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Columbia Southern University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Online Master's Degrees in Urban Planning

Urban planners are the brains behind how a city and its suburbs are laid out. Read on to learn more about campus-based urban planning programs, as well as online programs in related fields. See topics of study and prerequisites, and get career information for urban and regional planners.

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Urban Planning Online?

Almost all degree programs in this field are offered in a campus-based format. However, some schools offer related online programs that may lead to a master's degree in infrastructure planning and management or geographic information systems. Most of these programs are designed for currently employed urban planning or resource management professionals. If you enroll in an online program, you'll use e-mail, discussion boards, and video chat to communicate with professors, collaborate with other students and submit work.

Online ComponentsDiscussion boards, video chat, e-mail assignments
Common CoursesMicroeconomics, qualitative analysis, geographic data, urban planning theory
Admissions RequirementsBachelor's degree, professional experience, 3.0 GPA
Median Salary (2018)$73,050 (for urban and regional planners)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)13% growth (for all urban and regional planners)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

In a campus-based urban planning master's program, you'll study the history of urbanization, microeconomics, economic development, quantitative analysis and theories of urban planning. You could learn how to create urban development or land use policies, analyze geographic data and coordinate the efforts of relevant local or international organizations. You might choose a specialization, like community development, environmental analysis and policy, transportation policy and planning or international development. Completion of a thesis paper is usually required prior to graduation; some programs expect students to complete an internship as well.

Are There Educational Prerequisites?

You'll need to earn a bachelor's degree before enrolling in an urban planning master's program. Some schools may prefer applicants who have professional experience in the planning or community development fields. Completion of prior coursework in college algebra and statistics may be recommended. Some programs expect incoming students to have a baccalaureate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

What's the Employment Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of working urban and regional planners was expected to increase by 13% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2018, urban and regional planners earned a median annual salary of $73,050. During this time, most planners were employed by local governments.