Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 1 decade ago

If I have a bachelor's degree in political science can i pursue a masters in city/urban regional planning?

I'm a high school senior and I need some guidance. I wanna pursue a degree a masters degree in city/urban regional planning. But can i get a bachelor's degree in political science and then get a masters at planning. What about a bachelor's in Architecture can i also pursue a masters in regional planning

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Planning, for the most part, is an interesting field because the major is primarily a masters degree field. There are a handful of universities that offer planning as a bachelor's degree, but at most places the degree is started at the master's level (maybe ten percent of the schools that offer a MURP have bachelor's programs, probably 15 programs in the country). I took a drafting class my junior year of high school, where second semester we did architectural drawing, yet when I doodled I drew a row of houses rather than floor plans - if I knew what Urban Planning was I would have majored in it. If I knew then what I know now, I would have been an undergrad major in Planning at Illinois, and then gone on to a joint JD/MURP. Instead I was a PreLaw/PoliSci major at Illinois, and got my JD. My specialty as an attorney is municipal law, planning, zoning, and subdivisions, and I have spent many years serving on Planning Commissions - I even worked as a Planner for a municipality.

    Since you want to get a masters in planning, you have many options. You could find a school, such as Illinois, that offers planning as an undergraduate degree. But the key question might be: What is drawing you to planning? If the politics and policy interests you, polisci might be the right major for you. If the integration of architecture into a neighborhood interests you, perhaps architecture is the major. Some people get into the infrastructure of planning, like transportation and public services; they might major in civil engineering, and look to plan roads and sewer/water systems. If you are into open spaces and designs, perhaps landscape architecture is your major. Maybe if you want to be a real estate developer, you might major in Business or Finance to prepare for the business / private side of the planning field.

    These different options all tie into some of the variations of masters programs which some universities offer: joint MURP and Civil Engineering, or Architecture, or Landscape Architecture, or Public Administration, or Law, or even Health Care Administration.

    The American Planning Association has a book setting out all of the programs in Urban Planning in the US and Canada. You probably can find it on the APA website.

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