Community and Regional Planning, MCRP

School of Architecture and Planning

Program Description:

The Master of Community and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.) is a two-year degree program for professional education in the field of planning. The program emphasizes local and regional planning issues and reflects the culture and resources of the Southwest. The course of study provides training opportunities in rural as well as urban settings. Formally structured dual degree opportunities are available with the Latin American Studies program, the School of Public Administration, and the Water Resources program. (M.C.R.P. graduates also have developed individual dual degrees with Architecture, Economics, and Public Health). Students are encouraged to engage in fieldwork and professional internship experiences.

The Community and Regional Planning program is nationally accredited by The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). The program received renewal of its accreditation in 2007. The program provides grounding in planning skills, methods and theory and an appreciation of the nature of practice in the Southwest as a region.

The mission of the Community and Regional Planning (CRP) program is to plan with communities for their sustainable futures in the Southwest region through education, service and research. The program’s purpose is to provide future planners and professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to support planning that is responsive to people and place. Students of the CRP program work with communities, including their own, to create community-based plans, programs and policies that sustain and enhance their culture, resource base, built environment and economic vitality.

The rich substantive content of community and regional planning draws from many disciplines. It focuses on the concepts and disciplines of planning as applied to a field of practice. Students in the M.C.R.P. program may select a concentration in Community Development, Natural Resources and Environmental Planning, or Physical Planning and Design in their course of study.

The educational model for this degree is based on the concept of problem solving as a skill and as a context for broader understanding. Because much of planning practice involves solving complex social, physical, and resource allocation or conservation problems, the ability to analyze problems is central to the educational process. The assets and skills of a professional planner include: 1) a capacity for reasoned thought; 2) visionary (futuristic or alternative) thinking; 3) the communication of community-based planning concepts with clear graphic, written, and verbal information; 4) the ability to manage and resolve community and environmental conflicts; 5) a capacity to work with community-based planning strategies to address natural resource, community development, and physical planning problems to enhance sustainability.

CRP students are assigned a personal academic advisor from among the core faculty at the time of admission.

Admission Requirements:


Applications are accepted primarily for the fall semester. Spring admission will be considered for special circumstances only. Applications are not considered for the summer term.  The priority postmark deadline for the fall semester is January 30th; however, applications will be accepted through June 15 on a space available basis. Prospective applicants should consult the Graduate Program section of the Catalog to review current policies and guidelines.

The following materials must be sent electronically to the UNM Admissions Office:

In addition, applicants must send the following materials to the Community & Regional Plannign Program:

  • Letter of Intent
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (one must be from an academic source, i.e. professor or advisor)
  • Curriculum Vitae (Resume)
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended.

Materials are evaluated based on the critera below:

Strength of the Letter of Intent based on the following

Demonstrated capacity to do high quality graduate study

Strength of letters of Recommendation

Admissions Decisions

The Admissions Committee reviews, discusses, and ranks all applications,identifying the degree to which each meets the criteria and satisfies the academic prerequisites. Applicants then are notified whether they are:

  • Admitted
  • Conditionally admitted pending receipt of formal contents of the application
  • Placed on the waiting list for admission should a space open up
  • Not Admitted

Those who do not gain admission are encouraged to contact the CRP Director for an explanation and to assess the feasibility of a successful reapplication.

Career Opportunities:

Planners develop long- and short-term plans to use land for the growth and revitalization of urban, suburban, and rural communities, while helping local officials make decisions concerning social, economic, and environmental problems. In large organizations, planners usually specialize in a single area, such as transportation, demography, housing, historic preservation, urban design, environmental and regulatory issues, or economic development. In small organizations, planners do various kinds of planning. (UNM CRP website). 

Contact Information:

Elizabeth Rowe: Senior Academic Advisor
(505) 277-1303