Urban and Regional Planning
Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science
What is Urban and Regional Planning?
Urban and regional planners develop programs and policies to guide future growth and redevelopment of urban, suburban, and rural communities. You assist elected officials in solving the social, economic, and environmental problems of your communities. This major attracts students who are interested in learning how to solve these issues.
Planners are concerned with a variety of national policy issues: revitalizing deteriorating central cities and depressed rural areas, providing new and affordable housing, including citizens in decision-making, combating pollution and conserving scarce resources, designing more efficient public services, and solving long-standing social problems such as discrimination and inequality.
What are the features of Miami's program?
Emphasis on applied work
Miami's program prepares you to work as a city planner, emphasizing actual practice rather than just theory and philosophy. The program's faculty often serve on city and county planning and advisory boards. Their experience gives students insight into the workings of governmental agencies.
Beginning with the first course in the program, you will learn to master the tools used in the profession. The program's two excellent computer labs have an outstanding quality and variety of hardware and a breadth of software programs, including the industry standard GIS (Geographic Information Systems).
Are there special admission requirements?
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
What courses would I take?
This interdisciplinary major is an interdepartmental program administered by the Department of Geography. Students choose courses from a variety of departments, including architecture, economics, political science, sociology and anthropology, and statistics, as well as geography. Required courses include the following:
- Planning principles and issues—These courses present the planning discipline's core concepts and introduce important social, economic, and administrative aspects of planning.
- Analytic techniques for planning—These courses present key analytic techniques used by urban and regional planners and apply them to planning problems.
- Specialized planning track—These courses provide an opportunity to take additional courses in a subfield of planning of particular interest to the student.
What can I do with this major?
Some people find that the additional training offered by graduate schools is useful in pursuing a career in planning, although a master's degree is not required in order to secure a job. The American Planning Association publishes a guide to all recognized graduate programs in urban and regional planning in North America. The guide is particularly useful in helping students match their interests to the specialties of the different schools.
For those graduates who prefer to secure a job in planning, opportunities exist in a variety of places. Planning takes place in public, nonprofit, and private settings. At the local government level, municipal redevelopment, planning, public works, housing, and transportation departments are concerned about regulating the development of housing, roads, industry, and recreational spaces, as well as social services, such as healthcare and education. State planners may be involved in the formulation of environmental policy and administration of transportation, housing, community development, criminal justice, and other programs. Regional planners work with public agencies, councils of government, and special districts to coordinate the activities of local government.
Non-profit groups are concerned with the provision of modestly priced housing and other social services. Private consulting firms and divisions of major corporations plan the location of new facilities, the application of new technology, and the appropriate policies for local governments.
The "typical" Miami Urban and Regional Planning graduate has found a planning job in a Midwestern small town, county, or other local government. About one-third go to graduate school in planning, especially to Ohio State. Recent graduates hold planning jobs with the Ohio cities of Milford and Oxford; Cuyahoga and Licking counties; Burgess and Niple (consultants planning new transportation systems); and Strategic Edge consultants.
Who can I contact for more information?
Department of Geography
Oxford, OH 45056