The profession of city and regional planning is primarily involved in helping people and communities manage growth and change in their physical, social and economic environments. The focus is on understanding how cities and towns (human settlements) function and how to make them better places for people to live and to prosper. Planning has its roots in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, law, social welfare and government reform. The practice of city and regional planning is both science and art. It involves technical competence, creativity, hard-headed pragmatism and the ability to develop a vision of the future and to build on that vision. Planners today combine design, quantitative and people skills to assist communities and society. Both the undergraduate (BSCRP) and the graduate (MCRP) programs are accredited by the national Planning Accreditation Board.
The degree programs prepare students for professional careers in the design of human settlements in harmony with the natural environment and the needs of society. Practicing planners work in public agencies and private consulting firms, preparing comprehensive plans for projects, neighborhoods, cities, and entire regions. They deal with the use of land, housing, transportation, public facilities, and open space. In addition, they are responsible for finding the means to make their plans become a reality by budgeting for public projects and programs and by reviewing and regulating private development.
The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning provides a broad, interdisciplinary education as well as competency in physical planning with a specialization in urban and regional design. The Master of City and Regional Planning degree builds on a general undergraduate preparation in the humanities, architecture/landscape architecture, social sciences or natural sciences, and offers two areas of emphasis: land use planning and environmental planning.