UF Has First Accredited Online Planning Degree

UF’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning became the first program in the US to be accredited with a fully online option.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

November 20, 2019

The University of Florida’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree became the first program with a fully online option to earn the Certificate of Accreditation from the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB).

The PAB accredits university programs in North America leading to a bachelor’s degree or to a master’s degree in planning. The American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning sponsor the PAB and contribute to its standards development.

We are impressed by the innovation of an online degree program and the seamless integration of this modality with the campus-based program.


The University of Florida founded the Urban and Regional Planning Department in 1975 and first earned accreditation for its planning master’s degree in 1978. In the successive years, the program has graduated 719 students with master’s degrees. Program alumni have become leaders in the planning profession in Florida, the United States, and the world.

In 2012, the Department expanded its campus-based Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program to include an entirely online option. The online delivery of the program uses information and communications technology to leverage the expertise of UF’s planning faculty to students who are not located on campus. As a result, more than half of the students enrolled in the online program are within the United States outside of the state of Florida, and one in ten is international.

Throughout 2019, the PAB reviewed the Department’s MURP program as part of a seven-year reaccreditation review. This was the first opportunity to include the online master’s degree as part of the program’s review. At the review’s conclusion, the PAB renewed UF’s accreditation for seven years, the longest term available.

The PAB acknowledged UF’s “exemplary record” in planning education and stated that it found “strong research by faculty; an on-campus program that addresses the critical concerns of the state; and a high-quality online degree program.”

Kristin Larsen, Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, said, “The innovations we have developed for the virtual classroom have also benefitted our on-campus students. The high standards that all of our students bring to their studies reflects the strength of our Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program. The PAB’s decision to accredit the online delivery of our master’s degree in planning affirms our early decision to invest in creating an online program.”

The College of Design, Construction and Planning.

The University of Florida has long provided the best available training in the professional practice of urban and regional planning. Our graduates are making their communities better places using the skills they have learned at UF. With our online degree offering, we are able to leverage our resources to make this exceptional education available to students, no matter where they are located.
Chimay Anumba, Dean of the College of Design, Construction and Planning

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning is located within the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning within the College of Design, Construction and Planning. The College’s academic units collectively contribute to improving the quality of the built and natural environments through exceptional educational and professional programs that address the planning, design, construction, and preservation of the built and natural environments.

The University of Florida is a top-10 public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. UF is Florida’s oldest university and has an enrollment of some 54,000 students annually.

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