Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4 years
Credit Hours:

Create the cities of tomorrow.
Urban planners play a vital role in designing and creating our communities in Texas, across the nation and around the world. As populations grow, so does the need to develop communities that provide identity, sustainability, service and leisure.

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Why Earn an Urban Policy and Planning degree?

Urban planners identify community needs, then partner with public officials, engineers, architects, artists, developers and others to provide short- and long-term solutions through innovation and design.

The primary role you'll serve as an urban planner will be to assist with all facets of land use projects in a community. Projects may include:

  • Adding more green spaces to a city
  • Developing an arts district or housing community
  • Improving a busy street with safer crosswalks and lighting
  • Revitalizing downtown areas

An education at UNT in Urban Policy and Planning will equip you with these core competencies:

  • Building design
  • Community mapping
  • Demographic data
  • Economic development
  • Environmental issues and sustainability practices
  • GIS (geographic information systems)
  • Government function
  • History of cities
  • Land-use and zoning regulations
  • Transportation planning
Marketable Skills
  • Formulation of urban plans through impact analysis, forecasting and visualization techniques.
  • Program management skills including grants, budgeting and scheduling.
  • Communication skills for public engagement with government officials and citizens.
  • Research skills including spatial analysis, historical precedent review and best practice identification.
  • Administration of codes and regulations affecting urban living.

Urban Policy and Planning Degree Highlights

A strong feature of the program is our close affiliation with city governments and planning consulting firms within the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This allows us to provide great opportunities for students to network with local leaders in community development, as well as gain tangible field and work experience.
Our faculty have published extensively in scholarly journals and presented research at national conferences. Our department's full-time faculty consists of 12 nationally recognized experts in their fields.
Our program offers face-to-face, online and blended course formats to support the busy college student.
Courses address topics in urban development, the history of cities and the impact of urban space on communities.
Students also will learn principles related to demographic data, governmental functionality, community mapping, land-use codes, zoning regulations, building designs and sustainability practices.
Our program is structured to accommodate students with a seamless transfer to UNT, whether you are coming from a community college or are an incoming freshman.

Career Outlook

A career in urban planning is classified as a "bright outlook occupation" by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and is currently one of the fastest growing fields in the world.

Earning a degree in Urban Policy and Planning will help prepare you for competitive placement within in-demand areas including:

  • City, regional, state and federal government
  • Consulting
  • Housing
  • Nonprofits
  • Private development
  • Transit

Urban Policy and Planning Degree Courses You Could Take

Urban Planning Studio (6 hrs)
Examines the interdependence of cities in the metropolitan regions and the importance of urban form and functions. Introduces and applies fundamental planning concepts, theories and models to real-life urban challenges. Planning at the city and regional levels directly influences the economy and quality of life of residents.
Population Demographics and Planning (3 hrs)
Examines population trends and changes and the impact of growth on urban form and planning processes. Planning for resilient communities requires holistic and equitable approaches that reflect the needs of current and future populations.
Community Development and Collaborative Planning (3 hrs)
Analyzes systems that measure community assets and resources. Explores the means of identifying and approaching potential collaborative community partners, and focuses on the development of joint proposals and/or business plans. Provides an overview of the role of volunteer managers and agency leadership of community organizations that provide resources in the development of a collaborative, capacity building community.
Discover the CityPlacemaking in the World (3 hrs)
Helps students understand how cities shape life today and into the future. Cities are about the place and shape of human experience that urban policymakers and planners make everyday. Introduces the cities of the world, regional patterns and urban environments that impact the livability, culture, environment, social equity, housing, public health and transportation that pervade our daily lives today and for future generations.
Creating Innovative Cities (3 hrs)
Successful cities rely on creativity and innovation. Explores planning for innovative cities through various theoretical and practical planning approaches.
Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning (3 hrs)
Physical and technological, as well as economic, social, and political infrastructure, play an important role in planning for healthy environments. Introduction to planning theory and history as they inform urban development.

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