The urban planning degree provides learners with insight into the practice involved in developing useful and up-to-date urban regions. Professionals in this line of work are require to have higher education in this field due to the required knowledge of urban area and expectations, laws and regulations associated with land use, and the tremendous effect that regional planning can have on a community.
The overall degree process may involve a look into the steps that go into planning for urban development on a large scale. Communication with government officials, members of the city council, and developers responsible for the creation of new buildings and facilities is another important aspect of urban planning that is taught within these degree programs, as well as a look into different types of urban areas and their needs.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as an urban planner, you should be prepared to engage in learning that extends your expertise in environmental influence, human-societal interactions, and overall progressive improvement of architecture. Upcoming students with diverse skills in critical thinking, research, and determination could be great candidates for higher-tier positions in this area of specialty.
Our team of educational experts has put together this guide in an effort to teach you more about this degree program and what it can provide to you as a learner. You can also read more about the different types of degree programs and careers that might be available for you to acquire along the way.
Consider Featured Online MPA Programs
Online Urban Planning Degrees
A lot of new graduate learners are looking for ways to streamline their educational experience and utilize their time in a way that promotes educational and financial success. The best way that students are achieving these goals is through engagement in online MPA - Urban Planning degree programs.
In the online environment, degree programs look a lot like their traditional counterparts. The online version of this degree was meant to be a flexible alternative to in-person options, and contain all of the same topics and courses that are found at universities all over the country.
The attractiveness of the online MPA program stems from its standards that allow students to log in to their courses at any time of the day or night. Students that have full-time jobs or those that are constantly on the go can benefit from this type of independent schedule-making, since learning can happen whenever the learner sees fit.
Another vital component of online MPA degree programs that students often look for is NASPAA accreditation. Since most licensures and career options in this field require that graduates hold accredited degrees, online programs should be screened for this purpose.
Masters of Public Administration Degrees Focused on Urban Planning
Looking more specifically at degrees in the online setting, students can learn more about why achieving a master's-level degree is preferred for most open positions. At the master's level, students can be provided with a more structured curriculum focused specifically on urban planning, rather than a combination of general education classes and focus courses like at the undergraduate level.
The online master's programs available currently across the U.S. are typically around 2 years in duration and may also include an experience requirement that takes place in the professional setting. These internships can help to transform your understanding of the curriculum and can provide you with valuable experience in the field.
The constituents of the online master's program may also look very similar regardless of which school you attend - and whether or not you attend online. Course discussions, weekly assignments, examinations, and individual research projects can contribute to your learning experience and also allow you to exercise your planning skills prior to entering into urban planning careers.
If you are interested in seeing more about available online and NASPAA-accredited degree programs, take a look at a few of the example schools provided by our team below. These schools have met the quality requirements set forth by the NASPAA and could be great options for you to consider for your learning experience.
- Columbia University: Online MPA - 2 years to complete
- DePaul University: Online MPA - 2 years to complete
Typical Coursework for an MPA in Urban Planning
In any degree program, the courses that you take can frame your knowledge of the program area and also provide you with a deeper understanding of each step in the urban planning process. The development of an urban area may affect the economic health of the region, the general consumption of goods and services, and even the citizens directly.
Each of these elements should be explored in a way that promotes critical thinking and widespread awareness of how these changes can impact society. At the master's level, students may also have the opportunity to develop their own program plans in mock scenarios, so that instructors can measure their understanding of their influence on society's structure.
Specific course that you can participate in during this degree program may include those such as Urban Planning for Energy Systems, Negotiations for Community Betterment, and Economic Planning. Depending on the school that you are enrolled in, you might see a variation of courses offered in this degree plan.
Urban Planning Careers
Planning and development of urban areas can take place on many different scales. Depending on what level you plan to pursue a career in, you might find that there are different experiences and different salary expectations at each level.
Urban planners can be employed to work for city development teams in search of functional changes within their communities. Some urban planners work on staff within communities, in order to provide consistent insight during the normal operation of a city planning team.
In higher tier positions, urban planners may also work for the Federal Government as resources and guide for smaller-scale planning. The expertise of urban and regional planners can provide a more knowledgeable frame of mind for government officials and help a team move towards more educated changes within at-need areas.
Master’s-level graduates can also become professors of urban planning at undergraduate institutions across the U.S. Educated and experienced professionals can effectively pass on their knowledge as a means for training new generations of dedicated planning professionals.
If you would like to learn more about the average salaries of urban planning professionals, take a look at the list below. These salary figures are actual estimates of earnings for current professionals in the field.