Urban Planning Degree

Do you want to begin a career in urban planning, but are unsure where to start? Your first step in becoming an urban planner in the United States is to obtain the right education. A minimum of an undergraduate degree is necessary in order to attain an entry-level or trainee position in urban planning. The expected standard of the profession, however, is a graduate degree. Here, we will explore your choices and options for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in urban planning.

Undergraduate Urban Planning Degree

Although your ultimate goal in urban planning education is to obtain a graduate degree, you will, of course, need to begin by getting an undergraduate degree.

Accredited Undergraduate Urban Planning Degree

It is recommended that your undergraduate degree in urban planning hold accreditation through the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). Having such accreditation demonstrates that an undergraduate program meets quality standards developed by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), the American Planning Association (APA), and APA’s American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Fewer undergraduate programs than graduate programs hold PAB accreditation. Just 16 undergraduate programs in North America hold this accreditation as of April 2020. They include:

  • Alabama A&M University, Normal
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    • Bachelor of Science in City & Regional Planning
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies & Planning
  • Ball State University, Muncie (IN)
    • Bachelor of Urban Planning & Development
  • Iowa State University, Ames
    • Bachelor of Science in Community & Regional Planning
  • Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti
    • Bachelor of Science/Arts in Urban & Regional Planning
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning & Design
  • East Carolina University, Greenville (NC)
    • Bachelor of Science in Community & Regional Planning
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus
    • Bachelor of Science in City & Regional Planning
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati
    • Bachelor of Urban Planning
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana
    • Bachelor of Science in Regional Planning
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville
    • Bachelor of Urban & Environmental Planning
  • Eastern Washington University, Spokane
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning
  • Western Washington University, Bellingham
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning & Sustainable Development

Unaccredited but Recommended Undergraduate Urban Planning Degrees

If you do not live in a state that has a PAB-accredited undergraduate urban planning degree program, or cannot attend a PAB-accredited undergraduate program for some reason, there are some unaccredited undergraduate programs that are recommended by the ACSP. They include:

  • Arizona State University, Tempe
    • Bachelor of Science in Planning (also available online)
  • Boston University, Boston (MA)
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban Affairs
  • California State University, Northridge
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies & Planning- Specializations Available in:
      • Urban & Regional Planning
      • Housing, Community & Economic Development
      • Sustainability & Environmental Planning
  • Cornell University, Ithaca (NY)
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Studies
  • Florida Atlantic University, Fort Lauderdale
    • Bachelor of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Frostburg State University, Frostburg (MD)
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning- Focuses in:
      • Community Planning
      • Tourism Development
      • Mapping Science
      • Environmental Planning
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
    • Bachelor of Science in Planning – Specializations Available in:
      • Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning
      • Regional Development & Public Policy
      • Urban Society, History & Politics
  • Miami University, Oxford (OH)
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning- Specializations Available in:
      • Computers/GIS
      • Community Development
      • International Development
      • Rural/Small Town Planning
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban & Regional Studies- Specializations Available in:
      • Nonprofit Leadership
      • Economic Development
  • Missouri State University, Springfield
    • Bachelor of Science in Community & Regional Planning
  • Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
    • Bachelor of Science in Geographic Science and Community Planning
  • Portland State University, Portland (OR)
    • Bachelor of Arts/Science in Community Development – Specializations Available in:
      • Community Organization & Change
      • Housing & Economic Development
      • Communications & Community Development
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick (NJ)
    • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning & Design
  • State University of New York at Albany
    • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Major in Urban Studies & Planning
  • Temple University, Philadelphia
    • Bachelor of Science in Community Development
    • Bachelor of Arts/Science in City & Regional Planning
  • Texas A&M University, College Station
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University at Buffalo, the State University of New York
    • Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design
  • University of California, Berkeley
    • Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies- Specializations Available in:
      • Urban Studies & Planning
      • Environmental Design
  • University of Colorado, Denver
    • Bachelor of Environmental Design
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles
    • Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning & Development
  • University of Toledo (OH)
    • Bachelor of Arts in Geography- Specializations Available in:
      • Planning
      • Geographic Information Science & Technology
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City
    • Bachelor of Arts/Science in Urban Ecology- Specialization in:
      • City & Metropolitan Planning
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg
    • Bachelor of Arts in Public & Urban Affairs
    • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy & Planning
  • West Chester University, West Chester (PA)
    • Bachelor of Science in Urban & Environmental Planning
    • Bachelor of Science in Geography- Specializations Available in:
      • Geographic Information Science
      • Locational Analytics
      • Environmental Geography
  • Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
    • Bachelor of Science in Community & Regional Planning

