Urban and Regional Planning Degree (B.S.), Urban & Social Justice Concentration


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.

Urban planners focus on issues such as affordable housing and real estate markets; adaptive reuse of old buildings and city spaces; transportation networks including bicycle access and walkability; green spaces, parks and recreation; economic development, historic preservation, and much more.

Topics Covered 

  • Cities and towns in history 
  • Housing, architecture, and urban design 
  • Comprehensive planning  
  • Multi-modal transportation and mass transit 
  • Urban agriculture and food systems 
  • Impacts of climate change on cities and towns 
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 
  • Public participation in the planning process 
  • Zoning law and public administration 
  • Legacies of racism and marginalization and efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in the planning process 

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.


Regional Planning Foundation Courses - 18 Credits
Regional Planning Methodology Courses - 9 Credits
Urban & Social Justice Concentration - 9 Credits
Regional Planning Required 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.

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.
Professor Carsten Braun's mapping class