Master of Urban Planning and Development

Public Information


The Planning Accreditation Board requires this information be posted for the Master of Urban Planning and Development Program.

View the Master of Urban Planning and Development Strategic Plan, April 10, 2019 (Amended April 2020). »

Student Achievement: Alumni Leadership in the Region

MUPD graduates work around the region and country at various levels in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Here are three alumni who have excelled in their careers, becoming true leaders in planning in the northeast Ohio region.

Chris Ronayne
Mr. Ronayne graduated from the MUPD in 1997. He began his career in public service as a planner at the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission focusing on community reinvestment plans. In 2001 Ronayne managed the successful campaign for Jane Campbell, the first woman elected mayor in Cleveland’s history. He was then appointed as Planning Director for the City of Cleveland, leading the Cleveland Lakefront Plan which engaged over 5,000 residents, secured tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funding which spurred more in private investment. In 2005, Ronayne became CEO of University Circle, Inc., a large nonprofit organization located in Cleveland’s University Circle, leading redevelopment, advocating for land use planning for Cleveland’s major hospitals and cultural organizations, and transforming this important cultural district into a complete community. During his tenure more than 2,500 new and renovated homes were completed, multiple programs for neighborhood students, and connected small businesses (primarily minority-owned) to the neighborhood’s arts, education and health care institutions. Ronayne was elected Cuyahoga County Executive in November 2022. Ronayne remains dedicated to the Levin School and serves on the advisory committee for the Master in Urban Planning and Development program. His success is applauded by current and former faculty.

Joyce Huang
Ms. Huang graduated from the MUPD in 2016. Her career has focused on building community assets in Cleveland. While a student, Ms. Huang was supported  in part by a scholarship from the Cleveland chapter of the American Planning Association. In 2016 Huang joined the staff at MidTown, an economic development nonprofit organization, rising from urban planner to director of planning and placemaking to Vice President of Community Development. In 2020 she was recognized by Crains Cleveland Business as one of the city’s 40 under 40 leaders. In 2022 Huang was tapped by newly-elected Cleveland mayor Justin Bibb to become Planning Director for the City of Cleveland, the first woman and first Asian-American to hold that position.

Jason Russell
Mr. Russell graduated with his MUPD in 2009, with a deep interest in housing and community development and the built environment. He first worked as a Project Manager at Civic Commons, an on-line platform fostering civic engagement.  He then became a Planner for the City of Lakewood, Ohio, where among other projects he led development of the Solstice Steps overlooking Lake Erie at Lakewood City Park. Russell worked for the City of Shaker Heights, as General Manager of redevelopment of the Van Aken District from 2017 to 2021, a multi-million dollar reconfiguration of streets and development of retail and residential properties. The project received a national award in 2019 from the American Planning Association for implementation of the plan. As a resident of South Euclid, Russell served as Chair of the planning commission (2014 to 2015) and was elected to city council there for 3 years from 2016 to 2019. In 2022, Russell was hired by Bedrock Detroit as a Director and then Vice President of Operations and Leasing for the Tower City Complex in downtown Cleveland.

More profiles are available on the student achievement archive page.

Planning Studio Spring 2023

Laura Bonnell
Associate Director, Chagrin River Watershed Partners

Thanks to funding from the Cleveland Foundation, and in collaboration with our partner watershed organizations (Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, Bluestone Heights, and Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District), Chagrin River Watershed Partners was able to engage an amazing group of Cleveland State University graduate students to help contribute to the development of the real-world project entitled, Engaging Dugway Brook Communities in Designing Stream and Wetland Restoration, through a Masters of Urban Planning and Development Capstone Project in spring of 2023. This project will produce a feasibility study and engage stakeholders in decision-making on restoring and daylighting portions of Dugway Brook in the City of Cleveland and the Village of Bratenahl. The CSU student’s semester long work generated a final report that will now serve as a catalyst for exploring how restoring Dugway Brook can enhance outdoor public greenspace, create community connections, and support well-being in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland.

It was an absolute pleasure working with Professors Tom Hilde and Jim Kastelic on developing the scope of work for the students before the semester began and guiding the process throughout the semester. I was pleased to see the amount of coordination and planning that went into preparing the students for their capstone project, especially as it relates to the number of guest speakers that were scheduled to meet with and present to the students. I feel that Professors Tom Hilde and Jim Kastelic did a fantastic job of providing students with all of the support and contextual knowledge needed to complete this capstone project.

CRWP and our project partners were very impressed with the level of research and development that the CSU students accomplished during the semester. Their hard work produced a very comprehensive report that covered everything from existing conditions to recommendations and implementation. Additionally, the students did a commendable job of reaching out to the local community to gather preliminary feedback on the potential project. This feedback will be incorporated into our next steps and will also help guide our engagement efforts based on what outreach methods the students determined to be most successful for the project and the Glenville neighborhood. CRWP and our project partners were very pleased with the overall process working hand-in-hand with the students. We were even more impressed with the final report, as it was evident that the students understood exactly what we were looking for as the client.

It was very fortunate that our project was selected to be the focus of the Spring 2023 CSU capstone project. Not only did the students’ work give us a huge head start on this large-scale project, but it will also allow our selected design consultant team to hit the ground running once hired, as they will be able to incorporate the students’ findings into the development of the 30% design plan set, and the students’ groundwork will help inform the consultant’s future community engagement strategy. Chagrin River Watershed Partners is very thankful for all of the great work produced by the Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs professors and students. Thank you!

Prior Planning Studios

Student Perceptions of Their Knowledge and Skill Attainment Through the MUPD

A survey of graduating students on their perceptions of knowledge and skills acquired through program courses indicates increases from 50% to 100%. Students rated their knowledge and skills on a five-point scale. A group of subjects rated 4.8 or 5 included the purpose and meaning of planning, research (data assembly and analysis), history of the planning profession social justice and equity concerns. A group consisting of history of cities and urban development, design interventions, written communication, graphic communication, planning process, plan creation, social forces in urban/regional change, planning trends and practices, urban design, urban form and built environment, and use of Microsoft Excel was rated 4.6 out of 5 by students for their knowledge and skills upon finishing the program.

Open-ended remarks included:
“I have really enjoyed this program as a whole! Grateful for the opportunity to learn more about planning and to have an entry point into the field. The majority of the professors are extremely knowledgeable and wonderful teachers.” And “Thank you for an amazing educational experience! The information I have learned here will stay with me forever. I only hope I can continue to soak up knowledge without experienced and warm professors there to guide me. Thank you again!”

MUPD Exit Survey Results
Exit surveys of graduating MUPD classes consistently show significant improvements for the students between entering the program and upon graduation in all of the Planning Accreditation Board’s knowledge, skills, and values requirements for accredited urban planning programs. According to recent MUPD graduates, the best aspects of the MUPD program are connections to Northeast Ohio’s professional planning community, engaged learning opportunities, knowledgeable and engaged faculty, affordability and location in downtown Cleveland.

2023-2024 Tuition and Fees  
In State Residents, per full-time academic year $15,657
Out of State Residents, per full-time academic year $26,784

See for more information.

Student Retention Rate Percent
Percentage of students who began studies in Fall 2022 and continued into fall 2023 58%
Student Graduation Rate Percent
Percentage of students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2019 54%
Number of Degrees Awarded  
Number of degrees awarded for the 2022-2023 Academic Year 9    
Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 3 years who pass, graduating class of 2019 100%
Employment Percent
Percentage of all graduates obtaining professional planning, planning-related, or other positions within 12 months of graduation, graduating class of 2022