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In New York it’s knowing how to cram three people into a one-bedroom apartment that costs $2,500 a month and still be able to tell yourself, “it’s worth it.” In Chicago it’s knowing how to actually get from your house to your car in the winter without the loss of any extremities.

Every city in America has it’s own feel, style, and culture. The point of the Urban Planning major is to get beyond all of that by looking at the way our cities are designed, constructed, and planned. Urban Planning majors study the socio-economic factors and conditions behind housing projects in the city while also studying the effect of public transportation in suburban areas. It’s both an analytical and quantitative approach, one that combines policy, statistics, a sense of history, and a lot more.

Urban planners help us look at the ways we can improve our neighborhoods, preserving some of the past while keeping an eye open for future improvements. So whether you want to help plan the next Central Park in Peoria, Illinois, or design a way to unclog freeway congestion in Los Angeles, the Urban Planning major will give you the tools you need to literally change the face of the American landscape.


  • Analytical Methods and Graphic Design Techniques

  • Community Planning Workshop

  • Economics

  • Issues in Planning

  • Issues in Urban and Environmental Planning

  • Physical and Environmental Planning

  • Planning Administration and Law

  • Planning Methods

  • Quantitative Reasoning

  • Theory and Ethics in Planning

  • Theory and Ethics

  • Urban and Regional Planning Analysis


Although years of playing Sim City may be helpful, the best possible preparation you can have is a strong background in math (trigonometry could come into play here) and the humanities. After all, before you can plan an entire city, you’ll have to make your ideas understood.