urban planning and design

Admission requirements

  • Students admitted to UMKC may declare a major in urban studies at any time. To prepare for the major it is recommended that students take certain courses.
    • In satisfying a general education natural sciences requirement, students should take Environmental Science 110R, Environmental Science 210, or Geology 220.
    • In preparation for the core courses in the major, students should take introductory courses in economics, geography, psychology and sociology.


  • Kansas City is a world-class location for the study of the history and practice of urban planning, with historic neighborhoods in the urban core, aging older suburbs in the inner-ring and fast growing suburbs at the metropolitan fringe.
  • Our four-year, hands-on, studio-based program in Urban Planning and Design trains students to be innovative professionals. Urban Planning is the study of neighborhoods, cities, and regions emphasizing civic reform and progressive social change. Urban Design emphasizes the physical form of urban space, human movement through space, and the dynamic forces that produce the places in which we live.
  • By their junior year, students will work with community stakeholders to develop and present their plans and designs. Our coursework actively engages the community in the planning process – modeling the cutting-edge of professional practice.
   university center

Fast facts

  • Urban planning students are uniquely trained to work collaboratively with all of the design disciplines.
  • UMKC is a leader in the national trend re-incorporating strong design training into the urban planning curriculum.
  • The Kansas City region is the program’s real-world laboratory. Students learn by tackling existing urban problems.


  • The Urban Planning faculty at UMKC includes scholars who conduct original research as well as engaged professionals who work on many of the most pressing issues in the field. 
  • The faculty research areas include: 
      • Environmental planning 
      • Transportation 
      • Neighborhood and community development 
      • Urban design 
      • Historic preservation

Student organizations

  • PDS (Planning and Design Students) is a departmental organization for students studying urban planning and design, as well as related fields. Every year the students attend national and regional conventions around the country.
  • APWA (American Public Works Association) is a national organization with a student chapter at UMKC. Students in urban planning and design are active participants in this campus-wide organization. 
  • Students routinely participate in professional Kansas City organizations, such as APA - American Planning Association / Kansas City Chapter, AIA - American Institute of Architects/Kansas City Chapter, WID - Women in Design, YAF - Young Architects Forum, etc.


Explore career options for Urban Planning and Design majors at

Contact us

Office of Admissions

120 Administrative Center
5115 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64112
Phone: 816-235-1111
Toll-free: 1-800-775-8652
Relay Missouri: 1-800-735-2966 (TTY)

Visit us

Students are encouraged to schedule a campus visit by visiting or calling 816-235-8652.


UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.