscape architecture, as well as theories and methods from the social sciences with the intent of analyzing the urban condition and designing the urban realm. The studio experience is central to the urban design concentration. Working in teams and individually, students explore planning and design possibilities for urban places and learn to articulate and  present their ideas in graphic form. Learning from local and global contexts, and how cities have been designed in the past, students envision possibilities for the future. Graduates in urban design work for public agencies largely at the local government level but also for government institutions at larger scales whose responsibilities include design issues. They work as well with private architectural, landscape, city planning, and community development firms whose clients are both public and private.

Students concentrating in urban design frequently have some design background, typically in architecture, landscape architecture, environmental design, or urban planning with a design emphasis, but a design background is not required.

A three or four-year joint degree program in urban design is available with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, where students receive both MCP and MLA degrees. A joint degree is also available with the Department of Architecture, where students receive both MCP and MARCH degrees.

Required Courses
CY PLAN C240Theories of Urban Form and Design3
CY PLAN C241Research Methods in Environmental Design4
Note: If taken as Skills/Methods core, another course must be taken from the list of electives below.
Studio
CY PLAN 248Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning (CY PLAN 208 is a prerequisite for students with no design background)5
Recommended Electives
Design Practice and Additional Urban Design Studios
CY PLAN 208Plan Preparation Studio5
CY PLAN C243Shaping the Public Realm5
ARCH 201Architecture & Urbanism Design Studio (when the studio has an urban design focus, check with Architecture Department)5
Natural Factors:
LD ARCH 222Hydrology for Planners (with instructor approval)4
LD ARCH 225Course Not Available3
Law and Land Use:
CY PLAN 205Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law3
CY PLAN 252Land Use Controls3

Self-Defined Concentration

Faculty Advisers: DCRP Student’s Faculty Adviser

Students are strongly encouraged to complete one of the defined MCP concentrations. Self-defined concentrations that are not substantively focused on city and regional planning topics and fields of study will not be approved. To develop a defined concentration, select one of the existing concentrations and select courses to develop a concentration with cross-cutting expertise.

Requirements

Students who develop a self-defined concentration must satisfy the MCP common core curriculum. The self-defined concentration is to be composed of three courses, including a studio, which ordinarily should be drawn from DCRP course offerings, including one-time offerings or occasionally offered DCRP courses. However, one course may be drawn from another department if its inclusion in the concentration is justified. If a non-DCRP course is proposed as part of the concentration, a syllabus of the course must be provided, along with an explanation of why the concentration cannot be fulfilled by DCRP courses (i.e., what is the compelling need that DCRP courses cannot fulfill and/or why the non-DCRP course cannot be taken as an elective).

Procedures

Submit a proposal (not to exceed two pages) for the self-defined concentration, including a justification and an explanation on how the concentration has been conceptualized and its content. Fill out a Self-Defined Concentration Declaration form. If a non-DCRP course is proposed, the syllabus must be attached.

The student’s adviser must review the proposal and indicate approval by signing the form before the proposal is submitted to the MCP Program Committee via the GSAO.

All submissions must be submitted to the GSAO two weeks before the deadline to declare a concentration, at the end of the first semester of study. The MCP Program Committee will review the proposal and inform the student of its decision.

Elective Courses

The MCP common core and concentration requirements leave a number of units for students to select courses of interest to make up the required 48 units for the MCP degree (36 units for concurrent degree students). Please review course offerings here in the Guide and schedule of courses at the Online Schedule of Classes.

The Comprehensive Exam: Final Degree Requirement

MCP students complete a Professional Report, Client Report or a Thesis by the end of their studies. A maximum of three credits of CY PLAN 299 may be taken during the semester of the writing of a PR or CR, and four credits for writing a thesis. Regardless of the option selected, students are required to enroll in the PR/ CR/ Thesis Workshop Course during the second or third semester of the MCP degree program.

