Department of City and Regional Planning

College of Environmental Design

Chairman's MessageDepartment OverviewAcademic ProgramFaculty & StaffResearch AreasGIS Facilities

Academic Program

IntroductionDegree RequirementsAdmission RequirementsAcademic ProgramTypical Degree Plan


Planning is concerned with the forces that generate social development, locational change, and economic growth, and with understanding the ways in which resources can best be used. The graduate program in City and Regional Planning at KFUPM  is a multi-disciplinary problem-solving curriculum oriented towards the identification and solution of current and future city and regional problems. Nowadays the master's degree in City and Regional Planning is considered the "standard" professional degree of the field. The program is designed to prepare students to effectively integrate social, economic, legal, political, and scientific theories with planning techniques. 

The graduate program at KFUPM is distinctive among planning programs nationally in its emphasis on computer-aided planning and quantitative methods and models useful for rigorous, and systematic analysis of complex problems. The goal of the program is to educate future planners to guide the development of the social, economic, natural and built environments in order to improve the quality of life. Graduates in City and regional Planning enjoy a wide variety of employment options. Their unique multi-disciplinary and problem-solving education provides them with the ability to grasp the effects of new technology on all aspects of our society. They have found employment with government agencies, consulting firms, as well as in academic institutions.


A Master degree of City and Regional Planning (MCP) is granted after completing 42 semester credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in all graduate work and satisfactorily completing one seminar
(CRP 599) during the degree program.


To be eligible for admission, a student must:

  1. Hold a B.Sc. degree, in either City (or Urban) Planning, Architecture, Architectural Engineering, or Civil Engineering.  Applicants from programs such as Systems Engineering, Economics, Geography, and other related fields will be required to take deficiency courses depending on their background. 

  2. Meet the general KFUPM requirements.

Admission will be based on the respective student’s academic record.


The requirements of the program are spread on three semesters with a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester for a full time regular student or a maximum of 9 credit hours for a part time student. These requirements consist of two parts: 27 credits of Required courses and 15 credits for Elective courses. Of the 27 credit hours of required courses, 21are lectures, and 6 credit hours are allocated for the Final Planning Project.  In addition each student will take an extra 15 credit hours of elective courses.  Six credit hours of these must be from CRP and three must be from other relevant graduate courses offered outside the department, the remaining 6 credit hours can be taken either from CRP or non-CRP courses.

Part I:  Required Courses

A- Lectures (21 credit hours)
Course # Course Title   LT LB CR
CRP 501 Planning Theory  3 0 3
CRP 502  Planning Legislation 3 0 3
CRP 503 Urban & Regional Land Use   3 0 3
CRP 504  Urban Economics 3 0 3
CRP 505 Statistical Analysis in Planning 3 0 3
CRP 506    Urban Planning Methods    3 0 3
CRP 507   Computer-Aided Planning 3 0 3
CRP 599   Seminar   3 0 3

B- Final Planning Project (6 credit hours)
Course # Course Title   LT LB CR
CRP  601 Final Planning Project 1 12 6

Total Required Courses Credit Hours: 27

Part II: Elective Courses                                                    15

Total Program Credits                                                        42


The following list of elective courses is arranged in three groups representing distinct areas of specialty in City and Regional Planning.  Students can select from among these courses to satisfy the elective courses requirements regardless of the area of specialty they select from.

1. Quantitative Methods & Computer-Aided Planning:

List of  CRP  elective courses:

CRP 511  Urban Models
CRP 512  Advanced Quantitative Methods
CRP 513  Cartography and Photogrammetry
CRP 514 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
CRP 515 Advanced Topics in GIS
CRP 519 Special Topics in Computer-Aided Planning

Relevant elective courses in other departments

SE  501 Survey of Operations Research and Its Applications
SE  523 Forecasting Systems
SE  535  Design of Experiments
ICS 534  Database Design and Implementation
ICS 585  Knowledge-Based Systems
OM 503 Operation Management
MIS 502  Management Information System
MIS 512  Data Management
MIS 525  Management Support Systems

