Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Joint Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning and Policy

UIC School of Law and the Department of Urban Planning and Policy of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) offer a joint program leading to the Juris Doctor (JD)/Master of Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) degree. The program integrates the legal analysis and doctrine taught in the School of Law with systems thinking and consensus-building approaches taught in CUPPA. Full-time students may complete the program in four years.

Admission Requirements Heading link

Students must apply to the JD program and the MUPP program and be admitted to each separately in order to be considered for the joint degree program, and must be approved by both units for admission into the joint program.

The policies of each program with respect to admission requirements, degree requirements, and other academic requirements are applicable. To be considered for admission to the joint program, students must take the LSAT or GRE, have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, and satisfy other application requirements for each college.

In the first two years of the joint degree program, students are required to enroll for one full year of study at the School of Law and for one full year of study at CUPPA; either can come first. Students return to the School of Law for the third year and then split the fourth year between the two units. Students have the option to enroll in summer courses in either or both programs subject to availability.

The JD/MUPP program is primarily intended for full-time students. Part-time students are considered for admission to the program only on a case-by-case basis.

Students who are already enrolled in either individual degree program may be admitted to the joint program before their second year of study if they meet the admissions requirements of the other degree program and are admitted to both the other degree program and the joint

program. The number of courses that may be shared between the two degrees may be reduced in such instances.

Students in the joint program will have two advisors, one from the Department of Urban Planning and Policy and one from the School of Law, who will assist students with each respective program.

Degree Requirements Heading link

Students must complete the requirements for both the JD (90 hours) and the MUPP (60 hours), with up to 28 hours being shared between the two degrees, for a total of at least 122 hours.

The normal requirements for the JD and MUPP degrees apply. In addition, students must satisfy a JD Policy and Regulatory Focus Requirement consisting of at least 6 credit hours of elective JD courses.

Students must be in good academic standing to remain in the joint degree program. Students who, based upon their cumulative GPA, are subject to the additional academic requirements set forth in the School of Law’s Good Academic Standing Policy are ineligible for (or unable to remain in) the joint JD/MUPP program.

Upon a student’s completion of all coursework and satisfaction of all program graduation requirements, UIC will award both the JD and MUPP degrees. Absent approval of both units, the degrees must be awarded simultaneously. Such approval may be granted in appropriate circumstances, such as where a student has completed all of the requirements for the JD degree, remains on track to complete the MUPP, and wishes to receive the JD in order to qualify to take a bar examination before completing the MUPP.

Students who choose to drop one part of the program (JD or MUPP) or who have not satisfied the academic requirements of at least one program will face the following implications:

  1. Students who do not satisfactorily complete the MUPP degree requirements, by choice or for academic reasons, but who wish to continue in the JD program may do so if they meet the JD program requirements. After successful completion of the JD program, they will be awarded a JD degree. Students will be subject to the normal cap of 6 credit hours of non-UIC Law courses, and they may petition the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs for approval to count MUPP courses previously taken while enrolled in the joint degree program for credit toward the JD. Typically, such approval will be granted for no more than one course.
  2. Students who do not satisfactorily complete the JD degree requirements, by choice or for academic reasons, but who wish to continue in the MUPP program may do so if they meet the MUPP program requirements. After successful completion of the MUPP program, they will be awarded a MUPP degree. The student may petition the Director of Graduate Studies for approval to count JD courses previously taken while enrolled in the joint degree program for credit toward the MUPP.

Curriculum Heading link

JD Curriculum

JD Degree Requirements

JD/MUPP joint degree candidates must complete the requirements for the JD degree (90 hours, including 50 hours of required core courses). Up to 16 hours of MUPP courses may count toward the 90 hours required for the JD. Students must complete the JD Policy and Regulatory Focus Requirement, consisting of at least 6 hours of elective courses taken toward the JD degree.

In the first or second year of the joint degree program, students enroll for one full year of study at the School of Law, taking the same classes as other first-year JD students. Students return to the School of Law for the third year of the program and for one semester of the fourth year.

Students have the option to enroll in summer JD courses subject to availability. Students may not take courses at both units during the same term without prior approval from both units; such approval normally will be granted only for one course at a time and only during a student’s final year of study.

