URSP faculty members serve as “faculty mentors” to graduate students. In their first year, all URSP students are assigned a faculty mentor. Mentors are assigned on the basis of mutual interest with the student, but also on the basis of their availability. We strive to have an equal number of students per faculty mentor. The mentor has the responsibility of guiding the student through the program and helping with course selection and registration. A mentor's approval is required for class registration. If over the course of his or her study, a student feels more comfortable with another faculty member as mentor, the student can change by making a request with the Program's Administrative Assistant and filling out a Change of Mentor form. The faculty members who are mentors are shown below, along with their areas of teaching and research.
|Faculty Mentor||Email Address||Teaching/Research Focus|
|Alex Chenfirstname.lastname@example.org||Community Studies|
|Jim Cohenemail@example.com||Growth Management, Sustainability|
|Casey Dawkins||Dawkins1@umd.edu||Housing, Land Use|
|Chengri Dingfirstname.lastname@example.org||International Development, Economic Analysis|
|Hiroyuki Iseki||Hiseki@umd.edu||Economics, Land Use|
|Gerrit Knaapemail@example.com||Economics, Land Use|
|Willow Lung-Amamfirstname.lastname@example.org||Social Planning, Urban Design Theory|
URSP has connections with planning-related employers both inside and outside of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan area, who send full and part job notices to us which we then forward to our students. Currently enrolled students, and our alumni upon request, are eligible to be on our program’s jobs listserv. In fact, many of our current students work part-time or full-time in planning jobs while they are completing their master’s degrees.
In addition to our list serve, the URSP Student Planning Association (SPA) hosts a career panel on campus each year, in which alumni and other local planning professionals provide our current students ideas and advice on successful job hunting. Also, the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation sponsors a career fair each Spring, in which public and private employers in the architecture, planning, historic preservation and real estate professions talk with students about available positions in their firms or agencies.
There are two forms of financial assistance available to URSP students, as listed below.
Graduate teaching or research assistantships
Some of our students serve as teaching assistants (TAs) for our undergraduate courses, while others assistant with a faculty member’s research project (RAs). Some of the RA positions are with the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. The assistantships are either part time (10 hours per week) or full-time (20 hours per week), in exchange for which the student receives a stipend, tuition remission, and participation in the Maryland State Employees health Insurance Program. A part-time TA or RA receives 5 hours of tuition remission for each semester worked, while a full-time TA or RA receives 10 hours of tuition remission for each semester worked. Both part-time and full TAs and GAs are charged the in-state Maryland tuition rate for any credits above 5 (or 10) that they take in a given semester. We have a limited number of these positions each semester.
For information on URSP GA or TA positions, contact Jim Cohen at email@example.com or (301) 405-6795. Please note that GA positions are available through other University of Maryland departments, programs or offices. Several of our students have received part or full-time GA positions in other campus programs in recent years. Notices and descriptions of these positions are available at https://ejobs.umd.edu under “Graduate Assistants”.
Information on student loans is available at the Office of Student Financial Aid at http://financialaid.umd.edu/osfa/for_graduate.php. Information on financial aid for international students is available at http://financialaid.umd.edu/osfa/for_international.php.