Global Environmental Science and Urban and Regional Planning Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s

In collaboration with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Global Environmental Science (GES) program offers a combined Bachelor of Science in Global Environmental Science and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) pathway that helps students earn both degrees in an accelerated timeframe. This pathway allows GES students to earn six (6) graduate-level credits that apply to the MURP degree, in addition to the nine (9) upper-division credits that will be double-counted towards both GES and MURP degrees, in their senior year. Once in the MURP program, after graduating with their GES BS degree, students take the remaining 27 credits necessary to complete the MURP degree.

Undergraduate Program Advising

Interested and eligible pathway students will need to be advised appropriately throughout this process by both GES (Dr. Michael Guidry) and MURP (Dr. Priyam Das) for their respective degree requirements.

Undergraduate Excess Credit Policy

GES undergraduate seniors earn six (6) total credits (PLAN 603 and 640) toward the MURP degree (but not towards the GES degree) by completing those courses during the final two semesters as an undergraduate student. These credits would be in addition to the double-counted credits identified in the pathway. These graduate courses are in excess of the GES degree requirements.

Visit the Global Environmental Science website for more information.

Minimum Credits

A minimum of 152 credits total is required for both degrees, including 42 credits of Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree coursework (inclusive of thesis or capstone credits).

Double Counting

The following courses (9 total credits) will be double-counted for both GES and MPH degrees:

  • PLAN 473 GIS for Community Planning
  • PLAN 600 Public Policy and Planning Theory
  • PLAN 620 Land Use Policies and Programs

To be double counted, these courses must be passed with a grade of B or better and be taken at UHM (not transferred in from another university) as an undergraduate student.

Eligibility (Gateway Course)

PLAN 310 (Introduction to Planning) is the”gateway” course that determines eligibility for the pathway. Undergraduate majors must pass the identified gateway courses with a minimum grade of B+ or higher in order to be considered for this pathway.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Until the bachelor’s degree is conferred, pathway students should follow the undergraduate procedures to request a LOA, if needed. Graduate students, once classified, must be enrolled for at least one semester before becoming eligible for a LOA.


Applications are generally expected in the junior year (5th or 6th semester). Students must submit the Graduate Admissions Application and fee as well as all required program admission materials by the deadline. Students that are accepted into the combined pathway and satisfy the pathway’s curricular requirements will not be required to take the GRE.

Pathway Admission

Accepted students will receive notice of “admission”, typically in the spring of the junior year (6th semester). The following semester, which would generally be the fall of senior year (7th semester), pathway students begin the double-counted coursework (PLAN 473, 600, and 620) at the undergraduate tuition rate. Pathway students are considered dual program students. An overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (upon graduation with the GES degree) is required to apply for and continue in the MURP program.

Bachelor’s Degree

The GES degree is conferred after successful completion of all required GES coursework, including meeting the minimum upper division credit requirement (currently 45 credits) for the undergraduate degree (ideally in the 8th semester).

Graduate Enrollment

Pathway students generally begin their 9th semester as “graduate students” in the MURP program and complete semesters 9 and 10 at the graduate tuition rate. Continuous enrollments after conferral of the bachelor’s degree is required (unless on approved leave of absence (LOA) after the first semester as a graduate student). If the baccalaureate degree is not conferred, graduate status will be inactivated and the student may not continue to take courses applicable to the graduate program.