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MIT, UC Berkeley, and Rutgers Named Top Urban Planning Graduate Programs by Planetizen




September 3, 2019

MIT, UC Berkeley, and Rutgers Named Top Urban Planning Graduate Programs by Planetizen 

Los Angeles – The urban planning news and information website Planetizen has published an updated list of the top 25 graduate programs in planning as part of the 6th Edition of the Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs (Guide). For the fifth straight release, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology occupies the top spot in the rankings. The University of California, Berkeley; Rutgers University; the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill round out the top five. Since the previous publication of the Guide, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan have climbed into the top ten.

Planetizen produces the Guide's rankings after a large-scale data collection effort, relying on information provided by 80 participating programs and hundreds of educators. The rankings methodology evaluates data using a quartile system, with 29 metrics separated in four criteria. More details on the methodology are provided in the Guide.

"The rankings reflect a rigorous approach to measuring the quality of planning master's programs, based on what we know matters most to potential and current students. The Guide is the only resource available to help potential planning students who are about to invest two years of their life and significant financial resources in a planning graduate program, " says Chris Steins, editor-in-chief of Planetizen.

Throughout the process, Planetizen consulted with a special committee of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning to ensure that the Guide meets the highest standards of data collection and analysis.

In addition to the academic rankings, the Guide is packed with additional information useful for prospective students considering graduate studies and a career in planning. To help prospective students make informed decisions about where to study, the Guide includes profiles of current graduate students as well as professionals at various stages and in various manifestations of their planning careers. Also included are additional rankings in categories like region, program size, programs allowing part-time study, and more, in addition to a detailed profile pages for 97 schools located all over the United States.

"The right choice of master's program for each unique student depends on so much more than a ranking. The Guide is designed to ensure each prospective student has the right information to decide which program is the best fit for their unique interests and skills," according to Steins.

The Guide also contributes to a broad understanding of the focus and priorities of contemporary urban planning practice, especially as revealed by the location-specific programs offered at many of the programs profiled in the Guide.

"Reading the profile pages for each of these programs reveals the values and ambitions of the professional and academic field of planning,” explains James Brasuell, managing editor of Planetizen. "The Guide can be considered an artifact of this evolving field at a specific moment in history."

Learn more about the 6th Edition of the Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs:

Search for graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs in urban planning and related fields from around the world in Planetizen's Online Directory of Urban Planning Programs:  


About Planetizen

Planetizen is a public-interest information exchange for the planning, design, and development community—a one-stop source for planning news, editorials, book reviews, jobs, and education. Providing a forum for the entire spectrum of political and ideological views, Planetizen ensures a healthy debate on these and other important issues. 

About the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs 

First published in 2006 and now in its 6th edition, the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs has been widely praised by prospective planning students as being the single most important tool for deciding which school to attend. The 6th Edition includes 500-plus pages of detailed information and is available in print and digital formats.  

Press Contact:
James Brasuell 
Managing Editor 
[email protected] 
877-260-7526 x 114


Published on:
September 3, 2019 - 10:28am
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