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What Colleges Offer a Bachelor's Degree in Planning and Design?

Many colleges and universities offer Bachelor of Urban Planning and Design programs. Here is a look at three of the largest - Arizona State University, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Urban Planning and Design Career Overview and Training Requirements

Urban planners and designers develop blueprints, schemes or strategies for the use of land. They often work for state and local governments to regulate commercial and residential development, especially in areas of increasing population. Courses cover many aspects of urban planning, and students also learn through internships, workshops, seminars and even international study opportunities.

Important Facts About These Programs

Possible Careers Transportation planner, urban design planner, land use and code enforcement planner
Continuing Education Certification is available through the American Institute of Certified Planners and must be renewed every two years.
Prerequisites Courses in English, math, social studies, lab science, and a foreign language
Online Availability Full bachelor's programs are available
Median Salary (2020) $75,950 (for urban and regional planners)
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 11% growth (for urban and regional planners)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Arizona State University

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning degree as well as a fast-track bachelor's/master's program that allows the student to graduate with both degrees in five years. The bachelor's degree program emphasizes the broad purpose of planning; however, students can choose electives that focus in on specialized areas, such as the environment, neighborhoods, legal issues, public participation, hazardous waste or preservation planning. Students participate in an internship, workshops and seminars along with core courses in analysis, planning methods and research. Courses in the planning program may include:

  • History of the city
  • Environmental planning
  • Transportation planning
  • Urban housing

Michigan State University

The Urban and Regional Planning program at Michigan State University's School of Planning, Design and Construction offers a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach allowing students to combine concepts of urban planning and design with other interests and preparing them for entry-level urban planning positions. The curriculum covers the history, theories and principles of urban design along with legal concerns, survey and research techniques. The program covers topics such as:

  • Theories of planning
  • Land use
  • Laws and regulations
  • Planning and local economics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning through the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts. Students are prepared for entry-level positions in the field or for graduate study in urban planning and design. The comprehensive program covers planning philosophy, methods, problem, local law and government regulations as well as aesthetic and cultural aspects of urban development. Coursework includes:

  • Urban informatics
  • Environmental economics
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Ecology