Comprehensive Exam (Plan II): Client Report (CR)

The Client Report (CR) is undertaken for an outside client or agency and aims to satisfy the needs of the focus institution. It provides an opportunity for students to study a real-world planning issue in diagnosing a problem situation, selecting appropriate analytic methods, evaluating alternative approaches, and recommending an approach or solution. The CR is carried out in a manner demonstrating high professional judgment and competence, and at a length of 40 to 50 pages, it reflects the scope and depth of a comprehensive research project worthy of postgraduate distinction.

The CR is written under the supervision of a three-person committee nominated by the student. This committee typically includes two members of the DCRP faculty and a third member from outside the University—usually the client to which the report is directed. Only ladder-rank faculty (Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor) or Adjunct Professors can serve on CR committees. Final CRs are submitted to the GSAO and will be cataloged in the College of Environmental Design Library.

Comprehensive Exam (Plan II): The Professional Research Report (PR)

The Professional Research Report (PR) is also undertaken for an outside client. Each summer, the department solicits a list of researchable questions from a wide variety of planning, policy and research agencies, firms, and non-profit organizations. Alternately, interested students may solicit outside clients themselves.

PR clients, unlike CR clients, will not provide day-to-day input or management, nor specify the report format. The specific research methodology and report format are developed with the assistance of a two-person DCRP faculty committee nominated by the student, consisting of a primary and secondary adviser. Only ladder-rank faculty (Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor) or Adjunct Professors can serve on PR committees. Completion of the professional report requires the signatures of the primary and secondary advisers.

In comparison to the CR, the professional report generally focuses more on study design and interpreting findings versus real-world implementation and satisfying the needs and wants of a client. Final PRs are submitted to the graduate student affairs officer and will be cataloged in the College of Environmental Design Library.

Additional Information regarding Client Reports and Professional Reports
Group Projects

The Graduate Council has stated that joint or group work is not acceptable as the basis for awarding graduate degrees. Students may collaborate on research projects under the traditional supervision of a faculty guidance committee. However, each student must write a thesis or Master’s Project report that represents a cohesive presentation of the research conducted and is capable of standing independently from the project. Each student’s work must be evaluated individually.

Human Research Protection

The Committee for Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) serves as the institutional review board (IRB) at UC Berkeley. The IRB must review and approve the use of human subjects in research. The process is designed to ensure that the rights and welfare of human subjects are protected throughout their participation in research projects. UC Berkeley operates within the regulations and guidelines set forth by federal authorities, primarily the Office for Human Research Protections and the Food and Drug Administration, as well as other bodies. The Office for the Protection of Human Subjects (OPHS) provides operational and staffing support to the CPHS and administers all human subjects research performed on behalf of UC Berkeley.

To determine if your project requires CPHS/OPHS review, we suggest that you start with the links below. In addition, please consult with the chair of your committee who is required to be a ladder rank DCRP faculty member.

What Needs CPHS/OPHS Review

Where to Start: Decision Tree

CPHS Guidelines on Exempt Research

Master’s Thesis (Plan I)

The thesis is an alternative to the professional or client reports. It is most appropriate for students actively involved in academic research projects and must conform to proper scholarly conventions. It must pose an original research question or issue, and develop and carry out an appropriate research design. A thesis frequently will be longer than a professional report and less constrained by the particular context of the planning problem.

Thesis committees are composed of three ladder-rank faculty members, two of whom must be from DCRP (including the thesis committee chair); the third committee member must be a faculty member in another department. Theses are filed with the Graduate Degrees Office by the deadlines posted on their website. The thesis must also satisfy style guidelines set by the Graduate Division.

Students who are using human subjects in their research must complete the “Course in the Protection of Human Subjects” (referred to as the CITI course) available online and print out the certificate of completion, prior to the start of their research. This certificate must be submitted with the advancement form.

Advancing to Candidacy

Students advance to candidacy during their final semester of study. GSAOs will contact students at the end of the next to last semester of study with instructions to fill out and submit the MCP Degree Checklist Form. The degree checklist is submitted to the GSAOs no later than the first week of study in the last semester and reviewed with the GSAO in a meeting.

