The department of URP started as a unit in the Department of Geography in 2004. Then on offer were PhD in planning and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP). The MURP was mounted as a five semester programme covering 4 full semester of course work and one extra semester for the dissertation/project. It was designed for those with bachelor degrees in disciplines other than planning to become qualified and able to register with the Town planners Registration Council (TOPREC) as professional planners. There were also joint M.Sc programmes in Housing, Urban Management. Staff recruited for this programme included: Professor Timothy Gyuse, Dr. Hwakar, Mr. Jerry Agber, Professor John Dung Gwom, Mrs. Patience Adzande, Dr. Akinbamijo, Mrs. Irene Mnguityo. Later, Dr. Alaci, Mr. Felix Kwaghsende, Mrs. Vesta Udoo and Dr. Jacob Atser (sabbatical) were added to the staff in varying capacities. Mr. Adam Agene was also engaged as Planning Technologist. The Programmed borrowed staff as appropriate from Law and the Department of Geography.
In 2013 partly on the insistence of TOPREC requirements and the need to begin our undergraduate programmers, the Urban and Regional Planning was excised from Geography and given its own Department under the leadership of Professor Timothy Gyuse. The department also moved from the temporary site in New GRA to a more permanent location at the Main Campus in remodeled facilities that provided for a departmental office and two postgraduate studios.
In 2015 NUC approved the introduction of a 5-year undergraduate programme leading to the award of the degree of Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (BURP). The first set of students have been admitted under the current admission exercise. With the introduction of BURP, MURP will be strictly restricted to those without registrable planning qualifications. MSc in planning specializations which hitherto were jointly run under the Department Geography will also be resuscitated to provide specialist training for registered planners.