The Department of Urban and Regional Planning was created in 1965 in response to the growing national demand for persons trained in planning, urban affairs, and policy analysis, and the rapid population and economic growth occurring within the Sunbelt. Florida has been one of the fastest growing states in the nation and is projected to be the third largest state in the U.S. This growth has raised important issues about land development, housing, transportation and infrastructure, environmental protection, health care, and others, and the state has adopted a comprehensive series of laws that mandate planning at all levels of government. This has put Florida in the forefront of the national planning movement and has provided the department with a strong, exciting, and supportive environment within which to offer a professional program.
The Department offers the following degree programs: Master of Science in Planning (MSP), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and joint degrees in planning and law (MSP/JD), planning and public administration (MSP/MPA), planning and international affairs (MSP/MA), and planning and public health (MSP/MPH). Because of the breadth and diversity of the field, graduate study is considered essential for assuming professional positions and for advancing within the profession. The 'standard' professional degree is the Master's degree, and Master's graduates in planning now hold the overwhelming majority of planning positions. The doctoral degree serves as preparation for academic, research, or high level policy and administrative positions. The joint degree programs prepare professionals to work in positions at the nexus of their component professions.
All of the programs respond to the educational challenge of recognizing the breadth and diversity of the field and, at the same time, providing students with training in the common aspects, concerns, and approaches of the field. They offer the student an opportunity to study the central core of knowledge that is common to all planning activities and to develop specialized knowledge in particular problem and issue areas. Graduates of the programs are equipped to function both in generalist and specialist roles and to adapt to new challenges as the nature of the issues and preferred policy responses change. The Master's degree program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.
The Department is located in the state capital, thereby offering students opportunities for interacting with the central executive, legislative, and judicial offices of the state. The school maintains close ties with state, regional, and local planning agencies, the state legislature, and the governor's office, and these agencies provide substantial support services to the department in the form of internships and field placements, data and research reports, visiting lecturers and adjunct faculty, and permanent employment positions.
Students come from across the nation and from many foreign countries and U.S. territories. Women and persons of color are well represented. Student backgrounds are highly diverse: many come from the social sciences, engineering, architecture and the design arts, social work, or the physical sciences. While we are not indifferent to student backgrounds, the program is able to accommodate students from a wide variety of disciplines that are relevant to the issues addressed by the planning field. Approximately 35 to 50 students matriculate into the Master's program each year; about 2-3 enter the doctoral program. Hence, the total number of students in residence at any time numbers about 100 to 120. With 11 permanent faculty, plus adjunct instructors, this produces a favorable faculty-student ratio. At the same time, the Department is sufficiently large to reflect the diversity of the field and to allow students the opportunity to study a number of different problem and policy areas.
Nearly 1300 students have graduated from the Department's graduate programs. These graduates are now employed in 48 states and 27 foreign nations as professional staff in private consulting firms; for major developers; in law firms, universities, research organizations, business and industry and in local, state, regional, and national offices.
If you need more information than you can find at this web site or would like to request a Graduate Guide, please contact our admissions coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (850) 644-4510, or write to:
Departmental Admissions Office
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2280
Telephone (850) 644-4510