You're seeing this message because you're using an older version of Internet Explorer that is unsupported on our website. Please use these links to upgrade to a modern web browser that fully supports our website and protects your computer from security risks.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Internet Explorer 8

Hide this message

FSU Tag Line

What is Urban and Regional Planning?

See also the Bachelor in Urban and Regional Planning web page

Planning is a systematic and creative way to influence the future of neighborhoods, cities, suburbs and rural areas.  Planners use their skills to serve communities facing social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges.  Every day planners are working to preserve and enhance the quality of life for local residents, to find ways to protect and restore the natural and built environment of communities, to promote social equity, to improve the infrastructure of communities, and to help use government funds in the most effective ways possible.  The majority of planners work in the areas of land use, environmental protection, economic development, transportation, community design, housing, and provision of community services.  Planners face the special challenge of working with elected government officials and residents of the community.   

Why Study Urban and Regional Planning?

You may think of planning as an urban activity, but today it must occur in communities of all sizes and types.  Many planners work in small cities, in rural areas, and for regional agencies.  As our communities grow in population, the need for planning will increase.  Growth creates a variety of land use planning issues.   There are also critical issues facing communities as facilities in older areas age, and need to be maintained or upgraded.  In some areas, new uses need to be found for urban land as a result of factories closing, changing patterns of economic activities, or simply the aging of the population.  

Boston1Boston -- student trip to
2011 American Planning Assn meeting

Photo: Eric Blankenship, '11

Boston 2









Boston -- student trip to 2011 American Planning Assn meeting
Photo: Eric Blankenship, '11

Will I be employed?

FSU’s program addresses the need for baccalaureate degree educated planners who wish to develop careers in both the public and private sectors.  Planners work for local governments in departments of planning, land development, community development, economic development and geographic information support.  In the private sector, planning graduates work with engineering and land development firms to assist in the preparation of development plans that will gain government approval.  Graduates may also seek graduate degrees to prepare for careers in planning management, consulting, or specialized planning in such areas as transportation, environmental planning, health care planning, or community redevelopment.  Planners remain in strong demand throughout North America.  Local governments find that good planning is necessary to quality for state and federal government assistance.  For more information about careers in planning, visit the American Planning Association website.

What does FSU offer Urban & Regional Planning Students?

The experiential teaching style we use during your academic career at FSU will help you develop skills necessary to be an effective planner.  Our degree will integrate the perspectives of geography, sociology, political science, and economics on urban and suburban life, with applied courses in planning, field study, GIS, professional communications, and original research.  Internship opportunities exist for interested students.  FSU is home to the oldest undergraduate planning program in Maryland and is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.