2. Socioeconomic Development and Planning:

List of  CRP elective courses:

CRP 521  History of Urban Development and Planning
CRP 522 Urban and Rural Sociology
CRP 523  Regional Planning
CRP 524 Cultural and Physical Aspects of the Islamic City
CRP 525  Urban Renewal Planning
CRP 526 Planned Cities and Towns
CRP 527  Rural Development Planning

Relevant  elective courses in other departments

ECON 501  Principles of Economics
ECON 510  Managerial Economics
ECON 520  The Microeconomics Analysis of Business
MGT   525  Human Resource Management

3. Land Use and Infrastructure Planning: 

List of  CRP elective courses:

CRP 531 Planning Workshop
CRP 532  Theory on Urban Form and Design
CRP 533  Public Works Management
CRP 534  Housing Policies
CRP 535  Urban Infrastructure Planning
CRP 536 Urban Transportation Systems
CRP 537  City and Regional Planning in Arid Zones 
CRP 538  Environmental Planning and Management

Relevant  elective courses in  other departments

CE 571  Transportation Planning and Modeling 
CE 593 Transportation System Analysis 
CE 635  Water Resources Planning 
CE 644  Air Pollution and Control 
CE 676 Environmental Impacts of Transportation Facilities
CEM 540  Construction Project Management


The number of credit hours to be acknowledged for transfer students of other universities should not exceed 6 and they can only be considered as elective courses. These courses must be approved by the Department of City and Regional Planning.



Course #

Course Title

CRP 501 Planning Theory 3 0 3
CRP 502 Planning Legislation 3 0 3
CRP 503 Urban & Regional Land Use 3 0 3
CRP 505 Statistical Analysis in Planning 3 0 3

Course #

Course Title

CRP 504 Urban Economics 3 0 3
CRP 506  Urban Planning Methods 3 0 3
CRP  507 Computer-Aided Planning 3 0 3
CRP XXX CRP Elective 3 0 3


Course #

Course Title

CRP XXX CRP Elective 3 0 3
XXX XXX Elective*  3 0 3
XXX XXX Elective* 3 0 3
CRP 599 Seminar 1 0 0


Course #

Course Title

XXX  xxx Elective* 3 0 3
CRP 601 Final Planning Project 1 12 6



*  At least one of these three elective courses must be from relevant graduate courses offered outside CRP.


CRP 501 Planning Theory (3-0-3)

History and definition of planning, determinants, goals and objectives of spatial planning.  Role, legitimacy and authority of planning.  General and specific theories, such as Descriptive, Prescriptive and Normative theories also in the context of developing countries.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 502 Planning Legislation (3-0-3)

An overview of planning legislation and a short history of planning process in Saudi Arabia.  Methods, techniques and instruments for implementing plans through decrees and administrative acts, the basis for urban and regional planning and its relation to Shariah Law as well as the structure and organization of Saudi public planning administration.  Discussion of zoning procedures, subdivision review practices and budget preparation and execution. 

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 503 Urban and Regional Landuse (3-0-3)

History and definition of landuse planning.  The concept of policy, programming and planning. Determinants and systems guiding landuse development. Socio-economic development and Landuse.  Space requirements, Spatial distribution and localization concepts.  Landuse planning models.  Procedures for formal landuse plans.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 504 Urban Economics (3-0-3)

Issues of distribution of population and economic activities in urban areas.  Microeconomic principles to understand the economic nature of the urban system.  The economic aspects and models of urban growth and city size, land-use pattern, housing, transportation, environmental problems, unemployment, and public policy are discussed.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 505 Statistical Analysis in Planning  (3-0-3)

Probability, statistics, and decision theory and their applications in city planning.  Basic probability concepts, data classification and summarization, statistical sampling, hypothesis testing, goodness of fit, regression analysis, analysis of variance, contingency tables, and elementary Bayesian decision making.  Computer statistical packages will be utilized.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 506 Urban Planning Methods (3-0-3)

Context and role of data and analysis in city and regional planning.  The first part will deal with design of surveys including questionnaire planning and construction, data collection and data processing.  The second part will cover a range of methods and techniques used in planning such as forecasting techniques, decision models, programs evaluation and selections, program scheduling, etc.

