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Urban Planning

Charting the future of tomorrow's cities and lands

Planners guide the development of their neighborhoods, towns, and regions by applying conceptual, analytical, communication, and technological skills. Planners who have graduated from this program are employed in real estate and development, private consultancies, local governments, and federal or state land agencies.
This emphasis has a solid core of classes designed to give the student valuable understanding concerning the nature and importance of land use and resource planning. The focus is not only on conceptual knowledge, but on professional skills, including verbal and written communication, GIS and statistical analysis, creative and critical thinking, and working in teams with a variety of stakeholders. The final result is a graduate who will work successfully with people to help fashion their communities with the skill of a professional land use planner. Graduates of this program have also pursued advanced degrees in geography, public administration, and real estate law.

This emphasis is ideal for students who: love cities and/or public lands, want to be involved in government without going into politics, have a talent for resolving conflict, are dismayed by the effects of bad policy on the urban and natural landscape, and want to make a difference in the world.

Career Opportunities

  • Typical employers include: local, state, and federal governments, special districts and authorities, regional intergovernmental associations, consultants, real estate developers
  • Job titles include: Urban/Community Planner, Regional Development Coordinator, Zoning Administrator, Land Management Planner, Site Planner, Airport Planners, Applications Developer

**Students are strongly encouraged to take an internship (paid or unpaid, part-time or summer); there are many local opportunities.

Median Salary: $69,010/year

Expected Learning Outcomes

Those who complete the Urban Planning Program Requirements will be able to:

  • develop coherent solutions to urban and other land management issues, that respect the diverse (and sometimes conflicting) needs of planners, engineers, architects, land developers, elected officials, and citizens.
  • evaluate new and historic projects (e.g., urban redevelopments) to identify patterns of failure and strategies for success
  • collect, analyze, and interpret a variety of datasets, including demographics, economic statistics, maps, geospatial data, resource inventories and environmental indicators.
  • develop solutions to monitor and manage the reciprocal impacts between the physical environment and human activities.
  • understand the role of diverse cultures, regions, governments, economies, and socioeconomic groups in patterns of land use
  • create effective multimedia (text, charts, maps, verbal etc.) reports on planning issues and solutions appropriate to audiences such as clients, elected officials, and the general public.
  • create planning documents such as comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and staff reports, based on input from elected officials, administrative staff, and citizens.
  • communicate planning regulations and reports effectively to citizens and officials

All graduates of the FHSS Geography department will receive a Bachelor’s of Science in Geography with an emphasize a specific area of geography. Your emphasis may be in:

*also available as minors, Geography Teaching and Urban Planning are also available as minors