Architecture and Urban Planning and Design

We produce innovators who address the challenges of an urbanizing world. We build partnerships with neighborhoods, communities and municipalities in the Kansas City region and beyond to engage in applied research and give students experience in their chosen field of study.



Architectural Studies — dual-degree partnership with Kansas State University

UMKC partners with Kansas State University (K-State) to provide an architectural studies curriculum for students interested in architecture, interior architecture, project design or landscape architecture.

Our architectural studies program offers the option of completing the first two years of the architecture curriculum in Kansas City. Students pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture or Industrial Design will spend only the first year at UMKC.

The Architectural Studies program admits only 36 students each year. New students are accepted into the program only in the Fall semester. We encourage prospective students to apply as soon as possible. Students are accepted until all positions are filled.

For first-time college students, high school grade-point-average and ACT or SAT scores will be reviewed. For students transferring from another college or university, current grade-point-average will be reviewed. Once accepted, a deposit refundable up until May 1 reserves your place in the program and will be applied to your tuition in fall.

Students who are residents of Missouri, successfully complete our program and are accepted into the K-State program will automatically receive in‑state tuition at K-State through the Missouri Reciprocal Tuition Agreement for Kansas.


Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning and Design

The only accredited degree in urban plannin in the Kansas City area, the program puts an emphasis on physical planning and urban design with community-based projects assigned over the course of the six-semester studio sequence. In the first year, students learn how to see the built environment through methods of design and graphic communication. In the second year, planning students develop their analytic skills through exercises in comparative urbanisms, typologies of urban fabric, site planning, planning program design and development. Students spend the last year of studio on planning for actual clients on real planning issues. The full range of planning knowledge, skills and values are taught in the variety of studio and lecture classes.

Download the B.A. major map (PDF)

Research Areas

  • Aging
  • Asset-based community development
  • Community and neighborhood planning
  • Equity planning and racial justice
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Historic preservation and urban design
  • Music cities
  • Statistical modeling
  • Traffic safety
  • Travel behavior
  • Urban transportation

First-hand Experience

Center for Neighborhoods

The Center for Neighborhoods was established in partnership with the State of Missouri and community members to address the challenges facing neighborhoods in Kansas City, Missouri. The center serves as a catalyst for neighborhood planning activities, linking our research, education and service activities directly to the issues facing neighborhood organizations in our region. We leverage the expertise of UMKC faculty and the creativity of students to address the pressing challenges of neighborhoods in the city.

Visit Center for Neighborhoods

Meet the Faculty

View faculty directory

Advisory Board

The Architecture and Urban Planning programs enjoy the support of a dedicated advisory board that assists in furthering the goals of the programs, engage the university leadership, support and participate in various academic functions and provide financial assistance.

  • William L. Bruning J.D., MBA
  • Scott Francis, MFA
    • Francor LLC
    • Permanent Board Member, Francis Family Foundation
  • Shannon Jaax, AICP
    • Director, Repurposing Initiative
    • Kansas City Public Schools
  • Steve Karbank
    • Karbank Real Estate Company
  • Kathy Kelly, Chairperson
    • Founder, Folkus
  • Anthony Luca
    • Gastinger Walker
  • David F. Oliver, J.D.
    • Partner, Berkowitz Oliver LLP
  • Richard Sanchez
    • Planner, City of Leawood, Kansas
  • David Sosland
    • Owner, Sosland Photography
  • Joy Swallow, FAIA
  • David A. Warm, MPA
    • Executive Director, Mid-America Regional Council
  • Jeffrey Williams, AICP
    • Director of City Planning and Development, City Of Kansas City, Missouri