The Degree Checklist Form lists all courses and units taken for completion of the MCP degree, for a minimum of 48 units (36 units for concurrent degree students). No more than a maximum of 6 units of 299 independent study and a combined total of 3 units of 297 and 295 may be applied towards the degree. Lower division undergraduate courses (numbered 1-99) do not count towards the 48 unit MCP requirement, nor does CY PLAN 375: Supervised Teaching in City and Regional Planning. Two-thirds of all course work must be letter-graded, and only courses graded C- or better, or Satisfactory, will count towards the degree.

Accreditation

The Master of City Planning program at UC Berkeley is one of the oldest accredited planning programs in the country. The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) last reviewed the MCP program in October 2012, and in Spring 2013 issued reaccreditation for five years . For more information about PAB, please visit http://www.planningaccreditationboard.org/. For information about PAB-required reporting, please visit http://ced.berkeley.edu/academics/city-regional-planning/programs/master-of-city-planning/performance/

Graduate Program Outcomes

The PhD in City Planning program has the following goals:

  • To provide critical understanding of the history of thought in city and regional planning and urban studies, and to train students to contribute to theoretical advances in these fields
  • To enable students to develop their individual specializations within city and regional planning
  • To prepare students to undertake original research through the formulation of research questions, use of research methods, and application of research design
  • To encourage students to disseminate their research such that it has an impact in the worlds of social science scholarship, planning education, and national and international policy
  • To create and nurture an intellectual community committed to promoting research in city and regional planning

The Master of City Planning provides its many successful graduates with:

  1. Lifelong analytical, research, and communication skills
  2. The knowledge and skill sets to  successfully practice planning in a variety of urban, metropolitan, and regional settings
  3. An understanding of the history and theory of cities and urban regions
  4. Expertise in various fields and sub-fields of city and regional planning
  5. Sensitivity to the human impacts of planning decisions

Professional Development Activities

DCRP Students are encouraged to start career and professional development activities as soon as they enter the degree program. The department hosts an annual alumni gathering, and students meet with professionals and academic advisers in national and international conferences such as ACSP and APA throughout the year. In addition, DCRP students connect with faculty and local professionals who visit classes as guest speakers and give lectures.

Internships for MCP Students

Master of City Planning students complete a two- to three-month internship in a planning-related position usually between their first and second years of study, unless exempted by previous work experience. Frequently, the work completed during a summer internship forms the basis for the professional report or thesis. International students who hold an F-1 or J-1 visa must complete an internship during their two years of study.

The College of Environmental Design offers comprehensive career services to all students.

The Department of City and Regional Planning hosts a planning jobs website and maintains an email list for planning and planning-related jobs.

Professional Development of PhD Students

PhD students in DCRP are encouraged to pursue a Certificate in Teaching program, offered by UC Berkeley's GSI Teaching and Resource Center.  All PhD students are awarded an opportunity to serve as graduate student instructors (GSI) during their studies. Many do research with faculty and serve as graduate student researchers (GSR). UC Berkeley Graduate Division provides information on academic student appointments and other professional development opportunities.

Courses

City and Regional Planning

CY PLAN 200 History of City Planning 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
The history of city planning and the city planning profession in the context of urban history. Principal focus on the evolution of North American planning practice and theory since the late 19th century; some comparative and earlier material.

History of City Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 201A Planning Methods Gateway: Part I 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Two-semester course sequence that introduces first-year students in the Master of City Planning (MCP) program to a suite of data collection, data analysis, problem solving, and presentation methods that are essential for practicing planners. 201A focuses on supporting integrated problem solving, using a case-based approach to introduce methods in sequenced building-blocks. 201B prepares MCP students for more advanced courses in statistics, GIS
, observation, qualitative methods, survey methods, and public participation.
Planning Methods Gateway: Part I: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 201B Planning Methods Gateway: Part II 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Second course in two-semester course sequence that introduces first-year students in the Master of City Planning (MCP) program to a suite of data collection, data analysis, problem solving, and presentation methods that are essential for practicing planners. 201B prepares MCP students for more advanced courses in statistics, GIS, observation, qualitative methods, survey methods, and public participation.

