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Planning Degree Program
The Master of Science in Planning is an accredited professional degree program with an emphasis in sustainable urban and regional planning.
The program provides a diverse and multidisciplinary learning experience that prepares students for the challenges that face society and the environment through: creative urban plan making; environmental physical planning; fostering cultural awareness; research, exploration, and innovation. The program emphasizes systematic and creative ways to advance urban and regional planning within the context of real-world applications.
Students come from diverse backgrounds with degrees in architecture, business management, environmental sciences, geography, landscape architecture, political science, public health, regional development, fine arts, and many other disciplines. MS Planning students work and study in our large studio that encourages collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. Small class sizes allow ample opportunity for interaction and dialogue with the faculty, and internships provide students with real world experience. Upon graduation, our students are well prepared to find employment in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
My two years at the University of Arizona offered the ability to work in internships that provided real hands on experience. Those experiences became rocket fuel for the positions I took after graduating. The program and the skills I learned while getting my degree were the foundation for my career in the public service. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the UA Planning program.
Sarah Meggison | 2015
Housing Planner - Summit County, Colorado
The Graduate Planning Society (GPS) is a student-run organization providing students in the MS Planning program with the support and professional tools necessary to develop leadership skills. GPS also serves as a link to the local chapter of the American Planning Association (APA).
The University of Arizona offers Coverdell Fellowships to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who are enrolled in the Master of Science in Planning program. Many UA Coverdell Fellows have received degrees from CAPLA, and find a strong Peace Corps community at the University of Arizona and in Tucson. For more information about the program including scholarships, visit the University of Arizona Coverdell Fellows site.
Award-winning facilities support student cooperative learning through flexible workspaces that are spacious, bright, and airy. Multiple computer labs offer state-of-the-art technology including GIS and geodesign labs that facilitate best practices in planning and design decision-making. The award-winning building includes student work spaces and studios that have spectacular multi-story views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. CAPLA’s Underwood Family Sonoran Landscape Laboratory is a high performance demonstration garden flanking the building’s south side that employs arid land sustainable design principles including water harvesting, storage, and re-use.
Philip Stoker reviews a final project document with MS Planning students.
Our world-class faculty bring a wide breadth and depth of expertise and experience to the MS Planning program. Their background, training, and interests include regional, urban, and environmental planning; city resilience and climate mitigation; land use and real estate development; geodesign and geospatial technology; urban transportation; affordable housing; water conservation and policy; and heritage conservation.
Strong Academic Community
The College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) is a national leader in sustainable design, planning, and real estate development. As a Research I University, students have the opportunity to engage with pre-eminent scholars and teachers both in the College and throughout the university from programs including Natural Resources and the Environment, Government and Public Policy, Public Health, Water Policy, Law, and Business Administration.
The Friends of Planning, a private, non-profit organization, was formed to help ensure the strength and longevity of the MS Planning program at The University of Arizona. Through financial contributions and shared expertise, the Friends of Planning provides scholarship funds, student awards, and mentoring to ensure MS Planning students are workforce ready.
The MS Planning program has developed partnerships with government agencies and other organizations by connecting faculty and students with local planning needs. The program has established connections with the City of Tucson, Pima County, Cochise County, Town of Marana, Pima Association of Governments, the Warehouse Arts District, Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona Department of Housing, Arizona Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing. Additionally, students typically join the local and national chapters of the APA.
The University of Arizona is now part of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), one of five USDOT-funded National University Transportation Centers. We join a network of transportation researchers and educators from Portland State University, University of Utah, University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, and University of Texas Arlington. Having NITC at UA means exciting opportunities for our students and faculty. These include research funding for faculty, NITC Student Scholar awards to support and recruit top transportation students, student conference travel scholarships, support for student organizations, dissertation fellowships, and a visiting scholar program.
A Vibrant Community
Tucson is a welcoming and diverse community surrounded by five majestic mountain ranges. The Tucson basin boasts a rich cultural heritage and a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy designation, and hosts many nationally renowned events such as the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, All Souls Procession/Day of the Dead, and the Tour de Tucson bike race. The SunLink Streetcar connects the university campus to Fourth Avenue, Tucson’s downtown, and the Westside Mercado District. Southern Arizona, with 350 days of sunshine each year, is known for its abundant outdoor opportunities including hiking, biking, birding, and rock climbing.
Diversity and Inclusion
The University of Arizona and the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination. In support of this commitment, the university prohibits discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, based on a protected classification, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. We are dedicated to inclusive excellence; the recognition and acceptance of the talents, worldviews, perceptions, cultures, and skills that diverse communities bring to the educational enterprise that can be harnessed to prepare students for leading, living, and working in a diverse world.
Please refer to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion for more information and resources.
- Curriculum and Degree Information
- Admissions, Costs & Financial Aid
- Internship Experiences
- Careers and Alumni
- Lauri Macmillan Johnson, Professor and School Director
- Arlie Adkins, Ph.D.
- Gina Chorover, MS, MLA, AICP
- Arlan Colton, MS, FAICP
- Kristina Currans, Ph.D., E.I.T
- R. Brooks Jeffery, MS
- Linus Kafka, PhD, JD
- Ladd Keith, MS
- Shujuan Li, PhD
- Travis Mueller
- Arthur C. Nelson, PhD., FAICP
- Gary Pivo, PhD.
- Drew Sanderford, PhD.
- Philip Stoker, PhD.
- Jenn Toothaker Mabry
- PAB 2016 Self-Study Report
- Public Information on Program Performance
- Strategic Plan
- School of Landscape Architecture and Planning Bylaws