Urban and Regional Planning


Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science

What is Urban and Regional Planning?

Urban and Regional Planning majors help build better places. They apply analytical and technical skills to address 21st century social and environmental challenges. Planners work with stakeholders and decision-makers to develop communities that are economically vibrant, socially equitable, and sustainable.

Planning is a way of thinking and, acting effectively. Urban and Regional Planning majors learn to systematically define urban problems, analyze using geospatial and other methods, and apply innovative concepts and techniques to solve them. Students gain skills in critical thinking, research, techniques, and public communications through independent research and team projects. Our graduates are well prepared for opportunities in public service and private development.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Solid foundation in concepts and skills

Cities are complex, and so are their challenges. Planners need broad knowledge and specialized skills. In core classes you will learn about urban contexts and issues, and how planners apply theories and techniques to address them. All students develop valuable research, spatial analysis, and communication/design skills.

Emphasis on applied work

Our program emphasizes the application of planning theories through practice. Faculty members are active in local planning issues, bringing first-hand insight into the planning process. Students learn and apply analytical and practical techniques to real-world urban development and sustainability challenges.

Hands-on learning

Our students don't just learn about planning, they do planning. Students use research and analysis skills like Geographical Information Science (GIS), supported by cutting-edge computer hardware and software. In advanced courses students learn both independent research skills and how to collaborate in client-based projects, gaining valuable practical experience while helping shape everyday places.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

This major is interdisciplinary. Administered by the Department of Geography, it also includes courses from architecture, economics/business, political science, sociology, statistics, and sustainability. Required courses include the following:

  • Urban Contexts: Introductory human and urban geography provide a foundation for understanding processes shaping the built environment.
  • Planning Concepts and Techniques: Courses introduce core concepts and methods and apply them in real-world context.
  • Spatial Analysis and Graphical Communication: Students gain valuable skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and design.
  • Multidisciplinary Focus: Diverse courses from across campus offer concentrated learning on urban social issues, environment and sustainable design, or administration and economic development.

Advisors also work individually with students to tailor the major to advance their career goals.

What can I do with this major?

Our graduates are prepared for diverse opportunities in the public and private sector, as well as graduate school in related fields.

Many planners work in city or county government, helping communities plan for the future and develop according to that vision. They work with elected- and appointed-officials and the public to identify community goals, research existing conditions and best practices, and design solutions. Planners also help develop and administer regulations to guide efficient, socially equitable, and sustainable development. Our graduates make a difference in communities across the U.S. and beyond.

Others work in the private sector. These planners work alongside architects, engineers, finance analysts, and others to assist communities or corporate officials. Many graduates build successful careers in real estate and urban development.

Others work in private consulting or major corporations, applying new technology to solve urban challenges or locate new facilities. But a diverse array of professions value the combination of a broad liberal education and strong technical skills possessed by our graduates. Alumni have successfullyused their strong research, critical thinking, and research skills in purposeful careers as varied as education, community non-profits, sales and marketing, health care administration, and others. Many apply their skills in Geographical Information Science.

Whatever they do, our graduates bring curiosity, breadth of knowledge, strong skills, and a commitment to finding creative solutions to 21st century urban and environmental challenges.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Geography
118B Shideler Hall
Oxford, OH 45056