Urban and Environmental Planning
The Program in Urban and Environmental Planning balances professional planning skills with a liberal education emphasizing interdisciplinary study. Students typically take courses in the social and natural sciences, the humanities, and in design fields that complement professional courses in planning practice and theory. Graduates either begin work in the public or private sectors or go on to graduate professional studies.
The scope of the planner’s work encompasses present and future urban and environmental concerns, including such diverse issues as environmental impact, quality of life, and the public and private costs of development. Planners work in the public and private sectors in urban and rural areas. Public sector planners work for all levels of government, formulating plans to redevelop or rehabilitate downtowns and neighborhoods, develop land aesthetically and profitably, and regulate private development to protect public interests. Although planners frame long-range designs, anticipating futures 5 to 15 years away, they are also deeply involved in choosing among current projects. Private sector planners employed with land developers, utilities, banks, property management firms, industries, and other major corporations do similar work according to the particular concerns of each business. Many of these concerns are integrated with the department’s focus on sustainable community development.
Students may enter the program directly from high school, or they may transfer from another University school or other accredited universities or colleges. Usually, students transfer in their first or second year and complete the degree requirements without additional sessions. Although the first two years conform closely to the Arts and Sciences core curriculum, students who wish to transfer to the program should consult with the director of undergraduate studies. Students may apply for transfer for the spring or fall semesters. If other prerequisites have been met, it is possible for transfer students to complete the required planning courses in two years.