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Measures of Student Achievement in the Master of Science in URPL Degree

Student Achievement

Last year, the average undergraduate GPA of incoming master's students to the program was 3.36. The average GPA of current enrolled master's students in our program is 3.65, with 100% of the current cohort of students above a 3.0. None of our current students are on academic probation. Twenty-three percent of our current cohort are completing dual, double, or joint-degree programs, in effect doing two master's degrees simultaneously.

Average GRE scores for incoming students are difficult to calculate due to the differing test types, but the average percentile rank for the verbal section was 67.9%; the average percentile rank for the quantitative section was 56.2%, and the average percentile rank for the analytical writing section was 45.4%. These percentages represent the individuals' proportional placement rank placement among all test-takers (100% = top score).

Further, our current students are active participants in the Wisconsin Student Planning Association (WSPA) and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). This is in addition to the variety of extramural activities available on-campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cost (Tuition and Fees)

Tuition and fees for a full-time student for one academic year vary. The most up-to-date description of tuition and fees for graduate study in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison can be found here.

Student Retention & Graduate Rates

URPL awarded 23 master's degrees in the 2012-2013 school year. For more information about past graduation rates, please see the Graduate School Program Profile for Urban & Regional Planning. To date, we have roughly 1,172 total alumni since our inception in 1962.

The vast majority (above 90 percent) of our professional M.S. students graduate within 2 years. Students who opt to do a dual, double, or joint degree may take three years to graduate, but the URPL program is carefully designed to be finished in exactly two years.


Recent information from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) has identified the following pass rate for UW-Madison URPL graduates:

2004-2012: 97.9 percent pass rate

See the most recent rankings here. Note that UW-Madison is ranked #1 in the 2nd Quartile (based on number of exam takers) above our competition that includes Cornell, University of California - Berkeley. UCLA, and Harvard. Further, note that our pass rate (98%) is higher than ALL of Quartile 1 and 3 as well.

Employment Rate of Fulltime Graduates

The employment rate of fulltime graduates in professional planning or planning-related job within one year of graduation is a difficult statistic to identify and changes year-to-year. Our most recent survey efforts indicate a 50% employment rate for students past two months of their graduate date, with a 100% employment rate for students two years past their graduation date. Of these, 88% were successful in attaining fulltime professional planning or planning-related employment. Keep in mind that the sample size of respondents to this poll may create some inaccuracies.

We have an ongoing effort to survey our graduates at the 1-, 2- and 5-year post-graduation periods.

The Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning was first established at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1944. Since 1955, this program has been recognized by the American Planning Association. We are fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board through 2016. This most recent accreditation review was based on a 2008 self-study and a 2009 site visit. Our accreditation planning for the 2016 round of the PAB has begun. Stay tuned!