Planning Methods Gateway: Part II: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 202 Practice Gateway: Introduction to Planning Practice 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
Using challenging real-world cases, this course introduces first year MCP students to the persistent dilemmas, the power and limits of planning action, the multiple roles in which planners find themselves in communities around the globe, and the political and other constraints that planners face as they try to be effective, and the key issues facing planning practice. In all these ways, our focus is on planning action, not the history of urban
development or urban social theory, though we will explore the ways in which planning ideals and cities have shaped each other as society evolves.
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CY PLAN 204B Analytic and Research Methods for Planners: Research Methods for Planners 2 or 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2014
Research methods for planning, including problem definition, observation, key informant interviewing, causal modeling, survey design and overall design of research, as well as memorandum writing and presentation skills. Students work in teams with clients on actual research problems and learn professional skills as well as practical ways of conducting usable research. With permission of the instructor, students who wish to complete only half
of the assignments for their individual research may take the course for 2 units.
Analytic and Research Methods for Planners: Research Methods for Planners: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 204C Analytic and Research Methods for Planners: Introduction to GIS and City Planning 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Introduction to the principles and practical uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This course is intended for graduate students with exposure to using spreadsheets and database programs for urban and natural resource analysis, and who wish to expand their knowledge to include basic GIS concepts and applications. Prior GIS or desktop mapping experience not required.

Analytic and Research Methods for Planners: Introduction to GIS and City Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 204D Analytic and Research Methods for Planners: Multivariate Analysis in Planning 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2013, Spring 2010
Theory and application of advanced multivariate methods in planning. Emphasis on causal modeling of cross-sectional data. Topics include: multiple regression analysis; residual analysis; weighted least squares; non-linear models; path analysis; log-linear models; logit and probit analysis; principal components; factor and cluster analysis. Completion of two computer assignments, using several microcomputer statistical packages, is required.

Analytic and Research Methods for Planners: Multivariate Analysis in Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 205 Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015
An introduction to the American legal process and legal framework within which public policy and planning problems are addressed. The course stresses legal methodology, the basics of legal research, and the common-law decisional method. Statutory analysis, administrative law, and constitutional interpretation are also covered. Case topics focus on the law of planning, property rights, land use regulation, and access to housing.

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CY PLAN 207 Land and Housing Market Economics 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Using microeconomics as its platform, course explores the process and pattern of land utilization from a variety of perspectives: the neighborhood, the city, and the metropolis. The approach blends real estate, descriptive urban geography, and urban history with economics.

Land and Housing Market Economics: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 208 Plan Preparation Studio 5 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
An introductory laboratory experience in urban plan preparation, including the use of graphic communication techniques appropriate to city planning and invoking individual effort and that of collaborative student groups in formulating planning policies and programs for an urban area. Occasional Friday meetings are required.

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CY PLAN C213 Transportation and Land Use Planning 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
Examination of the interactions between transportation and land use systems; historical perspectives on transportation; characteristics of travel and demand estimation; evaluation of system performance; location theory; models of transportation and urban structure; empirical evidence of transportation-land use impacts; case study examinations.

Transportation and Land Use Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 214 Infrastructure Planning and Policy 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2011, Fall 2010, Fall 2009
Survey of basic knowledge and technology of physical infrastructure systems: transportation, water supply, wastewater, storm water, solid waste management, community energy facilities, and urban public facilities. Environmental and energy impacts of infrastructure development; centralized vs. decentralized systems; case studies.

Infrastructure Planning and Policy: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 216 Active Transportation 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Covers pedestrian and bicycle transportation planning including benefits of active transportation, importance of urban design and network connectivity, and facility design. Examines policies and programs to support active transportation and the processes to create, implement, and evaluate bicycle and pedestrian plans.

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CY PLAN C217 Transportation Policy and Planning 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Policy issues in urban transportation planning; measuring the performance of transportation systems; the transportation policy formulation process; transportation finance, pricing, and subsidy issues; energy and air quality in transportation; specialized transportation for elderly and disabled people; innovations in transportation policy.

