The core curriculum of the Urban Studies and Planning Program emphasizes understanding of the political, economic, institutional, and social context in which professional planners work with a variety of stakeholders to develop and implement plans and programs. The aim of the Master of Community Planning degree is to prepare planning professionals and future scholars.
The Urban Studies and Planning Program brings together an active community of scholars and students to creatively confront the issues facing our cities and metropolitan regions. Through instruction, participation in research, and community interaction, students explore the changing character and critical problems of modern urban development. Students specialize in such areas as land use, transportation, urban design, housing, economic development, community development, social planning, and international planning.
Our program is closely aligned with the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, a non-partisan center for research and education on smart growth and related land use issues, national and international. The Center conducts research in four general areas: land use and the environment; transportation and public health; housing and community development; and international development issues. The Center's Executive Director, Gerrit Jan Knaap, along with Center’s Associate Professor Chengri Ding, Associate Professor Casey Dawkins, Assistant Professor Hiroyuki Iseki are URSP faculty members. Dr. Fred Ducca, Faculty Research Scientist, Dr. Sabyasachee Mishra and Dr. Sevgi Erodgan, Faculty Research Associates are also an integral part of the team. Several of our master's students are employed as research assistants for the Center. Through its interdisciplinary research, outreach and education activities, the Center has established the University of Maryland as the national leader in this field. For more information, go to www.smartgrowth.umd.edu.