Jun 24, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Urban and Environmental Planning

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Undergraduate students entering the School of Architecture share a Common First Year in the School of Architecture curriculum. Students take core courses in Architectural History, Architecture, and Urban and Environmental Planning to provide a framework for the study of contemporary culture through observation, analysis, and design of built and natural environments. Students must pass each core course with a grade of C- or higher. During the spring semester of the first year, students choose an intended major: Bachelor of Architectural History, Bachelor of Science Architecture, or Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning.

The Program in Urban and Environmental Planning balances professional planning skills and urban studies with a liberal arts education emphasizing interdisciplinary study. Students take courses in the social and natural sciences, the humanities, and in design fields that are complemented by professional planning and elective courses. Program graduates begin work in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors in urban and rural areas ranging from city and county planning offices to real estate and development firms to economic development agencies. Some students continue for graduate professional studies.

The scope of the planner’s work encompasses present and future urban and environmental concerns, including such diverse issues such as environmental impact, quality of life, urban design, transportation, and the public and private costs of development and land use. Public sector planners work for all levels of government, formulating plans to redevelop or rehabilitate downtowns and neighborhoods, develop land aesthetically and profitably, create sustainable transportation plans, and regulate private development and impact to protect public interests. Planners frame long-range designs and shorter-term strategies that meet community plans and goals. Private sector planners employed with land developers, utilities, banks, property management firms, industries, architectural and design firms and other major corporations do similar work according to the particular concerns of each business. Planners in the nonprofit sector represent a variety of environmental, citizen advocacy, and community and economic development organizations.  Many of these concerns are integrated with the department’s focus on sustainable community development, social equity, and environmental planning.

All undergraduates who complete their degree in good academic standing are invited to continue their studies and complete their graduate degree at UVA. Students who complete their 7th semester with a cumulative 3.3 GPA or higher are guaranteed direct admission into the corresponding graduate program. For direct entry into graduate programs in Architecture (MArch) and Landscape Architecture (MLA), undergraduate architecture students must also achieve a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA in design studios. These graduates are also invited to defer their admission for two years allowing them to enroll immediately or in either of the next two entering classes. In this way, Historians and Planners can earn the graduate degree (MArH and MUEP) in five years, Architects earn a professional graduate degree (MArch or MLA) in six years. See Direct Admissions Policy.

Accreditation The undergraduate program in Urban and Environmental Planning is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, sponsored jointly by the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.



Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning

Students must have a minimum of 122 credits with at least a 2.000 average in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning degree. A minimum of C- is required of all PLAN/PLAC and Language of Architecture courses. Students who start the program as a First-year student will follow the curriculum listed below. Students who transfer in after their first year should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about appropriate course substitutions. Students who wish to transfer to the program should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies before applying 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. Please note: After the first year, the sequence of courses is flexible; students may take them in a different order from that suggested below.

Second Year

Fall Semester - Credits: 16 Spring Semester - Credits: 16


Third Year

Fall Semester - Credits: 15 Spring Semester - Credits: 15


Fourth Year

Fall Semester - Credits: 16 Spring Semester - Credits: 12
  • Planning Application Course (PLAC), Credits: 3
    (Planning applications courses are designated as PLAC. These courses emphasize field work, analysis, plan development, and document preparations.)
  • PLAN Elective or Fourth Year Project, Credits: 3
  • Social Science Elective, Credits: 3
  • Open Elective, Credits: 3



1.  ENWR 1510 is included to match the First Writing Requirement of the College of Arts and Sciences. See the English Department web page http://www.engl.virginia.edu/undergraduate/writing/placement for details and alternatives. Majors must also complete the Second Writing Requirement as specified by the College of Arts and Sciences.

2.  One of the Humanities or Open Elective credits must be of Non-Western Perspective designation (course deals substantially with a culture other than Western cultures; qualifying courses can be found in the SIS Course Catalog.

3.  Natural Science and Math are required electives (Note: some EVSC are classified as Social Science).

4.  In addition to the general Math requirement, students are required to take a statistics course. Students are encouraged to select one of the following courses to fulfill this requirement: STAT 1100, STAT 1120, ECON 3710, and SOC 3130.

5.  Majors take six credits of Politics and 12 other credits of Social Science in addition to ECON 2010 and 2020.

6.  A Professional Elective can be taken in any UVA professional school at the 3000-level or above. These can be from Architecture, Batten, Commerce, Curry, Darden, Engineering, Law, or Nursing. Only certain courses in Kinesiology fulfill this requirement with prior approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The intent of the professional electives are to give students additional depth and breadth in courses that complement their study of cities and their impact and promise on the global world.

7.  Planning Applications courses are designated as a PLAC. These courses emphasize fieldwork, analysis, plan development, urban design, document preparation, digital visualization, data collection and analysis, and formal presentations. PLAC 4010 is required for planning Fourth-year undergraduates.

General Notes

Students must have a minimum of 122 credits with at least a 2.0 average in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning Degree. A minimum of C- is required of all PLAN/PLAC courses.

One Open Elective per semester may be taken Credit/No Credit. A maximum of eight-degree credits will be granted for Ensemble Music or Dance. A maximum of 12-degree credits will be granted for AIRS, MISC, & NASC courses.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) credit received for summer or fall break internships cannot be applied toward overall credits for degree requirements.  Course credits are applied to allow the student to participate in an internship/externship per the F-1 eligibility requirements and regulations.


Urban and Environmental Planning Minor


A minor in Urban and Environmental Planning requires 15 credits of PLAN courses with a minimum grade of C-. Students may choose from among any PLAN courses, with no more than six credits at the 5000-level counted toward the minor. PLAN courses taken as a completed Planning Minor do not count against the limit of credits college students can take outside the College. Students minoring in Urban and Environmental Planning are highly encouraged to take PLAN 1010, Introduction to Planning, and PLAN 3030, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Regions.

Jointly listed courses PLAN/ARCH, PLAN/EVSC, PLAN/SARC, etc. also count toward the minor.

Public Professional Licensure Disclosure

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the UVA School of Architecture, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).