Planners must develop professional skills in report writing, oral presentation, computer-enabled analytics and presentation graphics, and team management in order to function effectively in various organizational and political environments. Fifty semester hours are required: 23 semester hours of core courses, 6 hours of capstone courses (fulfilled with Field Problems in Planning I and II), at least 9 semester hours in an area of concentration, and 12 semester hours of electives. Most recent catalog of planning courses.

Core Curriculum

  • The core curriculum assists students in understanding the institutions and systems—social, economic, environmental, political, administrative, and legal systems—as context for planning and policy analysis and making public choices.
  • Students develop the ability to identify social goals and normative criteria for evaluating public policies.
  • Both quantitative (statistics, forecasting, surveys, regional analysis) and non-quantitative skills are required to perform evaluations and produce plans.

Capstone

The capstone courses enable students to apply core class principles to actual planning problems.

Required Curriculum

8 core courses
10 electives (including 9 s.h. taken within a concentration)
2-semester capstone project

  • At the heart of the two-year master's degree in planning is an integrated core curriculum providing students with a solid foundation in social, economic, and public policy analysis.
     
  • First-semester courses draw from traditional disciplines, particularly economics and statistics, and are combined with introductions to law, land use and the history, theories, and practice of planning.
     
  • As students proceed, increasing emphasis is placed on the development of critical judgment and insight through the application of theories to planning problems and case studies.
     
  • Students focus on one or two areas of concentration, as well as complete a major planning research project in our capstone Field Problems course.
     
  • For the capstone project students will apply their knowledge and skills to a planning problem or issue in an Iowa community. This will be done in tandem with the University’s Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) which for has been providing public consultation to communities in Iowa for over a decade.

Core Curriculum

URP:6200 Analytic Methods I 3 s.h.
URP:6201 Analytic Methods II 3 s.h.
URP:6202 Land Use Planning: Law and Practice 4 s.h.
URP:6203 History and Theories of Planning 3 s.h.
URP:6205 Economics for Policy Analysis 3 s.h.
URP:6208 Program Seminar 1 s.h.
URP:6233 Public Finance and Budgeting 3 s.h.
URP:6258 Modeling Dynamic Systems 3 s.h.

Typical Schedule for Full-Time Students

Students with sufficient previous coursework may request a waiver of a core course.

First Semester
URP:6200 Analytic Methods I core 3 s.h.
URP:6202 Land Use Planning: Law and Practice core 4 s.h.
URP:6203 History and Theories of Planning core 3 s.h.
URP:6205 Economics for Policy Analysis core 3 s.h.
URP:6208 Program Seminar core 1 s.h.

 

Second Semester
URP:6201 Analytic Methods II core 3 s.h.
URP:6233 Public Finance and Budgeting core 3 s.h.
  Electives and area of concentration courses          elective 9 s.h.

 

Third Semester
URP:6209 Field Problems in Planning I capstone   3 s.h.
URP:6258 Modeling Dynamic Systems core 3 s.h.
  Electives and area of concentration courses elective 6 s.h.
URP:6335 Internship elective 2 s.h.

 

Fourth Semester
URP:6210 Field Problems in Planning II capstone 3 s.h.
  Electives and area of concentration courses elective 9 s.h.