The Urban Planning program offers students with prior experience the opportunity to pursue exemptions, waivers, and substitutions for various required courses.

It is a student’s responsibility to pursue exemptions in a timely manner. Exemption exams are offered once per year in August. Waiver requests should be submitted following the process outlined by your program manager, along with all required supporting documentation, in time for approval prior to the start of a student’s first semester. Note that waiving a course does not reduce the total number of units required for graduation.

Exemption Exam

Exemption from the course below, which fills the Analytic Methods Requirement, is granted only on satisfactory performance in an exemption exam.

GSD 5215: Analytic Methods of Urban Planning: Quantitative
This exam is offered once per year in August. 

Analytic Methods (Quantitative) Exemption Exam

GSD 5215: Analytic Methods of Urban Planning: Quantitative
Professor Carole Voulgaris; [email protected]
Next exam: August 1-31, 2023 (date and time chosen by the student)

Students should email the course instructor at least two business days before they wish to take the exam and indicate their preferred date and time (no earlier than August 1st, and no later than August 31st). At each student’s preferred time she or he will receive an email with the exam instructions. Each student must email the completed exam to the instructor within three hours of receiving the exam. No two students will receive exactly the same exam, but each exam will cover the same material.

Students are welcome to consult any statistics books or online resources during the exam. They will need access to statistical software during the exam as well. R is recommended, but other appropriate choices include Python, Stata, SPSS, MATLAB, or Excel (with Analysis ToolPak or AnalystSoft StatPlus).

Study materials

In preparation for the exam, students may wish to review the following resources:

Kahn Academy modules:
Summarizing categorical data
Summarizing continuous data
Data distributions
Relationships between continuous variables
Sampling distributions
Confidence intervals
Significance tests
Two-sample inference
Chapter 23 of R for Data Science (Grolemund and Wickham)


If you believe you have already taken coursework that might qualify you to waive out of any required courses, you must submit a petition and supporting documentation including syllabus from the prior course(s), transcript(s), and in some cases a portfolio.

Please reach out to your Program Manager Sarah Hutchinson to request the link to the online petition form. All requests to waive a required course need to be received prior to enrolling in a student’s first semester. The deadline for required course waiver petitions is Tuesday, August 22, 2023.


Several alternate courses across the university have been identified that can be taken during a student’s time at the GSD to meet some of their program requirements. Please refer to the MUP Degree Requirements for up-to-date information on these pre-approved substitutions.

The MUP program uses a formal online petition process to request a substitution for an alternate course to satisfy a Methods Requirement.

Please reach out to your Program Manager Sarah Hutchinson to request the link to the online petition form.