Transportation Policy and Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 218 Transportation Planning Studio 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Studio on applying skills of urban transportation planning. Topics vary, focusing on specific urban sites and multi-modal issues, including those related to planning for mass transit and other alternatives to the private automobile. Recent emphasis given to planning and designing for transit villages and transit-based housing.

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CY PLAN 219 Comparative International Topics in Transportation 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2014, Fall 2011
Covers comparative planning and policy topics in urban, regional, and rural transportation that are transnational in nature. Builds policy lessons on planning for mobility, accessibility, and sustainability in different political and contextual settings. Case studies are drawn from both developed and developing countries.

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CY PLAN 220 The Urban and Regional Economy 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Analysis of the urban, metropolitan, and regional economy for planning. Economic base and other macro models; impact analysis and projection of changing labor force and industrial structure; economic-demographic interaction; issues in growth, income distribution, planning controls; interregional growth and population distribution issues.

The Urban and Regional Economy: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 223 Economic Development Planning 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2011, Spring 2009
Strategy and tools for developing employment attracting investment and improving the standard of living in regional, state, and local economies. Organization of economic development activities, with a focus on current practices.

Economic Development Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 228 Research Workshop on Metropolitan Regional Planning 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2014
Field problem in major phases of metropolitan or regional planning work. A collaborative student-group effort in formulating policy or plan recommendations within specific governmental framework.

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CY PLAN 230 U.S. Housing, Planning, and Policy 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
Theory of housing markets and empirical methods for measuring market conditions and performance: housing consumption, housing supply and production, and market performance. Empirical analysis and applications to policy issues.

U.S. Housing, Planning, and Policy: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 231 Housing in Developing Countries 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2011, Spring 2009
This course covers issues of housing policy and housing form in the urbanizing developing world from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Using case studies from Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East, it highlights the role of physical planners as community activists involved in practices like squatter development slum upgrading, sites and services, and self-help.

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CY PLAN 235 Methods of Project Analysis 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Using case studies, this course acquaints students with the techniques of project feasibility; analysis of project proposals and overall project compatibility assessment. Case studies will be based on a variety of public and private sector developments, in central city and suburb locations.

Methods of Project Analysis: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 238 Development--Design Studio 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
Studio experience in analysis, policy advising, and project design or general plan preparation for urban communities undergoing development, with a focus on site development and project planning.

Development--Design Studio: Read More [+]

CY PLAN C240 Theories of Urban Form and Design 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Theories and patterns of urban form throughout history are studied with emphasis on the role of planning and design in shaping cities and the relationship between urban form and social, economic, and geographic factors. Using a case study approach, cities are evaluated in terms of various theories and performance dimensions.

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CY PLAN C241 Research Methods in Environmental Design 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
The components, structure, and meaning of the urban environment. Environmental problems, attitudes, and criteria. Environmental survey, analysis, and interview techniques. Methods of addressing environmental quality. Environmental simulation.

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CY PLAN C243 Shaping the Public Realm 5 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This interdisciplinary studio focuses on the public realm of cities and explores opportunities for creating more humane and delightful public places. Problems will be at multiple scales in both existing urban centers and in areas of new growth. Skills in analyzing, designing, and communicating urban design problems will be developed. Studio work will be supplemented with lectures, discussions, and field trips. Visiting professionals will present
case studies and will serve on reviews.
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CY PLAN 248 Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning 5 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Advanced problems in urban design and land use, and in environmental planning. Occasional Friday meetings are required.

Advanced Studio: Urban Design/Environmental Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 249 Urban Design in Planning 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2009, Fall 2007, Fall 2005
This seminar will focus on urban design in the planning process, the role of environmental surveys, methods of community involvement, problem identification, goal formulation and alternatives generation, environmental media and presentation, design guidelines and review, environmental evaluation and impact assessment. Case studies.

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CY PLAN C251 Environmental Planning and Regulation 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2012
This course will examine emerging trends in environmental planning and policy and the basic regulatory framework for environmental planning encountered in the U.S. We will also relate the institutional and policy framework of California and the United States to other nations and emerging international institutions. The emphasis of the course will be on regulating "residuals" as they affect three media: air, water, and land.

