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Undergraduate courses appear under Regional Planning (RGPL) prefixes.

Majors should register according to their declared program.

Regional Planning Undergraduate

RGPL 103 Cities of the World: Issues in Planning and Development 3c-0l-3cr 
An introduction to the developmental and regional planning issues facing contemporary non-western cities. A theoretical framework sets up detailed case studies of developmental issues affecting urban populations in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Issues include such traditional topics as migration, population, poverty, and indigenous and colonial legacies, but environmental and infrastructure problems such as water supply, food security, energy, solid waste, disaster planning, and transportation are also analyzed and discussed. (Also offered as GEOG 103; may not be taken as duplicate credit)

RGPL 213 Cartography I 3c-0l-3cr 
Introduces principles of thematic map construction. Emphasizes techniques of choropleth mapping and the production of scientific graphs and charts. (Also offered as GEOG 213; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 281 Special Topics 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: As appropriate to course content Offered on an experimental or temporary basis to explore topics not included in the established curriculum. A given topic may be offered under any special topic identity no more than three times. Special topics numbered 281 are offered primarily for lower-level undergraduate students. (May also be offered as GEOG 281; may not be taken as duplicate credit under same title)

RGPL 313 Cartography II 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 213 Gives an understanding of the compilation and use of maps and quantitative data. Develops skills essential to the construction of various types of maps. (Also offered as GEOG 313; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 314 Map and Photograph Interpretation 3c-0l-3cr 
Maps and air photographs, along with remote sensing materials, permit inventory and analysis of geologic, land use, urban development, and other landscape phenomena. The understanding of these materials and of associated tools for their use is presented. (Also offered as GEOG 314; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 316 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 213, or equivalent, or instructor permission Automated methods for creating, maintaining, and analyzing spatial data are presented. Topics include 1) specialized GIS hardware and software, 2) vector vs. raster vs. object-oriented spatial data structures, 3) creation and manipulation of geographic data files, 4) database design and management concepts, 5) spatial analysis, and 6) cartographic design. (Also offered as GEOG 316; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 332 Urban Geography 3c-0l-3cr 
Basic concepts of urban geography including site, situation, function, urban land use, urban structure, and urban hierarchy are introduced. Relationships between urban geography and urban planning are explored. (Also offered as GEOG 332; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 333 Trade and Transportation 3c-0l-3cr 
Deals with the spatial aspects of transportation systems and their use. Discusses circulation, accessibility, time and distance concepts, and trade patterns. (Also offered as GEOG 333; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 341 Climatology 3c-0l-3cr 
Examines the elements of weather and climate on Earth. The location and causes of global climatic regions are examined in relation to moving pressure and wind systems. Also considers the climatic history of the planet and recent human modifications of the atmospheric environment. (Also offered as GEOG 341; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 342 Physiography 3c-0l-3cr 
Focuses on landform types and their spatial distribution. Emphasizes the tectonic forces that build landforms and the weathering and erosional processes that erode and shape surface features. The relationship between human activities and landforms is also considered. (Also offered as GEOG 342; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 343 Geography of Fresh Water Resources 3c-0l-3cr 
Students learn about surface and groundwater as a resource with unique properties. Fresh water is defined physically by storage in the hydrologic cycle and the values assigned by different cultures. Problems featured relate to consumptive and withdrawal water uses, the problems of water supply and scarcity, water law and its inconsistencies, flooding and floodplain management, sources of contamination and pollution, wetlands, and case studies of selected river basins. (Also offered as GEOG 343; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 345 Biogeography for Environmental Managers 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: One of the following: GEOG 341, 342, BIOL 103, 112, 115 Examines the distribution of plants and animals across the earth’s surface, as influenced by natural and human processes. Emphasizes landscape and regional habitat dynamics as they relate to environmental planning and management. Field trips supplement lectures and readings. (Also offered as GEOG 345; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 350 Introduction to Planning 3c-0l-3cr 
An introduction to the profession and activity of contemporary American urban and regional planning. Emphasizes land use control, design, growth management, and development regulation. The legal and institutional bases of planning practice are covered as well.

RGPL 352 Planning Methods 3c-0l-3cr 
Research, analytical design, and plan-making techniques in urban and regional planning. Examines basic items necessary to prepare urban and regional comprehensive plans.

RGPL 410 Community Participation and Civic Engagement Seminar 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 350 Introduces recent participatory planning and civic renewal initiatives within “communities of place” in the United States. Particular attention is directed toward understanding how planners, citizens, community-based organizations, and local institutions engage in the public work of civic creativity, asset mobilization, and community development. Participatory planning techniques and community facilitation tools are discussed and demonstrated. Civic associations in Indiana County and Southwest Pennsylvania are highlighted as cases.

