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Urban Planning

The urban planning program at Texas A&M addresses complex community problems. You’ll learn to understand the needs of a viable community and how to approach its challenges. Through service-learning experiences, you’ll learn to design and develop the built environment. Prepare to solve the problems that interest you most by pursuing a policy or urban design emphasis.

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About the Program

The Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning program prepares students to solve problems in communities across the state, nation, and world. Students learn to deal effectively with the opportunities and challenges inherent in the development and growth of communities.

Policy Track

The policy track focuses on social and economic issues that can be addressed with policy solutions. You’ll learn to assess problems, plan policy solutions, and evaluate the outcomes of programs and policies. 

You will be well prepared for work in the public, private or non-profit sector. For policy track students seeking to further their education, our program also prepares you for graduate education in planning, law and other related fields.

Download Policy Track Program Flyer

Areas of Emphasis

  • Community development
  • Transportation planning
  • Housing
  • Economic development
  • Planning management/finance
  • Parks and recreation
  • Historic preservation
  • Community activism/empowerment

Urban Design Track

The urban design track uses design to address problems in the built environment. You’ll learn to challenge inherent problems in the development, growth and culture of neighborhoods, cities, and regions.

Upon graduation, urban design track students may pursue work in the public, private or non-profit sectors as geodesign or planning professionals. Alternatively, you can pursue a graduate degree in urban planning or urban design. You could also choose to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture or a Master of Architecture (career change) degree.

Download Design Track Program Flyer

Areas of Emphasis

  • GeoDesign
  • Spatial analytics
  • Land use science
  • Community development
  • Transportation planning
  • Housing
  • Economic development

* Salary ranges estimated from PayScale.

FAQs about the Urban Planning program

What is urban planning?

Urban planning shapes the built environment by following technical and political processes to define how land will be used. Urban planners collaborate with government officials, business leaders, and citizens to help build communities following evidence-based choices of where and how people work and live.

Do I need to be licensed to become an urban planner?

No, you do not need to become licensed to be an urban planner.

How much does it cost to attend?

The cost to attend varies depending on a variety of factors, including semester of admission, student type, how many hours you take per semester, and rate type. Use the Texas A&M Tuition Calculator to get the best estimate of your tuition cost per semester.

Additional costs to consider include course materials, housing, meal plans, parking, and fees.

What financial aid and scholarships are available to students?

Numerous scholarships and financial aid are available through Texas A&M University, the College of Architecture, and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. Incoming freshmen applicants are considered for university scholarships through the ApplyTexas Application or the Coalition Application. Continuing students can apply for additional scholarships through the University Scholarship Application for Continuing Students. For more information about university scholarships, visit scholarships.tamu.edu.


Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning is a four-year undergraduate degree and requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. The multidisciplinary curriculum features theoretical training in the social and natural sciences, analytical methods, and applied problem solving.

BS-URPN Policy Track

Year 1 31 credit hours

Fall Semester – 16 credit hours

ENGL 104 Composition & Rhetoric 3 credit hours
MATH 140 Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences 3 credit hours
POLS 206 American National Government 3 credit hours
LAND 101 Introduction to Landscape Architecture Practice 1 credit hour
URPN 201 The Evolving City 3 credit hours
American History 3 credit hours
First Year Experience 0 credit hours

Spring Semester – 15 credit hours

ARCH 250 Survey of World Architecture History II 3 credit hours
MATH 142 Business Calculus 3 credit hours
POLS 207 State & Local Government 3 credit hours
ECON 202 Principles of Economics 3 credit hours
URPN 202 Building Better Cities 3 credit hours
Year 2 31 credit hours

Fall Semester – 15 credit hours

URPN 210 Urban Analytical Methods I 3 credit hours
RENR 205 Fundamentals of Ecology 3 credit hours
LAND 240 History of Landscape Architecture 3 credit hours
General Elective 3 credit hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences Core Curriculum (SOCI 205 preferred) 3 credit hours

Spring Semester – 16 credit hours

URPN 310 Urban Analytical Methods II 3 credit hours
Life and Physical Sciences Core Curriculum 4 credit hours
American History 3 credit hours
Sociology Requirement (upper level)** 3 credit hours
General Elective 3 credit hours
Year 3 32 credit hours

Fall Semester – 16 credit hours

ENGL 210 Technical Writing 3 credit hours
RENR 215 Fundamentals of Ecology Lab 1 credit hour
URPN 220 Digital Communications I 3 credit hours
URPN 302 Planning Law 3 credit hours
RENR 375 Conservation of Natural Resources 3 credit hours
Concentration Elective** 3 credit hours

