You are in section City and Regional Planning, in section PhD, options here include: .


Curriculum Requirements

Fundamentals Core CRPLAN 7000 Contemporary Planning Research
CRPLAN 7300 Planning Dissertations and Theses from Start to Finish          
Planning Theory Core CRPLAN 7100 City and Regional Planning Theory 3
Methods            To be agreed upon with advisor 12
Teaching Practicum CRPLAN 8200 Teaching Practicum in City and Regional Planning     1
Specialization Two fields, agreed upon with advisor 24
Electives Electives may cover methods or specialization fields 4
  Total Minimum Credits:   

Areas of Specialization

Students must choose an area of specialization from the list below and a content area. A specialization requires 12 credit hours of advisor-approved, graduate level elective coursework. A content area requires an additional 12 credit hours of advisor-approved graduate level elective coursework in or outside the specialization.

For the specialization or content area, students can earn all 12 credit hours internally or they can meet the requirement from a combination of 6 internal credit hours and 6 external credit hours. External courses taken to meet either requirement can come from any department and must be approved by the student’s advisor. Internal courses can come from the Masters or PhD level CRPLAN electives.

Economic Planning and Development

This field provides a foundation for economic planning and urban/regional economics. Increasingly, a solid foundation in economics has become essential to planning, and students in this specialization almost always will take some courses in the Department of Economics or possibly, Business Administration. The specialization does not mirror the field of economics, and differs in focus through an emphasis on market failure, spatial economics, urban and regional areas, and public intervention. Research might deal with improving communities or regions by increasing and diversifying economic activities to support residents, discovering what it takes to attract business to or to prevent businesses from leaving a distressed communities, understanding how housing, tourism, recreation, affect economic conditions, or how regulations, incentives and other policy mechanism affect economic development outcomes.

Housing, Community Development and Neighborhood Planning

Historically, many social issues in urban areas have had a housing dimension, including problems associated with racial segregation, slum development, urban poverty and unemployment. As a result, many of the familiar urban laws, regulations and programs have been concerned with housing. This includes zoning laws, building codes, rent control, urban renewal, public housing and fair housing regulations. Hence, the specialization in housing has a long tradition in city and regional planning. Because of the large number of issues it must deal with, it also is truly interdisciplinary.

Housing includes the delivery of land, shelter, community facilities and physical infrastructure. Among the sectors participating are the construction industry; the finance sector; municipal, state and national sectors of government; the real estate management, brokerage, appraisal and development industry; and the engineering and design sector. Research in the housing field can be based on several disciplinary lines of inquiry, including Economics, Business Administration (Real Estate Economics and Finance), Design and Psychology. Research might deal with such topics as increasing the supply of affordable housing, expanding home ownership among low income groups, understanding the effectiveness of various incentives for encourage the development of affordable housing or housing for senior citizens, the constraints that block such development, the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics of people and their housing and neighborhood choices, or the effect of housing and neighborhoods characteristics on quality of life for different populations.

Urban Design/Physical Planning/and Behavior

The urban design/physical planning and behavior field covers the relationship between human behavior and properties of urban places. Students will learn methods, theory and application of information to the resolution of environmental design problems. Included will be the study and theory of psychological, social and cultural factors in environmental design, and environmental programming and research. This may involve finding out ways in which the environment affects perception, cognition, evaluation and behavior, ways in which human behavior affects the environment, and ways to change human behavior to save the environment.

Environmental Planning and Sustainability

The environmental planning and sustainability specialization allows students to pursue planning questions relating to the quality of the natural environment, natural resources management, and the policies and programs aimed at offsetting the environmental impacts of pollutant residuals in the environment. Research in this area ranges from questions of the assessment of natural environment and its carrying capacity for human activities, the environmental impacts of various activities, policy questions related to the disposal of water and air pollutants and solid and hazardous wastes, and the health consequences of environmental pollutants. It may also deal with the energy problem (of various energy sources, including gas, electricity, solar, geothermal and nuclear) at the technical, institutional and economic level.


Transportation or movement across space, is an integral part of the planning process; indeed, if transportation problems did not exist, then neither would planning. The transportation specialization in the PhD program addresses these concerns through a variety of possible topics, ranging from formal model building to a concentration on urban transportation.