Urban planning education
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (May 2011)|
University-level urban planning education is offered as an academic degree in urban, city or regional planning, awarded as either an Associate's degree, Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, or Doctorate.
Since planning programs are usually small, they tend not to be housed in distinct "planning schools" but rather, as part of an architecture school, a design school, a geography department, or a public policy school, since these are cognate fields. Generally speaking, planning programs in architecture schools focus primarily on physical planning and design, while those in policy schools tend to focus on policy and administration.
As urban planning is such a broad and interdisciplinary field, a typical planning degree program emphasizes breadth over depth, with core coursework that provides background for all areas of planning. Core courses typically include coursework in history/theory of urban planning, urban design, statistics, land use/planning law, urban economics, and planning practice. Many planning degree programs also allow a student to "concentrate" in a specific area of interest within planning, such as land use, environmental planning, housing, community development, economic development, historic preservation, international development, urban design, transportation planning, or geographic information systems (GIS). Some programs permit a student to concentrate in real estate, however, graduate real estate education has changed giving rise to specialized real estate programs.
Bachelor of Planning
Bachelor of Planning (B.Plan) is an undergraduate academic degree designed to judiciously train applicants in various aspects of designing, engineering, managing and resolving challenges related to urban human settlements. It is awarded for a course of study that lasts up to four years and contextual to modern challenges of urbanisation. It goes into the techniques and theories related to settlement design starting at the site planning level of a neighbourhood and moving up to the regional city planning context. Understanding relations between built forms and the citizens in cities and rural areas, and their implications on local environment, supporting utilities, transport networks, and physical infrastructure forms the core of the planning course. With an engineering orientation, the graduates emerging as urban planners are equipped with not only tools for rational comprehensive planning but also participatory and societal development.
Master of City Planning
The Master of City Planning (MCP) or is a one- to two-year academic/professional Master's degree that qualifies graduates to work as urban planners. Some schools offer the degree as a Master of Urban Planning (MUP), Master of Community Planning, Master of Regional Planning (MRP), Master of Town Planning (MTP), Master of Planning (MPlan), Master of Environmental Planning (MEP) or in some combination of the aforementioned (e.g., Master of Urban and Regional Planning), depending on the program's specific focus. Some schools offer a Master of Arts or Master of Science in planning. Regardless of the name, the degree remains generally the same.
A thesis, final project or capstone project is usually required to graduate. Additionally, an internship component is almost always mandatory due to the high value placed on work experience by prospective employers in the field.
Like most professional Master's degree programs, the MUP is a terminal degree. However, some graduates choose to continue on to doctoral studies in urban planning or cognate fields. The PhD is a research degree, as opposed to the professional MUP, and thus focuses on training planners to engage in scholarly activity directed towards providing greater insight into the discipline and underlying issues related to urban development.
Accreditation in North America
Accreditation is a system for recognizing educational institutions and professional programs affiliated with those institutions for a level of performance, integrity, and quality. The Planning Accreditation Board is the sole accreditor of planning programs in the United States. The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) accredits graduate and undergraduate planning programs in the United States and Canada.
Currently, there are 15 PAB accredited undergraduate programs and 72 accredited graduate programs in North America.
The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) accredits university programs in North America leading to bachelors and masters degrees in planning. The accreditation process is based on standards approved by the PAB and its sponsoring organizations: the American Planning Association (APA); the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) (the professional planners’ institute within the American Planning Association), and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP).
Also, graduation from a PAB accredited program allows a graduate to sit for the AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) Certification Exam earlier in the career than a student with a degree from a non-accredited program or school.
Programs that desire accreditation through the PAB must apply for candidacy status. The program seeking candidacy must demonstrate that they meet the five preconditions of accreditation. The five preconditions are:
- Program graduation of at least 25 students in the degree.
- Program's parent institution must be accredited by an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
- Formal title of program and degree offered must include the term "Planning".
- Undergraduate programs must offer 4 full-time years of study or equivalent, while graduate programs must be 2 full-time years of study or equivalent.
- Program's primary goal is to educate students to become practicing planning professionals.
Once the preconditions have successfully been met by the program, the program must complete and submit a Self-Study Report. Through the Self-Study Report, the program assesses their performance and compliance with PAB's accreditation standards. This report serves as the basis of review for the Planning Accreditation Board, along with a formal meeting with the Program Administrator at the Board meeting. The application fee is $1,925.
