The Top Schools For Urban Planners

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs 2012—the essential resource for prospective planning students—is now available. Covering 105 programs in the United States and Canada, the Guide features detailed program profiles, rankings of the best schools and the insights of current students and planning professionals.

Planetizen is pleased to release our ranking of the Top 10 Graduate Urban Planning Programs, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey coming in at the top three spots.

Planetizen's ranking system is based on a combination of statistical data collected from the programs themselves and opinion data gathered from planning educators. The full list of the Top 25 schools is available only in the The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs 2012.

In addition to ranking the top 25 programs, the 2012 Guide features a list of the top planning programs according to educators, rankings by region, and listings of the best schools by academic specialty. Profiles of current graduate planning students and professionals in the field give prospective students a better idea about what it means to study planning and the professional opportunities it can provide. Inside information from experts in the field will help prospective students better understand whether planning is the right field for them, which schools might be a good fit, and how they can improve their graduate school applications.

"Our goal is to give prospective urban planning students the information they need to make a decision about where to pursue a graduate degree in urban planning," says editor Chris Steins. With that in mind, student feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their program is also included in the Guide. At over 340 pages, the Guide is an essential resource for anyone interested in becoming a part of the exciting field of urban planning.

2012 Guide - Top 10 Planning Programs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cornell University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
University of California, Berkeley
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of Southern California
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Pennsylvania

To produce the third edition of the Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs, Planetizen enlisted the help of Thomas Tseng, principal & co-founder of New American Dimensions, LLC, a multicultural market research and consulting firm. During the Spring of 2010, Planetizen surveyed hundreds of educators and students -- along with the schools themselves -- to gather information about what makes a good planning school, and to find out which schools meet those criteria.

First published in 2006, the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs has been widely praised by prospective planning students as being the single most important tool used in deciding which schools they would apply to and attend. This new edition of the Guide includes even more information previously unavailable to prospective planning students. In addition, Planetizen consulted with a special committee of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) during the production of the Guide to ensure that the 2012 edition met the needs and expectations of students, planning programs and faculty alike.

Rounding out Planetizen's list of the top ten programs are the University of California, Berkeley; The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Georgia Institute of Technology; The University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, and the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information, or to order a copy of the 2012 Planetizen Guide To Graduate Urban Planning Programs, visit