Regional Planning Programs and Courses

Regional planners help to design and develop neighborhoods, cities and sometimes even entire regions. Read on to learn about degree options for becoming a regional planner. Explore the prerequisites for entering these programs, what you'd study as a student and whether or not you can pursue regional planner education online. Schools offering Land Use Planning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can find regional and urban planning degrees at the graduate level, most commonly in 2-year master's programs. Many universities offer these programs since a master's degree is most often required for a job as a regional planner, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Dual master's degree programs also give you the option to study regional planning along with other relevant professional areas.

You can find regional planning degree programs at the undergraduate level, though relevant courses or a regional planning minor is more common within 4-year urban studies programs. Undergraduate course topics include an introduction to regional development, city planning or local econo

Courses Civil engineering, architecture, planning law, public policy; intro to regional development, local economics, city planning; regional demographics, economic analysis
Degrees Undergraduate degrees; graduate degrees in regional and urban planning
Online Options Graduate courses in regional economics, practical methods and planning theories; courses public policy and urban studies

What Do I Need to be Admitted to a Graduate Program?

To study regional planning at the graduate level, you don't have to have undergraduate experience in the subject. Most programs accept students from a variety of backgrounds and majors, including economics, English, geography, engineering or history. However, you may want to take preparatory college courses in algebra, political science and microeconomics. You might also be required to take a graduate school admissions test to enroll.

What Will I Study?

A master's degree program in urban and regional planning requires you to study legal and economical theories behind regional planning, as well as practical methods for implementing regional development. You may be able to choose a specialization, such as environmental planning, housing or transportation. Most programs culminate in a capstone or thesis project. Graduate courses include urban dynamics, regional design, and land use.

Can I Take Courses Online?

Although you may not be able to earn your entire regional planning degree online, some graduate courses might be available to you through distance learning at a few universities. Courses in regional economics, planning theories and practical methods may all be available online, though you'll need to participate in on-campus studies for other course offerings. You might find related master's degree programs online, such as public policy or urban studies, that might qualify you for a regional planning position.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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