Accredited Graduate Urban Planning Degree

When you have obtained your undergraduate degree in urban planning and are seeking a graduate urban planning degree program, you are highly encouraged to choose a program that is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). There are more urban planning graduate degree programs in North America – 76, at last count – that are PAB-accredited than undergraduate degree programs. They include:

  • Alabama A&M University, Normal
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Arizona State University, Tempe
    • Master of Urban & Environmental Planning
  • The University of Arizona, Tucson
    • Master of Science in Urban Planning
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • San Diego State University, San Diego
    • Master of City Planning
  • San Jose State University, San Jose
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • University of California, Berkeley
    • Master of City Planning
  • University of California, Irvine
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • University of Colorado, Denver
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
    • Master of Professional Studies in Sustainable Urban Planning
  • Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee
    • Master of Science in Planning
  • University of Central Florida, Orlando
    • Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Florida, Gainesville
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
    • Mater of City & Regional Planning
  • University of Georgia, Athens
    • Master of Environmental Planning & Design
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
    • Master of Urban Planning & Policy
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • Ball State University, Muncie
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Iowa State University, Ames
    • Master of Community & Regional Planning
  • University of Iowa, Iowa City
    • Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan
    • Master of Regional & Community Planning
  • University of Kansas, Lawrence
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • University of Louisville (KY)
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • University of New Orleans (LA)
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Morgan State University, Baltimore (MD)
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • University of Maryland at College Park
    • Master of Community Planning
  • Harvard University, Cambridge (MA)
    • Master in Urban Planning
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
    • Master in City Planning
  • Tufts University, Medford (MA)
    • Master of Arts in Urban & Environmental Planning & Policy
    • Master of Science in Environmental Policy & Planning
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Master of Regional Planning
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing
    • Master in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Wayne State University, Detroit
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Jackson State University, Jackson (MS)
    • Master of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Nebraska – Lincoln
    • Master of Community & Regional Planning
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
    • Master of Community & Regional Planning
  • Columbia University, New York
    • Master of Science in Urban Planning
  • Cornell University, Ithaca (NY)
    • Master of Regional Planning
  • Hunter College, City University of New York, New York
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • New York University, New York
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
    • Master of Science in City & Regional Planning
  • University at Albany, State University of New York
    • Master in Regional Planning
    • Master of Regional Planning in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University at Buffalo, State University of New York
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • Cleveland State University, Cleveland (OH)
    • Master of Urban Planning & Development
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • University of Cincinnati (OH)
    • Master of Community Planning
  • University of Oklahoma, Norman
    • Master of Regional & City Planning
  • Portland State University (OR)
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Oregon, Eugene
    • Master of Community & Regional Planning
  • Temple University, Philadelphia
    • Master of Science in City & Regional Planning
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
    • Master of City Planning
  • Clemson University, Clemson (SC)
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • University of Memphis (TN)
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • Texas A&M University, College Station
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • Texas Southern University, Houston
    • Master of Urban Planning & Environmental Policy
  • The University of Texas at Arlington
    • Master of City & Regional Planning
  • The University of Texas at Austin
    • Master of Science in Community & Regional Planning
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City
    • Master of City & Metropolitan Planning
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville
    • Master of Urban & Environmental Planning
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Eastern Washington University, Spokane
    • Master of Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Washington, Seattle
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    • Master of Urban Planning
  • University of Puerto Rico, San Juan
    • Master in Planning
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    • Master of Community & Regional Planning