Monday, July 24, 2023
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The University of Iowa’s master’s degree program in urban and regional planning at the School of Planning and Public Affairs (SPPA) is ranked 16th in the nation, according to the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs 2023 report. The Guide is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available and includes data from 95 master’s programs at U.S. colleges and universities.

The UI urban and regional planning program received top rankings in the following categories:

  • 16th overall in the U.S.
  • Top small program with less than 55 students
  • 2nd in the Midwest
  • 2nd program located in a small city
  • 3rd among programs without a Ph.D.
  • 5th most selective program
  • 9th program within a public university

With over 1,000 alumni, SPPA has offered high-quality graduate education in planning for nearly 70 years. Students take classes taught by internationally recognized faculty, and are actively involved in community engagement through the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. The planning program stands out in its ability to prepare graduates for their first careers. Within one year of graduating, a high percentage of graduates have obtained not only employment, but positions in the urban planning field. Graduates have a long legacy of passing the AICP exam, the only nationally recognized test of planner proficiency and knowledge in the U.S., on their first attempt. The AICP pass rate of SPPA graduates is among the highest in the nation. The UI master’s planning program consistently receives the longest reaccreditation renewal time period offered by the Planning Accreditation Board.

Urban and regional planning education at SPPA is available as a master’s degree, an undergraduate-to-graduate (U2G) degree, a combined master’s degree, and an undergraduate certificate or minor. In addition to urban and regional planning, SPPA also offers graduate and undergraduate programs in public affairs and public policy. For more information, please visit