If candidacy is awarded, the Planning Accreditation Board will send a three member team to visit and formally review the program during a semester. The three member team will meet with faculty, staff, students, and members of the local planning community. The team will then submit a Site Visit Report to the Planning Accreditation Board. During the meeting of the Planning Accreditation Board, the board will review the Self-Study Report, Site Visit Report and other documentation and meet with the Program Administrator. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Board decides if the program is awarded accreditation and the length of accreditation.
Accreditation length is dependent on the extent the program complies with requirements of the Planning Accreditation Board, with the maximum length awarded is 7 years. Programs must re-apply for accreditation in the year their accreditation term expires.
Accredited planning programs
United States of America
|Alabama A&M University||Normal||AL||Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning||1986||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1976||December 31, 2012|
|Auburn University||Auburn||AL||not offered||Master of Community Planning||2005||December 31, 2012|
|Arizona State University||Tempe||AZ||Bachelor of Science in Planning||2002||Master of Urban & Environmental Planning||1992||December 31, 2018|
|University of Arizona||Tucson||AZ||not offered||Master of Science in Planning||1998||December 31, 2012|
|California Polytechnic State University||San Luis Obispo||CA||Bachelor of Science in City & Regional Planning||1973||Master of City & Regional Planning||1993||December 31, 2012|
|California State Polytechnic University, Pomona||Pomona||CA||Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning||1970||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1972||December 31, 2015|
|San Jose State University||San Jose||CA||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1972||December 31, 2012|
|University of California, Berkeley||Berkeley||CA||not offered||Master of City Planning||1960||December 31, 2012|
|University of California, Irvine||Irvine||CA||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1998||December 31, 2011|
|University of California, Los Angeles||Los Angeles||CA||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1971||December 31, 2012|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles||CA||Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management, and Planning||Master of Planning||1967||December 31, 2014|
|University of Colorado, Denver||Denver||CO||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1975||December 31, 2011|
|Florida Atlantic University||Fort Lauderdale||FL||Bachelor of Urban Design||2011||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1995||December 31, 2015|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee||FL||not offered||Master of Science in Planning||1965||December 31, 2012|
|University of Florida||Gainesville||FL||not offered||Master of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning||1978||December 31, 2012|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando||FL||not offered||Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning||2010||Unknown.|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta||GA||not offered||Master of City & Regional Planning||1969||December 31, 2012|
|University of Hawaii||Honolulu||HI||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1981||December 31, 2013|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||Chicago||IL||Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs||Master of Urban Planning & Policy||1979||December 31, 2012|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign||IL||Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning||1953||Master of Urban Planning||1945||December 31, 2016|
|Ball State University||Muncie||IN||Bachelor of Urban Planning & Development||1995||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1993||December 31, 2013|
|Iowa State University||Ames||IA||Bachelor of Science in Community & Regional Planning||1979||Master of Community & Regional Planning||1979||December 31, 2012|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City||IA||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1970||December 31, 2013|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||KS||not offered||Master of Regional & Community Planning||1961||December 31, 2015|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence||KS||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1983||December 31, 2010|
|University of Louisville||Louisville||KY||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||2010||December 31, 2013|
|University of New Orleans||New Orleans||LA||Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1976||December 31, 2013|
|Morgan State University||Baltimore||MD||not offered||Master of City & Regional Planning||1973||December 31, 2011|
|University of Maryland at College Park||College Park||MD||not offered||Master of Community Planning||1978||December 31, 2013|
|Harvard University||Cambridge||MA||not offered||Master in Urban Planning||1923–1984; 1997||December 31, 2012|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge||MA||bachelor of science||Master in City Planning||1932||December 31, 2013|
|Tufts University||Medford||MA||not offered||Master of Arts in Urban, Environmental Policy & Planning||2004||December 31, 2011|
|University of Massachusetts Amherst||Amherst||MA||not offered||Master of Regional Planning||1987||December 31, 2012|
|Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti||MI||Bachelor of Science or Arts in Urban & Regional Planning||1998||Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning||December 31, 2013|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing||MI||Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning||1959||Master in Urban & Regional Planning||1959||December 31, 2012|
|University of Michigan||Ann Arbor||MI||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1968||December 31, 2015|
