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Specializations

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In addition to their core courses, each student specializes in a substantive area among the following three: housing and development planning, sustainable land use planning, and transportation planning. The student should declare this area by the second semester of his/her course of study. Students can choose to pursue two specializations or one and then more generalized study or one extremely in-depth specialization. Students can check with their UBPL advisors to help them choose the right option for them. 

The minimum number of course hours for the specialization area depends on whether the student pursues the comprehensive examination or thesis option. Specialization area requirements for the two options are as follows:

(1) Comprehensive Exam Option - At least four courses (twelve credit hours) are taken by each student in his/her area of specialization.

(2) Thesis Option - At least three courses (nine credit hours) are taken by each student in his/her area of specialization.

If students choose to complete two specializations, they will only take one comprehensive exam in the specialization of their choosing.

In each specialty area, relevant courses are classified in three groups: theory/policy, methods, and implementation. Each student must take at least one course in each of the above three groups. Faculty advisors have some latitude to designate supplementary courses that they think useful to the student's education. In addition, students may take Directed Readings courses to complete their specialization. Click here to see the theory/policy, methods and implementation courses in each specialty area.

Below are examples of the semester-by-semester courses of study for the comprehensive exam option for each of the three specializations:

 

Housing and Development Planning

Sustainable Land Use Planning

Transportation Planning

 

 

Housing and Development Planning

Within the broad profession of planning, many planners choose to work in the area of housing and community development.  They pursue careers in neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing development, and local economic development.  They are employed in the private sector by real estate developers and real estate lenders, in the non-profit sector by community development corporations, and in the public sector by housing authorities and state housing finance agencies, plus many other organizations and firms.  The Housing and Development Specialization prepares planners to contribute to the profession in this area with an array of courses that address the theories and policies that drive the many housing and community development programs administered at the federal, state, and local levels.  The courses also address the methods of market analysis and project feasibility pursued in the field.  Finally, the courses address what works and does not work in the field so as the better utilize scarce resources to achieve success. In all of this work, students are prepared on how to achieve greater social justice in our cities and neighborhoods.

Example of Typical Course of Study (Comprehensive Exam Option)

 

*  - Core Courses

#  - Specialization Course

 

First Year Fall Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 741: Quantitative Methods I (3)

*UBPL 785: History and Theory of Planning (3) 

#UBPL 710: Introduction to Housing Planning (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

First Year Spring Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 705: Economic Analysis for Planners (3)

*UBPL 736: Planning Institutions (3)

*UBPL 741: Quantitative Methods II (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

Second Year Fall Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 763: Professional Practice (3)

#UBPL 764: Real Estate Development I (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

Second Year Spring Semester - 12 credit hours

#UBPL 716: Community and Neighborhood Revitalization (3)

#UBPL 768: Real Estate Development II (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

 

 

Sustainable Land Use Planning

Planners look out for the long term consequences of current decisions and sustainable land use planners do this by focusing on how we make use of land and other natural resources.  Humans, other animals, and plants cannot help but occupy space and there is only so much to go around.  Sustainable Land Use planning seeks to make the best use of that space balancing the competing values of equity, ecology, economy, and quality of life for today and tomorrow.  Sustainable land use planners study human and natural systems to provide guidance and recommend policies and designs to decision-makers for the long-term viability of communities.  Common careers for sustainable land use planners include working for cities and counties creating visions for the future and managing day-to-day development based on long range plans.  Those same sorts of skills are sought by consulting firms who hire planners to then work with public sector planners, developers, or property owners.  Sustainable land use planners also work for regional, state, or federal level agencies and governments often in the areas of air or water quality.  In addition, they can work in the real estate development field.  Sustainable land use planning is a flexible specialization as it forms the foundation for transportation, housing, and development.

Example of Typical Course of Study (Comprehensive Exam Option)  

 

* - Core Courses

# - Specialization Course

 

First Year Fall Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 741: Quantitative Methods I (3)

*UBPL 785: History and Theory of Planning (3)

#UBPL 765: Introduction to Sustainable Land Use Planning (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

First Year Spring Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 705: Economic Analysis for Planners (3)

*UBPL 736: Planning Institutions (3)

*UBPL 741: Quantitative Methods II (3)

#UBPL  735: Site Planning and Design (3)

OR

#UBPL 738: Environmental Planning Techniques (3)

 

Second Year Fall Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 763: Professional Practice (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

Second Year Spring Semester - 12 credit hours

#UBPL 773: Sustainable Land Use Planning Implementation (3)

#UBPL  735: Site Planning and Design (3)

OR

#UBPL 738: Environmental Planning Techniques (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

 

 

Transportation Planning

Transportation is an integral element of urban life.  Transportation networks facilitate the movement of people and goods, while also having a considerable impact on urban form and the creation of socio-economic spaces. Transportation occurs at the intersection of planning and politics, and resulting decisions can have resounding impacts throughout a city and region. Issues faced by transportation planners are increasingly complex and interdisciplinary, which require a diverse skillset to address.  Students in this concentration will develop skills in data analysis, technology, policy development, and design as it relates to transportation planning. The transportation planning focus area prepares students for professional work in transportation related entities at local, regional and national levels, and in private firms which are engaged in transportation planning.

Example of Typical Course of Study (Comprehensive Exam Option) 

 

* - Core Courses

# - Specialization Course

 

First Year Fall Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 741: Quantitative Methods I (3)

*UBPL 785: History and Theory of Planning (3)

#UBPL 750: Introduction to Transportation Planning (3)

ELECTIVE (3)                           

 

First Year Spring Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 705: Economic Analysis for Planners (3)

*UBPL 736: Planning Institutions (3)

*UBPL 741: Quantitative Methods II (3)

#UBPL 756: Transportation Demand Forecasting Methods (3)

 

Second Year Fall Semester - 12 credit hours

*UBPL 763: Professional Practice (3)

#UBPL 758: Public Transit (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

Second Year Spring Semester - 12 credit hours

#UBPL 757: Transportation Planning Implementation (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

ELECTIVE (3)

 

 


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