Graduate Minor in City and Regional Planning

Master's students from any discipline at Cornell (except current M.R.P. students) are invited to enroll in the graduate minor in city and regional planning. The minor gives students across the university the opportunity to take advantage of the wide variety of classes offered by the Department of City and Regional Planning.

Upon successful completion of the required classes, the graduate minor will appear on the students' official Cornell transcript.


  • The minor is fulfilled with a minimum of four classes, totaling a minimum of 12 credit hours.
  • Students take one required course and three electives (at the 5000 level or higher).
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in the coursework completed for the minor.
  • Students must have a member from the Graduate Field of City and Regional Planning faculty appointed as a minor member of their committee.  If the student does not have a committee structure in their degree program, they will be assigned an advisor in City and Regional Planning.

Required Coursework

Interested students are required to take one of the following two theory courses:

  • CRP 5130 Introduction to Planning Practice and HistoryThis graduate lecture course provides a foundation on the theory and history of how cities are planned, developed, and governed. The first half explores why cities exist and how their economic, political, and imperial functions have shaped planning interventions, spatial and social inequality, and environmental outcomes. The second examines the major levers that governments can use to shape the urban condition, including land policy, social policy, infrastructure and natural resource policy, and planning processes. The course connects U.S. experiences with relational and comparative perspectives from around the world. Assignments emphasize training in reading, writing, and communication skills.
  • CRP 5190 Urban TheoryWe live in an urban majority world, with diverse patterns of urbanization and types of urban places. Cities are not just nodes on transaction networks, or physical collections of build form specific to a context and global movements, or diverse places that represent a mix of cultures over time. They are political assemblages in which formal and informal institutions of governance are forged and continue to be shaped as policies change and morph over time. Various processes impacting societies shape the cities where we live, work, and play: ranging from climate change, shifting migration patterns, and large-scale population movements to changes in geo-political power and the technologies of infrastructure, communication, and manufacturing. But what constitutes the city? What concepts allow us to understand how cities grow, shrink, or expand, and shivel or thrive? This course seeks to introduce you to the broad contours of an interdisciplinary body of work that aims to theorize the city. Using a format of readings, lectures, and discussions, we seek to become familiar with core perspectives of well-established traditions in urban theory that emerges from perspectives on city economy, spatial development, environment, infrastructure, social life, cultural experience, urban politics, and interventions.

Elective Coursework

Students select three additional city and regional planning classes at the 5000 level or higher, subject to approval.  The director of graduate studies must approve all students' programs of study and can disqualify any class or accept other classes as electives. Class availability changes each semester. Students may not use independent study credit to satisfy this requirement.

How to Apply

Students interested in pursuing the minor should contact the academic programs coordinator in the Department of City and Regional Planning, 106 Sibley Hall, at or (607) 255-6848.

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