RGPL 412 Community Planning Practicum 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 468 This senior seminar and workshop constitute a capstone course that focuses on recent research in the major field. Students carry out an applied research project on a topic of local or regional importance. (Also offered as GEOG 412; may not be taken for duplicate credit) (Titled Research Seminar prior to 2011-12)

RGPL 415 Remote Sensing 3c-0l-3cr 
Deals with air photographs, satellite imagery, thermal sensing, and radar imagery and their application to deriving information about the earth’s physical and cultural landscapes. (Also offered as GEOG 415; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 417 Technical Issues in GIS 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 316 A project-based class in which students learn the skills to develop and maintain a Geographic Information System. Through cooperative learning, they design and implement functional systems. Methods for designing GIS systems to user specification, data collection, data input, project management, and system documentation are covered. (Also offered as GEOG 417; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 421 Regional GIS Management 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 417 or instructor permission Principles and methods for creating, operating, maintaining, and managing data for multi-user geospatial information systems are studied. Each student will customize, document, and operate a multi-user geographic information system of his or her design. (Also offered as GEOG 421; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 426 Environmental Land Use Planning 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 350 recommended Examines principles, techniques, and applications for the environmental land-use planning process. Focuses on surface water and deals with topics such as land-use, stream monitoring, stream conservation and restoration, and watershed management. Students who complete course will be exposed to environmental planning legislation and policy, best management practices, and applied techniques.

RGPL 440 Conservation: Environmental Analysis 3c-0l-3cr 
Problems of exploitation and utilization of regional resources such as soils, minerals, forests, and wildlife are considered in relation to population growth and regional planning and development. (Also offered as GEOG 440; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 453 Planning Design Studio I 3c-0l-3cr 
Introduces professional graphic communications. Emphasizes the use of 2-D Computer Aided Design (CAD) applications, plan graphics, and professional standards to represent and solve basic physical planning problems. (Offered as RGPL 353 prior to 2008-09)

RGPL 454 Planning Design Studio II 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisites: RGPL 350, 353 or instructor permission Introduces the activity of design, design programming, design decision making, and design communications. Focuses specifically on the development of site planning, site analysis, and site design skills as well as the translation of design program elements into physical form.

RGPL 458 Land Use Law 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 350 Introduces principles of land use law. Focus is on federal constitutional principles and key Supreme Court cases, especially as they relate to actions of local units of government and municipal planning practice. Deals with the present state of land use law and with current trends and issues.

RGPL 464 Land Use Policy 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: RGPL 350 Introduces and provides an overview of land use issues at the regional, state, and federal levels. Emphasizes the evolution of contemporary policy strategies, constitutional issues, and regional controversies involved in the regulation of metropolitan growth, central city decline, and management of public lands. (Also offered as GEOG 464; may not be taken for duplicate credit)

RGPL 468 Planning Theory 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisites: RGPL 350, 352, 454, or instructor permission A seminar on contemporary debates concerning planning traditions, principles, and practices. The activity of planning is investigated from several theoretical frames and analytic positions.

RGPL 481 Special Topics 3c-0l-3cr 
Prerequisite: As appropriate to course content Offered on an experimental or temporary basis to explore topics not included in the established curriculum. A given topic may be offered under any special topic identity no more than three times. Special topics numbered 481 are primarily for upper-level undergraduate students. (May also be offered as GEOG 481; may not be taken for duplicate credit under same title)

RGPL 482 Independent Study var-1-3cr 
Prerequisite: Prior approval through advisor, faculty member, department chairperson, dean, and Provost’s Office Students with interest in independent study of a topic not offered in the curriculum may propose a plan of study in conjunction with a faculty member. Approval is based on academic appropriateness and availability of resources.

RGPL 483 Honors Thesis var-1-6cr 
Prerequisites: Admission to departmental honors program; prior approval through advisor, faculty member, department chairperson, dean, and Provost’s Office An intensive, focused study involving independent research culminating in a written thesis approved by a thesis director and two faculty readers/ committee members. May be taken more than once to a maximum of 6cr.

RGPL 493 Internship var-1-12cr 
A professional learning experience with emphasis on application of academic background. Open to majors and minors in regional planning with a total of 60cr and 15cr in the major. See internship supervisor for additional information

Graduate courses are not offered in Regional Planning, although there is a Master of Science in Geography with an emphasis in Regional Planning.

  • Geography and Regional Planning Department
  • Leonard Hall, Room 9
    421 North Walk
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2250
  • Fax: 724-357-6479
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–Noon
  • 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.