The Urban and Regional Planning Program requires master's students to select at least one concentration in order to gain depth in a specific area of the very broad field of urban and regional planning. In general, a concentration requires one or two foundational courses that provide the conceptual basis for analysis, decision-making, and planning in that area; techniques or methods course(s); and electives organized into streams of topics within the concentration. Our students choose to concentrate their studies in:
Land Use and Environmental Planning
This concentration prepares planners to work toward the long-term environmental and social sustainability of land use. The concentration focuses on training students to better inform private and public decision making processes related to land development, especially within the context of these ongoing issues of urban decline and suburban sprawl.
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
This concentration teaches students how to plan housing, neighborhoods, and the economic well-being of a community and the larger region. The goals of the concentration are to inform students how to increase social and economic capital and improve the quality of life generally, especially in low-income, minority, and other disadvantaged communities.
Global and Comparative Planning
The GCP concentration provides students with the opportunity to examine the interconnected social, cultural, and political-economic processes that frame patterns of urban development and planning in the United States and abroad. Many cities in low and middle-income countries face challenges of rapid population growth, resource scarcity, rural-urban migration, and severe poverty and socioeconomic inequality. Yet they also exhibit remarkable planning innovations, some of which are replicated in urban settings of high-income countries. Students develop the tools and ideas to understand how globalization impacts the local space of cities and regions; work effectively in multicultural settings; empower marginalized populations; and facilitate collaborative practice.
Physical Planning and Design
This concentration enables planning students to contribute to the design, function, and sustainability of our communities. In this concentration, students visualize scale, density, and the physical dimensions of different built structures, transportation systems, and infrastructure requirements; learn how to review site plans; study design philosophies; and learn how community participation can enhance design.
This concentration builds an interdisciplinary range of skills and perspectives to help foster local and regional accessibility, including understandings of transportation’s societal roles, applied technical and evaluation skills, and historical uses and misuses of transportation techniques.