M.A. On Campus

Community Planning, Policy, and Design

College of Charleston

24 months
36132 USD/year
36132 USD/year
13770 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Master of Arts in Community Planning, Policy, and Design (CPAD) degree program at College of Charleston addresses the many dimensions of community building. Its innovative curriculum is designed to empower graduates to develop "progressive traditional" urban design skills while gaining knowledge of public policy, real estate economics, and practical transportation/land-use planning.


The focus of the Community Planning, Policy, and Design program at College of Charleston is on the growing intersection of these skills and knowledge in today’s vibrant and increasingly complex development environment. CPAD is jointly housed in the College of Charleston.

The program provides:

  • a rigorous core curriculum that will empower students to design cities, districts, and neighborhoods, and fortify their design skills with a practical knowledge of law and economics.
  • a “progressive traditional” design ethos that is unique in the world, drawing upon the cosmopolitan classical architecture of Charleston to teach forward-looking, culturally pluralistic, sustainable, and beautiful architecture and urbanism.
  • an in-depth engagement with the major components of modern public policy. Working with the Riley Center, students will build upon the legacy of famous Charleston mayor Joe Riley, learning the goals and instruments of local government in creating and sustaining healthy public life.
  • a firm commitment to teaching sustainability in all realms, across the board, using both traditional methods and high technology.
  • a rigorous study of Charleston’s booming real estate market, so that the economic realities of development are woven into design education from the start.
  • the possibility of concurrently earning an additional graduate certificate in Urban and Regional Planning.
  • a choice of electives dedicated to cutting-edge emerging issues, such as the transformation of dead shopping centers or designing for automated vehicles, allowing each student to develop a program of study best suited to his or her career goals.
  • internship opportunities with the City of Charleston and local design and development firms.
Graduates of the program work in city governments, development companies, architecture/urban design firms, and businesses in other areas.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Drawing Charleston
  • Introduction to Urban Design (studio course)
  • The City as a Work of Art
  • Urban Policy
  • Architectural Design 
  • American Architecture
  • Independent Urban Design Field Study 
  • Urban Transportation: Problems and Prospects
  • Sustainable Design and Adaptive Reuse 
  • Introduction to Real Estate
  • Urban Design Graduate Thesis

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

March 1 is the priority deadline;


60 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Written statement

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    36132 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 36132 USD per year during 24 months.
  • National

    36132 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 36132 USD per year during 24 months.
  • In-State

    13770 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 13770 USD per year during 24 months.

Living costs for Charleston

1270 - 2210 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Due for update

Updated over a year ago

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Our partners

Community Planning, Policy, and Design
College of Charleston


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