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.

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 2022
Hannah C. Kiraly, MNO
Program Manager of Community & Economic Development, City of Lorain
Client, 2022 MUPD Capstone Studio

As a Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs Alumna, words cannot describe how proud I am of the Spring 2022 Planning Capstone Studio Course students.

For 4 months, the City of Lorain worked with the Levin’s Graduate Planning Capstone Studio students under the direction of Professor Kastelic and Professor Hilde. The duo is highly knowledgeable and passionate about the work we seek and do as Planners. It was quite evident that through their guidance, the young professionals were able to uncover the hidden potential our city holds through real-world planning processes.

The team was known as the “Legacy City Planners” and upheld the highest degree of professionalism and integrity for our community. The “Legacy City Planners” met with an array of stakeholder groups which is vital to the planning process. They were able to harness the community’s feedback and hard data to provide a very professional and comprehensive plan. Not only did they collect resident feedback and data, but they also leveraged other Plans and design concepts to assist in their final product which will provide a comprehensive and cohesive direction in the coming years for Economic Development within the City of Lorain.

As a Planner, it is refreshing to see the passion the students have for providing quality work that has tangible goals and objectives. The students also were able to siphon their curiosity, pair it with the current land use functions, and take their recommendations to the next level.

I’m inspired by the students’ involvement, dedication, and curiosity which are all represented throughout the process and within the final product.

The City of Lorain is so very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the “Legacy City Planners”; they’re going to excel at anything they set out to achieve.

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.

2022-2023 Tuition and Fees  
In State Residents, per full-time academic year $14,328
Out of State Residents (domestic US), per full-time academic year $24,426

See for more information.

Student Retention Rate Percent
Percentage of students who began studies in Fall 2021 and continued into fall 2022 77%
Student Graduation Rate Percent
Percentage of students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2018 60%
Number of Degrees Awarded  
Number of degrees awarded for the 2021 - 2022 Academic Year 7     
AICP Certification Percent
Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 3 years who pass, graduating class of 2018 0%
Employment Percent
Percentage of all graduates obtaining professional planning, planning-related, or other positions within 12 months of graduation, graduating class of 2021


*Based on responses of 12 graduates from Summer 2020-Spring 2021.