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City/Urban, Community, and Regional Planning

Program Description

Just the Facts

City/Urban, Community, and Regional Planning. A program that prepares individuals to apply principles of planning, analysis, and architecture to the development and improvement of urban areas and surrounding regions, and to function as professional planners. Includes instruction in principles of architecture; master plan development; service, communications, and transportation systems design; community and commercial development; zoning; land use planning; applied economics; policy analysis; applicable laws and regulations; and professional responsibilities and managerial duties.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Related Programs

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Additional Information

If you have ever played SimCity, SimFarm or SimTheme Park, you know the gist of what urban and regional planning students train to do. They learn how best to use land to accommodate commercial, industrial and residential needs.

Most planning programs are offered as master's degrees, though a few schools offer bachelor's programs.

To enter a master's program, you'll need a bachelor's degree first. "Students may earn their undergraduate degree in any field of study," says Nancy Frank. She is chair of the department of urban planning at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

"We have had students in the program from fields as diverse as engineering and art history. Having some coursework in economics, accounting and history is useful. Courses that explore diversity are also a good preparation for planning."

Students are encouraged to develop a broad, diverse background. This field involves the social sciences, economics, geography, architecture, math and engineering.

Many schools apply a broad-based education approach to their urban planning programs. "The professional degree in planning is a master's degree, so focusing on [specific] courses in high school is not really necessary," says Frank.

Ian Skelton is the head of the department of city planning at a university. He agrees. "We believe that planning needs people from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the selection of courses, even in high school, is not something that we think should follow a set pattern," he says.

"Students should take courses that they can argue will enhance their knowledge of human settlements, human relationships with the ecological environment and human utilization of space. Math is useful but not essential."

High school students could volunteer on survey crews or find a summer job in construction.

Most programs require students to complete internships or some type of practical experience.

Besides tuition, you'll also have to pay for books and materials.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Urban and Regional Planners

Carfree Cities
Planning a greener urban environment

Planners Web
Provides a wide variety of resources

Urban and Regional Information Systems Association
A wealth of resources, industry news and career information

A huge directory of Internet resources related to planning, architecture and urbanism


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