So You’re Interested in Becoming a Planner

When I’m asked about graduate programs in the field of urban planning, I generally point inquirers to several key resources.

Researching programs can be difficult given the field’s somewhat idiosyncratic character. However, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning publishes a comprehensive directory of programs, including deadlines, requirements, and some basic demographic statistics about the student body of accredited programs. The website Planetizen has published a guide to “Top Schools for Urban Planners,” although I’ve heard some complain it’s biased towards larger programs. The online forums on both Planetizen and Cyburbia can also include insight into various programs. Planning professor Ann Forsyth has also written several good articles for Planetizen about the application process, faculty websites, and networking in the field. To find them, look under “recent posts” on her Planetizen page.

While these resources will get you started, no doubt the best way to decide which programs to apply to is to visit. On that note, I’ll be attending my program’s Graduate Open House tomorrow.

Author: Rob Goodspeed