The Regional Planning program strives to prepare students for leadership positions as professional planners. The program trains students to become professional planners through a process that emphasizes conceptual knowledge, experiential learning, innovative planning skills, and civic engagement. Program graduates acquire ethical and conceptual knowledge, as well as a broad range of technical skills, land use, environmental training to articulate community problems and plan for sustainable communities.
Employment opportunities for urban and regional planners are excellent. This program has prepared students to work in planning agencies at the federal, state, regional, county, and local levels as well as in the private sector with planning consulting and engineering firms. As planners, they have been trained to work with the public to guide growth and change in both rural and urban municipalities across the country. The Regional Planning degree offers two specializations to allow students to develop knowledge and skills to pursue their interests and gain employment in Environmental Planning, Community Planning and Development. As part of their course of study, students address and solve real-world problems through class projects and intern with practicing planners who deal with these issues in a professional environment. Urban and Regional planners work with communities to improve the quality of life for people who live there. They take a comprehensive view of issues, listen to all citizen perspectives, endeavor to reconcile controversy, and propose alternatives that can guide community decision making in allocating finite resources to create better places to live.
Community Planning and Development Specialization
The Community Planning and Development specialization prepares students for employment as professional planners, adept at identifying and assessing community development challenges and applying advanced techniques to the development of livable communities or further graduate studies. Data collection, spatial information management, and graphic presentation are integral skills taught in the program. Course work also equips students with a conceptual grounding on community development and housing policy issues, spatial data analysis in planning, and site location analysis. Course work includes methods for identifying, modeling and analyzing the spatial organization of community systems from both practical and theoretical perspectives. They are familiar with strategies of economic development and housing provision. They understand both the theory and ethics of planning. Students completing this specialization should be able to assist diverse communities and organizations in identifying and finding solutions to a wide variety of community development challenges and how transportation impacts land use issues.
Environmental Planning Specialization
The Environmental Planning specialization prepares students for employment as environmental planners or further graduate studies. Data collection, spatial information management, and graphic presentation are integral skills taught in the program. Students who select this specialization learn about aspects of the natural environment, methods to preserve and conserve resources, and how to plan communities where humans both benefit from the natural environment and have minimal impact on it. They are knowledgeable about environmental regulation and policy. They understand community strategies for ameliorating environmental problems. They are familiar with the regulation and management of flood plains and wetlands, the management of waste and stormwater, environmental impact assessment. They understand both the theory and ethics of planning. Students completing this specialization should be able to assist diverse communities and organizations in identifying and finding solutions to a wide variety of environmental issues such wastewater treatment, water pollution, acid mine drainage, watershed planning, carbon footprints, deforestation, and natural resource extraction.