Ohio State University’s Urban Planning Program: Creating Sustainable and Equitable Communities.

Urban Planning at Ohio State University

Urban planning students learn to solve complex problems with a multidisciplinary approach that respects the intersection of academic, strategic and physical considerations. The program teaches students to make cities and regions more resilient, sustainable and equitable.

The Knowlton School provides a unique community that fosters inquiry across sections and disciplines. Students can supplement their degree with a minor in fields such as African-American and African studies, Geography, and Public Policy.

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)

The Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) is a degree that provides students with the theoretical and analytical tools necessary to design livable, sustainable, and equitable communities. It prepares graduates to work in both public and private organizations and addresses the social, political, and economic realities of urban development. The program emphasizes the need to create and implement planning solutions that are grounded in research and community engagement.

The MCRP curriculum includes both required courses and electives. It is typically completed in two years of full-time study and consists of 48 credits. In addition, the program requires all students to complete a final capstone project. This can be either a thesis or an applied planning research paper.

The program offers a wide variety of internship/traineeship positions. These opportunities provide students with hands-on experience in the field and help them develop their professional skills. In addition, many of these positions are paid and offer a tuition waiver.

Master of Urban Planning (MUP)

Accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, the two-year MUP program addresses the critical issues that cities and regions will face in coming decades. Its curriculum embraces the international dimensions of planning and a pedagogy that supports student-driven inquiry. In addition, the MUP is one of the few programs in the country to integrate a social justice focus into its teaching and research.

This is accomplished by including a range of community service learning and international labs in the curriculum. Students have worked on real-world projects such as creating a business model for truck transportation, designing a repurposed community clinic site, researching affordable housing, and studying air quality in Beijing.

The MUP provides students with the skills and knowledge to address the challenges that cities, regions, and countries will face in the future. The degree also prepares graduates to pursue a variety of careers, such as in urban development, environmental conservation, governance, non-profits, and advocacy. In addition, the MUP can lead to a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning (PhD-CRP).

Bachelor of City and Regional Planning (BCRP)

The curriculum for the Bachelor of City and Regional Planning offers a broad, interdisciplinary education in urban planning. Students learn the theory and evolution of the field, current debates, and analysis methods. They also explore the ways that cities, regions and built environments affect economic development.

Graduates of the program are able to address questions such as: Why do some cities grow while others decline? What are the best strategies for sustainable, equitable development? How can we make our communities more resilient to external shocks?

In addition to the core courses, students can tailor their programs of study by choosing elective credits from across the university. The degree also provides a strong foundation for students who plan to pursue a master’s degree. In this way, the degree prepares graduates for a variety of careers, including research, public service and industry. Students can also supplement their studies by completing an undergraduate minor in planning or one of the other Knowlton School degrees.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD in city and regional planning trains scholars to undertake interdisciplinary, independent, applied research on urban problems and planning processes. Our PhD program operates under the premise that the problems cities and regions face do not respect disciplinary boundaries and therefore require an understanding of concepts, theory and analysis from multiple disciplines, including planning, geography, economics, business administration and management, public policy and sociology.

Our PhD students take rigorous academic training in planning and spatial theory, quantitative and qualitative methods and research design, as well as core area specialization courses. After successfully passing a comprehensive exam, students spend two to four more years executing their own independent doctoral research.

During their studies, PhD students also participate in the CRP Colloquium to develop skills in long-format writing. The weekly meetings give students the opportunity to present their own research, listen to talks from planning professors in other departments and from cognate fields, and discuss publication strategies.

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