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CY PLAN 252 Land Use Controls 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2014
An advanced course in implementation of land use and environmental controls. The theory, practice and impacts of zoning, growth management, land banking, development systems, and other techniques of land use control. Objective is to acquaint student with a range of regulatory techniques and the legal, administrative-political equity aspects of their implementation.

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CY PLAN 254 Sustainable Communities 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2014, Spring 2014
This course examines and explores the concept of sustainable development at the community level. The course has three sections: (1) an introduction to the discourse on sustainable development; (2) an exploration of several leading attempts to incorporate sustainability principles into plans, planning, and urban design; (3) a comparative examination of several attempts to modify urban form and address the multiple goals (social, economic, environmental)
of sustainable urbanism.
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CY PLAN 255 Urban Planning Applications of Geographic Information Systems 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course introduces students to the relatively new and rapidly expanding field of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The course focuses on GIS and its application to both city and regional problems in the San Francisco Bay Area and offers students a toolkit for integrating spatial information into planning solutions. The laboratory sessions will mainly employ a vector model to solving problems. Topics include problem identification, data
discovery, database design, construction, modeling, and analytical measurement.
Urban Planning Applications of Geographic Information Systems: Read More [+]

CY PLAN C256 Healthy Cities 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Exploration of common origins of urban planning and public health, from why and how the fields separated and strategies to reconnect them, to addressing urban health inequities in the 21st century. Inquiry to influences of urban population health, analysis of determinants, and roles that city planning and public health agencies - at local and international level - have in research, and action aimed at improving urban health. Measures, analysis
, and design of policy strategies are explored.
Healthy Cities: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 260 Theory, History, and Practice of Community Development 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2013, Fall 2012
This course will explore the theory, history, methods, and practice of local community development. The course will begin by examining the historical roots of community involvement and action. It will present alternative explanations for different paths of neighborhood and community change.

Theory, History, and Practice of Community Development: Read More [+]

CY PLAN C261 Citizen Involvement in the City Planning Process 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
An examination of the roles of the citizens and citizen organizations in the city planning process. Models for citizen involvement ranging from advising to community control. Examination of the effectiveness of different organizational models in different situations.

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CY PLAN 268 Community Development Studio/Workshop 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
Studio experience in analysis, policy advising, and implementation in an urban setting. Students will engage in group work for real clients (e.g., community-based organizations or local government agencies), culminating in a final report or proposal.

Community Development Studio/Workshop: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 271 Development Theories and Practices 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
This course covers the theory and praxis of international development. It studies the project of development, from its Cold War launching to its metamorphosis into the current era of economic globalization and liberalization. And it examines the theoretical models and discursive debates that have accompanied each phase, including the recent critiques put forth by feminism and postcolonialism. The course also locates development in the industrialized
world, "here" rather than "elsewhere," thereby unsettling the normalized hierarchy of First and Third Worlds.
Development Theories and Practices: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 275 Comparative Analysis of Urban Policies 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2011
Description, analysis, and evaluation of urban policies in a variety of social and spatial contexts, with references to state-planned societies. Main topics: national and local public policies in regional development, housing, transportation, urban renewal, citizen participation, social services, and decentralized urban management.

Comparative Analysis of Urban Policies: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 280A Doctoral Seminars: Research Design for the Ph.D 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
This course is designed for students working on their dissertation research plan and prospectus. Weekly writing assignments designed to work through each step of writing the prospectus from problem framing and theoretical framework to methodology. At least one oral presentation to the class is required of all students.

Doctoral Seminars: Research Design for the Ph.D: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 280C Doctoral Seminars: Doctoral Colloquium 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Presentation and discussion of research by Ph.D. students and faculty.

Doctoral Seminars: Doctoral Colloquium: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 281 Theories of Planning Practice 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
Focuses on theory and practice of planning, with emphasis on the role of different types of knowledge in different kinds of practice. Compares positivist, interpretive, and critical theory views of knowledge and links these to policy analysis, interactive planning, group processes, and emerging models of critical planning practice.