Prerequisite:  CRP 505 

CRP 507 Computer-Aided Planning (3-0-3)

Information and experience with the rapidly growing field of Computer-Aided Planning.  Management Information Systems (MIS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Decision Support Systems (DSS), Knowledge Based Expert Systems and Automated Mapping and Graphing will be introduced.  Basic principles will be emphasized that are common to the design and use of software in this area.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 511 Urban Models (3-0-3)

Introduction to urban systems modeling in planning.  Models of population projection, residential location model, urban transportation/landuse models, spatial interaction models, gravitational models, employment analysis and economic base and regional income models.

Prerequisite: CRP 506

CRP 512 Advanced Quantitative Methods (3-0-3)

Different analytical techniques that are used by planners and policy makers in the planning process. Topics include Multivariate Analysis, Linear Programming, Non-linear Programming, and Queuing Theory.  Applications of these techniques in city and regional planning will be emphasized.

Prerequisite:  CRP 506

CRP 513 Cartography and Photogrammetry  (3-0-3)

Cartography as instrumental tool for urban and regional planning. Topographic and thematic maps; maps for basic administrative use; systems and scales of maps; legends, keys and symbols; statistics and maps; terminology and automation of maps. There will be a discourse on remote sensing and photogrammetry with such topics as geometry of photographs, stereoscopic vision, terrestrial photogrammetry, etc. Some emphasis will be put on the interpretation of terrestrial photogrammetry and maps of all kind.
Prerequisite:  CE 260 or consent of the instructor.

CRP 514 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (3-0-3)

GIS functional elements, attribute and spatial data structures, remote sensing and GIS, global GIS databases, and GIS Application Areas.  Case studies of GIS adoption and Application in Saudi Arabia and abroad, GIS planning and implementation, and future of GIS technology.

Prerequisite: CRP 507 or consent of the instructor

CRP 515 Advanced Topics in GIS (3-0-3)

Technical aspects of GIS setup, GIS hardware and software, system configurations and data communications. Coordinate systems, map projections, Digital Elevation Models (DEM), TIN data structures, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). 

Prerequisite: CRP 514

CRP 519 Special Topics in Computer-Aided Planning (3-0-3)

Advanced topics are selected from the area of Computer-Aided Planning. 

Prerequisite: CRP 507

CRP 521 History of Urban Development and Planning (3-0-3)

History and origin of cities, their functions and structures, and theories of urban development and planning.  Impact of contemporary urban development on the socio-cultural and economic systems and urban policies.

Prerequisite: CRP 501

CRP 522 Urban and Rural Sociology (3-0-3)

Identification of similarities and differences in patterns of family life in urban/rural settings and their influence on urban/rural spatial structures.  Relationships between technological and social changes and policies and their impact on urban/rural spatial organization as well as urban planning and design concepts.  Discussion and examination of theories of urban/rural sociology in the context of Third World, Middle Eastern and Saudi Cities.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 523 Regional Planning (3-0-3)

Conceptual basis of regional planning; Inter-Regional analysis including regional input-output analysis, economic base theory, and migration; Intra-Regional analysis including location of industry, spatial structure of regions, and models of spatial interaction.

Prerequisite: CRP 503 and CRP 504 

CRP 524 Cultural and Physical Aspects of the Islamic City (3-0-3)

Historical development of the traditional Muslim towns.  Determinants of "Islamic" urban spatial structure.  The physical aspects of the urban form and the role of the socio-cultural factors and legal system in the structure of Muslim towns. Urban design principles of traditional Arab and Muslim towns.  Discussion of the problems of contemporary Islamic cities and the relevance of the traditional design principles to build future cities in the Islamic world.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 525 Urban Renewal Planning (3-0-3)

Changes in urban land use and the socio-economic structures of urban settings. Emphasis will be on historical districts revitalization and regeneration.  Goals, plans and operations of adaptive re-use and regeneration of local traditional as well as modern districts are discussed and presented.

