New Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs Now Available



June 22, 2023

UCLA, MIT, Rutgers, and UC Berkeley 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 7th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs (Guide). For the first time ever, Planetizen rated the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of California, Los Angeles as the top master's program in planning in the United States. 

For the first time, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won't occupy the top spot in the Guide rankings, falling only slightly to number two. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill round out the top five. Since the previous publication of the Guide, in 2019, the University of Texas at Austin, ranked ninth, and Tufts University, ranked tenth, joined the top ten. 

Planetizen posts the top ten overall master's programs online, as a tool for attracting attention to the field of planning as an avenue for graduate study and a prosperous and compelling career. Every year, the "Top Schools" post on Planetizen is one of the site's most-read posts. "Planning is the perfect career for a lot of young students and professionals," says Planetizen Editorial Director James Brasuell, "but awareness of the field is low compared to other related fields." 

Planetizen produces the Guide's rankings after a large-scale data collection effort, relying on information provided by 69 participating programs, 250 educators, and over 200 previous buyers of the Guide. 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 are only a single piece of a massive collection of information presented in the 7th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs," says Josh Skelly, editor-in-chief of Planetizen. "Every student should have as much information as possible to make the best choice for them for graduate school."

To help prospective students find the right program, the Guide includes profiles of current graduate students as well as professionals at various stages of planning careers. Also included are additional rankings in categories like region, program size, programs allowing part-time study, and more, in addition to detailed profile pages for 95 schools located all over the United States.

Acknowledging that rankings of academic programs have become controversial in recent years, the Planetizen team used feedback from the customer survey and the discussions about rankings in the national media to produce a more holistic methodology. "While no ranking system is perfect, we hope that the variety of rankings categories presented in the Guide will raise the level of awareness in the field of planning, both overall and for the abundance of high quality master's degree programs in the field," says Brasuell. 

Prior to launching the 7th Edition research process, Planetizen launched its first Guide customer satisfaction survey, intended to measure the effectiveness of the Guide in informing potential students about the most important considerations when deciding on a career in planning and choosing the right graduate school to achieve their aspirations. Of the factors likely to influence a decision of where to earn a master's degree, post-graduation employment statistics were cited by past users of the Guide as the most important.

Also for the first time ever, the 7th Edition includes a new study by a team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Pennsylvania that analyzes more than a decade of data from the Planetizen Jobs Board for trends in the planning job market. "The academic research included in the Guide will contribute to the effectiveness of planning academics in helping planners find stable, well paying jobs after they graduate,” says Brasuell. 

The 7th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is now available for sale online at the Planetizen Store. 

Learn more about the 7th Edition of the Planetizen 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 7th 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 7th Edition includes nearly 500 pages of detailed information and is available in print and digital formats.  

Press Contact:

James Brasuell 

Editorial Director


[email protected] 

877-260-7526 x 114 


Posted June 22, 2023

Planetizen Courses logo

Planetizen Courses: Online Training in Urban Planning

Access more than 250 urban planning courses on your computer, phone, or tablet. Learn today, plan for tomorrow.

View Courses

Edmonton, Canada

Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class logo

Planetizen AICP* Exam Prep Class

90% of students who took our class passed the exam and became AICP* certified.

View Class

image of laptop and class instructor Jeff Levine