Theories of Planning Practice: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 284 Urban Theory 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 1999, Spring 1997
The investigation of modern cities has presented great challenges for social theory. For over a century, scholars have debated about how to read and explain the modern industrial city. This course traces the main ways in which these debates have unfolded since the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. To follow these debates is to understand how scholars have struggled to make cities legible, to fix them as objects of analysis, and
simultaneously to capture their processes of transformation.
Urban Theory: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 290 Topics in City and Metropolitan Planning 1 - 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Analysis of selected topics in city and metropolitan planning with emphasis on implications for planning practice and urban policy formation. In some semesters, optional five-week, 1-unit modules may be offered, taking advantage of guest visitors. Check department for modules at start of semester.

Topics in City and Metropolitan Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 291 Special Projects Studio in Planning 4 - 6 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2015, Spring 2014
Studio on special projects in planning. Topics vary by semester.

Special Projects Studio in Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 295 Supervised Research in City and Regional Planning 1 - 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2008, Spring 2008, Spring 2007
Supervised experience on a research project in urban or regional planning. Any combination of 295, 297 courses may be taken for a total of 6 units maximum towards the M.C.P. degree.

Supervised Research in City and Regional Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 297 Supervised Field Study in City and Regional Planning 1 - 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2007, Spring 2007
Supervised experience relative to specific aspects of practice in city or regional planning. Any combination of 295, 297 courses may be taken for a total of 6 units maximum toward the M.C.P. degree. A maximum of 3 units of 297 can be used for degree requirements.

Supervised Field Study in City and Regional Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 298 Group Studies 1 - 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Topics to be announced at beginning of each semester. No more than 3 units may be taken in one section.

Group Studies: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 299 Individual Study or Research 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014
Individual study or research program; must be worked out with instructor in advance of signing up for credits. Maximum number of individual study units (295, 297, 299) counted toward the M.C.P. degree credits is 9.

Individual Study or Research: Read More [+]

CY PLAN N299 Individual Study or Research 1 - 6 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2015 10 Week Session, Summer 2009 10 Week Session, Summer 2007 10 Week Session
Individual study or research program; must be worked out with instructor in advance of signing up for credits. Maximum number of individual study credits counted toward the MCP degree is 9.

Individual Study or Research: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 375 Supervised Teaching in City and Regional Planning 1 - 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2013
Supervised teaching experience in courses related to planning. Course may not be applied toward the M.C.P. degree.

Supervised Teaching in City and Regional Planning: Read More [+]

CY PLAN 602 Individual Study for Doctoral Students 1 - 8 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013
Individual study in consultation with the major field adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for qualified students to prepare themselves for the various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D. May not be used for unit or residence requirements for the doctoral degree. Students may earn 1-8 units of 602 per semester or 1-4 units per summer session. No student may accumulate more than a total of 16 units of 602.

Individual Study for Doctoral Students: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Charisma Acey, Assistant Professor. Water, sanitation, basic services delivery, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, environmental justice, urban governance, participatory planning, community-based development, international development, development planning, sustainable development, African studies.
Research Profile

+ Nezar Alsayyad, Professor. Virtual reality, urban history, Architectural history, Middle Eastern Studies, cross-cultural design, cities and cinema, cultural studies of the built environment, environmental design in developing countries, housing and urban development, Islamic architecture and urbanism, traditional dwelling and settlements, urban design and physical planning.
Research Profile

Teresa Caldeira, Professor. Comparative urban studies, urbanization in the global south, social theory, ethnography. qualitative methodology.

Karen Chapple, Professor. Poverty, economic development, regional planning, metropolitan spatial patterns, labor markets, community development, neighborhood change, gentrification.
Research Profile

Daniel Chatman, Associate Professor. Transportation, urban planning, travel behavior, immigration, housing, agglomeration.
Research Profile

Jason Corburn, Professor. Urban health, informal settlements, global public health, urban climate change, environmental impact assessment, mediation, environmental justice.
Research Profile

Karen T. Frick, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Carol J. Galante, Adjunct Professor.

