COVID-19 Update: LPS staff are available online, in person, or by phone at (215) 898-7326. More Info & Resources >
close alert box button

Master of Environmental Studies/Master of City & Regional Planning (MCP)

Students who are interested in obtaining planning skills and knowledge combined with a solid foundation in environmental science and policy should consider a dual degree with the Master of City and Regional Planning (MCP) and the Master of Environmental Studies (MES), which offers a focus in urban and regional planning with an eye toward environmental impact, resilience, and climate adaptation. This dual degree program exposes students to air, water, and soil concerns as well as environmental sustainability, law, and policy while giving them a strong foundation in urban planning.

About the program

The MES/MCP dual degree program is a full-time program. Students are in residence at the Weitzman School of Design for four semesters and complete a minimum of 15 course units, including the core course curriculum. The MES/MCP student is in residence in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science for three semesters, at which time they complete a minimum of 9 course units of classes that qualify for the MES degree.

  • Of the 9 course units taken in MES, MCP will accept 3 course units at the graduate level, bringing the dual degree student to the minimum 18 course units required for the MCP degree
  • Of the 15 course units taken in the MCP, MES will accept 3 course units at the graduate level, bringing the dual degree student to the minimum 12 course units required for the MES degree
  • This format reduces the typical residency for the two programs from 4 years to 3 years and reduces the total required course units from 30 to 24

Course sequence

There are two options for the timeline that have been designed by the faculty of both MCP and MES. Students must choose one option and follow that timeline unless express permission is obtained from both program directors.

MCP start
Fall year 1 MES MCP
CPLN 500 Planning History and Theory   1 course unit
CPLN 501 Quantitative Methods   1 course unit
CPLN 503 GIS Modeling Geographic Objects   1 course unit
CPLN Concentration Foundation Course (e.g 530)   1 course unit
Spring year 1    
CPLN 600 Workshop   2 course units
CPLN Concentration Foundation or Elective Course   1 course unit
CPLN Concentration Elective Course   1 course unit
CPLN Free Elective Course   1 course unit
Summer year 1 or 2    
MES Concentration Course 1 1 course unit  
MCP Summer Internship (no course unit)    
Fall year 2    
CPLN 700 Studio   2 course units
CPLN 509 Law and Urban Development OR
CPLN 502 Urban and Infrastructure Finance
  1 course units
CPLN Breadth Methods Course   1 course unit
CPLN Concentration Foundation or Elective Course   1 course unit
Spring year 2    
ENVS 699 Capstone Seminar 1 course unit  
MES Concentration Course 2 1 course unit  
MES Foundation 1 1 course unit  
MES Research Methods Course 1 course unit  
Fall year 3    
MES Concentration Course 2 1 course unit  
MES Foundation Course 2 1 course unit  
MES Foundation Course 3 1 course unit  
MES Foundation Course 4 1 course unit  
Spring year 3    
CPLN Free Elective   1 course unit
MES Capstone    
Total 9 course units 15 course units
MES start
Fall year 1 MES MCP
ENVS 601 Proseminar: Contemporary Issues in Env Stud 1 course unit  
MES Concentration Course 2 1 course unit  
MES Foundation 1 1 course unit  
MES Concentration Course 1 1 course unit  
Spring Year 1    
MES Foundation Course 2 1 course unit  
MES Foundation Course 3 1 course unit  
MES Foundation Course 4 1 course unit  
ENVS 699 Capstone Seminar 1 course unit  
Summer Year 1 or 2    
MES Concentration Course 2 1 course unit  
MCP Summer Internship (no course units)    
Fall Year 2    
CPLN 500 Planning History and Theory   1 course unit
CPLN 501 Quantitative Methods   1 course unit
CPLN 503 GIS – Modeling Geographic Objects   1 course unit
CPLN – Concentration Foundation Course e.g. 530   1 course unit
Spring Year 2    
CPLN 600 Workshop   2 course units
CPLN Concentration Foundation or Elective Course   1 course unit
CPLN Concentration Elective Course   1 course unit
CPLN Free Elective Course   1 course unit
Fall Year 3    
CPLN 700 Studio   2 course unit
CPLN 509 Law and Urban Development OR
CPLN 502 Urban and Infrastructure Finance
  1 course unit
CPLN Breadth Methods Course   1 course unit
CPLN Concentration Foundation or Elective Course   1 course unit
Spring Year 3    
CPLN Free Elective   1 course unit
MES Capstone 0 course unit  
Total 9 course units 15 course units

List of City and Regional Planning (CPLN) Breadth Methods Courses

  • CPLN 504 Site Planning (fall)
  • CPLN 505 Planning by Numbers (spring) OR CPLN 671 Spatial Statistics and Data Analysis (fall)
  • CPLN 506 Negotiation and Civic Engagement (spring)
  • CPLN 508 Urban Research Methods (fall)
  • CPLN 530 Land Use Planning
  • CPLN 560 Introduction to Graphics for Urban Design (spring)

Capstone requirement

The MES program requires a capstone, while the MCP requires a summer internship. In most cases, these requirements can be combined to produce a report on the internship work as the capstone.

Career opportunities

Graduates from this dual degree program are strong candidates for positions in nonprofit organizations, private consulting, a variety of businesses, and government agencies. Issues of resilience, sustainability, adaptation and mitigation of climate change, and greening cities have recently come to the fore and dual degree students in this field are uniquely qualified to meet this need.

How to apply

Students may apply to both programs simultaneously or may apply in the first year of either the MCP or MES program. Separate applications are submitted, and the student should indicate on each separate application that they are applying to the MES/MCP dual degree program. The applications are reviewed separately by the admissions committees for each program. Acceptance into one program of the dual degree does not guarantee acceptance into the other program. Once the student is admitted to both programs the dual degree program will be initiated.

See details about the MES application >
See details about the MCP application >

Contact information

MES program: Yvette Bordeaux, PhD, Director, Professional Masters Programs in Earth and Environmental Science
lps@sas.upenn.edu

MCP program: Tom Daniels, Crossways Professor
thomasld@design.upenn.edu
Visit the Master of City Planning website to get more details about the dual degree  

Master of Environmental Studies Virtual Café

Join us on the first Tuesday of every month for an online chat, hosted live from noon - 1 p.m.

Ready to apply?

See deadlines, review our application materials checklist, and get ready to apply.

MES in the Community

Sustainability and positive psychology go hand in hand, says alumna and instructor Kim Quick (MES ’15). It’s about doing the most good.