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Build the Communities of Tomorrow as a Regional Planner

If you want to shape the future of local and regional communities or influence a greener future for both yourself and others, a career in planning could be your match. In the Bachelor of Science in Regional Planning program, you'll build a range of technical skills, deepen your knowledge of the environment, and be trained in working with the public.

You’ll graduate ready to face and identify problems, plan resilient communities, and guide growth and change for rural and urban cities across the country. 

The BS in Regional Planning at IUP is one of just 17 programs accredited in the US by the Planning Accreditation Board. As a regional planning major, you’ll choose from two specializations, so you can focus on what interests you most:

  • Community planning and development
  • Environmental planning

Why Major in Regional Planning

Planners help to create better communities. As professionals working on behalf of governments, businesses, and citizens, regional and urban planners facilitate:

  • A growing economy
  • Accessible, affordable, quality housing
  • Efficient transportation
  • Sustainability and the conservation of natural resources
  • Vibrant, healthy communities

What You'll Learn

You'll build a deep foundation at IUP that prepares you to become a leader in your field. Whether you choose to specialize in environment planning or community planning and development, the regional planning major gives you the tools to succeed.

Technical skills: Build a knowledge base that will prepare you to understand and explain problems and plan for sustainable communities. Learn about:

  • analyzing and collecting economic, demographic, and environmental data
  • geographic information systems
  • land use
  • project design techniques
  • environmental and regulatory training

Hands-on experience: You’ll learn through a variety of hands-on experiences, including internships. Internship experience is required as part of the program. Approximately 80 percent of placements are paid positions.

Building blocks of community work: Gain ethical and conceptual knowledge through coursework and experiences including civic engagement. You’ll graduate ready to work with the public, articulate community problems, and responsibly guide change in rural and urban areas.

Imagine Your Future

As a well-trained graduate, you'll be ready to work in planning agencies at any jurisdictional level—federal, state, regional, county, and local—as well as in the private sector, with planning, consulting, or engineering firms.

You might choose to continue your studies, or go straight into a career as a/an:

  • Community development planner
  • Economic development planner
  • Environmental planner
  • Land use planner
  • Transportation planner
  • Data analyst

With the 2021 passage of the landmark Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now is an ideal time to enter this growing field. You'll have the advantage of a degree from an accredited BS in Regional Planning program.

Employment opportunities for regional and urban planners in the public and private sectors are excellent.

Median wages:

$36.52/hr

$75,950 annual

Average projected growth, 2020-2030:

5% to 10%

Classes and Requirements

You'll develop your knowledge and pursue your interests while you're at IUP. You'll choose from two areas of study: community planning and development, or environmental planning.

The program culminates in a rigorous capstone course taught in your senior year, Community Planning Practicum. You’ll be introduced to the process of formal inquiry; dig into research design and the selection of research methods; create an original research project paper; and develop the skills needed to read and evaluate the research of others.

As part of that capstone, you’ll develop a:

  • Professional portfolio including a resumé, a reflective essay on the major, and highlights of at least six of your best projects or papers
  • Original research project paper
  • Research presentation

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Accelerate Your Studies with IUP’s Early Graduate Admission Program

At IUP, you can work toward your master’s degree as an undergraduate.

As part of our Early Graduate Admission program, students can graduate in five years with a BS in Regional Planning and a MS in Geographical Sciences and Planning. You’ll accelerate your studies and stand out as you enter the workforce.

The Master of Science in Geographical Sciences and Planning program enhances your skill set as an earth scientist, deepening your experience in geographic data management; map production; geospatial analysis and interpretation; and theoretical, practical, and policy knowledge in regional development and local and environmental planning.

Regional Planning Honors Program

The honors program is open by departmental permission to regional planning majors with at least a 3.25 GPA in total university course work and a 3.25 GPA in regional planning courses. After completing 45 credits of university course work, all qualified majors will be invited to join the Regional Planning Honors Track.

Honors Program - Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Regional Planning Minor

A minor in regional planning is appropriate for majors in all other fields of the natural and social sciences. Students in marketing and information systems will find a minor in this field especially relevant. A minor consists of 18 credits in courses taken with the RGPL prefix. The department suggests students take the core in this program if graduate study is anticipated.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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