Shared Coursework

The following courses required for the MUPP, totaling 16 credit hours, will count as elective courses toward the 90 credit hours required for the JD degree (in lieu of the normal cap of 6 credit hours of approved non-UIC Law courses):

  • UPP 461 Geographic Information Systems (4 credit hours)
  • UPP 500 History and Theory of Urban Planning (4 credit hours)
  • UPP 501 Urban Space, Place and Institutions (4 credit hours)
  • UPP 508 Global Urbanization and Planning (4 credit hours)

Policy and Regulatory Focus Requirement

Students must complete at least 6 credit hours of coursework selected from the following list of courses, to count toward the elective requirements for the JD degree:

  • JD 420 Real Estate: Natural Resources Law (2 credit hours)
  • JD 426 Real Estate: Environmental Controls and Concerns (2 credit hours)
  • JD 452 Real Estate: Land Use Control and Zoning (2 credit hours)
  • JD 458 Real Estate: Public Finance Law (2 credit hours)
  • JD 498 Administrative Law (3 credit hours)
  • JD 499 Real Estate: Fair Housing and Fair Lending Law (2 credit hours)
  • JD 518 Information Law, Policy, and Privacy (3 credit hours)
  • JD 541 Fair Housing Clinic (3 credit hours)*
  • LAW 445 Environmental Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 450 Consumer Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 481 Local Government Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 482 Education Law and Policy (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 502 Labor Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 503 Employment Discrimination (3 credit hours)
  • LAW 504 Disability Law (2 credit hours)
  • TADR 472 Externship: Local Government and Non-Profit Fieldwork (2–3 credit hours)*
  • TADR 492 Clinic: Community Enterprise and Solidarity Economy Law Clinic (3 credit hours)*

Most of these courses have as prerequisites only the required courses that are normally taken by all JD students in their first year of study. JD 420, JD 426, JD 452, JD 458, and JD 499 have an elective course, JD 439 Real Estate Transactions, as an additional prerequisite.

Other School of Law courses may also count toward this focus requirement with approval in advance from the School of Law’s Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.

* These clinic or externship courses require concurrent enrollment in a classroom seminar component, which does not count toward this focus requirement.

MUPP Curriculum

MUPP Degree Requirements

JD/MUPP joint degree candidates must complete the requirements for the MUPP degree (60 hours, including 30 hours of required core courses, at least one three-course specialization, an approved internship, and a master’s thesis or portfolio). Up to 12 hours of JD courses may count toward the 60 hours required for the MUPP.

In the first or second year of the joint degree program, students enroll for one full year of study at CUPPA. Students return to CUPPA for one semester in the fourth year of study.

Students have the option to enroll in summer MUPP courses subject to availability. Students may not take courses at both units during the same term without prior approval from both units; such approval normally will be granted only for one course at a time and only during a student’s final year of study.

Shared Coursework

The following courses required for the JD degree, totaling 12 credit hours, will count as elective courses toward the 54 credit hours required for the MUPP degree:

  • JD 405 Contracts I (3 credit hours)
  • JD 411 Civil Procedure I (3 credit hours)
  • JD 414 Constitutional Law I (3 credit hours)
  • JD 424 Constitutional Law II (3 credit hours)

Specializations

Students must complete at least one specialization. Each specialization requires 12 hours of coursework. Students may pursue one of the following specializations, or may develop a user-defined specialization subject to advisor and department approval.

  • Economic Development
  • Community Development
  • Spatial Planning
  • Urban Transportation
  • Environmental Planning & Policy

Professional Practice Requirement (Internship)

Students must complete the Professional Practice Internship (UPP 590), which consists of 300 hours of fieldwork. Internships allow students to build their professional network and apply their skills in real world planning situations.

Master’s Portfolio or Thesis

Students are required to prepare an Urban Planning Portfolio or write a thesis to fulfill the requirements of the MUPP program.

The portfolio includes excerpts and refinements of previously completed UPP coursework, together with newly developed reflective documents, such as a professional statement, goals, and a resume. Students take UPP 595 Portfolio Development Seminar (2 credits) in their final semester of the program, where they receive guidance on developing the portfolio. A completed and approved portfolio is necessary to pass UPP 595.

In lieu of the portfolio, students have the option of writing a thesis, a more traditional piece of academic research. Students interested in pursuing the thesis option should consult with their faculty advisor early in their final year of the program.

Contacts Heading link

School of Law: Contact your assigned academic advisor or Ravi Sahota, Academic Advising Coordinator, rsahot1@uic.edu. For information regarding the application process, please contact UIC Law Admissions at law-admissions@uic.edu or (800) 537-4280.

College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs: Contact Dominic Belcaster, Academic Advisor, Urban Planning and Policy, dbelca2@uic.edu.