Why Geography, Planning, and Sustainability?

The interconnected and vibrant fields of geography, planning and sustainability offer students and practitioners powerful tools for addressing the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems and concerns.

Westfield State University’s GPS Department hosts the oldest undergraduate degree in Regional Planning among public colleges and universities in New England. In addition to exceptional course offerings, we provide extensive internship opportunities to gain practical field experience in community planning, environmental management, housing, transportation, economic development, sustainable energy, water resources, disaster planning, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and more.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth of 11 percent for urban and regional planners. As populations change, cities grow, biodiversity is threatened and the impacts of climate change ratchet up, it is becoming more important than ever for communities to address the interrelated issues of ecology, economy and equity—sustainability’s triple bottom line.

Planners and geographers are some of the best positioned professionals to contribute to these efforts. We invite you to explore the links and resources below to learn more about our department and the Regional Planning degree opportunities at Westfield State University.

Contact Us

Dr. Brian Conz
Chair - Geography, Planning, and Sustainability Department
Wilson Hall 201a


Through coursework, internships, community-based projects, and research, the degree program prepares students to work as professional planners in public, non-profit, and private sector positions.  

Additionally, students gain a spatial understanding of community issues, and engage with urban and regional planning as civic activities preparing them for other diverse careers that address social, economic, and environmental sustainability goals.


GPS strives to be the premier undergraduate planning program at a public institution in the commonwealth.  It entails providing our students with the essential skills, competencies, and experiences to prepare them for work as professional planners and a wide range of other career paths in allied fields. 

GPS seeks to provide and support state-of-the-art geospatial technology education, mentoring, services, and solutions to Westfield State University and its surrounding communities.  

GPS seeks to graduate students who think critically and problem-solve around the current issues, including environmental change and ongoing socioeconomic and racial inequities.