Urban planning offers significant and diverse opportunities to solve the complex problems of communities and to shape their built environments. This profession is uniquely dedicated to the quality of life affected by place, to visions and policy consequences that extend beyond the near term, and to problem solving that relies on multiple disciplines.
The following values and themes are integrated throughout the curriculum of our master’s program. Physical Planning We are committed to good urban design and to strategies and policies that promote land use in the public interest, and we teach with this emphasis. Holistic Approach We see both the short- and long-term consequences of implemented plans and policies, and we see the interdependence of those decisions on interfunctional aspects of our lives. Accordingly, learning here is interdisciplinary, and knowledge is integrated to solve problems. This approach will develop you as a "generalist planner" with command over a broad range of special competencies. Multicultural Perspective Course work, where appropriate, thematically integrates multiculturalism, which challenges the adequacies of conventional theoretical paradigms in planning in a multicultural society.
Multiculturalism recognizes that planning constituencies are both mixed and different, separated by ethnicity, race, culture, religion, age, sexuality, and gender. They are regulated by local politics, an expression of cultural hegemony. The effects of various sociocultural forces on these constituencies include cultural marginality, exclusion, and subordination. Our graduate planning programpromotes the value of "nonevangelical planning," deferring to the integrity of multiculturalism and resisting the imposition of another culture despite the notion of progress. The program recognizes that planning's effectiveness with diverse constituencies and clients may be enhanced through greater professional sensitivity and institutional reforms to better address the needs of a global and multicultural society. Field-Based Practicum Our program has a rich tradition of hands-on education. Studios provide a field basis for addressing planning problems, while travel and study-abroad experiences introduce a multicultural and diverse understanding of planning solutions. The capstone thesis or projectconcentrates learning on a practical application, and internshipsprepare you for professional practice. Studios are sequential courses that demonstrate the use of a topical set of knowledge-based courses of paradigms, skills, and facts. For example, the set of courses on impact analysis incorporating fiscal, environmental, economic, and social impact course modules is then applied in a studio on a field-based problem. Further, within the methods sequence in particular, laboratory work demonstrates the use of these quantitative and qualitative techniques in solving field-based problems.
Both internships and the capstone project apply combinations of research and practice related to an area of concentrated study. Learning Community We are a facultyof teachers first. Our missions in researchand service to the profession and the general communityare important, but they are subordinate to our obligations to our students. Low teacher-to-student ratios enhance this collegiality and personal attention.
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