November 27 2012

Top 5 Online Education Programs for Urban Planning: Continuing Education

The explosion of online education in the past decade is rapidly changing the face of education. In 2006, 3.5 million students were listed as enrolled in an “online learning institution of higher education.” In 2009, it was asserted that 44% of USA post-secondary students were taking either some or all of their courses online. This figure was proposed to almost double by 2014.

Planning pedagogy has shared proliferation in this generation’s educational e-boom. While formally one is eligible for an entry-level planning job with a relevant bachelor’s degree, employment prospects are dismal without some form of further, advanced education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in this field to grow 16% from 2010 to 2020, and the disparity between master’s degrees and lack thereof may spell the difference in advantages seen by the job influx.

Forming a Top 5 list proved to be a somewhat delicate task, as the objectivity of each program’s proprietary is heavily offset by the subjectivity of planning ambition. I implore you to peruse each website with an imperative diligence and never praise rank over personal relevance.

Top 5 Online Education Programs for Urban Planning:

5. Nova Southeastern University – Focus: Urban Studies

4. University of Nebraska- Lincoln – Focus: Community Development

3. Kansas State University – Focus: Community Development

2. Leeds Metropolitan University – Focus: Town and Country Planning

1. University of Florida – Focus: Sustainability

Who needs planning?

Also existing is a plethora of free, non-certifiable, albeit broadly beneficial, massive open online courses (MOOCs). Here are a few notables:

In addition to master’s degrees, a planner may seek the certification of Certified Planner (CP), as distributed by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) of the American Planning Association (APA). This designation affirms a planner’s adherence to the intellectual current of the day, and may enhance employment opportunities.

How may the world benefit as access to education provides increasingly feasible routes to become an architect, landscape architect, or urban planner?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Evan Comen

Evan Comen is an undergraduate at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursuing a B.S. in both Economics and Environmental Studies and a minor in Urban Studies and Planning. A philosophical outlook towards education led his career aspirations to the realm of urban planning, which he intends to foster through completion of a master’s program in the topic post-graduation. Through growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and attending school in Chapel Hill, Evan has had the fortune of experiencing the unparalleled smart growth of the properly dubbed “Research Triangle”; a region in the Piedmont of North Carolina notorious for its numerously expansive high-tech companies. His blogs principally speak for the area’s burgeoning success. He is also a devoted cinephile, reader, and cyclist.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 6:04 pm and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Education and Careers, Environmental Design, Internet Marketing, Social/Demographics, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


3 Responses to “Top 5 Online Education Programs for Urban Planning: Continuing Education”

  1. Alexandria Stankovich Says:

    Great article, Evan! Online courses definitely make knowledge more accessible, while still providing rigor and structure, as well as a learning community.

    We are experimenting with MOOCs at the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) as our print publication “Planning” in now going digital. As this trend continues to grow I have to wonder how campus space will evolve and how we will begin to value/compare a certificate verses a degree from the same institution. The lines are blurring.

    I thought this was a good video about MOOCs:

    Former GRID Blogger,

  2. Evan Comen Says:

    Thanks for the substantial addition!

    A description of recent architectural amendments to the Bronx Library Center, a branch of the New York Public Library, foreshadows possibilities for the future: “The library’s layout provides, as well, a powerful symbol of our new media landscape: at the center stands the screen of the Internet-connected computer; the printed word has been pushed to the margins.”

    SCUP’s initiatives and publications are innovative and incredibly relevant! I’ll stay tuned for the digital publication.


  3. Evan Comen Says:

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