|Wayne State University||Detroit||MI||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1975–1985; 1997||December 31, 2013|
|University of Minnesota||Minneapolis||MN||Bachelors of Arts/Science in Urban Studies||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1982||December 31, 2015|
|Jackson State University||Jackson||MS||not offered||Master of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning||2010||December 31, 2014|
|Missouri State University||Springfield||MO||Bachelor of Science in Planning||2004||not offered||December 31, 2013|
|University of Missouri-Kansas City||Kansas City||MO||Bachelor of Urban Planning & Design||not offered||December 31, 2011**|
|University of Nebraska-Lincoln||Lincoln||NE||not offered||Master of Community & Regional Planning||1978||December 31, 2013|
|Rutgers University||New Brunswick||NJ||Bachelor of Arts in Planning & Public Policy||Master of City & Regional Planning||1968||December 31, 2014|
|University of New Mexico||Albuquerque||NM||Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Planning & Design||Master of Community & Regional Planning||1987||December 31, 2014|
|Columbia University||New York||NY||not offered||Master of Science in Urban Planning||1945||December 31, 2013|
|Cornell University||Ithaca||NY||Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning||Master of Regional Planning||1959||December 31, 2014|
|Hunter College, City University of New York||New York||NY||not offered||Master in Urban Planning||1969||December 31, 2017|
|New York University||New York||NY||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1961||December 31, 2013|
|Pratt Institute||Brooklyn||NY||not offered||Master of Science in City & Regional Planning||1962||December 31, 2014|
|University at Albany, State University of New York||Albany||NY||Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies & Planning||Master of urban & Regional Planning||2000||December 31, 2016|
|University at Buffalo, State University of New York||Buffalo||NY||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1988||December 31, 2014|
|East Carolina University||Greenville||NC||Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning||2003||not offered||December 31, 2015|
|University of North Carolina, Charlotte||Charlotte||NC||not offered||Master of City & Regional Planning||1969 (founded 1946)||December 31, 2011|
|Cleveland State University||Cleveland||OH||not offered||Master of Urban Planning, Design & Development||1998||December 31, 2014|
|Ohio State University||Columbus||OH||Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning||Master of City & Regional Planning||1961||December 31, 2011|
|University of Cincinnati||Cincinnati||OH||Bachelor of Urban Planning||1966||Master of Community Planning||1964||December 31, 2012|
|University of Oklahoma||Norman||OK||not offered||Master of Regional & City Planning||1957–1966; 1992||December 31, 2012|
|Portland State University||Portland||OR||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1980||December 31, 2013|
|University of Oregon||Eugene||OR||not offered||Master of Community & Regional Planning||1970||December 31, 2016|
|Indiana University of Pennsylvania||Indiana||PA||Bachelor of Science in Regional Planning||not offered||December 31, 2011**|
|Temple University||Ambler||PA||Bachelor of Science in Community & Regional Planning||Master of Community & Regional Planning||December 31, 2011**|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia||PA||not offered||Master of City Planning||1969||December 31, 2014|
|Universidad de Puerto Rico||San Juan||PR||Planificación y Urbanismo||1977||Maestría en Planificación Urbana y Territorial||April 17, 1997||December 31, 2015|
|Clemson University||Clemson||SC||not offered||Master of City & Regional Planning||1972||December 31, 2014|
|University of Memphis||Memphis||TN||not offered||Master of City & Regional Planning||1981||December 31, 2013|
|Texas A&M University||College Station||TX||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1968||December 31, 2013|
|Texas Southern University||Houston||TX||not offered||Master of Urban Planning & Environmental Policy||2009||December 31, 2011|
|The University of Texas at Arlington||Arlington||TX||not offered||Master of City & Regional Planning||1978||December 31, 2015|
|The University of Texas at Austin||Austin||TX||not offered||Master of Science in Community & Regional Planning||1969||December 31, 2017|
|University of Utah||Salt Lake City||UT||Bachelor of City & Metropolitan Planning||Master of City & Metropolitan Planning||2011||December 31, 2014|
|University of Virginia||Charlottesville||VA||Bachelor of Urban & Environmental Planning||1963||Master of Urban & Environmental Planning||1968||December 31, 2013|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond||VA||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1977||December 31, 2014|
|Virginia Tech||Blacksburg||VA||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1961||December 31, 2014|
|Eastern Washington University||Cheney||WA||Bachelor of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning||1983||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1983||December 31, 2014|
|University of Washington||Seattle||WA||Bachelor's of Arts Community, Environment, and Planning||Master of Urban Planning||1941||December 31, 2015|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison||WI||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1962||December 31, 2014|
|University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee||Milwaukee||WI||not offered||Master of Urban Planning||1974||December 31, 2013|
|McGill University||Montréal||QC||not offered||Maîtrise en Urbanisme||1979||1985|
|Université de Montréal||Montréal||QC||Baccalauréat Spécialisé en Urbanisme||1982||Maîtrise en Urbanisme||1965||December 31, 2013|
|University of British Columbia||Vancouver||BC||not offered||Master of Arts/Science (Planning)||1970||December 31, 2016|
|Queen's University||Kingston||ON||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning||1974||1984|
(** candidate for accreditation)
For current information on PAB accredited programs, please visit the Planning Accreditation Board website.
