Master of Professional Studies in Urban and Regional Planning
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You can view and download the Master of Professional Studies Handbook here
What attributes characterize the Georgetown Urban and Regional Planning program?
Do applicants need to have completed specific coursework to be considered for acceptance?
Are there specialization tracks in the curriculum?
Are international issues incorporated in the curriculum?
What is Urban Lab?
Are internships required?
Could you tell me about the faculty?
How many students are in each class?
Do I need a license to practice urban planning?
If my question isn’t answered here, what do I do?
The program leverages three baseline resources in the design of the student experience: (1) the academic resources and traditions of scholarship at Georgetown University, (2) the significant concentration of leading professionals in Washington, DC, and (3) the history and ongoing evolution of urban innovation in the neighborhoods and communities of the National Capital Region.
No. Urban planning is by definition one of the most interdisciplinary professions in society. As such, the program welcomes students with widely diverse backgrounds in the liberal arts, economics, social and physical sciences, architecture and engineering. The common denominator of all accepted applicants is a passion for cities and the aspiration to help lead communities into a sustainable and equitable future.
Yes. Beyond the core academic curriculum, students concentrate their coursework into one of two specialization tracks: physical planning (Urban Design and Land Use) or economic development (Housing and Community Development). In addition to these concentrations, students may consult with the Executive Director to design a custom interdisciplinary concentration in finance, communications or urban systems engineering.
Yes. The program firmly embraces the strategic importance of urbanization as a global phenomenon. This includes the recognition of global best practices as the context for informed decision-making as well as the rising need to position local planning initiatives in a highly competitive global marketplace. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the university’s global networks or incorporate international internships into their coursework.
This course, formerly called City Lab, is an introduction into the elements and practices of community planning. Examples of successful urban analysis, planning initiatives and community design strategies will be introduced as case studies of professional practice. Students will explore methods of documentation, interdisciplinary analysis and effective communication of planning concepts. A final project will be presented to a group of outside professionals.
Professional internships are not required to fulfill the degree. However, the program’s academic tools offer students the opportunity to structure up to six course credits (two classes) as academic internships in external organizations. These engagements may either be initiated by the host organization or initiated by the student as independent applied research. In either case, an independent academic advisor will be appointed to ensure the academic integrity and rigor of the internship.
The program faculty are drawn from across the university and from across the community of practicing professionals in Washington, DC. All program faculty members are selected by the Executive Director to leverage the resources uniquely available in Washington DC in a manner which incorporates responsiveness to the rapidly changing professional needs in the urban and community development marketplace.
Classes generally range in size from eight to 20 students in order to maximize meaningful student discourse and personalized interaction with professors. Larger lecture classes include teaching assistants who are available to provide clarification and assistance to students on an individualized basis.
All programs offered at Georgetown University and through the School of Continuing Studies are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Although there is no mandatory license for practicing urban planners, except in New Jersey, the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) accredits university programs in North America leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in urban planning. The Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies and its Urban and Regional Planning Advisory Board are working towards meeting standards for accreditation approval. This process takes time to complete and is not yet available to young programs such as ours.
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