Spring Semester – 16 credit hours

CARC 481 Seminar 1 credit hour
URPN 483 Studio in Urban & Regional Planning 4 credit hours
URPN 401 Policy Implementation 3 credit hours
URPN 325 Intro to GIS in Urban and Regional Planning 3 credit hours
URPN 330 Land Development 3 credit hours
KINE 120 or any core science 1 credit hour
Year 4 21-27 credit hours

Fall Semester – 6 or 12 credit hours

URPN 494 or CARC 301 Internship or Field Studies in Design Innovation 6 credit hours
Study Abroad of 2 Concentration Electives** 6 credit hours

Spring Semester – 15 credit hours

URPN 331 Public & Private Infrastructure Funding 3 credit hours
URPN 493 Urban and Regional Planning Capstone 5 credit hours
Concentration Elective 3 credit hours
General Elective 4 credit hours

BS-URPN Urban Design Track

Year 1 29 credit hours

Fall Semester – 14 credit hours

ENDS 101 Design Process 3 credit hours
ENGL 104 Composition & Rhetoric 3 credit hours
LAND 101 Introduction to Landscape Architecture Practice 1 credit hour
RENR 205 Fundamentals of Ecology 3 credit hours
URPN 201 The Evolving City 3 credit hours
General Elective 1 credit hour
First Year Experience 0 credit hours

Spring Semester – 15 credit hours

ECON 202 Principles of Economics 3 credit hours
LAND 240 History of Landscape Architecture 3 credit hours
MATH 140 Mathematics for Business & Social Sciences 3 credit hours
POLS 206 American National Government 3 credit hours
URPN 202 Building Better Cities 3 credit hours
Year 2 32 credit hours

Fall Semester – 16 credit hours

MATH 142 Business Calculus 3 credit hours
URPN 210 Urban Analytical Methods I 3 credit hours
URPN 220 Digital Communication I 3 credit hours
American History University Core Curriculum 3 credit hours
Life & Physical Sciences Core Curriculum 4 credit hours

Spring Semester – 16 credit hours

ENGL 210 Technical and Business Writing 3 credit hours
RENR 215 Fundamentals of Ecology Lab 1 credit hour
URPN 310 Urban Analytical Methods II 3 credit hours
URPN 320 Digital Communications II 3 credit hours
Sociology Requirement (upper level)** 3 credit hours
American History University Core Curriculum 3 credit hours
Year 3 32 credit hours

Fall Semester – 16 credit hours

POLS 207 State & Local Government 3 credit hours
URPN 325 Introduction to GIS in Urban & Regional Planning 3 credit hours
UPRN 330 Land Development I 3 credit hours
UPRN 420 Principles of Urban Design 3 credit hours
URPN 489 Special Topics in… 1 credit hour
General Elective 3 credit hours

Spring Semester – 15 credit hours

CARC 481 Seminar 1 credit hour
RENR 375 Conservation of Natural Resources 3 credit hours
URPN 326 Advanced GIS in Urban & Regional Planning 3 credit hours
URPN 401 Policy Implementation 3 credit hours
URPN 483 Studio in Urban & Regional Planning 3 credit hours
General Elective 3 credit hours
Year 4 21-27 credit hours

Fall Semester – 6 or 12 credit hours

URPN 494 or CARC 301 Internship or Field Studies in Design Innovation 6 credit hours
Study Abroad or 2 Concentration Electives** 6 credit hours

Spring Semester – 15 credit hours

URPN 331 Public & Private Infrastructure Funding 3 credit hours
URPN 409 GeoDesign Studio 5 credit hours
Life & Physical Sciences 1 credit hour
Concentration Elective 3 credit hours
General Elective 3 credit hours

For more details about each course, view the listings in the Texas A&M Course Catalog. 

*Subject to change

**See advisor for a list of approved courses.

A grade of C or better is required in courses under major coursework and supporting coursework.

Study abroad students will take CARC 301, CARC 311, and CARC 331. Other university courses will be approved individually through advisor.

Internship students will register for URPN 494 in 4th year, fall semester. Two approved supporting coursework courses must be taken in semesters other than fall 4th year.

Real-world experience

Our students address community problems while still in the classroom. Hands-on assignments and service-learning projects teach our students to address community challenges. We often partner with communities through the Texas Target Communities and our community outreach programs to provide applied problem solving opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to experience workplace practices and other cultures through our semester away internships and study abroad program.