The departments of Landscape Architecture and Political Science collaboratively offer an interdisciplinary minor in Planning for students interested in urban and regional planning. A student who wants to minor in Planning should notify either the Department of Landscape Architecture or Political Science and consult an academic adviser. A Planning minor consists of 18 hours of required and elective courses subdivided into three concentrations. A student should choose one concentration and take 6 hours of elective courses in that concentration.
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.
Planners are concerned with a variety of national policy issues:
Students will learn how to facilitate economically vibrant neighborhoods and regions, affordable housing, parks and public spaces that support community social life, and livable human settlement patterns that reduce the toll we place on the natural environment.
Beginning with the first course in the program, you will learn tools used in the profession. The program's computer labs have an outstanding quality and variety of hardware and a breadth of software programs, including the industry standard GIS (Geographic Information Systems).
Students will earn an education within a interdisciplinary atmosphere where analytical skills and critical thinking are encouraged. They will apply this acquired knowledge to address real-world issues which communities and regions face on a daily basis. They will effectively solve problems related to a number of complex issues involving the built and natural environment, transportation, health, economic development, among others.
The student is provided with an understanding of how growth and change affect the physical, social and economic aspects of the community. It includes courses that build skills in the preparation of plan documents, land use studies and environmental studies.
The minor is an excellent preparation for students interested in gaining skills at creating visions of the future, participation in government and community organizations, and private planning practices. It provides the student with the knowledge, skills and values that help people build better communities and cities.
The minor also will provide a solid educational basis for students wishing to pursue a post-graduate education within the planning field. Because of its broad scope, it may serve as an effective introduction to graduate studies in other disciplines such as economics, geography, landscape architecture, political science, and public policy.
For 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 often 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