Regional Planners work at the interface of elected officials, communities, field scientists, architects, and engineers. Drawing on geographic data and trends they prepare plans for transportation networks, environmental protection, historic preservation, and economic development. Planners help to design cities, towns, and communities guided by the triple bottom line of sustainability: ecology, economics, and equity. 

The Regional Planning degree at Westfield State prepares students to work in a variety of different career settings from city and town planning offices, to private engineering firms to grassroots community organizations.   

Environmental Planners are concerned with the physical environment in both built and natural dimensions. They work closely with environmental scientists and engineers to ensure the ecological integrity of air, water, and biodiversity in cities, towns, and regions. Environmental planners are called upon to develop resiliency plans to help communities and regions address threats associated with climate change. 

Topics Covered 

Students in the Environmental Planning concentration develop familiarity and understanding of the range of environmental issues planners address and the techniques they use to address them including:  

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)  
  • environmental impact assessment  
  • climate change and sustainable energy transitions  
  • data collection and analysis  
  • green infrastructure and green building  
  • ecological design and site planning 
  • Sustainable agriculture and food systems 
  • disaster management and planning 
  • conservation and recreation planning

Program Highlights

  • Regional Planning students have opportunities for research, travel, and internships. 
  • Students participate in the Regional Planning Senior Seminar, which is a capstone research experience tailored to the interests of the student. Research is presented to a jury of professional planners, mimicking a professional presentation. 
  • Regional planning internships provide our students with the opportunity to avail themselves of our network of alumni in positions throughout the northeast and beyond. In some cases, these internships develop into full-time positions and careers 

Outcomes

  • Students become familiar with the practice of planning and the role of planners in supporting the sustainable development of cities, towns, and regions 
  • Students develop expertise in the spectrum of social, economic, and environmental issues that face communities 
  • Students learn the many methods and techniques at planners’ disposal for addressing community needs including zoning law, transfer of development rights, participatory methods and budgeting, and comprehensive planning  
  • Students develop an awareness of career opportunities in planning and related fields 
  • Oldest undergrad planning degree in the northeast
    & the only one of its kind in southern New England

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts "much
    faster than average" growth of 11% for
    Urban and Regional Planners through 2022 

Requirements

Regional Planning Foundation Courses - 21 Credits
Regional Planning Methodology Courses - 9 Credits
Environmental Planning Concentration - 9 Credits
Regional Planning Recommended Common Core Courses
Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core.