Friday, January 30, 2015

Master of Science in Planning (MSP) Program Receives Three-year Accreditation from the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)

UA College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) was recently awarded three-year accreditation from the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) for its Master of Science in Planning (MSP) degree program. Through its extensive accreditation application process, the PAB ensures high quality education for future urban planners. The PAB accredits graduate and undergraduate planning programs in North America, while strengthening professional education in partnership with its sponsors: the ACSP (Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning), the AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners), and APA (the American Planning Association).

The Planning Program was first recognized in 1961 as a graduate degree granting program at the University of Arizona. The program has been continuously accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) since 1998. The Site Visit Team assigned by the PAB to conduct the most recent review wrote that the program has a well-defined and cohesive emergent identity with a vision and brand that resonates with constituents. “Students, university leaders, professionals, faculty, and the AZ APA all acknowledge this branding; it is well defined in the strategic plan.” The PAB noted areas of program excellence including impressive interaction with other design professions in the college; and strong support and engagement with the professional community, in particular, the Friends of Planning organization.

The MS Planning Program was developed in concert with the University of Arizona 2013-18 “Never Settle” Strategic Plan http://provost.arizona.edu/files/UA_Strategic_Plan_12_15_2010.pdf to “promote student diversity, educate future leaders who will address world grand challenges and engage students within the context of expanded community and industry partnerships in true interdisciplinary collaborations.” The mission of the MS Planning Program is aimed at preparing urban and regional planners who can cultivate the development of sustainable cities and regions around the world. The program utilizes Tucson and the unique environments in the Sonoran Desert as learning laboratories for applied research and relevant community engagement with an emphasis on physical planning involving a variety of stakeholders including government and private partnerships, native nations, and the regions diverse population. The MS Planning Program exemplifies the spirit of the land-grant mission by focusing on social, economic, and environmental areas of concerns specific to the region and the State of Arizona with applications that extend globally.

Having received continued professional accreditation and meeting all 31 criteria established by the PAB in the delivery of the curriculum the program has the platform it needs to further develop scholarship and practice aimed at creative advancement of the planning profession while also equipping its workforce with the skills necessary for the 21st century.

In addition to receiving accreditation by the PAB the program ranks 8th by Planetizen, out of 34 in Top Programs in the nation without a PhD, and 9th out of 33 in Top Small Programs.

The Planning Program at the University of Arizona is located in the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning. Students are able to choose from four diverse areas of specialization within the program: Land Use & Urban Development, Environmental & Regional Planning, GeoDesign, and Heritage Conservation. The MSP can be completed in just two years and the pass rate by graduates on the AICP certification exam in 82%.
For more information regarding the MSP, visit the website: http://capla.arizona.edu/planning-program.