Urban development programs are primarily offered at the graduate level, and and most positions as an urban or regional planner require a master's degree, though some junior positions may only need a bachelor's degree
City Management and Urban Policy Schools
These institutions offer city management, urban policy or public administration programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2018-2019)|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence, KS||4-year, Public||Master's||$11,027 (In-state Graduate); $24,404 (Out-of-state Graduate)|
|Arizona State University||Tempe, AZ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$10,822 (In-state Undergraduate); $12,134 (In-state Graduate)|
|Cleveland State University||Cleveland, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,457 (In-state Undergraduate); $9,942 (In-state Graduate);|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Master's||$45,426 (Graduate)|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$12,212 (In-state Graduate); $29,423 (Out-of-state Graduate)|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$56,225 (Undergraduate); $45,561 (Graduate)|
|University of North Texas||Denton, TX||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$7,338 (In-state Graduate); $14,808 (Out-of-state Graduate)|
|University of Illinois - Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, Public||Master's||$16,792 (In-state Graduate); $26,479 (Out-of-state Graduate)|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctoral||$38,708 (Graduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 72 accredited master's degree programs and 15 accredited bachelor's degree programs in the U.S. as of 2013 (www.bls.gov), available at colleges and universities accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.
There are some considerations aspiring urban development students should keep in mind when choosing a program.
- Students may want to diversify their experience by taking classes from other related fields, such as architecture, law, geography, economics or earth sciences, so students should research course offerings at each school.
- Look for a school with internship opportunities through state governments or local planning offices.
- Not all schools offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, and those interested in pursuing both levels of study may want to select a school that offers programs at both levels.
- Some programs focus on urban development, while others focus on public administration; it may be important to review the courses offered to ensure you pick the program that best suits your career goals.
Bachelor of Science in Urban Development and Planning
The undergraduate degree combines urban studies, economics, architecture and other studies to create an interdisciplinary focus. This degree, along with experience such as an internship, can allow students to obtain an entry-level position at a state planning office or be a qualified candidate for an urban development master's program.
Master of Science in Urban Development and Planning
This 2-year, full-time advanced degree program is designed to educate students for professional careers in urban planning, environmental policymaking and sustainable design. Master of Urban Planning, Master of Urban and Environmental Planning and other specialized degrees have similar curricula.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Development and Planning
The Ph.D. program in urban development and planning is an advanced degree that prepares graduate students for careers as educators and researchers. It can be an interdisciplinary research program, combining such areas as sociology and architecture, or it can be research-based. Analytical methods and research design form part of the curriculum along with a dissertation of original research.
Urban development programs may be offered as a degree in urban development, city management, public administration, or urban studies. The program emphasis may vary slightly, and it's important to consider long-term career goals and the courses offered when selecting an urban development program.