Prerequisite: CRP 503

CRP 526 Planned Cities and Towns (3-0-3)

The origin of new towns concepts as an approach to urban development in Saudi Arabia particularly and the Middle East in general.  Analysis of planning and designing processes.  Examination of issues and problem in new town development. Comparative evaluation of new towns in Arab, Islamic and Western World.  Review of new industrial towns in Saudi Arabia. 

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 527 Rural Development Planning (3-0-3)

Ideas, concepts, policies and programs for developing rural areas on national, regional and local level.  The links between national policies and rural areas, such as population growth and urbanization and their impact on rural areas.  Different models of rural development with specific emphasis on the hierarchy in the physical structure from small towns, villages, to hamlets (hijar).  Specific topics of planning and design of rural areas in the region will be presented.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 531 Planning Workshop (1-8-3)

Physical planning elements and concepts to analyze and design the plans of a city-district (harah) or a city in small groups of students as teams to offer experience with group dynamics.  Application of urban planning process, theories and methods are discussed to solve physical urban/rural problems.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 532 Theory on Urban Form and Design (3-0-3)

Review of architecture and urban design history.  Theories and concepts of urban spatial design.  Elements and analysis of the concept of urban space.  Major theoretical and critical responses to the crises of the modern urban environment.  Discussion of urban design concepts through analysis of urban settings in the region.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 533 Public Works Management  (3-0-3)

Principles of legislation and regulations of Public Works Management are introduced and its history.  Administrative structure of agencies responsible for public works in the Kingdom. Basic budget appropriation for operation, capital projects and budget  balancing, borrowing and subsidies. 

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 534 Housing Policies (3-0-3)

Overview of the housing stocks and its function as a commodity.  The private housing development process versus the public one.  The user and housing design.  Housing rehabilitation and conservation as a community development strategy.  Adaptive reuse and urban revitalization and manufactured housing.  The overall evaluation of housing supply and demand versus housing need based on local demographic developments and general housing strategies at the local, regional, and national levels.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 535 Urban Infrastructure Planning (3-0-3)

Planning for and management of urban infrastructure projects.  Identification of physical infrastructure systems such as water and sewage systems, urban transportation networks,....etc.   Management, finance and budgeting, and operation and maintenance of infrastructure projects.  Case studies of local urban infrastructure systems will be discussed.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 536 Urban Transportation Systems (3-0-3)

Planning and management of urban transportation systems. Functional description, planning, and analysis of transportation systems.  Characteristics of major transportation modes in Saudi Arabia. Current research, technology, and policy issues are stressed.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 537 City and Regional Planning in Arid Zones (3-0-3)

Discussion of problems and planning aspects specific to arid zones.  Different factors influencing the built environment in the arid regions including climate, water, vegetation, and soil.  Emphasis on basic considerations on problems of urban sites; economically related aspects of urbanized regions; specific problems of construction and site selection; the design of specific urban physical city-scape and landscape in arid zones forms. Physical planning for sustainable resources.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 538 Environmental Planning and Management (3-0-3)

Major aspects of environmental analysis, planning and management.  Problems and principles of site analysis, land use methods, and geologic hazard planning. Natural resource, pollution and residuals management.  Economics of renewable and non-renewable resources, and the economic cost of environmental controls. Environmental impact assessment and local case studies of environmental management. 

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 590 Special Topics in City and Regional Planning (3-0-3)

Advanced topics are selected from the broad area of city and regional planning. 

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 599 Seminar  (1-0-0)

Graduate student working towards his MCP degree is required to take this course at least once during his degree program and contribute to the general area of his Final Planning Project research. Grades are Pass or Fail.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

CRP 601 Final Planning Project  (1-12-6)

The student has to utilize his knowledge and skills developed during his graduate studies in dealing with a complete city and regional planning problem under the supervision of a CRP graduate faculty member.  The student is expected to deal with the selected topic in his selected concentration area.  The Final Planning Project report will be presented and evaluated by a faculty committee representing the student's area of concentration.

Prerequisite:  All required courses and at least four elective courses.