Malo Hutson, Associate Professor. Urban and regional planning, community development, urban policy, population health.
Research Profile

+ Raymond Lifchez, Professor. Architecture, patronage of the arts, post revolutionary France.
Research Profile

Elizabeth S. Macdonald, Associate Professor. Urban design.
Research Profile

John Radke, Associate Professor. City and regional planning, landscape architecture and environmental planning, geographic information systems, database design and construction, spatial analysis, pattern recognition computational morphology.
Research Profile

Carolina K. Reid, Assistant Professor. Affordable housing, access to credit, foreclosures, community development, the Community Reinvestment Act, poverty, neighborhood change, homeownership and mortgage finance (with a focus on low-income and minority households).
Research Profile

Daniel Rodriguez, Professor.

Annalee Saxenian, Professor. Innovation, information management, entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley, regional economic development, high skilled immigration, Asian development.
Research Profile

Paul Waddell, Professor. UrbanSim, land use models, transportation models, urban sustainability.
Research Profile

Jennifer Wolch, Professor. Sustainable urbanism, urban design and public health, poverty and homelessness, human-animal studies.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Sara Hinkley, Lecturer.

Moira O'Neill-Hutson, Lecturer.

Kimberly Suczynski Smith, Lecturer.

David Waldron, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Edward J. Blakely, Professor Emeritus.

Peter C. Bosselmann, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, architecture, city and regional planning, landscape architecture.
Research Profile

Manuel Castells, Professor Emeritus.

Robert B. Cervero, Professor Emeritus. Transportation planning, city and regional planning, transportation & land use, transportation & urban development, international transportation.
Research Profile

Karen Christensen, Professor Emeritus. Evaluation, intergovernmental relations, city and regional planning, housing policy, planning theory, organizational theory.
Research Profile

Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus.

Frederick C. Collignon, Professor Emeritus. Urban economics, metropolitan planning, city and regional planning, urban recreational space, passive recreational parkland, urban redevelopment, public assistance, disability.
Research Profile

Elizabeth A. Deakin, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, city and regional planning, transportation policy, planning and analysis, land use policy and planning; legal and regulatory issues, institutions and organizations, energy and the environment, new technologies.
Research Profile

Michael James Dear, Professor Emeritus. Social theory, disability studies, urban theory, comparative urbanism.
Research Profile

David Dowall, Professor Emeritus. City and regional planning, urban and regional development, international comparative urban development policy, domestic and international land management, housing policy, economic development strategy, infrastructure planning, management and finance.
Research Profile

Judith E. Innes, Professor Emeritus. Innovation, governance, collaborative planning and policy making, regionalism, interpretive methods, complexity and adaptation.
Research Profile

Allan B. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus.

Michael Southworth, Professor Emeritus. Management, analysis, design, city and regional planning, landscape architecture, environmental planning, morphology of the post-industrial city, design of public space.
Research Profile

Michael Teitz, Professor Emeritus.

Irene Tinker, Professor Emeritus.

Martin Wachs, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of City and Regional Planning

228 Wurster Hall, MC #1850

Phone: 510-642-3256

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Teresa Caldeira

dcrpchair@berkeley.edu

Department Manager

Malla Hadley

228 Wurster Hall, MC 1850, Berkeley, CA 94720-1850

Phone: 510-642-3258

Fax: 510-642-1641

malla@berkeley.edu

Professor and Chair of PhD Graduate Advisers

Teresa Caldeira, PhD

dcrpgrad@berkeley.edu

Assoc. Professor and Chair of MCP Graduate Advisers

Karen Chapple

chapple@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Clay Hall

226 Wurster Hall, MC 1850, Berkeley, CA 94720-1850

Phone: 510-643-9440

Fax: 510-642-1641

clayh@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Kathleen Pera

226 Wurster Hall, MC 1850, Berkeley, CA 94720-1850

Phone: 510-643-9440

Fax: 510-642-1641

kpera@berkeley.edu

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