Regional planners draw on geographic data and trends and prepare plans for transportation networks, environmental protection, historic preservation, and economic development. They work with elected officials, community groups, field scientists, architects, and engineers in order to plan and design cities and towns guided by the triple bottom line of sustainability: ecology, economics, and equity.

Environmental Planners are concerned with the physical environment in both its 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 an 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, 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.
  • Students can elect to participate in department field trips including visits to regional cities and towns, state and national parks and recreation areas, as well as international travel.

Learning 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 that planners employ in order to address community needs including zoning law, transfer of development rights, participatory methods and budgeting, site planning and design, and comprehensive planning.  
  • Students develop an awareness of career opportunities in planning and related fields and gain practical, hands-on experience through internships and community-based research. 
  • 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 


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.

There are no limits to what you can accomplish here.

Olivia Houde, Class of 2022

Regional Planning Major
Olivia Houde