Your Future In Urban Policy and Planning

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. 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.

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

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.

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

What we offer

Our program is structured to accommodate students with a seamless transfer to UNT, whether they are coming from a community college or are an incoming freshman. 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.

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

Graduates with this degree will attain the following marketable skills:

  • Administration of codes and regulations affecting all facets of urban living
  • Communication skills for public engagement with government officials and citizens
  • Formulation of urban plans through impact analysis, forecasting and visualization techniques
  • Program management skills including grants, budgeting and scheduling
  • Research skills including spatial analysis, historical precedent review and best practice identification

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.

If you wish to pursue a graduate degree after earning your B.A. in Urban Policy and Planning, UNT's Department of Public Administration has a top-ranked graduate program in Local Government Management and Public Administration and Management that would be a perfect fit.

The department is supported by a $2.8 million endowment in graduate student scholarships, and enrollment in both the M.P.A. and Ph.D. programs is continuously growing. Graduate student job placement is about 96 percent, and the department offers both a local governments track and nonprofit track that complement the career objectives of those with a degree in urban policy and planning. One of the graduate program's strongest qualities is its more than 950 alumni working in local, state and federal government positions.

What to expect

To complete the degree, the following courses and credits are required:

  • 33 required courses
  • 12 additional program credits

The degree requirements are designed to offer seamless opportunity for transfer students as well as incoming freshmen. 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 on 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.