Master of Arts in Community Planning

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Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Community Planning (MACP) degree program builds on an undergraduate education in urban studies or a related field. MACP graduates will build a portfolio of skills that prepare them to be competent collaborative professionals who work with and empower community constituents, influencing processes of policy formation, resource generation, community change and urban development. Graduates will gain theoretical and hands-on skills to transform passions for social change, equity and justice into professionally- driven actions that build community and create long term positive change. The program’s emphasis on urban social studies, community development, and urban problem solving is a direct expression of the UW Tacoma’s mission as a higher education institution to build and enhance authentic connections with its communities. The MACP is a two-year, 60 credit program designed to support a cohort of up to 20 students per year. Admission is for Autumn quarter only. Courses can be taken on a full-time basis (10 credits/quarter) and a part-time option is available.

Skills Developed

  • Qualitative and quantitative analytical skills
  • Asset mapping
  • Persuasive argument and critique
  • Development finance and budgeting
  • Collaboration with NGOs
  • Communications planning and design
  • Conflict management
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Design and facilitation of public meetings
  • Graphic communication
  • Project management
  • Professional writing skills
  • Strategic planning and prioritization
  • Succinct and effective public messaging

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the structural forms of socio-spatial power that produce inequitable patterns in metropolitan development; understand the history of social movements (including current community organizing models) that challenge the status quo
  2. Be capable of interpreting and organizing a theoretically informed policy position, including efficient and accurate practices of reading, summarizing, sourcing and citing examples from other locations including, failed solutions and/or peer-reviewed research

  3. Develop and experience practices of policy analysis, project management and community engagement, using interpretive, relational and positivist methods

  4. Be comfortable accessing, collecting,  organizing, and analyzing primary and secondary data sources to create findings relevant for quantitative and qualitative evaluation, narrative development, and the creation of "findings" and contextual landscape analyses

  5. Become proficient at succinct, research-based, effective, professional forms of planning communication in a variety of genres appropriate for broad audiences and targeted communities

  6. Be able to carry out stages of analysis and action in a community-based process of policy advocacy, inclusive planning and/or institutional change through a variety of methods and tool development including advocacy documentation and community organizing