Accreditation in the Republic of India
Though Planning as a Profession is not a recognized profession under Indian law, the profession was started long back with School of Planning and Architecture in 1941 as a Department of Architecture of Delhi Polytechnic. It was later integrated with the School of Town and Country Planning which was established in 1955 by the Government of India to provide facilities for rural, urban and regional planning. On integration, the School was renamed as school of planning and architecture in 1959. Today it is one of the premier schools of pursuing planning studies at bachelor, masters and post doctorate levels. The Institute of Town Planners, India set up on the lines of the [Royal Town Planning Institute, London] is the body representing planning professionals in India. A small group formed itself into an Indian Board of Town Planners which after three years of continuous work formed the Institute of Town Planners, India. The Institute which was established in July 1951, Today, has a membership of over 2,800, apart from a sizable number of student members, many of whom have qualified Assocaiteship Examination (AITP) conducted by ITPI.
|School of Planning & Architecture, Delhi||New Delhi||Bachelor of Planning||Master of Planning|
|School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada||Vijayawada, AP||Bachelor of Planning||Master of Planning|
|School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal||Bhopal, MP||Bachelor of Planning||Master of Planning|
|School of Planning, Bhaikaka Centre for Human Settlements,APIED||Vallabh Vidhyanagar,Anand,Gujrat||not offered||Master of Urban Planning|
|Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal||Bhopal, MP||Bachelor of Planning||Master of Urban Development & Planning|
|Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat||Surat, Gujarat||not offered||Master of Technology in Urban Planning|
|Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur||Kharagpur, WB||not offered||Master of Planning|
|Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee||Roorkee, UK||not offered||Master of Planning|
|Pune Institute of Engineering & Technology||Pune, MH||not offered||Master of Planning|
|Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology||Ahmadabad, GJ||Bachelor of Planning||Master of Planning|
|Guru Nanak Dev University||Amritsar, PB||Bachelor of Technology (Planning)||Master of Urban Planning|
|Anna University||Chennai, TN||not offered||Master of Planning|
|University of Mysore||Mysore, KN||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning|
|Bengal Engineering and Science University||Howrah, WB||not offered||Master of Urban & Regional Planning|
|Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University||Hyderabad, AP||Bachelor of Planning||Master of Planning|
United States of America
While there is no official ranking of the graduate programs for planning, planning-community site Planetizen and college guide Best Colleges publish periodic lists of the Top US planning graduate programs, and the AICP provides a listing of currently- and formerly-accredited programs sorted by proportion of recent graduates passing its certification exam. The Best Colleges and Planetizen top-ranked schools aren't all at the top of the exam pass-rate rankings, but the two guides broadly agree on which schools are best (though the details of the rankings vary).
|School||Best Colleges Rank||Planetizen Rank||AICP Pass Rate|
Master of Regional Planning
|Georgia Institute of Technology
Master of City and Regional Planning
Master of Urban Planning
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Master in City Planning
|Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Master of City and Regional Planning
|University of California, Berkeley
Master of City Planning
|University of California, Los Angeles
Master of Urban and Regional Planning
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master of Urban Planning
|University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Master of City and Regional Planning
|University of Pennsylvania
Master of City Planning
|University of Southern California
Master of Planning
- Planning Accreditation Board
- "Accredited Planning Programs". Planning Accreditation Board. 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Candidacy Information". Planning Accreditation Board. 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Application for Candidacy Status
- Self-Study Report Manual
- The Accreditation Document, Pg. 38
- "History of Accredited Programs". Planning Accreditation Board. 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "2013 Top Urban Planning Schools". Best Colleges. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "2012 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs". Planetizen Press. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "AICP Exam Pass Rates". American Planning Association. Retrieved 26 November 2013.